Saturday, August 30, 2008

Social Media - Time to Rethink Your Life

I feel sorry for the mass media journalist, 46, married, two kids, mortgage, whose life is unraveling because of Social Media. I generally feel sorry for anyone else whose job was based upon their opinion: Judges, Politicians, Doctors, Stockbrokers. Their opinions are the standards of the Old World, the pre-Social Media days. Their professions brought with them the distinction of a fairly secured life, almost in repayment for the careful dedication they burdened in divining opinions on which others could rely.

The old school foundations supporting, and supported by, these once-honored opinions are eroding in the seemingly infinite sandstorm of the Internet as the group-opinion becomes more sought than the opinion of a single professional.

Take the mass-media journalist above, for example. Let's say, he writes an article that gets published in both the hard copy and online versions of his journal with the online version accepting instant comments from readers, dynamically more effective than letters-to-the-editor of the paper version. The variety of opinions provides depth and perspective to the subject of the article, the comments provide the reader with information about the website he's visiting, about the writer and about his fellow visitors, and, all the 'Green' reasons are supported, paper, emissions, etc. There are probably more reasons than this short list.

With comments/opinions way out in front as the greatest value-added of the online version, the question gets begged, "Is the original article or are reader comments more valuable?"

This professional's opinion is no longer valuable. It has been replaced by the opinion of the masses. What does he have left?

This has got to terrify him. This professional dedicated his life to learning how to succeed by refining and marketing a respected professional opinion. The old school that established the standards, his adherence to which was honorably certified, is too far behind. He'll likely die before it catches up.

Our journalist must be brave here. He is now free. Free from the well-trodden, secure path to the horizon promised by the paradigm to which his life is/was mortgaged. Thinking now becomes his razor-sharp saber, in exchange for the dull knife of his old school opinion.

Is Social Media making you rethink your life?

You must be brave.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Why Working on the Internet Is Going to Happen...#1 Reason #1

Just to get a gripe off my chest, I pitch my first reason for working online by citing a group I detest so much that I'm dedicating myself to fixing them and getting them the hell out of my way. More than a gripe, however, they are the main reason I push so hard for people to work on the Internet. I say 'detest' because the group I cite here is completely the opposite of what I admire. They are non-conformist, negative, counter-productive, burdensome, dependent, lazy, depressing, and dumb, but they are not stupid - they can be respected for that - and they are willing to work. They do, however, lack the imagination to do ANYTHING on their own, so to justify painful, fearful lives lived doing, working, being what they don't want to do, work or be, they take on similar traits, universally.

Allow me to introduce the 'Sloth' and the 'Bitch.'

Everyone has seen these two working in modern cultures. Examples later. One doesn't need to work with them to see them. In fact, they are most visible when one in need approaches them for help or assistance thus releasing their essence. It is in that essence, however, that a glimpse of a speck of their own true passion and creativity can be seen. And, if that creativity can remain the longterm target of this project, then at least I will have uncaged the sloth and the bitch, two relatively harmless beings, and I might even be able leverage their creativity into a business model.

Without monikers, the group to which I'm specifically referring can most easily be described as: Those workers who are simply in a job for the paycheck.

I don't know where to find the statistics, but in just the sheer numbers of these people I see when I'm out every day or so makes me believe that businesses must spend billions, maybe trillions, employing those who don't want to be there doing jobs they don't want to do. I remember an airline ticket agent who consumed with great relish the impact the push of her finger had on others and me as a flight cancellation was announced. She loved the fact that she got to deliver that message. The uproar of groans and complaints poured into and uplifted her.

She didn't need to be in that job. Her empathy had perverted because she no longer cared for her job which brought her in touch with these people. Still, she knew she always needed a job so she might as well keep this one: Uncaring, undreaming, unfree. Yet, in her perversion of enjoying the pain of others can be glimpsed someone who greatly wants to enjoy something.

The Sloth works as little as possible to minimize his effort in order to increase the value of his hourly wage or meager salary;

A different Bitch longs for someone to request her approval so she can deliberate granting access to someone who really matters;

Other examples are kids working behind the counter who only attempt to assist customers when supervisors are present, or, a government worker arriving at 9:01, lunchbreaking at 11:59, returning at 1:01, leaving for home at 4:59...on her best day.

(By the way, if you're in this group, smile...I'm trying to rescue you!)

All of these and countless others belong in this community that only wants to collect a paycheck. They do not want to work for you, or me, or anyone; they have not enough imagination to work for themselves; but, they yearn to live freely: Getting up when they want, wearing what they want, leaving the house if they want, thinking what they want to think(and not being forced to think as someone else wishes), being where they want to be(and not where they are assigned), working as much or as little as they want to work, and, in some cases, repairing their misanthropic attitudes caused by the unhappiness of working jobs they loathe.

Without ever understanding or admitting it, this group has completely surrendered to socialist employment. The terminally unambitious in this group would quite happily live a minimalist lifestyle working only to meet their basic needs; then, working more if necessary, or less when possible.

The Sloth and the Bitch could never have arrived at their current disdain for life without the soul-crushing burden of being shackled to lives they did not want to lead. I contend that employment is the weak link in that shackle that now can be broken with the Internet.

The life they want to lead is freer. It's time to give it to them.