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The End Times… Maybe?

There have been a lot of bad things happening in world news lately. Explosions, murders, and bombings in the U.S. Ethnic cleansing in Burma. Violent protests in Egypt. An earthquake in China. You get my point.

For as long as I can remember our society has been obsessed with the idea of some sort of APOCALYPSE. Some way for the world to end and everything to be destroyed. Only the strong survive and carve out a piece for themselves. That sort of thing.

I totally buy into to. I love planning out the zombie apocalypse and what I would do. As well as nuclear fallout, economic collapse, invasion from a foreign enemy. You got an apocalypse, I’ve got a plan for it. But why do we do this?

I have a theory about this phenomenon. My theory pertains mainly to the United States, but it can also be seen within other countries as well.

Ok here it goes.

WE WANT AN APOCALYPSE TO HAPPEN. That sounds crazy, but hear me out.

At the moment we are born there are certain social guidelines that are placed upon us. Every year those guidelines get a little harder to keep up with. The advent of technology has given us great opportunity to succeed, but not everyone can make it. It is becoming an ever increasingly cut-throat world, and it only gets worse as the economy falls farther and farther.

We can no longer get solace from working our regular job and making ends meet. We have to be doing better all the time, we have to get that new iPhone, the 3D TV, the car with butt warmers (We are getting swanky up in here).

Keeping up with the Jones’s has a WHOLE new meaning in today’s world. And that isn’t even talking about the prestige factor.

We want to have the nice job, the “Look how awesome I am Mom, aren’t you proud of me?” and going to the high school reunion saying, “Ya I am THE creative director for this-and-this company. What do YOU do?” It is insane.

Many of us deep down are having a hard time coping with that pressure. That is why we love consuming these grandiose shows, books, and movies about how the world is going to end. We are seeking a simpler world where by the strength of our arms and the grit in our heart we will make it by. We are looking for a way to connect with our roots and go back to the days where simply just surviving meant you were doing a good job.  A world where you can be a hero.

I think we all want to be a hero in some form or fashion. We love seeing the underdog survive, and watch them become a leader.

This world is crazy, and sometimes you just have to let go. I think it is an interesting idea that we are all giving in to this idea of getting away.

When it comes down to it, that’s why I like to go hiking with all of my survival gear. I will most likely never encounter a time where I will be forced to spend a night in the wild. But sometimes when I am on that hike, I find myself almost wishing I could get the chance to test my mettle and rough it outdoors.

It is silly, but it is my escape.

So is my zombie killing hatchet laying next to my bed.

Just Sayin’.


Socializing the NonProfits

Most Non-Profit Organizations are volunteer run, and require a marketing strategy that appeals not to sales but instead to people.

With this in mind I would like to talk about how NonProfits can bolster their fundraising with Social Media, and how important it is to have a presence online.

Most national NonProfits have already embraced this strategy. March of Dimes, JDRF, Relay for Life. While these charities do monumental work for our nation, local NonProfits do a lot of great work also.

They just don’t have the manpower or the know-how to implement a Social Media plan.

Using Social Media can greatly generate interest with the cause of an organization, bolster volunteer help, and allow grant-givers to see what the charity is all about and give them money to continue their mission.

The key with helping smaller NonProfits is to recognize the amount of labor that is available to use. What I mean by that is that in some local charities there is really only one or two full-time people that do most of the ground work for the foundation. Since Social Media takes time and effort to do, it has to be fit into these people’s schedules.

That means that if they work on one project for 10 hours a week, and another project for 20, they only have 10 hours a week to devote to Social Media and other miscellaneous tasks.

Now that is WAY overshooting it. Most NonProfits only have the labor to afford 3 hours to Social Media a week, if that. But you get what I am trying to say (I hope).

So if you are developing a Social Media plan for a NonProfit, try to assess how much time they will have to create content and reply to their followers. After figuring the amount of labor they can provide, you may then tailor a plan that will fit their schedule and accomplish their needs.

Facebook is a good place to start, but if they don’t already have a Facebook you have a LONG way to go. The next is a Twitter account.

I know you are thinking, “But Alex, how will anyone know about them and actually follow them? And won’t their tweets get buried under everything people post?” (if you aren’t just play along). Well Jeez my extremely loyal reader, I am getting there. Have some patience.

I joke, but these are serious questions and I am glad you asked. Twitter is easy to use and requires little to no tweaking to make a good account. This makes it easy to create content, post it, and let people see what the organization is all about. It also requires only a small amount of time to put it all up and to reply to followers.

Getting more followers requires following important figures in the community, coordinating with volunteers who are on the site already to follow and promote the organization’s account, and promoting the account on the organization’s website.

While it is true that Twitter has A LOT of traffic, using hashtags to coordinate tweets about individual events that the organization hosts will allow people to find the content.

Vine is also an important tool to use in conjunction with Twitter. It provides quick, easy to make video coverage of an event that can be released quickly to many followers.

For more info on Twitter and Vine, I have written posts about them and some uses for them, as well as some faults.

Facebook is a great way to get people motivated for long-term projects and to get people involved with the mission. Also it allows communication to and from core volunteers and team leaders through the use of Private Groups. It is an easily accessible area where videos, pictures, documents, and announcements can be posted at one time for everyone to see. No more mass emails or text messages that get brushed off. Notifications for Everyone!

Instagram is a good platform, but not necessarily essential. It is a great way to put emotionally moving pictures up and pull people to your cause. You can also do this on Twitter and Facebook though, which is why I deem is not as necessary. If you disagree then make one just to spite me. The more content on the more platforms, the better your chances.

If you have a dedicated writer I would suggest a blog. It doesn’t have to be daily (like mine), but it should be regular. It allows for a more concise overview of what the organization is about and how it helps in the community. It also would allow for you to give behind the scenes information about the organization, which helps with transparency and public trust.

In the end, it really requires for the creator of the plan to do their homework. Get to know the organization you are working with. Figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Determine how much time they have and how tech savvy they are. These will all play into how you should design their Social Media.

Also don’t hesitate to tell them they need to get out and do some work with other NonProfits. While the organization may have a specific mission, other charities do some good work also. Networking like this allows contact with key volunteers who may help spread the word about the organization.

Plus come on, it’s just good Karma.


I watch A LOT of Netflix on my Xbox, and I want to talk a little about it and how it has grown.

Netflix started as a way to rent DVDs through the mail and return them without late fees. Pretty simple, and pretty convenient.

In the years to come they have implemented online streaming, partnered with gaming console companies, and have delivered over one billion DVDs to homes of consumers.

But anyway I am going to get to the point because I am sick and dead tired.

Netflix is creating it’s own shows and content now, which is insane to think about. They started as a renting company, and are now creating content that sends revenue straight into their pockets. They are moving from provider to creator. Huge paradigm shift for the company.

Some people argue that by Netflix creating shows they are inherently hurting the TV industry. While I believe this might be the case, I would argue that it is no different than any other technological broadcasting advance in previous history. People said radio would kill newspapers, and TV would kill radio. We still have all three mediums around, and they all have adapted to the circumstances of the changing market.

Netflix becoming another broadcasting powerhouse just shows that there are still plenty of unexplored markets to tap into. Even if you think we have fleshed out all available options, you can always be blindsided by one. Finding and taking hold of that opportunity is going to be the key on how we all make our money in the years to come.

There is still a lot of ground to cover out there people.

Lets Get To It.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix (I know its wikipedia, shut up. It gave a concise overview of the company)



Boston Marathon Suspect Not Read Miranda Rights

I have been reading some interesting reports that Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not being read his Miranda Rights and that he possibly will not be eligible for Miranda Rights at all. I want to talk a little bit about how scary this notion is.

Now don’t get me wrong, if he and his brother were truly the bombers, these scumbags need to pay. But he is technically an American Citizen, and deserves the same rights that each of us would get if we were arrested. The FBI released the reason why he wasn’t being read his rights with the following:

The public safety exception is triggered when police officers have an objectively reasonable need to protect the police or the public from immediate danger. Because the standard is objective, the availability of the exception does not depend on subjective motivation of the officers. Legitimate concerns for officer safety or public safety prompting unwarned custodial questioning arise in a variety of contexts. A common factor that can be gleaned from the courts addressing this issue is the prior knowledge or awareness of specific facts or circumstances that give rise to the imminent safety concern that prompted the questioning.

The public safety exception is usually used in terrorist situations where public safety must be made a priority. They need to find out if there are more bombs or if anyone else was involved. I understand that, and it is necessary. But it is scary to think that this can be implemented at any time.

Tsarnaev is technically an American citizen, and holds equals rights to all of us normal people. He is being denied his Miranda Rights and being held as a military prisoner. Also, if he is tried as a military combatant he will not be required to be appointed counsel in court. That means that an AMERICAN CITIZEN is denied legal representation according to our system of law.

That is some seriously bad juju. I am not a conspiracy theorist or some kind of Big Brother junky waiting for the government to take over. I just firmly believe in due process. What if we come to find out that, while these brothers may have been crazy, they did not commit the terrorist act accused of them.


That is some scary stuff. So while I agree that we need to know what information he has, and the interrogation team should work to find out as much as they can, I certainly think the proposition that you have no rights when you are accused of a terrorist act is a bit overwhelming.

If he is the killer, then all of this is justified. If he is not, then this will be a massive injustice that will forever scar the face of our nation. One of the reasons we founded this country was to stop this kind of behavior.

This also creates a precedent that anyone labeled a terrorist can have their rights revoked, regardless of nationality. Terrorism is a very subjective term, and can be used to do injustice to innocent people if mishandled.

I don’t like any instance of people getting rights taken away, crazy or not. It sets a bad standard for how we handle crises in the future.

I fear for the consequences these actions may have in the future, and how we will handle this type of situation should it arise again.






Rockin’ Robin

Twitter has recently released the #Music app to help consumers find new up-and-coming music that is trending on Social Media.

Cool story bro, but why do it?

Mashable tells the details on how they plan to make money on it, so I will spare you the revenue model.


My issue is, why go into an industry that is already so saturated with platforms? Out of all the options Twitter has to increase media consumption, why music?

Like the article talks about, Social Media is a pretty visual medium. People like to look at pictures and see videos. Twitter is part of that visual market, not audio. That is why I think the Vine acquisition was such a fantastic move. Do I still think they need to find a way to attract more consumers to Vine? Sure, but they are getting there.

Social Music has already been taken up by Spotify, so why start now?

Beats the heck out of me. There are plenty of other options for Twitter to take advantage of. I think the Music addition is going to be a flop. I love Twitter to death, but I have to be honest.Time-Spent

The infographic on Mashable shows that Facebook holds 83% of the time people spend on Social Media. The way to pull people away from Facebook is to give them a new and invigorating incentive to come to Twitter. Spotify, Pandora, and Slacker are already established ways for consumers to discover music online. And since Facebook is linked with Spotify, it stands the best chance to get more users. There is also Radio still around which people still listen to. There are so many platforms for people to find music, and Twitter is not the place people are going to think to go. I am sure extreme Twitter users will love this, but they make up a serious minority in the market.

Get it together Twitter, you can come up with something original. That’s why everyone loved you in the first place. You were simple, easy to use, and fun. Find something new.

Don’t Try To Be A Copycat.

Local and National News

Ok a lot of stuff has happened in the last couple of days and I would like to talk about some of it.

First and foremost the Boston Marathon Explosions. The news media is doing a TERRIBLE job covering it. I am seeing contradictory reports on every other news channel.

It’s terrorists, it’s not terrorists, police made an arrest, no arrests have been made. It is all bogus. Can we not just report on the things we know for certain? When did journalism become about who could tell the biggest lie? Are we descending back into Yellow journalism?

There have been countless heroes that helped save people’s lives in the aftermath, and they are hardly reported on. If there is no information, there is no shame in saying that. Skip the speculations and get to the info. In the words of my professor Dr. Cain, “People remember who got it wrong, not who got it first.”

Moving on, Facebook has been helping lobby for the new immigration reform bill recently. They have been getting great PR and Zuckerberg has been playing the hero. What they don’t want to tell you is that the Facebook company has also lobbied to make it easier for them to hire foreign labor and pay them considerably less than they would pay an American. They also have gotten around the “good-faith” stipulation that would require the company to hire an American applicant before seeking a foreign worker for the position. So while they may seem like they are taking a moral stand for equality, they certainly have their own agenda.

For more info: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/facebook-flexes-political-muscle-with-carve-out-in-immigration-bill/2013/04/16/138f718e-a5e7-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_story.html?hpid=z2&buffer_share=c6ba4&utm_source=buffer

In more local news (at least local for me), a massive explosion devastated the small town of West, Texas. The town is located south of Dallas and only an hour from my hometown. This was an all around terrible accident that possibly could not have happened in a worse place. Fertilizer is pretty flammable, and some aspects of it can be explosive, as we have seen with this story. There have been 120 reported injured, some critically. Let me lay this out.

There was a fire at a fertilizer plant, already a bad sign. Then when firefighters saw the smoke they ran out to help fight it. As they got there, it exploded into a huge mushroom-like cloud.

It leveled houses and businesses near it, of which included a middle school and a nursing home. Like I said, couldn’t have been much worse. But now check this out. THERE IS ANOTHER TANKER FULL OF THE STUFF THAT MIGHT EXPLODE NEXT. They are evacuating everyone in case it does.

I haven’t been able to get a consistent view on a casualty list. Some sites say none, some say 60, some say 5. I know there are some firefighters unaccounted for, but that’s it. So we are seeing a difference in factual evidence within the journalism community like we saw with the Boston Explosions, but now in a totally different area.

This is concerning. People are consuming this media voraciously, and they are getting differing pieces of information. We need to focus on reporting the facts and less on trying to get the biggest story. This isn’t some game, nor is it a race. This information changes people’s lives, and affects how the American people handle crises.

Try Acting Like You Care.



West info sources:




Memory Mile

Serenity Ruiz

The Memory Mile is a way for March of Dimes and volunteers to remember why we raise all of this money and do all of this work. These banners are dedicated to children that have been lost in the fight to eradicate prematurity and birth defects.

Today we sorted through the Memory Mile banners and got them ready for the March for Babies. As we were going through them, I saw one that stood out.

The reason this banner stood out to me is simple.

This little girl had the same birthday as me.

On the day she was born I was celebrating my own 18th birthday. I was celebrating the day I became an adult, the day I really started my life. I thought I was on top of the world.

While I was reveling in the fact that I was 18, some family was mourning the loss of a brave little girl who was never even given a chance to grow up.

I bet that little girl would have been three times the person I am. That is why I am so glad to be a part of this great organization. I don’t want to think about how great these kids could have been, or how talented they would have been as adults. I want them to grow up and become the successful individuals they deserve to be.

Every year more research comes out that will eradicate this horrible loss of life. It is the March of Dimes that helps make that research possible. I have to hope someday when I have a daughter that I won’t have to worry about loosing her. The work we do now will pay off in the future, and eventually there will be no new banners made. I have to believe in that.




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