A Lesson In Spelling, Meaning, And Effective Use

I know right now many of you read that above headline coming from me and either laughed out loud thinking “This is going to be funny!” Or, “Mark is going to give a lesson in spelling? Spelling?!” And to that I wouldn’t begrudge a one of you for doing so. Lord knows I’m the first to state “I can’t spell cat without spellchecker.”

I’m not afraid to say that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m not afraid or let what others describe as “weaknesses” deter me from pursuing any goal in which I’ve chosen to strive for. I’m fully cognizant of my deficiencies, and try to the best of my abilities to improve. However, unlike others, I’m willing to improve where I can on the fly. In other words: While I’m doing. (i.e. When you about 80% ready – move!)

I instruct people to the same, for as I’m also noted for stating: “If you wait for perfection before doing, then perfectly waiting is all you’ll ever do.”

There comes a time when you have to move, go, start, et cetera no matter where you’re standing. More often than not – momentum is the key that makes the difference – not purely preparation.

That simple line, taken and applied in context, can change most wishes to reachable goals in an instant. To some – it can be worth millions, to others, it can be priceless for how it may change one’s life for the better. Don’t let it be lost on you. Maybe even ponder it more fully before you read on. Yes – it’s that important.

And as far as the “context” meaning: Yes, context is a needed term, for of course you’d need to prepare how to be a surgeon first, before manning a scalpel. But more often than not – people will use the same reasoning where it doesn’t apply as to give themselves the illusion – they can’t start because _________(fill in the blank.) Again, think about it.

So why am I stating all this? Well, as many of you may have heard over the weekend there was an incident where a Chinese naval vessel blatantly commandeered a submersible device from a U.S. research ship off its coast. The act has all the warning signs of a “diplomatic sea mine.” Incidents like these are not to be taken lightly as we all know.

During this period of so-called “Who says what next? And what’s the implied message?” It seemed there was a lot of hand-wringing for how to respond, accompanied by a deafening silence. That silence was broken by (you know who) the president-elect, where in a tweet he forcefully called it what it was: “unpresidented act.” [sic]

It wasn’t long before everyone who could chime in, did chime in to mock, or scorn Mr. Trump for not knowing the correct spelling. Yet, the one response that mattered most came not from the “mockers” but from the one’s for whom the message was being sent to. e.g., China. And what followed within hours? To wit:

“China Responds: Will Return Stolen Drone, “Regrets US Hype”

Now whether or not you approve of the president-elect is not the point of this discussion. What I am trying to demonstrate is when it comes to getting your message out there (what ever it may be) people understanding your intent, or your message, supersedes any spelling mistake, grammatical errors, or anything else. Remember: It’s the sell, don’t spell philosophy that 9 times out of 10 puts food on the table and/or pays the mortgage.

People who understand real value propositions know fully well what to pay attention to, and what is insignificant too it. (example: “I have 100 acres of prime reel estate offered 50% below kurrent markit prices.” If you know the underlying facts to be true – are you not interested because of the spelling?)

Now of course since then (and almost immediately once noticed) the spelling was corrected. However, that hasn’t stopped the pile on. And the one I found symbolic of all the “We’re so much superior than most because we’re “educated” even though most can’t afford to even repay their college loans. But I digress. Was put forth by none other than Merrriam-Webster’s Dictionary™.

In mocking tone they also took to tweeting. To wit:

“Good morning! The #WordOfTheDay is…not ‘unpresidented’. We don’t enter that word. That’s a new one,” the dictionary tweeted, and linked it to the definition of the word “huh.” e.g., “Definition of HUH -used at the end of a statement to ask whether someone agrees with you…”

Personally I found this mocking so emblematic of the “glass houses” analogy I had to do all I could from spitting my coffee all over my screens. Too me, it says so much of what I’ve tried to express over the years.

Personally, when I’ve seen any of the past “writers” who mocked me when I first entertained the idea of writing in any form. I immediately wave high and make it a point to say, “Hey! Have you seen I’m now read in over 170 countries?! How you doing?”

Let’s just say, if looks could kill, that would be better than what they want to do with me.

So to prove this point I’ll just end with this. So when you’re faced (which you will if you try doing anything above average) with some Ph.D type or other “knows better than you because they’ve read about such things but have never actually done anything but read.” Just turn and feel sorry for them because they really do think they’re superior. And no matter what you try to say to the contrary – you’re just wasting breath. And I use for that example todays example of “glass houses.” To wit:

Merriam-Websters is in fact: a dictionary. However, with that said…

Anyone who is doing or looking for any real meaning or definition of a word, and wants or needs to make sure that it is designated as a word in the English language – would be laughed out of any Ph.D filled symposium if they listed as a footnote for any word used for research coming from Merriam-Websters.

Everyone knows the only true resource for dictionaries is the dictionary of dictionaries. And that’s Oxford’s Dictionary of English™.

Donald Trump might have misspelled a word, but his intent was clear, and meaning understood by another government resulting in the release and ending of the incident.

Merriam-Websters could complain all day to Oxford demanding a word they don’t agree with in spelling should, or must be changed – and Oxford would laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

Again – think about it.

© 2016 Mark St.Cyr

The Real Question: What’s Facebook’s True Valuation Without “Fake?”

There are two hot topics post the U.S. presidential election. One is “fake news”, the other is Facebook™ (FB), and its involvement in it.

The accusations and the defenses against have been all over the board. Both figuratively, as well as literally.

Management from Mark Zuckerberg on down have been professing when it came to anything “fake” it wasn’t of their doing. And gee-whiz-by-golly they’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure anything “fake” never sees the “like” of day again.

Sounds great, in theory. But there’s a very real fact that must now be considered…

If “fake” news was so wide-spread, and so devoured on FB that it had the ability to not only influence, but rather, to overturn political norms and ruin the election of what everyone in media on down believed; that this election was merely a formality on paper because, it was clear to all of them, Mrs. Clinton would win not just walking away, but running?

That would mean FB now has to alienate (i.e., by now not delivering “news” these people wanted to see) millions, upon millions, upon millions of now current users. What does that imply to their now “real” (ooopsy, again!) metrics going forward?

If the above hypothetical has the ability to be true (and from a business perspective it sure has) the very fact that FB will now openly censor, mark, tag, possibly defame (whether intentionally or not), and more articles of news, or anything else shared on its platform. Two questions have to be asked:

First: How many FB customers decide they don’t need or want a “mommy” deciding what they can, or can not, read or share? Second: How fast does that process begin, and by how many?

No matter what side of the political fence you’re on matters. The only thing that matters is what all this means from a business perspective to FB’s bottom line. For as much as everyone likes “free”, without Wall Street (or the Swiss Central Bank) buying? FB moves to AOL™ status quicker than you can say “You’ve got mail®.”

As of this writing some hand writing is all ready appearing on the wall as FB announced not only will it begin to find ways to forbid fact-check. But it has now joined forces with a third-party to do just that. Again, all sounds good on the surface until you’re made aware by one’s own fact-checking just whom that third-party is. e.g., Poynter™.

Who are they? Personally, I’ve never heard of them prior, but it only took seeing one man’s name on the roster of backers to understand the impact it will have on a great many current FB users, as well as content generators to imagine a most assured backlash. e.g. George Soros.

Again, it doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit. And it doesn’t matter whether you like or dislike Mr. Soros, or anything he’s involved with. What does matter is this: How many users, along with legitimate purveyors of content currently using FB are going to allow any form of what they will most certainly view as censorship via an entity controlled (or at least think is) by people they deem hold the antithesis viewpoint to theirs? And it will be they that has the control to censor.

What’s the number? 1? 10? 10,000? 10 Million? ____________? (fill in the blank). And what do they represent in economic impact to FB’s bottom line? Does it hurt user numbers? Does a revolt in buying ads, or promoting sites, or content develop? The list of potential revenue disruptors begins to get lengthy when you truly ponder the potential impact. And Wall Street doesn’t like things that have the potential to hurt the bottom line. Non-GAAP or not.

Remember: The argument is “fake news” (and FB is now considered the poster child for where it ran rampant, whether rightly, or wrongly) had so much influence in this election that it cost the presumed victor millions of votes.

So if you take that logic as being possibly true. Then that means millions of FB users are consumers (For they must have consumed, no?) of that type of content. And if they now know FB will some how either remove it, or make it so burdensome to access they won’t see it? Whether they agree with FB’s conclusions or not? Are you beginning to see how this could run?

Then add to that one of the parties responsible for that form of censorship which they will be subject to as for what they may, or may not read – is being decided by an entity presumably controlled under the auspices of Mr. Soros? The potential for both FB content consumers along with content creators getting upset maybe an understatement. Even among the so-called “legitimate” voices. FB could have an outright revolution of revulsion on their hands. Think about it.

What happens if rather than FB being the provider or outlet for calls of boycotts or other social protests when it comes to advertisers and more, suddenly finds those roles reversed where it can be the recipient of those calls? And how do advertisers view those prospects? This whole “fake” has truly opened up a very real can-of-worms for FB in my opinion. A very real and potentially costly “can” at that.

Don’t think things have a potential for explosive reactions? Just try telling someone (anyone) they’re not allowed to see or read something. Forget politics, I mean anything. Watch how fast any argument of “It’s for your own good” lasts, or works.

There are other considerations I’ll bet a lot of people have yet to even ponder. So, for those who don’t remember ancient history. Or care about “marketing.” Let me leave you with this:

One of the best marketing and sales generating campaigns for the written word ever discovered fell under this same category” i.e., “You can’t read that – we forbid it!” Or, “Book burnings begin tonight!” Or my personal favorite “Banned in Boston!”

Personally, I don’t use FB. However, with that said – I will be the first one to put up on my site in large letters “Banned by FB” Or “FB says Don’t Read This!” Or, something of that sort should one of my articles ever get shared and some form of signaling or notation is made accordingly. It would be a badge of honor. Besides…

You couldn’t ask for better marketing. All at FB’s expense, and quite possibly, literally.

© 2016 Mark St.Cyr