Back in the halcyon days of the Web, going back all the way to ’95, when certain people looked to understand the creative rather than the purely commercial possibilities of the Internet, and many still “surfed the Web,” you could come across a site not so charmingly called Suck.com. It’s official title was “A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun.” You can read about it here and check out some entries at what remains of the site itself, here.
Of course, the idea never really was shooting fish in a barrel; what would have been the point, the fun, in that? Too easy, too fruitless. Rather, I think the idea was to look at different phenomena, cultural and political phenomena mostly, and especially at what today would undoubtedly be called memes, and make you realize that these things should have been, should be, seen as the fish in a barrel they didn’t really purport to be.
It is in that spirit that I offer a Chronicle of Inane Tweets. These are tweets that aspire to be intelligent, even brilliant, and of course inspiring, but I’m calling Bullshit here. They’re not brilliant, they’re not really inspiring, they’re not intelligent; actually, if you take a moment to think through them, they’re inane. But just like the barreled fish, there may be something to be learned from shooting, dissecting, them.
I’ll publish a couple of these every week or so; tweeters shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty. Oh, and if you detect a hint of Chris Locke’s alter-ego Rageboy here, as well, I do not apologize. Some influence really can’t be shaked.
Here’s the first batch:
It’s always too early to quit. Norman Vincent Peale
With apologies to the ever-inspirational Rev. Peale, oft times it’s never too early for some people, at some times, to quit. There is a well-known saying, in the life insurance business where I learned it, and doubtless in other industries as well: Fire Fast. Brutal as that sounds, it’s often the best that can happen to struggling newbie insurance agents: What good does it do the company, let alone the struggling agent, to allow inevitable failures to fail slowly? You’re just not going to make it, kid; this is not a business for you.
The equivalent of this for marketers is probably Fail Fast: Stop being sentimental about your great hunches and ideas, learn quickly from the inevitable failures, kill them, and begin again. In a world of necessarily multifarious and often multifaceted plans and projects, first steps and next steps, it’s often never too early to quit.
Don’t talk about your products and services! Nobody cares.
This is oft-repeated by Social Media pundits who’ve swallowed the canard that people only really care about other people, not “products and services.” And it’s Nonsense, with a capital N. Sure, neither I nor you go around talking about “products and services,” but we all go around searching — sometimes on search engines, sometimes on Social Media sites — for reliable, trustworthy information about vacations, hotels, airlines, weather, Katy Perry, smartphones, porn, Cronh’s Colitis, you name it. I have no idea what the percentage of people who care about such products and services at any given time might be, but we know that people spend huge amounts of time looking into, researching if you like, company’s products and services. What’s the most expensive set of keywords in Google PPC? Life insurance, for goodness sake, more expensive even than the ambulance-chasing lawyers’ favorite, mesothelioma.
Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Jaachynma N.E. Agu
Boy, where does Mr. Agu work? Nowhere, is my guess; certainly no place for long. Let’s reformulate this a bit: Don’t allow your goals to be blindly dictated by what other people — say, your bosses and your bosses’ bosses — think, because they could be wrong. But go it alone? Ignore what those “other people” deem important? Fine, then you likely won’t be around long enough to accomplish any goals. Realism, people! You work with, and for, lots of other people and, sometimes, usually, they have opinions about goals, too. Convince them that your goals are more appropriate, more likely to be met, and more productive for the organization. If you can’t do this, either move on or bide your time until you can win other battles.