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Loving Yourself, the Heart of it All

Songs, poems, movies, paintings buildings and lives have been built to celebrate the power of love.  Often it is about our love for the “other”:  a deity, a romantic partner, a family member, a leader, a friend or even a trusted animal.  Very little in human experience has plumbed the depths of our collective soul and generated such a massive outpouring of attempts to describe that which seems at one in the same time to be both universal and indescribable – something completely understood in the roots of our shared experience yet inscrutable as to how to explain or articulate it. Forever inadequate to the task, we plunder forward, each new generation feeling as though they, for the first time, are feeling the exquisite pain, the longing and the joy.

The curse of humanity is that we are intelligent enough to be disconnected from our creator.  We have brains with oversized egos and ideas that haunt our waking days with the realization that we are perhaps insignificant or meaningless.  Yes, we can launch rockets into space but all we encounter is more soul-defying vastness that disrupts our perpetual desire to be unique, special and full of meaning.

I love love.  It is the window to the universe and to all that fashions it.

I think that lost in the talk of love is the importance of its most essential building block- love of one’s self.  By this I do not mean celebrating one’s ego, wit, beauty, or accomplishments.  Self-love begins in the darkest places of our experiences.  It begins where we find the tipping point between our best selves and our worst selves.  It begins where the negative emotions of fear, shame and loathing cast their shadow.  Can we love ourselves at the core of our most desperate liabilities?

Each of us brings our own wounds and insufficiencies to this life.  Oftentimes our greatest strengths are just the B side to the Greatest Hits compilation of our greatest liabilities. It is usually just a matter of degree.  We are bound to fail.  We are bound to be undone.  Can we love ourselves when our best and our worst meet in the exquisitely imperfect dance of our flailing lives?

People look for other people to love and to love them back.  I’m not sure that effort can yield much success until you find the room in your heart to love yourself.  It is the heart of it all.  In your ability to love yourself through ups and downs, strengths and liabilities and you open a window to universe in your heart.  Loving yourself in this warts and all fashion makes it possible and to love another with the kind of beauty and grace we wish for ourselves.  Love yourself, truly, and then give that same blessing to the world.  It is what life asks of us is we are willing to rise to the call.

Foursquare will begin to offer free visitor analytics- begins to gain more traction

Foursquare, a location-based micro-blogging service that launched in 2009 seems to be on the verge of relevance. In preparation for their marketing push at SXSW they announced that they have added 500,000 new members bringing their total to somewhere in the 1 million area. Additionally, they are launching a free analytics service for business owners so that could create interesting marketing opportunities for businesses that are based on foot traffic. I’m rooting for them because this could become a very interesting marketing medium. This recent article in the NYTimes explains the new analytics service in some detail with examples of how some of the beta-testing businesses have been using it. Read More

Sneak peak into the future of facebook marketing

For a short while this past week, there was an accidentally revealed document floating around the web that shows some potential upcoming developments in Facebook marketing…and they are definitely ideas that will make business page owners very happy.  The document itself is no longer anywhere where I can link to it but there is this useful article about it on the Inside Facebook site.  Here’s the high points:

1. For page owners, Facebook will track impressions and interactions relative to each post. Right there in Facebook you will be able to see how users are interacting with the content you post which will greatly enhance your understanding of what to post that best suits your audiences preferences.

2. Facebook seems to be planning to offer ad targeting based on a function they call “Real Time”. It’s not completely explained yet but the supposition is that you will be able to target based on the content of the audiences posting activity. So if I post an update about a concert I went to I may be served ads that relate to the artist, venue, genre or anyone else that finds that subject to be defining of their audience. This could be very interesting.

Both of these changes indicate that Facebook is taking a harder look at the needs of marketers on their service. If they continue to make wise choices like the ones listed above I think they will allow marketers to better use the platform while not intruding on the basic experience of their users. In fact, in both of these cases the net result could be a higher quality experience for the Facebook users. Hope to see more about these in the near future.

Audiences 65 and older continue to grow online

The number of U.S. Internet users aged 65 and older increased more than 55 percent between November 2004 and November 2009, according to data from Nielsen. The measurement firm estimates that 17.5 million seniors are now online, compared with 11.3 million five years ago.  What is also interesting to me is the fact that they list online activities like Facebook and YouTube as popular things to do.  Read More

Thinking beyond the almighty click

I hate the click.  We obsess about clicks.  We track clicks.  We pay for clicks.  We want more and more clicks.  We are click-absorbed and it is time to make online marketing about more than this.  This week marked the 15th anniversary of the first online banner ad so I have chosen this time to launch a revolt against the single-minded click-only metrics that prevail today. Read More

RSS feed analytics through Google and Feedburner

If you publish a blog or any site with an RSS feed you have probably been frustrated by the lack of information that you get from the click activity in the feed.  Though there are certainly ways around it Google has just announced an integration with Feedburner that makes RSS analytics easily accessible.  This article from the Google Analytics blog explains it in detail but here are some of the highlights and a screenshot of what to expect. Read More

Study released on how voters will use the web in 2010

The EVoter Institute has recently released a report entitles “Persuading and Motivating Voters: What Will It Take in 2010?” that drives home the importance of the Internet and the changing dynamics in the ways we all consumer news and information.  The study is well worth the read no matter what industry you are in primarily because it illustrates the increasing ways that social media content is being used by consumers. Read More

6 examples of online video marketing done well

We see a lot of companies placing video on their websites and YouTube channels without much thought being given to whether the content will be of any real value to the audience or much benefit to the organization.  Dave Chase recently wrote a great article showcasing 10 wonderful examples from several different industries that offer fodder for those looking to hone their online video marketing approach.  The basic principle is to create content that is valuable and interesting, but how have others met that challenge and won? Read More

Google SideWiki: Another important new strand in the social web

Google recently introduced their new tool, Google SideWiki to create an annotated web browsing experience for any user willing to install the Google toolbar in their browser.  Operators of brand websites are no doubt going to be frustrated by the idea of user-generated content outside their control surrounding the user experience of their website.  However, there could be interesting opportunities here for marketers and tremendous advances for the consumer if the SideWiki adoption rate takes off. Read More