What’s The Weather Like Out There

I’ve just about had it with all these news headlines and front page topic choices.

Weather. Weather. Weather.

I don’t quite understand people’s fascination with the weather forecast. It feels that people take it as seriously as a school shooting, a tsunami or a political scandal that is unfolding.

The only difference is those three are newsworthy. Weather, not so much.

You might argue that a tsunami is part of a weather forecast. I would argue back that there is a difference (a very large difference) between a tsunami and a winter storm. If you’re perceiving that each relate, consider the list of natural disasters by death toll (tsunami vs blizzard) and then ask yourself if the current weather “news” is really newsworthy.

If you’re still wanting more numbers, consider this:

Add up all the time you’ve spent checking the weather, worrying about the weather and reading about the weather.

Now imagine what more you could have done by using that time differently.

It’s not entirely your fault of course. But until news agencies change their tactics, you need to watch yours.


Stay Positive & Sunny Days Ahead


Where’s The Party At

Holiday networking parties are fun. Any networking event is, actually.

However, the problem I see at most networking events is that everyone goes there to network with each other and forget about everyone else who is at the same venue but not there for the networking.

I love networking events because everyone at the venue who isn’t there for the event is curious about the event. “Why is everyone in suits?” It’s a great moment to sell yourself, build your tribe and establish trust with someone who will actually purchase what you have to offer. (It’s pretty hard to sell your consulting time to people who are also public relations specialists.)

This is why I divvy up my time at events.

1/2 time: to socialize and get your face recognized with those in your entrepreneurial environment and who are there for the same reason as you.

1/2 time: to socialize and get your name remembered by those you can actually help and who didn’t know about you previously.

You know where the party is. Networking events give you the opportunity to bring the party to other people who are at the venue for different reasons.


Stay Positive & You Gotta Fight For Your Right

Every. Word. Matters.

I came across this agency’s website this evening. I love their message and nearly, just nearly, do I love their motto.


“We are fearless. Inventive. Humanistic.”

Am I the only one that thinks the word humanistic looks, sounds and feels opposite of what it’s meant to? Why not shorten it. “We are fearless. Inventive. Human.”

Every word matters. You would never say your were humanly over the weekend. Nor would you say you were humanistic. Then again, I guess making mistakes like this is only human.


Online Comments Are A Waste For News Sources

From time to time, when I get bored with Facebook, bored with the news, bored with all the other websites that I go to just to escape the pressing reality of upcoming assignments, I look at the comments of online news stories and columns. There’s real entertainment there.

In the latest of The Badger Herald comments, kyleharris215@gmail.com noted “fuck u eat shit” on a news article. The brilliant response of another, bobontheknob, was “fuck you eat shit fuck you eat shit.”

After I attended a panel discussion on “Trollish Behavior and the Future of Online Comments” hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists Madison Pro Chapter, I have it on good authority that there are equally colorful and outspoken people commenting on other news sources like Isthmus, the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times.

The reason I can’t pull such vibrant examples of comments from them is that they have filters and moderators deleting the comments that are crass or aimed to harm others. What ignites the fuse to verbal fireworks in the comments section is the ability to post anonymously, according to panelist Dietram Scheufele, the John E. Ross professor in science communication at the University of Wisconsin.

As a result, many news sources force commenters to either use their Facebook login or their real name. However, according to Tim Kelley, digital media manager at Madison.com, “You would be amazed at what people will post even under their personal account.”

An extensive discussion on how to handle trollish behavior in the comments section then took place. The conclusion? There’s no real solution other than to sap the time and positive personality of the journalists themselves. The Wisconsin State Journal said that it is now having its journalists use time in their day to review the comments left on their articles. This is a harsh solution. If you’ve read any comments (or left ignorant ones of your own), you should understand why most journalists never look at the comments on their stories.

All of this lead to one encompassing question: Why do news sources allow comments on their stories when…

  1. Almost no revenue is derived from allowing comments, according to Kelley.
  2. The upkeep of moderation and filtration is time consuming.
  3. Someone who has a suggestion or fact checking reply to an article can just email the author. Better yet, according to Mark Pitsch, SPJ president, “They can pick up a phone and call them.”
  4. Commenting on a news article is not a valuable form of civil or democratic participation.

The real conclusion that no one wanted to stand up and voice is that all the news sources are still trying to figure out why they allow comments. Then again, I figured we all do things that are a waste of our time. I suppose online news sources can, too.