Friday, December 25, 2009

Year of the Flannel! Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to say happy holidays to everyone. I have seriously stocked up on flannels this year, haha. This upcoming year feels different. I don't know if it's because of the friends I have chosen to stay around, the near future graduation or the idea of starting my own side business. Whatever it is, it feels good.

I hope and wish the best for everyone. Just know that you can do whatever you want to do. Do not let anyone hold you back from what you have always dreamed or always have wanted to do. Seriously.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Bestest, Greatest Post For Your Day.

Main Points:
1. Headlines are manufactured to draw attention
2. You probably read this post cause of the headline

Did the headline alone make you want to read this post? I am guessing it played a role in why you decided to open this message. Or, you could be really bored and anything with a link on Facebook or Twitter, you read. And, that's OK, I do it too. But, if you did open this because of the post, you may be curious on why you choose to read this post of mine as opposed to an older one.

There are a couple tricks happening in those seven little words I uttered that I will briefly discuss. They are, (1) the use of a superlative, (2) the use of the definite determiner, (3) the use of the 2nd person pronoun and (4) presupposition.

A superlative is the greatest form a word can take and indicates that it is comparatively better than anything it is comparing too. For example, The BESTEST, GREATEST post. By using the word greatest, an adjective that modifies (or attaches) to the noun post, you infer that the post you are about to read is the best, it is better than other posts and therefore you should read it.

The role of a definite determiner is to concisely create definiteness. Definitiveness is a very powerful tool that advertisers use to make you assume the product is constructed just for you. Determiners (like the word the) are words that identify nouns. In this headline, The Bestest, Greatest Post. The first THE modifies the noun POST so that the hearer, you, are positive that the bestest, greatest thing is the post itself. Make sense? The definite determiner is not the only tool advertisers use to make you assume uniqueness, they also use the 2nd person pronoun.

The 2nd person pronoun in my headline is the word you. "In using this pronoun, advertisers conversationally presuppose some knowledge of their audience" (Justice, 57, SDSU). This concept is a little tricky to understand but you need to know that you can say one thing but it can have a different meaning, they call this implied meaning. So for someone to presuppose something, it means that they know something about you. Take for example this headline "Get in touch with YOUR dark side." In this headline, they are presupposing that you ACTUALLY have a dark side. When in fact, they don't know you, they don't even know what you like and don't like. Going back to my headline "The Bestest, Greatest Post For YOUR day." I am presupposing that you read articles daily and this is the one for you.

As we can see in some of the examples I have listed as well as my headline, we subconsciously decide to read things or buy things or engage with a brand based on headlines. They speak to us. But what we have witnessed here, most are manufactured to receive the greatest response.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Storm The Brain! With Brainstorming!

Main Points:
1. Brainstorming is exciting
2. There are ways to curb brainstorming block

Isn't it amazing how much computing power and creative ideas stem from just talking? From just having a conversation. It is amazing how you think you have the best idea, but then someone throws a twist your way, someone simply speaks and it triggers a new and better version, version 2.0 of your idea in your head. It's a process that is exciting from the get-go, or maybe just for me.

I enjoy brainstorming. I don't think there is a better way to improve ideas than to open it up to multiple people. Of course, you need to set limits to how much you open up your brainstorming activities but in general, the more the better. There is nothing more exciting than the first couple minutes in a brainstorming session. Well, actually there is, but I guess I am just different. Then, when you get going and white boards fill up, notes are flying, people are getting excited about the idea, that's where the magic is. But, we all know that some days the magic doesn't happen. After reading through blogs and books, I have compiled a list of ideas you can use to curb writers block.

1. Find a place of peace. Find where you are comfortable, then change it up, change it back, change it again, re-change it, go outside, go upstairs, find your place of peace. When I say peace, I mean the place where you start thinking creatively. It will be different on multiple occasions.

2. Bring a friend. Ask a friend. Ask a stranger. Anything to make you think differently.

3. Constrain your limits or set goals. Such as, 5 new ideas, then you are done. 15 minutes, then you are done. Remember, no idea is stupid or absurd. Sometimes, the weirdest ideas will trigger the best ideas.

4. Meditate. Self-reflect. You have come up with great ideas before, this is no different. When you finally start the flow, you'll wonder why you had block in the first place.

5. Eat something or stimulate your mind. No specifics, everyone is different, if you catch my drift.

There are other methods to curbing brainstorming blocks but these I thought were powerful and interesting.

envision · create · dream up · ponder · think · conceive


FREE LUNCH. Help Decide My New Business Name.

Main Points:
1. I need help with a Business Name
2. I have always been a DIYer. Are you too?
3. Doing things for yourself is good.
4. Comment with your ideas
5. FREE lunch if I use your idea. Promise.

Continue reading for a good time:

Have you wanted to start your own business? I have. I always have. This of course sounds cliche, but since we all have to work to earn money to pay bills and to have leisure time, you might as well do something you have some interest in. I have no idea where my drive to 'get things done' came from, but I really like that quality about myself. I have always stayed true to that traditional business model, the mom and pop shop, the DIYers. You just get more utility when you do things for yourself. For instance, a home cooked meal that you (a) came up your recipe one night when you couldn't sleep, (b) went to the store after your hard day at work to pick up the ingredients you carefully considered, (c) cut, seasoned and prepped all your ingredients, (d) cooked everything to your liking, (e) cleaned up your mess. There is just something very fulfilling in the process of doing things for yourself.

So, being the natural at doing things for myself, I have decided to start my own consulting company in January. Well, the preliminary stages will come in January, but I figure I could get a start on it now. This is where all my friends come in. I know everyone has ideas. Everyone has free time and everyone thinks. The best ideas are the ideas that are put to good use. So here it is:

Basics on what my business will be:

Opportunities exist in the Social Media sphere that Small Business' can implement fast, cheap and with little resources. However, understanding that Social Media is not a one way communication takes a greater understanding.

(INSERT NAME HERE) is a Small Business brand that implements key Social Media methods by leveraging Internet tools that are cost effective and bring a whole new meaning to user engagement.

I have already came up with these ideas:
- Zocial Group, Inc, etc.
- Zocial Sedia
- Leverage

Comment on this post with any suggestions for names
Post something on my Facebook
E-mail me:
Text me
Twitter me: @mktgstudent
Linked In me

Also, if you are perhaps interested in joining, shoot me an e-mail and we can talk. I hope I can get some responses. After I installed Google Analytics, which is amazing, and posted something on Facebook, I have actually seen some activity, which is pretty cool. Thanks to anyone who read this or commented. Seriously, thank you.

Here are some resources for business name creation:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stress Full Week

Doesn't the holiday season excite but stress you out? For me, not only has holiday season approached but so has finals week. It feels as though the semester just started. Seriously, I remember thinking to myself "It's only September, I got a long way to go." I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy and appreciate the learning I am able to do. It's the laziness and the procrastination that is the evil doer here. But, this is where pushing through the dip pays off.

It's that time in the semester where I don't get much sleep. Where, even though I want to sleep, I can't cause of the energy drink I drank earlier. It's that time where Christmas gifts are starting to fill baskets and for most of us, money is coming tight. It's that time when all you want to do is nothing, but you know you can't. Or can you?

Now, more than ever is the time to take a breath. We are perpetually connected to out e-mail, social networking sites and to anyone globally. This allows for constant contact and less alone time. Take a walk. Go for a job. Go sit in the forest. There are countless things you can do to give yourself space. Everyone needs it. Turn off all your electronics. Log out of your e-mail. The good thing about e-mail is that it's convenient. Finding relaxing time is not, so make it a priority.

Friday, December 11, 2009


So it appears that my brother has gotten engaged. Congratulations to them! I was instructed to go paparazzi style with these until he popped the question, then run out and capture whatever moments I could. Seeing how it was freezing cold, not too many places to hide, I was wearing red flannel, I had a huge camera, it was cloudy and overcast, it was definitely a fun time.

Here are just a couple of the photos that I thought were worthy of being out there. The full album is available by invite from the couple. We are also setup to do their engagement photos in the coming future, so be on the look out.

Engagement is the promise to marry. It's the trivial time between the proposal and the wedding itself. But, in business is a little different. Engagement in business refers to "turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context" (Advanced Research Foundation). The surrounding context is where the creativity lays; it is part of your competitive advantage. What aspects of your business/service engage and interact with your customer? Engaging could be as simple as empowering the guest such as at restaurants when they are allowed to "Create Your Own."

In the new era, Social Media is a dramatic addition to engagement. The Social Media platform, built upon Web 2.0 services/software allow business' to connect and engage with consumers on a new level. Response time to complaints is lessened, response time to questions is faster and engagement with the brand or a physical person from the brand is increased. The Social Media platform allows a business to increase engagement in a variety of ways. Be creative in your engagement.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I don't want your ad.

One of the biggest misconceptions with marketing is that people want to listen. This is not the case. With the ever increasing amount of marketing and the limited amount of eyeballs out there, one of the challenges for marketers is to utilize creative techniques when designing ad campaigns.

I do not want your ad. I don't want to hear what you have to say. I am not interested. The new marketing era is changing. Prior to the social media era, just-in-time was reserved for mass production. Now, with the complex algorithms and complex data sets, just-in-time marketing refers to idea that, when a customer wants to see something, they will and we must provide it to them. This is in contrast to how it used to be. It used to be the marketer was in control of the marketing process. But, it is slowly moving to incorporate the end user in many of the marketing functions. Look at the ideas of crowdsourcing and the impact it has on companies and freelancers.

We need to understand that the world of marketing is overcrowded and with the introduction of social media, it might get even more scarier. Marketers need to become more and more creative with their campaigns in order to stay alive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


In no way do I consider myself a professional consultant. A professional consultant has earned a reputation amongst the field he/she currently resides and has experience to back it up. I am however eager to promote and implement new ideas, I have a strong ability to think creatively, I have experience with technology, I am sociable and I am part of the community. These characteristics, I feel, are also part of what makes a good consultant.

I have a feeling this coming up year will be an interesting one. First, I will be graduating with my degree, second, social media is starting to take off, and third, I need to start gaining experience with clients and the real world. I feel as though this is the time to enter the market as a consultant to social media. Companies are starting to fill positions for social media and platforms are becoming easier and easier to use. This next year, when the economy is starting to turn around is a prime time to recruit more awareness of your product or service, to increase your involvement in the Digital Networked Environment (the web) and to take your business to the next year.

I have always wanted to start my own business. I have always seen myself helping out local small business' or even starting my own business. So, I was thinking, why not start a business that helps other business'? Great idea. I think I will.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Starting it. And keeping it going.

Starting something new is exciting. It gives you hope of potential and lets your mind wonder to all those happy thoughts about what could be. It's the gun at the starting line. It's the anticipation of the immediate gratification that you will receive once you are off. But, what some of us fail to realize is that short term gratification is good and all, but we must keep our focus on our long term goal. What do we REALLY want to come out of this?

For instance, I recently began working out. I know, I know...really? Yes. I found myself complaining to other people and finally realized that if I want change, I have to do it myself. Which reminds me, honestly, if you want things to get done, do them yourself. This applies to a lot of things in life, it's what I have come to realize in life.

The thought of working out and the gratitude I will receive once working out pays off is the biggest motivation that keeps me going. It's so easy to quit when you start running for the first time in months. Your stomach starts hurting, you feel dizzy, your muscles tighten. It's not a good feeling. But, you need to push through and always think about the long term. Although it will take a while to reach that goal, there needs to be steps and goals that will get you there. With these steps and goals you can track your progress, just like with any new project you start.

I am excited that I finally started this adventure. Cause believe me, it's going to be rough. I am even more excited that my girlfriend is on board with everything. This is the last time I will not let myself fail. I have too.

[The photo was taken off Google Images. Unknown author]