Rethinking How I Look At The World

Those who know me know how little enthusiasm I have for sports. I’ve never developed an interest. I’ve tried. I just couldn’t do it. Which is why I’m surprised at something that happened.

I got a call Sunday night. A friend of mine had Phillies tickets, and asked if I wanted to go to the game. I almost reflexively (and politely) declined. But then something went through my head. It’s something I’ve been chewing on for a while now.

I may not be that interested in the game, but I do enjoy spending time with my friends. And I don’t get asked to go to games very often. I said I’d like to go and we worked out the details.

I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life based on what would make me comfortable, or what would allow me to avoid inconveniences. I’ve turned down plenty of adventures because I didn’t want to deal with crowds and traffic.

But I’ve also given up a lot of chances to build relationships.

So I went to the game. And I had a good time. I spend time with friends. The weather was awesome. We had great seats, just off 1st base and in the shade for most of the game.


In 2004, right before Joshua was born, my brother in law had Phillies tickets for a Friday afternoon game and was going to take the whole family. I was working the swing shift at that time, but I was able to get off. Then one guy didn’t show up for work. I could have fought harder to leave, but I didn’t. I stayed and worked. It hit me yesterday that I should have gone to that game.

I made the pledge to myself that I’m going to stop making decisions that allow me to stay home and read or surf the Internet. I’m going to start doing more to build friendships and to get out and meet people. Maybe I’ll go to the Army/Navy game this year with a friend.

The Key Word in Social Media is Social

Social media is a double edged sword. Through social media, I’ve reconnected with high school friends and Navy buddies I thought I’d never see again. I’ve even kept in touch with family, and formed closer relationships even with those in driving distance. I’ve been able to get a glimpse into the minds of business leaders I respect and admire. I’ve been able to see what celebrities I like are doing, like the Ghost Hunters and the Deadliest Catch fishermen.

Social media provides a business advantage. I can promote my listings a lot easier through social media. I can broadcast a lot farther and a lot faster about open houses and new listings. It’s a great business tool.

But I can also be spammed relentlessly by others promoting their own businesses and interests, who have no filter between their mind and keyboard. I routinely get friend requests from people, only to have my status stream and messages filled up with “business opportunities”, webinars, demands for information, and other distractions. All this from people who totally ignore the social aspect of social media.

Just now, I cleaned out 8 messages from my Facebook inbox. All were from people who “friended” me only for business promotion purposes. One guy sent two messages about a video of a friend who is supposedly making $1000 a day.Great. Believable. Somebody else sent out 3 messages about how he’s looking for short sales. That’s just the Real Estate and “Internet Marketers”.

I’m all for using social media for business. But I think you need to form a relationship. The founder of the company I’m affiliated with says “people buy people before they buy (anything else)”. So if you’re expecting me to buy your product through Facebook, then who are you? What are you thinking about? What are you doing? What do you like to do? What books are you reading?

I don’t turn down friend requests unless they’re obvious spam, but I tend to ignore those people who do nothing but shamelessly market.

What about you? Do you run into shameless promoters on social media? Do you think it’s OK?

Scoble: Why I Can’t Kick the iPhone Out of My Life

Robert Scoble, a total gadget geek, who hangs around with other gadget geeks, can’t get rid of his iPhone. In this post, he explains why. Scoble is a tech journalist among many other things, and has access to tons of other phones. He can either afford to have several phones on several different networks, or he gets review units paid for by other people. Many of the people Scoble runs with are in the same situation.

At one point, I used to listen to several tech podcasts and read several tech blogs. I found the people behind these are often more opinionated than political journalists and bloggers. I eventually drifted away from most of them due to time and bias issues. I got tired of the “Mac can do no wrong, Microsoft can do no right” attitude. And I didn’t want to spend the time to keep up anymore.

So Scoble runs with people who can afford (or are provided) four or more different phones at the same time. Most of these people had an iPhone the FIRST day it was out, and used it until everybody else caught up, then moved on to other phones. Now they’re using Android or whatever else is trendy.

I have an iPhone 3G. I’m content with it. It’s not a 3GS or a 4G, it’s a 3G. On iOS4, it’s slow and crashes a lot. But I still like it. I look forward to the day when I get an iPhone 4G. The iPhone isn’t as trendy as it once was, but I like it.

In the circles I run in, I notice an interesting trend. In Real Estate, at least here in south Jersey, I notice two prominent phones: the iPhone, and the BlackBerry curve. For some reason, most Realtors in this area seem to gravitate to those two models. I see other phones, but those two are the ones I see most people using.

As for me, I can’t say if I could kick the iPhone out of my life or not. I wouldn’t want to. I’m content with it.

Great Question: Where’s Our Rollover Data, AT&T?

When I write posts like “Rumors of the iPhone on Verizon annoy me”, I’m not saying that I don’t want to see the iPhone on other networks. I have little love for AT&T. For some reason, I think GSM is a better technology than CDMA, but I’m hard pressed to provide any objective evidence to support that opinion. I just like being able to switch phones by moving a little chip.

The only problem I have with those rumors is stated in my last post on the subject. Apple would be breaking a contract, and Verizon has left no evidence that they would allow the iPhone’s capabilities on it’s network. They turned it down in the first place.

I have no idea if Verizon has a better network than AT&T. At one point, I had Verizon phones issued by a company I worked for. I had a RAZR and 2 models of BlackBerries during the time I worked there. It didn’t seem like I had better reception. If anything, there were times I had to use my personal AT&T phone because I couldn’t get a decent connection on Verizon’s network.

I’ve always liked the concept of rollover minutes. I never use all the minutes I pay for, but I did pay for them, so why can’t I keep them? The Unofficial Apple Weblog now asks: where’s our rollover data?

Most people don’t use the full amount of data allowed. Why can’t we roll over a few gigs? I’ve always wondered why we can’t tether our phones up to our full allotment of data, except that the few telcos in existence have us over a barrel and can dictate whatever terms they want, since we have few options. I can’t take my iPhone to Cricket.

Finally, Social Media Expert Defined

From Jason Dunn. I’d say this video sums it up nicely.

I need to find out what program is being used to create these things. 

Lifehacker: Email Annoyances

Lifehacker put up a post yesterday dealing with the worst email annoyances. I’ve dealt with my personal worst email annoyances on this blog over the years. My two biggest are Reply to All and “You’ll win something if you forward this to everybody”.

I’m not really annoyed with signature lines like “sent from my iPhone” or “sent from my Verizon BlackBerry”. It tells me the person is probably out of the office. Hopefully I can expect more information when they get back to the office, but I usually have to follow up again.

What do you consider an email annoyance?

John Maxwell: Don’t Shun The Sting

This post by John Maxwell hit home for me. I had to make a phone call last night. I got an answering machine. I’m not very good with voice mails. Even with people I know, I’ve never been good. I sometimes opt to hang up on the voice mail and try to call later. My messages are very stilted because I lack feedback from the person. But when I’m calling for business, it’s bad form to not leave a message.

After I left a message last night, Christina told me it sounded horrible. I agree.

But, I am going to have to master the art of the phone call and the voice mail message to succeed in my business. I guess I’ll just have to keep at it.

I’ve only known of John Maxwell as an accomplished speaker. Like me with phone calls, he once started from somewhere too.