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Mad Men Returns April 13, 2014


Don Draper takes his children to the house he grew up in the final scene from last season.

Don Draper takes his children to the house he grew up in the final scene from last season.

The “final season” of Mad Men from AMC begins on April 13. I put final season in quotes s the last 14 episodes will be split over two years.  So, let’s call it a long goodbye.

In the meantime to get yourself ready, you can check out my posts about Mad Men and agency life over they years.  I’ve written quite a few.


2013 in Review for Don’t Eat The Shrimp

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. I didn’t post as often in 2013, but that’s going to change in 2014. Also, at some point this week, I’m going to pass 100,000 total visits.  That’s pretty cool.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chasing Trends in Education

If you’ve been following education trade media, business media or – let’s face it – just about any media, you have heard about MOOCs. MOOCs are massive open online courses, or in plain language, online courses that anyone can take.

MOOCs burst into mainstream consciousness only two years ago, in the fall of 2011 – at that time, one of Stanford University’s courses, Introduction to AI, had 160,000 students. As with most new technologies, the initial interest and content was technology focused, hence tens of thousands of people signing up for a course on artificial intelligence. But MOOCs moved faster than most technology trends, crossing over into the mainstream within a year and half. You can now find courses on poetry, the humanities and pretty much everything you can think of.

Since we are talking about education, it’s time for a pop quiz: less than two years after MOOCs reached public consciousness, MOOCs are:

A)   the future of education

B)   the harbinger of the end of higher education as we know it

C)   a passing fad

D)   all of the above

E)   none of the above

The past 18 months have seen MOOCs seemingly go from A to E above – and the number of clients asking for inclusion in trend articles related to MOOCs has spiked. Being included in somewhat related articles, or “chasing trend stories,” is great for consumer products and even for business products, but it’s not necessarily the best option for education stories as in many cases there’s more riding on education then there is on for example what consumer product to buy.

People looking to learn more about education opportunities are making giant leaps. They are choosing the types of careers they might have, in many cases serious financial obligations, and sometimes the hopes and dreams of multiple generations.

When looking at how we communicate about education and our education clients, we have to be more than publicists. We are counselors and we owe it to our clients, and to students, to do more than tell the story of the day.

In our annual Edelman Trust Barometer, academics have always been at or near the top of the list as the most credible spokespeople for an organization. There’s a reason that academics are trusted –for many of them, their literal job is the search for truth.  It’s up to us to help them tell that truth, not chase trends.



El Dorado Hills “Alumni” Hits a Home Run – Way to go Feross!

In 2010, I wrote a post about a site called YTInstant, and its founder  Feross Aboukhadije.  At the time, Feross was interning at Facebook and attending Stanford.  He’s stayed busy and according to Cathie Anderson from the Sacramento Bee, he just sold a company to Yahoo.  Well done Feross.  Kids in EDH, if you want to look up to someone, try Feross.

(From left to right: John Hiesey, Feross Aboukhadijeh, & Abi Raja) image from PeerCDN

Folsom Lake is Really, Really Low And Right Now You Can Walk in Gold Rush History

This isn’t a PR-related post. It’s a reminder to check out cool things around you post.  We live about four miles from Folsom Lake.  During the summer, we have a ski boat in a slip there.  The lake is formed by a dam across the American River.  It is currently at 22% capacity.  When the lake is this low, you can visit remains of the old gold rush town of Mormon Island that was flooded when the lake was built.

Pretty much everything you see below is normally at least fifty feet underwater.  If you are near Sacramento, go check it out.


Looking north into Folsom Lake from Brown’s Ravine.


The “Natoma Ditch,” which was begun in 1851 to funnel water for gold mining.


Amazing rock wall that I believe was part of a dairy.


Detail showing the craftmanship of the rock wall.


Artifacts found and piled by others on a piece of the foundation.


IMG_0168Some of the old articles I have found, point to this being either the remains of the Red Bank Winery or a dairy.


Buying local, supporting art and doing more

This Christmas most of the gifts given and received by my family were created by or bought from someone local.  One of these has a bit of a story behind it.

Let’s start with Maude.  Maude is our yellow lab. Here’s a picture of Maude that I took this Summer at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma coast.

MaudeSeaRanchNow fast forward a bit and my stepmother asked my wife for a copy of the photo.  We weren’t sure why, until on Christmas morning we opened:

MaudeLeeWrightThe painting was by an artist from Chico named Lee Wright.  At first glance, it’s a dog painting.  But there’s more.  Lee is using art to move forward from being homeless.  Through commissions, he has now moved into his own housing and continues to create.  If you would like to support Lee, go to Art Etc, in Chico or find Lee on Facebook. Who knows maybe you’ll find something else there too.

Online brand videos don’t have to have multiple sets and dancing bears to be good.


It’s no Dollar Shave Club or Christmas Jammies and the Santa kinda creeps me out, but looks like a good product and shows that not all product videos need to have multiple sets and dancing.


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