Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Commandment?

Blogger, John Rachel, makes a suggestion here that we replace the 10th commandment (That's the one about coveting your neighbors wife and stuff) with a much more sensible and executable one. Worth a thought.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"That's the best f#%&ing $$$ I ever spent" - Client

Yesterday I finished a small job for a client and that's exactly what he said to me. I spent a day tweaking his website and making it 'social media friendly'. He was very happy with the work. A month prior I had finished a similar job for another client at nearly ten times the rate and do you know what he said? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Not even 'Thank you'. No 'Attaboy', no nuthin'. And I had bled for that client as well. Not only did I do an inordinate amount of work and education to bring them into the social media age, but I had thrown in an 18 page illustrated report called the 'Blog Cookbook' so he always had a handy record of how his site operated and how to improve and grow it. But none of that seemed to matter.

The difference between client 'A', the happy client, and client 'B', the silent client is pretty simple. One of them knew what he was buying and the other one didn't. Nothing more than that. But the reason I had bled for the bigger budget job was not that I was being paid more (both hourly rates were the same) but because it was for a large multi-national brand and I wanted to impress the big boys. Didn't matter - because in the end, they weren't sure what they were buying - it was just something they had to buy to be in the game.

Moral of the story: You can't always expect warm fuzzies from every job you do, but it's a whole lot nicer when you get them.- it increases your suspension of disbelief. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facebook back in Vietnam

Back on New Years Eve I had reported that the gift from the government for the new year was a fresh blockage of Facebook. Reasons for this run routinely from bureaucratic denials of any block, even to the BBC, to the supposed theft of undersea cables by local fisherman/pirates (yes, we've actually heard that one), to various programming difficulties with the DNS settings by local ISPs - and of course, that's all rubbish. My contention has always been that if you tracked the dates of big party meetings with the blockages of primarily Facebook, that one could see it was an obvious club-footed attempt by the government to keep kvetching to a minimum during deep political thought and decision making. Twitter seems to do okay. No one seems worried about a 140 character rant. "T-h-r-o-w_t-h-e_b-a-s-t-a-r-d-s_o-u-t !", even in Vietnamese, "Vứt bastards ra!", and it's even shorter. But this week, yesterday actually, was the new, big news. Party meetings and holidays over. 

Facebook is back. And oh yes, you still need to jack with your DNS settings to make it work, but it works without any cumbersome add-ons or proxies. Phew. How did we ever live without it? (Actually, I found it somewhat pleasant).

And this all feeds into this blog's new thesis to explore the distortions we all create, to be able to live the lives we think we want to live. In this case, the government wants the illusion of suppression of free speech (never a  Socialist campaign winner, anyway), and the people want the illusion of freedom, and so with a few digits, a smartphone, computer or digital device of the moment - Voi la! Or Các voi as the locals might say - it's just like America! Soon they'll be having gay marriages and legalising marijuana - wait, don't they do that already?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Suspension of Disbeliefs

If you enjoyed the Wild Wild East Dailies, welcome to  A Suspension of Disbeliefs. I've moved on because I want to broaden beyond Asia, marketing and involve the world and world ideas. And I'd like to write a little better and quite a bit more influentially. A year ago, I had an interchange that simply told me that sheer desire, love and imagination were just massively more powerful than logic. And so I learned a lot. And I believe we can grow well. I realised with the Wild Wild East Dailies that it was never about me at all. It was about the readers as well. Join us again, please.

Suspension of Disbelief

samuel taylor coleridge"The temporary acceptance as believable, events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible. This is usually to allow an audience to appreciate works of literature or drama that are exploring unusual ideas." The term was originally coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817 with the publication of his Biographia Literaria. The state is arguably an essential element when experiencing any drama or work of fiction. We know very well that we are watching an actor or looking at marks on paper, but we wilfully accept them as real in order to fully experience what the creator is attempting to convey.

The thesis here is that we all create realities that are essentially states of suspended disbelief by our choices of religion, political persuasion, career, country, love, belief or not in the magic bullet theory, or choice of architecture. What makes us unhappy is when others fail to share in our beliefs. The trick, over time of course, is to structure a story line that works for us and those around us in real life in the most positive way possible.

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
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