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Google’s Wave Consolidates Core Online Features in One Tool May 29, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Business Strategy, Innovative Strategies, Web Strategy, Web Technology.
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Check out this website I found at cio.com

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What is 420 anyway? May 22, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been seeing 420 used so often recently, I decided to find out what it is. After reading the answer, I thought there are probably a lot of people asking the same question. Here is a 420 explanation via Craigslist. So, now we know. 

Connotative Use/Meaning 

420 is a phreak’s (and not just a hippie’s) favorite number for a variety of reasons, or maybe for no reason at all, but colloquially the number says pot — “let’s smoke pot”, or “someone’s smoking pot”, or “gee, i really like pot”, or “time to smoke pot”, either by time (4:20 a.m. or p.m.), date (April 20th), or otherwise (e.g. State Route 420). April 20th at 4:20 is marked by annual events in Mount Tamalpais, CA (an informal gathering); Marin Conty, CA (the 420 Hemp Fest); Ann Arbor, MI (the Hash Bash); and Washington, D.C. (buildup towards the July 4th Smoke-In). 

Original Source(s) 

Conventional wisdom: The most common tale is that 420 is the police radio code or criminal code (and therefore the police “call”) in certain part(s) of California (e.g. in Los Angeles or San Francisco) for having spotted someone consuming cannabis publicly, i.e. “pot smoking in progress”; that local cannabis users picked up on the code and began celebrating the number temporally (esp. 4:20 a.m., 4:20 p.m., and April 20); that the number became nationally popularized in the late 1980s and, more ferverently, in the early- to mid-1990s; and is colloquially applied to a variety of relaxed and/or inspired contexts, including not only pot consumption but also a “good time” more generally (in contrast to the drug war surrounding). 

Conventions are legends

420 is not police radio code for anything, anywhere. Checks of criminal codes (including those of the City of San Francisco, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, the State of California, and the federal penal code) suggest that the origin is neither Californian nor federal (the two best guesses). For instance, California Penal Code 420 defines as a misdemeanor the hindrance of use (“obstructing entry”) of public lands, and California Family Code 420 defines what constitutes a wedding ceremony (Marco). One state does come close: “The Illinois Department of Revenue classifies the Alcoholic Liquor Act under Part 420, and the Cannabis and Controlled Substances Tax Act are next, under Part 428.” (RB 5/19/99) 

True story?

“According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who called themselves the Waldos. The term 420 was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur, to smoke pot.“Waldo Steve,’ a member of the group who now owns a business in San Francisco, says the Waldos would salute each other in the school hallway and say “420 Louis!’ The term was one of many invented by the group, but it was the one that caught on. “It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of things, like `Do you have any?’ or `Do I look stoned?’ ‘ he said. “Parents and teachers wouldn’t know what we were talking about.’ The term took root, and flourished, and spread beyond San Rafael with the assistance of the Grateful Dead and their dedicated cohort of pot-smoking fans. The Waldos decided to assert their claim to the history of the term after decades of watching it spread, mutate and be appropriated by commercial interests. The Waldos contacted Hager, and presented him with evidence of 420’s history, primarily a collection of postmarked letters from the early ’70s with lots of mention of 420.
“Maria Alicia Gaura for the San Francisco Chronicle, 4/20/00 p. A19; and thanks to Noah Cole for the submission 
Richard’s other blog: https://rshatto.wordpress.com
Richard’s Linkedin Profile: http://linkedin.com/rickshatto
Richard’s Email: wordstorms(at)gmail(dot)com

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C-Level Social Media | SocialMedia404 May 13, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Social Media.
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Just discovered John Sheridan and his SocialMedia404 site. It’s chock full of great articles and resources regarding social media. Go visit John’s site and I think you’ll agree John has great insight on the good, the bad and the ugly of social media.

Thanks John and I look forward to meeting you in person sometime soon.

To read more of what John has to say, read below or go to his website: http://www.socialmedia404.com/

The Five Fallacies of Social Media

1. It’s just greasy kid stuff.

Nope. Social media is pervasive. Over 84% of Canadians visit social networks today. It may not surprise you to know that 18-34 year olds spend more time on the internet than listening to the radio or watching TV.

But in March 2009, Neilsen Ratings reported there are now more people who belong to social networks (66.8%) than people who use email (65.1%). Fastest growing demographic? Women over 55.

2. It’s just marketing.

Social media now pervades every aspect of life, in the real world, on the web, on your phone. It will affect every part of your organization too. Remember buying your first office computer? Using a spreadsheet? Sending an e-mail? Can you imagine doing business without those tools today?

Social media gets a lot of press for its potential in public relations and marketing. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

3. No one I know uses social media.

That’s probably because you don’t use social media. But your customers and your competition probably are. Most companies are still looking for the right formula. But they are experimenting, adjusting, and succeeding. They are starting to learn, and a few are already gaining competitive advantage.

Successful CEO’s look ahead, and get there first.

4. Social media is free.

The tools are mostly free to use, true. But you already know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Even reading this article is costing money. Like anything worth doing, it takes time, effort and investment to do it right. Spend on planning, measurement and sustainment.

You don’t need to spend a lot to learn, since even small projects can provide large benefits.

5. It’s easy. Anyone can do it.

Sure, and anyone could do your job, too. Yeah, right. Pick a strategist who knows social mediaand business, to help you integrate the benefits and navigate the risks for your organization. Approach it like everything else you tackle: make clear targeted objectives, and measure results.

Ask tough questions. Demand great answers. Seek expert advice.


Your Five Tough Questions for Social Media Strategists


1. Do you have a process?

Your strategist should be able to explain clearly, and logically, how they will help you plan and implement social media for you. It should make sense, and speak to you in a language you can understand.

Our OASIS Best Practices, now licensed under Creative Commons, is an internationally recognized framework for Social Media.

2. Is this your specialty?

Sure, you can buy food at a drug store now. But we’re guessing that’s not where you do your weekly groceries shop. If your strategist provides a wide range of services, are they really good at all of them?

We are recognized herehere, and here as a dedicated Social Media agency. We do one thing, and we do it best.

3. Do you follow your own advice?

Do a little digging on your own for this one. We’ve run into web marketers with no web site, search engine experts you can’t find with Google, and social media guru’s who have no presence in any social space. They don’t practice what they preach, they preach what they read. Ask them about how they use social media themselves, and what the results have been. Ask for numbers.

Catch a glimpse of ours here.

4. Have you done this before?

Ask for case studies and examples of social media work related and/or similar to what you are trying to do. Ask your strategist to walk you through the process they used, and what the results were. Look for experience that pre-dates the current social media frenzy.

Our experience in online, interactive social architecture dates back to the early 1990’s.

5. Do you do anything besides marketing? PR? Technology?

Marketing is only one function of your organization, and only one aspect of your business that you have an eye on. Your strategist needs knowledge and experience in business planning, financial, human resources, customer service, product management, technology, and all the other moving parts of business that you understand. Without that awareness, the social media strategist can never be “on the same page” as you.

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Twitter is Turning into a Junkyard May 12, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Social Media, Twitter.
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An Important Message to Twitter

My trouble with TWITTER is that it’s becoming abundantly clear as a social media plaform, Twitter is becoming less a place to have conversations and more a junkyard of “endless offers to richness”.

The past couple of weeks, roughly 75% of my of my new Twitter followers are these kind folks who want to teach me how to make millions. Guys, it’s getting ridiculous. 

Twitter guys, you’re oxidizing fast. It’s getting way too cluttered. Unless your developers can come up with a way to cut down on this endless stream of “experts”, I predict Twitter is going to lose its luster just about as quick as it gained it. 

You need to create some rules of engagement, or create a filter to reduce some of the noise. It’s becoming a real nuisance and getting less and less worth my time to engage using Twitter.

Stop Following Me! May 12, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Social Media, Twitter.
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Hey you hordes of  “Expert Affiliate Marketers” and “Get-Rich-My-Way Gurus”…


Do you really expect me to believe that not only have you reached untold riches yourself, but that you also “know” the secret way to unlock multiple millions for me? Really!

Is your copycat-marketing really so good, that thousands of you can be doing exactly the same thing and making millions?

And, “What’s up with you people? Everyone of you looks and sounds exactly the same!” 

The same center alignment.

The same big colourful headlines.

The same short paragraphs and “breathless” language.

I mean, if you are such great marketers, why don’t you know one of the first tenets of marketing and differentiate yourself?  

So please, please affiliate gurus, stop following me.