You can’t choose your quotes, so say something interesting

Over the last several years, I’ve participated in a number of forums and panel discussions about social media.  I try and be entertaining as well as informative in these arenas and as a result sometimes make statements that can seem sensationalistic.  Last week, I was discussing social media and its inherent risks for businesses on a panel hosted by The Sacramento Business Journal.  I talked about the risks of ignoring online communities and discussions. The risks inherent in having a social media policy focused on telling employees what they can’t do, and the risk of not training employees how to use social media to help the company.  I said all of these things and what was the quote that led in the article?

Social media “allows people to amplify their stupidity,” Morgan noted.

This doesn’t mean that the reporter should not have used the quote, it means that if you say something interesting, someone is going to write about it.  Go out and say something interesting.


What communication folks can learn from Adam Savage’s toolbox

I’m a huge fan of Mythbusters and you can tell by how many times I’ve written about them on this blog. One of the things I love about the show is the enthusiasm that the hosts have for what they do. This enthusiasm manifests itself as a constant desire to do things better, more efficiently and yes, with bigger explosions.

This post isn’t about explosions, but it’s about something I just learned from an article in Wired about Adam Savage’s toolbox. Yes, his toolbox. Adam’s toolbox is based on an old leather doctor’s bag, but re-imagined in aluminum with scissor legs to bring it up to working level.  All of which is very cool, but the coolest thing about it to me is the design concept that drives the interior that Adam describes as “first-order retrievability,” which means that he doesn’t have to move any tool to get to another.

Image from

This is an incredibly important concept for a communication professional, not needing to move something to be able to get to what you need as quickly and efficiently as possible.  When putting together a communications strategy, think of first-order retrievability, and determine if you will be able to get to any information that you may need. Once you have that, you’re ready to move forward, and who knows, maybe you can even add scissor legs to your comms plan while you’re at it.


SF Giants Drop the Ball on Melky Statement

I’m a huge Giants fan.  I have been all my life.  When I was in elementary school there were several of my friends who were allowed to miss school so we could come down to the home opener.  When Pac Bell Park opened I had season tickets.  OK, those are my credentials.

Today it was announced that Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy.  This is the second Giant this year to be suspended for violating this policy this year, sorry Guillermo.  The Giants have a problem with PEDs, yes they have for a long time.  They aren’t addressing it.  Other than the obvious that players keep using and testing positive, it’s the language they used in their statement about Cabrera:

“We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Giants will not comment further on this matter.”

The Giants were disappointed to learn of the suspension?  How about being disappointed in Melky for being stupid?  Think of the ads the Giants are running on TV right now, the ones where it talks about who the players play for.  Little Jimmy in section 101, row 17, seat 16, yes him. Melky, you let him down. And with their lack of will in their statement, the Giants let me down.


It’s not about luck folks, it’s preparation and how Greg Bull got the shot of a lifetime

OK, maybe not the shot of a lifetime but you can sure bet it’s the photo of record for the 2012 Olympic Games.

AP photographer Greg Bull captured Gabby Douglas on her way to gold.

Poynter has a great short article on how he got the shot.  A few key points:

  • Gymnasts do the same routines over and over, so Bull and the other two AP photographers covering gymnastics that night knew what moments they wanted to capture.
  • Bull had photographed the gymnastics Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., a month ago, so he had seen the routine about five times already.
  • Thursday night, he set his camera at the widest aperture and framed the shot loosely so there would be plenty of air around Douglas. “I was thinking, I’m just going to set a stage and let her do it right in the middle of the frame.”
  • Bull has heard about all the attention the photo has gotten. “It’s wild to be here and hear that, because I’m just a guy who went on to shoot trampoline today. We just keep going on.”

That’s how great work is done folks, lots of preparation, and then you move on to the trampoline.