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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ericast 169 - Social Media Bankruptcy?

Don't worry -- I'm not going to freak out and break off all my friendships and dump my Twitter and Facebook accounts and podcast from a library or a mountaintop somewhere... but it's an interesting thought, isn't it?

This week's podcast ponders the question of "TMI" in the social-media world -- is it possible to have too much information flooding at you? Is this any different from the wad of dead-tree information that was once dropped on the doorsteps of homes across the country? (Short answer: Yes, it's different, because it comes directly from people you know, hence there's a relationship, hence there's a need -- or at least the feeling of a need -- to engage in that information more closely.)

How do you handle/maintain your relationships (in various communities or "networks")? That's a question regarding a) any practical tools/advice/methods you know of, and b) the mental/emotional "bandwidth" required to keep track of everyone and everything they're up to.

Comments and opinions, as always, are more than welcome at 206-339-3742 (a.k.a. 206-339-ERIC) or via e-mail to me (eric) at

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ericast 168 - Education vs. Compliance

A quick(-ish) podcast on the pretty typical "customer service" theme, this time asking whether complying with a customer's request is always the "best" customer service... or is there a time and a place for "education" that doesn't necessarily jump to do what the customer asked?

Intrigued? Listen to the podcast. Then call with questions or comments of any kind: 206-339-ERIC (a.k.a. 206-339-3742) or email me (eric) at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ericast 167 - The Starbucks Experience

When getting a free cup of coffee isn't just a free cup of coffee, but an opportunity to ponder marketing and customer service and the full use of human resources who can do everything from pouring basic coffee from a glorified percolator to sculpting espresso foam into kitty-cats...

...Yes, welcome to the kind of Ericast episode you've always dreamed of... and one you'd like to comment on, by calling 206-339-3742 (a.k.a. 206-339-ERIC) or emailing me (eric) at

Bonus resource: "50 Fancy and Pretty Arts of Coffee Foam"

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ericast 166 - Reflections on Killing

I had a great episode on deck on the topic of customer service... but when news breaks, you'll find it discussed several days later on the Ericast.

So, let's talk about Osama Bin Laden. Remember to call 206-339-3742 with any comments.

Show notes:

Universal Life Ethic = let's not kill people. a.k.a. "consistent life ethic" (a term that implies that others aren't consistent, which I don't think is fair) a.k.a the "seamless garment ethic" (which is a bit too cutesy and unclear for me).

On Facebook I've got friends quoting Martin Luther King Jr. about not celebrating death:

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

There's a fairly complex or "cold" framework I'm coming from: This is a mathematical equation at this point. We can explore the facts as they've been presented over the past decade and don't have to ask, Did Bin Laden ever exist? Did he did years ago only to be replaced by a double? Did he do what we said he did? Is he dead now? How was he killed? etc.

So we have to take our facts at face value. "The variable 'UBL' was responsible for X and was killed in Y manner."

On that (known unrepentant behavior of targeting innocents, etc.)... if anyone deserved to die, wouldn't you say he did?

And from a personal integrity standpoint, if we object or have concerns with Osama Bin Ladin's killing... how much objecting are we doing to executions in Texas? Or other cases of intentional killing that are much, much less clear-cut than this one?

For more on "killing" vs. other kinds of deaths deaths:

(Technical podcast note: I dropped the intro/outro music by -6db so that it didn't obnoxiously blast out your ears since my voice is a bit more subdued in this melancholy episode. Does it sound better than previous episodes?)