Cyberbullying Hits Home

Tonight I found out from my 10 year old that a girl in her class has uploaded a video on YouTube about her. This girl was an on-and-off friend of my daughter, and I’ve questioned the friendship for sometime. I could never have imagined that a small school tiff led her to produce a video announcing her dislike of my daughter. But she was quick to admit, quite openly, that she created the video. She even gave the kids, including my daughter, the name of the video and what she had said. I reviewed the comments below the video–> my daughter noted the number of her friends also on Youtube — mostly attacking this girl for posting the video in the first place. 

I doubt my daughter understands the ramifications of what’s on the video but she was smart enough to understand that this is not something you do normally to a friend, especially if the spat was minor.  Or was it minor? And is this behaviour an anomaly? Now, I’m not so sure, but I am thankful she chose to come to us with this as opposed to deal with it herself.

In today’s democratization of content, people do post things that are inappropriate and I’ve witnessed friendly, diplomatic disputes on Twitter.  But for the most part that’s among mature adults… mature is the operative word. Kids are not so discrete. They respond to the moment, and openly display their attacks without any thought to consequences of their actions. Their weapons are words…. more hurtful because it’s displayed for the world to see… and the more views or responses seem to validate the original posting. It’s extremely easy to build this audience. The power of the spoken word, as I’ve seen in my line of work, can reach many …. on the school yard to the classrom, and inevitably to the computer screen. The more controversial, the greater the appeal —- many times at the expense of someone’s reputation and honour.

I went to look for the video again and this time a message popped up that it had been removed by the user. Perhaps she was found out; or perhaps she realized what she had done. It doesn’t really matter at this point. The damage had been done and it’s left a little girl wondering what she had done to deserve this. What I fear is the ease that this has been developed. The web has given people the ability to build voice at incredible speed and reach. It never occurred to me that I would be experiencing it first hand.

I love the work that I do and I often tell family and friends…. mostly naysayers of social media… that you just need to be aware what your kids are doing online and ensure the communication is open. That does not give you control of what happens but it mitigates the fallout, if any. I don’t want to shield my child from the web… the reality is she will receive the note one way or another: at school or even by phone. I just want to make sure I’ve taught her enough to come to her parents when these things are beyond her control.



I love my Moo

What do you get relatives for Christmas who have spent many years accumulating everything under the sun? Who want for nothing in particular? And who don’t fancy any of the new electronic gadgets or games that technology offers?

I stopped guessing and realized that what most grandparents (I am assuming ages 65+) want is time in a bottle: the luxury of capturing precious moments and recording them and keeping them forever. We have the luxury of having a close family so we spend a lot of time together. But there are so many recorded moments, but not enough picture frames, and little time to print and stuff them all in photo albums.

So this year I decided on something different: I have always loved Moo and their unique concept in business cards. They’ve always been a conversation piece when I’ve distributed mine, and consequently, I’ve been able to create Moo-converts in the process. So, when the Mosaic frame came out, I went to town and started going through all my digital photos and picking out the perfect pictures to fill up the frame.  The grandparents just loved it because it captures all the important events that happened this year — all in one frame.



I saw a bunch of other ways people have used these Moo cards.  Here’s another one I love: It’s from LUZIEyear. Just fab. Thanks Moo!

In the words of George Carlin…..

A friend recently sent this to me….another chain letter I assumed.  And it was. I don’t really ascribe to this stuff and for the most part, they usually end up being deleted. But for some reason this one resonated with me. It was written when George Carlin’s wife passed away. That single event obviously had a profound affect on the man and the result is something worth reading and reflecting on:

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don’t send this to at least 8 people….Who cares?

George Carlin

Web video monetization still unmastered

Fast Company’s article, “Who will be the Godfather of Web Video” got me thinking about some of the theories behind the monetization of video. A friend of mine insists that despite the evolution of social media, the consumer online behaviour hasn’t changed. It’s emotive, he says, and that has been and will continue to be the way online consumers respond to online advertising. Does that mean we negate the idea of predictability? If so then what is the use of applying retention initiatives? Does that mean that brands have greater pressure to create advocacy in this daunting arena? I’m not convinced of this theory because it assumes that the medium has no bearing on behaviour.

I believe the advent of social media has challenged advertisers to grapple with the issue of not only converting consumers, but also identifying with their needs in an environment that has been programmed to flee the almighty establishment. This rebellious medium understands that the sought-after millenials are not so quick to point-and-click.  I’ve yet to find stats to validate this but at a recent conference I’ve attended for Understanding Youth, it was made abundantly clear when one of the young panel members said to a room full of marketers and advertisers, “We know when you’re trying to sell us something. We know all your tricks and we’re not gonna give in. We’ll just run somewhere else.”

Today’s youth understand the social web and it is a part of their being.  Today’s social media is akin to the freedom revolution of the ’70’s — a way for people create an identity for themselves and carve out a path of existence online. The above notation clearly spells out the need to evolve advertising as the medium and audience evolve.

Web video is still a strong growth channel. According to the article, “it has grown in terms of content production, viewership, however significant revenue and especially profitability — even for YouTub with its massive audience of 69 million viewers — has been largely elusive. Advertisers still haven’t bought into web video advertising mainly because of the vast user-generated content that’s largely uncontrolled.  But the premium content sites don’t seem to be faring any better. Super Deluxe’s shaft by Time Warner, NBC Universal’s DotComedy’s short online stint and Sony’s money-losing investment into the once-promising Crackle — are all examples of this quest for a solution.

Some sites that are doing really well: Tetes a claque, CollegeHumor –> have some things in common: video that’s spreadable; audiences that are sticky. Most importantly — Consistency. Time will tell whether these sites will pave the way and lead others including Google/Youtube through the black hole.

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