Six Pixels of Separation – A Review

Photo courtesy of Twistimage.com

Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel is centered around the premise that any two people are no longer seperated by six other people, but that thanks to the internet, we are each directly connected. Joel follows that premise to its logical conclusion from a marketing standpoint: that any business can effectively connect directly to its customers using online tools.

The central premise is so simple that I found myself rolling my eyes as I read the early parts of Six Pixels. However, the farther I got the more I realized that although many of the strategies that Joel suggests seem obvious, I have been ignoring them, hindering the development of my own online brand.

As a journalist, many of the tools and methods that Joel expounds apply to me. I have made use of LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and a podcast. But I have fallen short in maintaining my presence on all these platforms, damaging my online reputation. I knew using these tools could help be develop a personal brand, but I never really considered the harm I was doing by failing to maintain my use of them.

Joel explains that the first page of Google search results is essentially your brand. I was always happy that all the results showed my work – I failed to consider how an inactive Twitter and Youtube channel, or a half-finished LinkedIn profile might reflect poorly on me.

In Six Pixels, Joel talks about the “Trust Economy” and the long-tail approach to building trust online. I intend to reduce the number of platforms I use and to dedicate more time to engaging in the communities I stay in. Hopefully in that way, I can move from a short-sighted approach to social media to the long-tail strategy that Joel suggests.

Please visit my Tumblr at mikeonsocialmedia.tumblr.com for quotes and infographics that I found relevant to my understanding of this book.

Do we need a Canadian Black Friday?

bull-ring-inside

On Thursday, Sears Canada sent out a press release (link) stating that they are launching the “first ever Canadian Thanksgiving Black Friday sale.” While the sale probably hasn’t garnered the kind of attention Sears hoped, it remains to be seen if October Black Friday sales will catch on, and if they even should.

Walking around the stores today I noticed huge displays dedicated to Halloween and Christmas. Even though it’s just early October, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The shoppers are out in force and no doubt would appreciate another sale. In their press release, Sears quotes a poll in which nearly seven in 10 respondents indicated they are in favour of Canadian retailers offering Black Friday sales. Sears said that respondents were split on whether the sale should be in October or November, so they are holding sales in both months.

It is telling, however, that many people do not even want a Black Friday sale. While Sears did not release the reasons that survey-takers did not want a sale, One needs only to look south for some ideas.

In the U.S. Black Friday has become a huge event, overshadowing even Thanksgiving itself. In fact several retailers, including Sears, have begun opening their doors for Black Friday at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. It’s not hard to see why some people believe Black Friday overly commercializes the holiday.

There’s also no shortage of news stories on Black Friday. Unfortunately several of them are brutally violent. In past years there have been tramplings, shootings, stabbings and mass assaults – all in the name of scoring a great deal. The possibility of violence is an understandable concern for some.

For better or worse, it seems Black Friday is here to stay. Last year, many Canadian retailers offered discounts to compete with American stores. Whether it stays in November or moves to October, Black Friday is a part of the holidays in Canada. Hopefully we can avoid the negatives it can entail.

Daily Bread Food Bank

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My first Google Map

And a commercial I used to enjoy as a kid.

Wordle of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Interesting that English and French seem to be about the same size. But why is New Brunswick even there?

Wordle: Charter

My Poll

Hot Chick

Enjoy this titillating image C/O GolferJane