I don’t want to be popular.

I went to a comedy show last night. A formerly brilliant comedian played a packed house. The problem? Her usually fine wit was replaced with all-too-easy jokes about TV culture, celebrity worship, and her own twitter behavior.

I realized…it’s happened again. Something that was popular with maybe 25% of people was fantastic. Something with a broader audience? Juvenile, pointless, vanilla.

So, here’s to the unpopular ones. The ones with something to say, the ones with a point of view…the ones who move culture rather than simply reflecting it.

Whether you make widgets, coffee, or computer…try to be bold. Bring value to people’s lives.

With mass comes mush.

And…I think it’s the same with people. When I’ve tried to gain the approval of others, rather than simply living to my own fullest…I’ve pandered…and I’ve dulled down my offering.

I’m going to try NOT to do this anymore.

Anyone care to join me?

My home state has too much representation in government.

Much has been written about the unfairness of the fact that states like my home state, Iowa…shouldn’t get as many Senators as larger states. This isn’t about that. I actually agree with the way the Senate and House are set up — one by population, the other in equal rates. I might quibble with HOW MANY total representatives are sent to Congress — but that’s for another entry.

No, this morning I’m ranting about the electoral college. I firmly believe that this should be set up as a pure popular vote — the fact that we’re still holding on to this system is astounding. And with this morning’s news,…

(Article from this morning’s Huffington Post)

…I believe that the existing system will continue to be manipulated any way people can.

Key text from the article…”

On Wednesday, Virginia’s Republican-controlled legislature became one of the first to advance a bill that would allocate electoral votes by congressional district. Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed pushing through similar proposals in other states with Republican legislative majorities.

The strategy would have states alter the way they translate individual votes into electors — thereby giving Republican candidates an advantage. Had the 2012 election been apportioned in every state according to these new Republicans plans, Romney would have led Obama by at least 11 electoral votes.”

As I’ve said before…I rant NOT as a Democrat, nor (obviously) as a Republican. I long for a true Progressive party in America, that will begin to change things for the better.

But…this system will never allow that.

Thanks for listening.

Let’s pay politicians more.

You know, for all the controversy about congress giving themselves raises, it stands to be considered that the average salary of members of congress is MUCH less than they could make on the open market.

It’s what leads to lobbying, and corporate control of our government.

The reality is…until we figure out a way to take so much of the influence out of our government, we’ll never be happy with the results we’re getting.

Look at the NRA – for all the bluster about protecting rights, blah, blah, blah…we neglect to recognize the NRA for what it is – a TRADE lobbying group designed to keep the market open for ALL its products.

It’s why the dairy lobby is involved in food labeling.

And the travel lobby in FAA restrictions.

My point is simply this…that the point…isn’t so simple.

Keep your crowdsourcing to yourself.

Crowdsourcing seems to be all the rage in marketing circles.

As defined by the (crowdsourced) Wikipedia, crowdsourcing is (at least as of this morning) “a process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. This process can occur both online and offline.  Crowdsourcing is different from an ordinary outsourcing since it is a task or problem that is outsourced to an undefined public rather than a specific body.”

Don’t get me wrong. CrowdFUNDING via things like Kickstarter is one of the greatest things ever to come along. My quibble is when people use “crowdsourcing” to CHOOSE their marketing actions. You see, it might work for big brands (I’m looking at you, Pepsi) — but too often people use crowdsourcing (or research, or endless cycles of feedback) — and end up with something LESS interesting, LESS provocative, and frankly, LESS “delightful” that what could’ve been accomplished if people had the courage of their convictions.

The problem is, crowdsourcing regresses to the mean.

Crowdsourcing can be fine, IF…

You think Jay Leno is the peak of comedy (I’ll take Patton Oswalt.)

You want a Dell. (Give me an Apple.)

You prefer to drive a Ford. (I’ll take an Audi, or an Infiniti, or even a Dodge — give me some personality.)

And uh, I’m going to leave the coffee analogy out of this — for NOW.

The point I’m making is…if you work for a HUGE, LEADER company? Crowdsourcing may be right for you.

A fun, disruptive brand? Go the Artist Route. (HT to Seth Godin.)

Looking forward to more interesting marketing in the future.

 

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By the way, I still need your help. If you haven’t sent me “a sentence,” PLEASE do so…I need all the input I can get from my readers.

Go here for a reminder of what i NEED from you.

 

Gift cards – the ultimate “stuff for stuff?”

This was kind of a “gift card” Xmas for me…after all, if you don’t really know what someone wants, why not give them a gift card to their favorite store, and let THEM pick it out. That way, you’re not just giving more STUFF.

The problem, of course…is that so many gift cards go to waste…never used, never appreciated.

Well, along comes Gyft. Gyft “aims to make it easier for consumers to manage and make the most of all their gift cards through a single mobile interface.” You can give cards, receive cards, and most importantly,…regift cards to others.

Seems like a smart solution to me.

By the way, I still need your help. If you haven’t sent me “a sentence,” PLEASE do so…I need all the input I can get from my readers.

Go here for a reminder of what i NEED from you.

Dare I start another project? PLEASE read to the bottom and contribute, I need YOUR help!

As part of questioning MY OWN dogma, I’m getting ready to start a new project. (Questioning my own dogma that I’m too busy.)

So, it’s in this spirit that I ask for YOUR help. I need some thought starters from my audience. I’m preparing a new blogging project, something along the lines of the RID Project.

But here’s where I need your help. I’d like you to send me a sentence. That’s it. Just one sentence. I’d like you to send me a sentence of how the tough economy has impacted your BEHAVIOR, or someone you directly know. It can be yourself, a close friend, or a family member. But I’d like to make sure it’s someone you know well.

What kind of sentence should it be?

It can be very simple, something like…”When my brother lost his job, he stopped taking his yearly vacation.” OR “When my best friend from high school found out his health insurance benefits were being cut, he changed doctors.” OR “Thanks to the increasing cost of cable (and other things) — my college roommate cancelled cable, and started watching all her favorite shows online.”

That’s it. But I NEED your help. Because I need REAL examples.

PLEASE send them to my email address (david@questionthedogma.com) — or, if you’re reading this in social media, feel free to leave your sentence in the comments, or send them via social media service. Whatever’s the easiest, and the most comfortable for you. These sentences will be for MY EYES ONLY, they won’t be used for anything other than inspiration for me…I promise to keep them close.

Thanks for your attention. I really appreciate it. And…can I PLEASE get a sentence from you?

Thanks in advance.

So, do we need teachers in this society of ours?

So, something occurred to me this weekend.

Two months ago or so, it seemed that teachers were all the rage for our dishonor. They didn’t work for 3+ months out of the year, they didn’t deserve the rights for collective bargaining, they were generally “government workers” who exhibit all the worst stereotypes of such — feeding off the public dole whilst not working hard enough.

Fast forward one month, and the suggestion is that they are ninja-like warriors with the great responsibility of protecting our children from armed harm. The suggestion is that we should arm them to the teeth, and trust them to be the SWAT team of our nation’s youth.

Well, I’ve got two things to say…

1) I wouldn’t be where I am without the GREAT teachers I had in my small Iowa town. I submit this post as a tribute to them…for most of them cared greatly to make sure I had the tools I needed to succeed, AND they made sure I gained more importantly the ability to come up with thoughts of my own.

2) If you’re going to spend time disrespecting people, arming them right after may not be your best policy.

Just a thought for a Monday morning from an avid public school supporter.

Another year of NO resolutions.

I’ve never been a fan of new year’s resolutions. They seem arbitrary, too easy to break, etc.

However, the below might give me (and I hope, you…) some inspiration.

“I had the same dilemma last year, and my solution, while ingenious, turned out to be quite a challenge. I decided that I would read more. Not a book a month, or even a book a week. One entire book every day. Three hundred sixty-six books by year’s end.”

Link to article here.