Thursday, April 26, 2007


Going back about 15 years ago I tried to get a client to make socio-political comments in their advertising. They thought it was great and creative, but clearly they wanted to sell outerwear and went with the traditional guy standing on a colored background. A few weeks ago Nike ran an ad in the New York Times thanking 'ignorance' for starting a conversation and drew attention to the positive accomplishments of the Rutger's women's basketball team. I like Nike's idea for the ad, but is it a tad self-serving? I wish it didn't take an 'event' of slander to get corporations to develop socially conscious advertising. I must be dreaming. The above-mentioned outerwear company is now defunct.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech, Killer's 'Media Manifesto' Broadcasted

I am absolutely flabbergasted—although I know I shouldn't be—that NBC is broadcasting to the world the words, video and images of a killer. When I watched the broadcast last night, the first thing that came to mind were very brief broadcasts I've seen of Al-Qaeda members when they've captured people. We only see about 10 seconds of that. Why does this merit who knows how long of discussion and critique? Ok...ok..I know free speech, but we're talking about a dead person who killed 32 people on a idyllic college campus in the US. I could see NBC broadcasting a few photographs (like the mail package) and quoting some of his words, but to show his video—YouTube style? I think it's a very bad idea.

Why should we be educating the masses on what it's like to get inside the mind of a 'madman'? Why do we need to see and hear those images? It only perpetrates more violence. Enough already. In the age of developing content for the Internet we need not encourage more violent acts to show up for viewing to teach our youth about 'how-to' become a killer.

In my opinion, by broadcasting the words and images of a killer under the auspices of 'understanding' we give the power back to the violator and minimize the stories of the people (victims) most affected by this horrible turn of events. This violent student killer's (I don't even want to memorialize his name) story takes away the power of the victim's stories and sensationalizes the problem, making him appear as a hero-villain. Not a good message. Instead, we need to hear many more of the victim's stories which offer a powerful, pertinent learning lesson and understanding of violent experiences.

And, if we are going to try to start a reality-TV-style discussion about the Virginia Tech shooting, why don't we take a lead from last week's 'big story' with Imus and the Rutgers Women's Basketball team and at least get the discussion going about the right issues. Isn't this more about how easy it is to get guns in this country? Is a high school or college campus more sacred than our communities? Since Columbine, some high schools have constructed expensive metal detectors to retrieve the guns and violent tools that kids carry with them. Taking them away does nothing. They can get them again down-the-block at the local pawn shop and 'big boxes'.

I can only hope that enough people are incensed by this terrible tragedy to do something more than what we have become accustomed to seeing at these times-- symbols, candles, grave markers, letters, flowers and memorabilia posted to fences. I recognize these are healing devices. But we need to get beyond that. If we really want to support and heal the large numbers of people left behind in the wake of violence on campuses and in our communities, then we need to confront the real problem.

Guns and ammunition.

We need to do something to stop the easy access to these resources. The discussion this nation has about the Virginia Tech massacre needs to begin to focus on easy access to guns and ammunition. That would make all this nonsense we see in the media more palatable-hopeful-promising. Acting on what's really important to deal with these types of problems. Confront them. Solve Them. Otherwise we will continue this terrible cycle of violence, death and grieving, but never get to the most important level. Fixing it. That's a message that requires local, state national and global attention. Even if an entire economy revolves around it. We owe it to ourselves, our friends, our family and we owe it to humanity.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Recognize Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

"Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and and your verb agree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

During National Volunteer Week, April 15-23, thousands of volunteers nationwide will receive presidential recognition for their service through the President’s Volunteer Service Award – the most prestigious volunteer award currently associated with the White House. Like National Volunteer Week, this award seeks to inspire by example, honoring the service of our country’s most committed volunteers and sharing their achievements to encourage more Americans to volunteer.

If not this year, consider getting involved in National Volunteer Week in the future and thank your volunteers with a prestigious President's Volunteer Award. But remember—appreciating the work, spirit and generosity of volunteers should happen every day.

Future Dates for National Volunteer Week:
2008 - April 27 – May 3
2009 - April 19 – April 25
2010 - April 18 – April 24

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network supports the vital work of millions of volunteers, who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities nationwide. To be connected to a local Volunteer Center and learn more about the volunteer opportunities in your community, call 1-800-Volunteer or visit

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


New York City, April 6 & 7, 2007—If you’re wondering how podcasting, videocasting, and other social media can improve your business and life, pack your bags and head to The New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, April 6-7 for PodcampNYC. Podcamp NYC is part of the growing “unconference” movement that fosters networking and learning in a participatory, “all are welcome” environment. There are no keynotes here—session leaders simply sign up to speak and the “law of two feet” governs who attends. Plus: admission is free.

New Media “Unconference” encourages Participation and Community

What's an "unconference?" An unConference means that the participants are also the experts. Audio and video podcasters, enthusiasts, businesspeople, hobbyists, musicians, promoters, marketers, and people who generally want to understand more about the new media space. The power of an unconference is you get FREE ACCESS to ideas, thoughts, best practices, and the true "wisdom of crowds" simply by registering and attending.