Tag Archive: Ed Sullivan Show

Let’s face it: No one has to read your blog or for that matter my blog, Almost DailyBrett.

We only have so much time, just so many finite grains of sand to live on this planet.


And yet there is so much that we have to read (e.g., work, school, self-improvement) or at least should read.

And some of us read faster than others or comprehend better than others.

Blogs are something that we rarely have to read, but we generally consume them because we want too.

A blog is the most discretionary of all reads.

Blogging came into being simultaneously with the advent of World Wide Web 2.0 way back in the prior century, circa 1997.

After the initial euphoria about web logs or blogs via digital self-publishing tools came the brutal realization that coming up and devising blog content was easier said than done.

Alas, there are literally hundreds of thousands of dead blogs out there, never to be heard from again. They started with oodles-and-oodles of enthusiasm before reality came-a-calling.

The new blog was akin to the New Year’s resolution to join a health club; the majority of these new “members” are all-but-a-memory by the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February.

Having acknowledged what seems to be a trend, the number of bloggers and content is nonetheless, staggering.

By noon (PDT) today, there were already more than 1.5 billion blogs written and posted around the world.

There are 71.5 million WordPress blog sites (and literally counting). There are 385 million subscribers, consuming 13.3 billion pages each month. There are 35 million new posts, triggering 61.2 million comments each month.

Two-thirds of these WordPress blogs are written in English; Espanol esta dos with 8.7 percent and Portuguese is third with 6.5 percent. There are obviously growth opportunities when you add the potential of native speaking Mandarin and Cantonese bloggers and readers.

Keep in mind: These are stats for WordPress blogs alone. Based upon this evidence and more, one must conclude that blogging is alive and well.

Some contend that “tagging” key items for internet search engines, and push marketing blog posts to other social media and online groups are the essential ingredients for blogging success. Almost DailyBrett wholeheartedly concurs with these points.

Going deeper, the ultimate barometer of blogging triumph or failure goes back to the first point of this homily: A blog is the most discretionary of all reads.

No one was put on Mother Earth to read your blog. Okay, moms may be an exception.

Your blog needs to be compelling copy. Your subject matter, more likely than not, will not interest everyone, but it needs to draw the attention of someone or a host of someones.

Variety shows (e.g., The Ed Sullivan Show) are a distant fading memory, commemorating on YouTube for those nights in which the Stones and the Beatles were introduced to the world. Life magazine pops up at check-out stands with special editions, bringing back memories of the publication’s hay days in the middle of the 20th Century.

The Rolling Stones On 'The Ed Sullivan Show'

Today’s segmentation society reflects our living mosaic of specialized interests. Almost DailyBrett has found that not everyone is interested in the conflict between Fiduciary Responsibility vs. Corporate Social Responsibility, but more than 1,000 have clicked on that blog.

And what’s with all these 2,000 or more seemingly angry people reading about the Trouble with Widowers? What’s with these pesky widowers, who dare have fond memories of their deceased wives?

Should we shoot them all?

The last inflammatory question brings up the most important point.

A blog needs to be provocative, but not outrageous.

It should be infamous, but not notorious.

A blog should be Charles Krauthammer, not Howard Stern. It should be Bill Moyers, not Bill Maher. Thoughtful is a good word here.

Being provocative and controversial from time-to-time, does not mean you are a bomb thrower. When the dust settles, you should emerge with your reputation intact and your credibility unharmed.

A good blog should take a position, but be open to responses, even slings and arrows, from those who do not agree. After all, a blog is a classic example of two-way symmetrical communication.


Keep in mind, digital is eternal. Every key stroke that is published is permanent. Every incendiary statement, slur or name calling can easily bounce back and bite the writer. Think of the internet as being radioactive. Similar to nuclear power, it should be handled with care.

And don’t worry if your online epistles do not trigger a ton of responses. Think of it this way: How many listeners actually call-in to radio talk shows? How many write (how quaint) letters to the editor? How many tweet or email (20th century technology) cable talk show hosts? The answer is not many, but that does not mean these talk shows, tactile-and-online publications and programs are not successful.


The same is true for bloggers. I can’t speak for other writers, but this is post #235 for Almost DailyBrett and so far ADB has attracted 211 comments or less than one per blog.

So go out and write to your heart’s content. Demonstrate your thought leadership about something that you know about and which is near and dear to you. There is an audience out there for you. Keep in mind, every reader has only so much time.

And remember, it is far better to be George Will than George Patton when it comes to the most discretionary of all reads.








The recession of a lifetime followed by the gradual, mostly jobless recovery has been particularly brutal on follicly challenged senior PR professionals, some who even remember JFK’s assassination being announced on school loud speakers and the Beatles on the “Ed Sullivan” show.

Please don’t ask, “Ed, who?”

The crippling downturn that prompted corporate and agency chieftains to cut back on SG&A expenses in the face of declining top lines and deteriorating bottom lines, prompted many displaced high-priced communicators to put out their own shingle.

And yes, there is a certain glamour associated with being your own boss, setting your own hours and commuting from the master suite to your home office or the local upscale coffee parlor with a laptop under your arm. And with it has come a directly related cottage industry of IT professionals charging three-figures per hour to keep home laptops, monitors and docking stations humming along.

There is also the nagging reality associated with incorporating the business, indemnifying the business, finding the business, servicing the business, invoicing the business and nagging the business to pay you…followed by quarterly payments to the IRS.

LinkedIn.com http://www.linkedin.com is loaded with oodles of individual practitioners with impressive corporate sounding names and LLPs, but how many will actually survive? How will they compete against each other, internal communications departments, boutique PR agencies, let alone the big multi-nationals such as Weber Shandwick, Fleishman Hillard, Edelman, Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton?

The answer is that some will ultimately thrive in an improving economy, but most will struggle to simply pay ze mortgage. This brings up another question: Is there another way of turning adversity into opportunity?

Two weeks ago, I took the GRE…the dreaded Graduate Records Examination http://www.ets.org/gre/. Why would I put myself through weeks of masochistic prep work to endure 3.5 hours of essays, critical readings and verbal/math multiple-guess questions? The answer is there is another way of setting your own course than starting your own business.

Personally, I am contemplating mentoring the next generations of strategic communicators. At least four of my colleagues are now teaching at USC, Santa Clara, Arizona State and Michigan State respectively. Why can’t I do the same?

One of them chose academics in part because as the political editor of a major metropolitan daily he grew weary of “having to layoff my friends.”

My PR career has spanned 28 years, including service in the public sector, two trade associations, one publicly traded technology company and an international public relations agency. The purpose of this recital is not to boast but to ask a vital question: What am I accomplishing if I extend this track record to 30 years? Or 32 years? Or even 40 years?

I have been accepted to both the University of Oregon Graduate School and the Graduate School of the UO School of Journalism and Communication http://www.jcomm.uoregon.edu/. A huge decision faces me around May 1 and that involves picking up stakes and moving my lounge act from Northern California to Eugene, Oregon in time for the first classes on September 27. The goal is to receive a master’s degree in “Communication and Society” and eventually to serve as an associate professor/instructor in strategic communications.

Certainly, I have been repeatedly warned about the corresponding loss of income and academic politics; how they eat their own (e.g. you can’t teach at the school in which you received your master’s degree). After years of state government and corporate backroom wheeling and dealing, a little academic politics sounds like more of the same just in a different locale.

We have all heard the homage that “Those who can’t, teach.” To those who want to attach that moniker to me, I simply say, “Bring it on.” More importantly, can senior communicators apply our energies, knowledge and experience to helping the next generations of strategic communicators in this rapidly changing digital age? And how many more would like to join me in this (hopefully) noble quest?

We may look back years from now and realize that the economic downturn (being charitable here) was just the kick in the-you-know-where that many of us needed. It may prompt us to do what we want to do rather than what someone else wants us to do.

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