My favorite TV show of all time is Seinfeld. My favorite character on that show is Frank Costanza, who despised the pressures and commercialism of the holiday season. So he created his own holiday that’s celebrated every December 23rd…
A Festivus for the rest of us!
For those of you who might need a refresher on Festivus, watch this video and jump ahead to the 1:00 mark for the explanation from Frank.
Instead of a tree, there was an aluminum pole that required no decorations. After all, tinsel is distracting.
Instead of a gift exchange, there were annual feats of strength.
Of course, Festivus began with the airing of grievances, a tradition that serves as the inspiration for this post.
Instead of another warm and fuzzy article to tie the perfect bow on 2015, I’d like to honor Mr. Costanza by airing my grievances about random things, somewhat related to content writing and marketing, that have disappointed me throughout the year – in a mostly lighthearted but occasionally bitter way.
The Facebookization of the LinkedIn News Feed
Until recently, my LinkedIn news feed consisted of status updates, articles, discussions, comments and job postings.
Now, my LinkedIn news feed is dominated by photos, inspirational quotes, political commentary, riddles and word searches.
That’s right. Word searches.
What’s next? A jumble?
Don’t get me wrong. I love LinkedIn. I landed my two biggest clients when non-connections read one of my blog posts and contacted me out of the blue.
But is the world’s largest professional networking platform the place for inspirational quotes and brain teasers? Isn’t that why we have Facebook?
As a professional, what are you accomplishing by sharing this kind of content on LinkedIn, other than staying top of mind? What does the content you share say about you and/or your company?
I understand that I’m not always the target audience, and I have no problem with sharing different types of content as long as there is some kind of value. Or maybe I’m just a snob who yearns for meaty, substantive content when I go to LinkedIn.
Either way, my LinkedIn news feed is starting to look a lot like Facebook. I hope LinkedIn doesn’t become a less effective marketing tool as a result.
And if I see a photo of someone’s dinner, I may just lose my you know what.
Media Coverage of Donald Trump
Let’s be clear about one thing when it comes to the media, primarily TV and radio.
Many are dressed up as news organizations, but they’re actually entertainment networks that exist to get ratings, sell advertising and pay shareholders. They follow Trump like paparazzi.
It reminds me of the media frenzy around Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan back when they were getting high and shaving their heads.
The media couldn’t get enough of it. And they can’t get enough of Trump. You would think Trump has CNN, Fox New and MSNBC on a marketing retainer.
Here’s my grievance.
Trump obviously makes certain statements to get media attention. And when other candidates are interviewed, the “news people” do nothing but ask them questions about Trump’s latest statement du jour.
Hate to burst the entertainment bubble, but this is a presidential election. We’re living in dangerous times.
Does every conversation have to focus on Trump’s comments?
Better yet, will someone please ask Trump a specific policy question instead of demanding an apology for a controversial remark when they know he’ll never apologize?
It’s like the movie “Private Parts” when people who hated Howard Stern listened longer than people who loved him.
Why? They wanted to see what he would say next.
24-hour news coverage shoves everything Trump says down our throats. It’s not entertaining anymore, as if it ever was.
Donald Trump Himself
It pains me to say it, but Trump is a brilliant politician and a brilliant marketer. He says controversial things whether they have any factual basis or not because he knows he’ll make headlines.
For example, I love when Trump is asked about foreign policy and he says that he’ll know more about it than anyone by the time he takes office.
That’s so comforting.
TV and radio hosts skewer Trump, but unlike other political candidates, he goes on their shows anyway. He answers their questions with his usual bluster and lack of specificity or facts.
He doesn’t pay a dime in advertising because he doesn’t need to. He just dominates the news cycles and does what he does best – reality TV.
And his poll numbers keep going up.
He appeals to a base that doesn’t seem to care much for policy details. They crave an outsider. A tough guy. Someone who thrives on being politically incorrect.
Here’s my grievance.
I understand people’s frustration with politicians. And I loathe political correctness as much as anyone.
But there’s a difference between being politically incorrect and being an asshole.
Donald Trump is an asshole. An attention-starved, self-promoting, fear-mongering asshole who is hijacking a presidential campaign to feed his own ego.
On a lighter but still sad note, I’ve noticed an epidemic of apostrophe abuse and misuse. Case in point – this headline from CNN.com:
As my daughter would say, “For realsies?”
Do not use an apostrophe to make a noun plural. More than one mistake is “mistakes,” not “mistake’s.”
Do not use an apostrophe to make a proper noun plural. My family is the “McKelveys,” not the “McKelvey’s.”
Do not use an apostrophe in the present tense of a verb. It’s “questions,” CNN, not “question’s.”
It may sound trivial, but simple punctuation mistakes and other errors make you look silly. For some people, a misplaced apostrophe can be a red flag about you or your business.
Don’t give people a reason to question your intelligence or attention to detail.
It’s almost 2016, people.
If your company website doesn’t seamlessly adjust to any screen size or orientation on any device, you’re probably losing money.
It’s not just about the mobile experience. If I want to do a split screen so I can view your website and a Word document side by side on my desktop monitor, your website should adapt to the size of the browser window.
Small businesses aren’t the only guilty parties. Too many major brands have failed to make investments to improve the user experience on their websites.
But it’s the small businesses that typically don’t have the resources to make up for lost revenue resulting from an unresponsive website. Just remember, the cost to upgrade is significantly less than the cost of poor user experiences.
Please don’t expect people to pinch and zoom and rotate their screens to make sense of your website. Because they won’t.
But wait, there’s more…
As I began outlining my grievances, I soon realized that there would be no way for me to air them in a single blog post. Look for Part 2 next week.
I’m a copywriter, marketing consultant, lifelong New Jersey resident, husband to a beautiful wife and father to two beautiful girls. I love playing with my daughters, a day at the boardwalk, sarcasm, craft beer and grilling. I despise beating around the bush, synchronized swimming, Toddlers & Tiaras and onions. Most people don’t know I used to be a radio DJ and once wrote, produced and voiced a commercial for the TV show 24. Two places I want to visit before I die are Ireland and Norway, the homes of my ancestors. One place I never want to revisit is my first apartment because my creepy landlord, Monty, freaked me out. That just about covers it.