The good and bad and ……

Yesterday on my way to a meeting in Vancouver I headed down Hastings Street for a change. Hastings and Main is in the downtown eastside and is considered a ‘bad’ area of town. There the poverty is apparent with the unemployed, homeless and addiction in plain view. As I was passing Insite I Twittered and took a picture. No one responded which seemed unusual. After some thought that was probably because most don’t know about Insite.

Insite is the first legal supervised injection site. It is the only geographic area (the building’s large injection room) in Canada where it is legal to inject drugs. The reasons for this are many, the main one being that addiction is a sickness and this is a health issue with a health facility to attempt to assist people in beating their drug addiction. What it has done is save lives, lives of those who have this illness. Sure there are two sides to this story and some that would take a very different view but the fact remains, lives have been saved.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to tour the site when with the Watari organization. It was a life changing event. Hearing the stories of the individuals and seeing what was happening brought to light that we as a community need to come to grips with the drug addiction problems of the poor and homeless. There are some that say this is the addicts choice. Other will call it bad fate. Whatever the reason it doesn’t make sense to neglect the problem and do nothing and let people die. It makes me wonder when I hear about a 31 year old aquarium dolphin that dies in the arms of its 5 handlers and nothing about the individual who dies in the back alley of a downtown street, alone with no human consolation.

What happens to Twitter now?

It seems no matter how much you ‘prune’ your followers and following list is just tends to grow. So I am beginning to wonder why I am following some credit unions. 

All of them need ask themselves why are you on Twitter? Everyone will answer ‘to share information with our members’ or ‘to give your membership support’ or ‘to talk about events or things we may offer’. I thought Twitter was a means to converse, a way to share insights, send out a neat URL you just found or to stimulate discussion. Most of the CUs I look at are selling me something, or telling me something that will lead to a sale or asking a question that will certainly lead to a sales pitch. The idea of communicating the authentic or genuine seems to have been missed. 

There is this singular beauty of Twiter, those whom I follow I can also unfollow. Before the marketing department types go amuck here they need to realize that. People who follow want to see the thinking person. It is going to be very interesting to watch.

What would be better yet? SMS your member when you have something specific and personal for them to know. But remember only do it if they want you to. Communicating has become an option for the listener.

McAlpine does it again

The creative ninja from Chilliwack, Tim McAlpine has delivered another video for the Your Symposium hosted by Forum Solutions in October.

Of course he is going to get together his posse and take over the 2nd morning with the young at heart. But Tim you have to look at yourself in the mirror. You are a Gen Xer. Your the Brand X of the generation pool. These young guys have more energy and are quicker than you. Us Boomers know to stay out of zone that that they create. My kids are Gen Y so there is some history to learn here. They will take you in because you are a nice guy. They will put up with you because you have that creative energy. But Tim you are a marketeer not a mouseketeer. Develop the Young and Free platform, get everyone excited but remember – the Boomers are your real friends. You don’t have to go over to the other side like that. Hoodie? Next you’ll be skateboarding and into graffiti and you will be listening to You Say Party We Say Die.

Seriously anyone reading this and has gotten this far needs to know Tim and I are friends, right Tim? What we both agree upon is that this is by far the best event you can attend and here are some reasons why.

  • you will meet people who have fantastic points of view.
  • you will have ample opportunity for discussions.
  • you will probably meet some people you have never met before but have read their blogs and twitter postings.
  • you will meet the most gracious hosts (Forum Solutions) ever, period.
  • the food is lots of and great.
  • this is the most real symposium with the most real people you can imagine.
  • what you learn and hear will churn in your head for a long time.
  • there is a magical, caring quality about this event that is unique and must be experienced.
  • it will not let you down, it will exceed your expectations.

Sign up, be there, keep Tim happy. This happening is about great people and socializing with them. The media stuff and marketing is the value add on.

The broken promises

It has been a hectic few weeks in so many areas. It seems the older you get the busier you get with a smaller amount of time.

I remember as a child the times my father would promise some small treat or time together to do something. It was important to me at the time. Often he would forget and the promise would be broken. It was something you never forget and I still feel sad. Because all of us have experienced that in some way or other most of us make the attempt to deliver on whatever we promise.

Now we are no longer children and the promises we seem to get are more of the commercial nature. Products and services, businesses and agencies, we have numerous encounters where someone promises to deliver something. It seems more the norm though that these promises are broken time after time. Most don’t deliver their promises and those that do tend to be the ones we remember. And depending on how we were brought up most forgive but never forget the incident. Just how hard is it to deliver a promise these days? Probably more difficult than we think because we tend to rely on a chain of people or companies to assist us in keeping the promise. If that fragile chain is broken the promise deliverer is the one that gets it in the neck. 

Last Sunday, on Mother’s Day, my wife and I went to a local VW dealer and bought a new Beetle. This is my wife’s very first car. We had never had more than one car since we were married in 1972. Now with both of the kids gone and our active lives outside the home it was almost impossible for both of us to get to events and meetings with only one car. Marjun picked the car and the colour, I picked the promissory note and car insurance premiums. Tonight we head out to pick it up but 2 hours before we leave the phone rings. It is the dealership. The car is not going to be ready, something about the undercoat. The broken promise. 

I have no idea why but tonight we are still going over there to find out why. To find out why a simple phone call, when it was realized it wouldn’t have been ready, wasn’t made earlier. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome, there is a good chance it may all be sorted out but when you are sitting with a broken promise, an economic broken promise, the brand has been tarnished now and it didn’t have to be.

Post Script – When we got there they explained we would have to wait at least 40 minutes or so. They actually had heat lamps setup to make sure the undercoating was completely dry and ready when we drove away. The treatment we received was more than first class. For this car dealership, Westminster Volkswagen, I would give them a 10 out of 10 for taking it to the next level in customer satisfaction. Thank you Steve and Chris for making this a memorable event. 

Off we went to Stanley Park. Marjun let me drive. After driving the car for less than 40 minutes we were stopped by the police. He just said I was driving way to fast and to slow it down.He must have smelt the ‘new car’ smell and let me go. Thank you officer, I’ll give you a 10 out of 10 too!