Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting hammered

If you registered for an event - say a conference or a trade show - would you appreciate getting constant e-mail reminders of how great the show is going to be? Would you appreciate getting countless text messages with agenda reminders? Would these endless and futile communications turn you on or off?

Personally, if I've registered for an event, I've already made the decision to go based on what attending will do for me: discovering new concepts and applications that I can use on the job to make me more effective or how attending will impact my overall career and its upward (hopefully) trajectory.

Before clicking the "Register Here" button, I've already seen the event's agenda, considered the speakers, and know who else is attending. If these items are firing on all 8 cylinders and the price is right, I'm there.

Once I register I don't want to think about it until I'm at the event. With registration under my belt, I can go back to the job at hand - my job. On any given day, I receive anywhere between 250-500 e-mails, most of which are time-sucking inanities or requests deceptively marked "URGENT." And, yes, it takes time to delete all that crap.

So my point is this - I don't need endless e-mails pushed at me AFTER I've registered for an event. I get it. I know what to expect. I've seen the agenda and don't need countless recaps post-registration. These types of messages instill annoyance not excitement.

On this, I'll acquiesce...okay...I can handle two post-registration communications:
  1. My receipt/invoice generated upon payment.
  2. A day or so before the event, I'll accept one of those canned "Can't wait to see you!" messages with housekeeping info: i.e. proper attire, venue access and parking, and a link to more details on the event's website. 
More than that, if you keep hammering me, you may push me directly to that "Refund" button.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Greatest City in the World

In anticipation of a business trip to New York City in early June, I Googled the terms "TAXI DRIVER NYC locations," and found this cool blog called "Scouting New York."

The site belongs to Nick Carr, a NYC movie location scout. If you've ever wanted to dive deep into Gotham, this is a great spring board. Simply, this guy's been everywhere in New York City and catalogs these locations with photojournalist precision.

On the site, I stumbled upon his series called "New York, You've Changed - TAXI DRIVER." This three-part series is amazing in scope as Carr gives you a personal tour of the same streets/locations that Travis Bickle scoured in the Martin Scorsese film from 1976. Of course, things change and none - I repeat - none of the film's locations are remotely recognizable today.

On the off-chance that you haven't seen TAXI DRIVER, the film portrays a long-gone and hellish Midtown Manhattan - particularly around Times Square, 42nd Street and 7th and 8th Avenues - as an acid trip oozing inferno, shadowy and claustrophobic yet aflame in garish, lurid neon.

Its seductive palette drips lysergically as Travis melts down the always wet city streets. The film is an ode to Michael Chapman's brilliant cinematography, which squeezed as much color onto the screen as possible using a spherical cinematographic process with Arriflex cameras equipped with Zeiss lenses in 35 mm. The use of slow motion in TAXI DRIVER is legend and as influential as the Sam Peckinpah directed and Lucien Ballard shot THE WILD BUNCH.

Yes, today, Times Square and surrounding are brightly lit but looming with cartoon characters (think M&M's World), huge LCD screens prompting commercialism and marketing while exuding no underbelly menace, which is the film's brilliant undercurrent.

Carr laments this loss and his TAXI DRIVER posts are punctuated with a sort of nostalgic anger at how this area has devolved (while some would say the area has actually evolved into something - on the surface anyway - that's bizarre yet family-friendly).

Obviously Times Square in the mid-70s was not the tourist-driven mecca that it is today. Back then, if you were hearty of soul and not weak of stomach, Midtown was a Sleazoid Express destination spot, crawling with insectile inhabitants that only came out at night - zombies drawn to the most prurient existence.

Now its filled with zombies influenced by the most powerful marketers driven by the most powerful brands.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's my deal

I have a personal Twitter account (, which is very rarely related to my professional life. Although I'll ocassionally tweet about some sort of workplace challenge, fail, success, etc., my snippets are 140 character reflections of ideas and experience.

I handle professional client-side twitter accounts as well and I often post a range of tweets via my phone, whether personal or professional.

And this requires careful execution as I never want my personal tweets to end up in the wrong pipeline. This happens to professionals all the time and often with disastrous results. That said, I never personally tweet angry or vindictive rants, I don't name names if I have a work-related conflict and I never slam people who I know personally. Why? Because my Twitter account is transparent. While I use the nom de plume "Alleverybody," my name is right there on the account. I also post my photo. So I'm pretty easy to find.

My Twitter account is also sacred and if I were to go off on a twittering rant about a troublesome client, there's no doubt I would be discovered. So I simply don't do stuff like that.

On the flipside, I never correspond with clients or co-workers about work matters on my Twitter - that's not what I have it for (by the same token, I no longer open my work emails on weekends - the truth is, most stuff can wait until Monday). Once you start answering and abiding by weekend work requests via your Twitter account - you're doomed.

By doing this, you're setting a precedence that devolves your personal Twitter into one filled with inconsiderate demands, unreasonable requests and useless anxiety.

I had this happen on a recent Saturday morning. Someone decided to tap into my personal twitter with a work-related request that was not only time-consuming but unecessary (except to fill her agenda). So rather than go down that road and acquiesce to this person's request, I tweeted (within nanoseconds of her request as I knew that she'd see it because she follows me) this in response to seeing a person walking into a neighborhood Starbucks rocking a major fashion faux pas: "In case you're tempted - don't ever wear horizontal striped pants..."

And I went on to enjoy my weekend.