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Transparency and the rise of the new spin doctors December 18, 2009

Posted by optimalrisk in Business, IT, relationships.
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Social media is introducing ‘forced transparency’ into the corporate world. Corporations are not always poised to deal with the speed of social media when it comes to incidents and complaints.  More and more companies are hiring social media ‘experts’. While some companies are seizing this opportunity to engage consumers, others are cringing in the corner wondering if they will be caught.  Whistleblowers, insiders, investigative journalists, and hidden cameras have been around for years.  However, the speed at which we can get information from these “primary” sources has not been experienced until recently.  Deep down, we know that many companies try to maintain ethical business practices while chasing their bottom line, but there some companies (in some instances, whole industries) that would be ‘misunderstood’ by the public if their inner workings were brought to life.  In come . . . the New Spin Doctors!

To be fair, there have always been marketing and communications professionals who make sure that the company is looking good, but this new breed has to develop new tactics.  The “press release” and “official statements” are slow ways to respond to an issue.  It is slow because they depend on traditional conduits like press conferences and media outlets.  Social media is about relationships.  If Bob and Sally are friends AND Sally and Jamie (and doesn’t know Bob) are friends, all it takes is for Bob to tell Sally something.  If it is interesting enough to share, then Jamie will soon know as well.  If Bob has a bad experience with Company X, it only takes hours before hundreds know (depending on network size). Also, the people in Bob’s network are less likely to believe the company when they respond after the fact.  The reverse is also true.  If Bob sends a message to the network praising or exonerating the company, then that bodes well for the company.  At best, it is now easier for an individual’s network to cause concern for a company.

I predict that the “New Spin Doctors” will have some adjustment time, but will soon create systems that make it hard for reputations to be damaged by a video of 2 stupid employee making ‘gross’ with the food.  Let me know if you can dream up or know ways that these spin doctors will let the company come out on top.


Evolution and the Goldigger March 5, 2009

Posted by optimalrisk in relationships, Science.
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I want to talk about gold diggers (Women who go after men (or whoever) that are rich or have great material wealth) They get a really bad rap (and I’m not talking about Kanye’s song). On the surface they might seem like superficial beings, but they are just the vestiges of a fleeting era.

Have you ever heard of an arranged marriage? There is a good chance that if you are an American living in mainstream society, you know very few people (if any) that were in an arranged marriage.  Evolutionarily speaking, arranged marriages are a sound principle.  The premise:  find two people who would make good progeny and otherwise make it okay in this world based on shared characteristics.  Sounds okay, but it was associated with lack of free will and the subjugation of women.  Now, that women are their own persons they have to get there own stuff, so to speak.

In the western world, the evolving role of men and women is at an awkward stage.  Relationships based on romantic love are necessary to keep in line with social mores of  agency and egalitarianism.  Nowadays, sometimes homemakers are looked down upon as lazy or not ambitious.  I do suspect that is because some people feel jealous about their childrearing or entertaining skills.  However, people are now realizing “love won’t keep us together” and “relationships take work”.  There are dating sites with questionnaires and compatibility tests.  I forsee the new relationship model being “arranged love”.  You will attempt to form emotional bonds only with people who are compatible with you.  Gold diggers are just people that haven’t caught up yet in the genetic race.  Don’t worry! Once men realize that women can run the world without them and that arm candy has its trade-offs they will wake up and smell the shovel.