In a struggle to be happy and free

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Category: marketing Page 2 of 13

A Place for Mom

I’ve seen an ad on the CBC News Network for A Place for Mom. They offer a service you can use to find senior housing for an elderly loved one. Joan Lunden is the personality in the ad and she says, “You can trust A Place for Mom to help.” The ad piqued my curiosity when she said the service is free. Somebody is certainly paying.

The small print at the bottom of the screen is quite enlightening. It states that the facilities listed by the service are paying, and further, A Place for Mom exercises “no independent judgment as to the quality of, nor do we recommend or endorse, any Participating Community.”

If they don’t recommend or endorse any of the places they list, what am I supposed to trust them to help with, exactly?

The small print on their website makes it clear that if you run into trouble with senior housing you find through their service, you’re on your own.

Read the small print, folks.

Disclaimer: I have no business or personal relationship with A Place for Mom or any of its employees. I have also never taken advantage of their service. I just feel their ad tries to foster a trust that the small print explicitly disclaims.

The APFM name, and any APFM products and services, slogans or logos referenced herein are either trademarks or registered trademarks of APFM in the United States and/or other countries.

Bell: Their people can’t stay away

Bell is all about the hard sell lately. Remember a few weeks back a nice young woman from Bell came to my door? Well, another just did the same thing. I’m not nearly so taken with the experience despite the caller having a Mila Kunis thing going on. The reason is that I posted a note on the door a few weeks ago, clearly stating that the occupants are not interested in any solicitors, religious or otherwise.

Yet, the young woman still rang the bell, and the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m really not that bad, I promise.” She needs a lesson in professional behaviour, clearly. That’s hardly a good opener when seeking to establish a business relationship. The next thing she said, was that she was from Bell, while brandishing a laminated card on a lanyard. I immediately said that I wasn’t interested and closed the door. Leave me alone, I’m trying to watch The Lost Boys!

I realize that I was a little to hasty. I should have asked why she would ring when I clearly made my feelings about it known. Does she really think that ignoring my stated wishes would convince me to be a customer? I’d love to hear her answer.

If Bell thinks they can outsource rude door-to-door sales and claim that it’s not their staff who are going this, they clearly have no regard for their customers.

Oh yea, what am I thinking? It’s Bell we’re talking about. We already know this. They repeatedly demonstrate their utter lack of regard for everyone, customer or not.

Internet suggestion number two…

Continuing my last entry, if I were to start a list of Internet suggestions, the second would be:

When someone tells you that what you want is wrong and they will not explain, stop listening to them. They’re not listening to you.

I offer this suggestion because I’ve read the comments on the list of Facebook tips Robert Scoble posted. I suggested in my earlier post that Facebook is a tool that one can use in many ways. My confusion with his list is that he didn’t make any effort to tell the reader what kind of Facebook usage the tips would help with. He seems unable to realize that different people use Facebook for different things. This is neatly encapsulated in this exchange:

So if all you want is to have a place where you and a few dozen friends keep up to date, your feed sucks and you will add 400 friends as you’ve been told, or your feed will continue to suck. Even though it fits your needs perfectly, exactly as it is.

Clearly, if you have other goals, you are hurting yourself and you’re nuts:

All of that would be more palatable is he would at least make his usage case clear. As I said in my earlier post, I asked what the tips are meant to achieve, and as I suggested, he did not reply to my query. Interestingly, someone else did:

It’s Vinny’s last sentence that really puts it all into place for me. He says, “I think he’s saying…” So Scoble is offering advice, and even those who agree enough to answer on his behalf must speculate about the purpose of the advice. This, folks, is a first class failure to communicate.

The free rent is over. Eviction time…

Question the ‘experts’

Critical thinking is a very important skill in general, and even more so on the Internet. ‘Experts’ are all around telling you what you should do. Many want your money, but others are also looking for something, even if it’s building their own notoriety.

I was reminded of this earlier when a friend said on Twitter that she was going to prune her Facebook friends because @Scobleizer told her to. I’m not entirely sure who he is but I’ve certainly heard of Robert Scoble around the Internet. I followed the link she posted by way of explanation.

I arrived at a facebook post, modestly titled “Facebook tips.” It includes 22 tips, but there’s no prologue to explain exactly what the tips are for. Yea, I get they’re for Facebook, but what does following his advice get me, exactly? This became more and more important as I read through it because, taken as a whole, they turn Facebook into serious work. For example,

17. Most content does not get to you. If you want to see more from specific people, visit their profiles at least once a week and engage on their content. Or, even better, put them in a list and visit that list. Lists show all. Your main feed only shows you the most popular stuff from them (and that’s not really true, Facebook’s algorithms look at a variety of things to figure out what to show you). In general you are only seeing one out of 10 of my posts, if that. So you gotta visit my profile more often to make sure you get it all.

Further, there’s a recurring theme about how you should make sure you are “not crappy at Facebook” and you should avoid people who are:

15. Make at least 400 friends. People with fewer than that number of friends almost always are crappy at Facebook.


19. Mostly post using Facebook’s native tools/apps/web site. Those who repost Twitter into here tend to be crappy at Facebook and engagement.

The thing is, Facebook is not so simple. It has many uses. There is no group of tips that make it better for everyone, no matter what. If you post such a list, you’re either forgetting to post how you use Facebook, or you stand to gain far more from people who take your advice than they will.

I posted a comment in reply. I want to know what these suggestions are supposed to achieve. Given tip 20, I’m sure to receive a response:

20. Engage in your own comments, as well as those of others. For people like me I look for signs you will engage and not just post. Plus, it helps you learn from others and encourages them to comment, which helps get your posts more reach too.

I’m willing to give Scoble the benefit of the doubt, but I admit that I’ll be surprised if he posts a thoughtful reply. I get the feeling he’s more interested in building a following than anything.

If I start my own list of Internet suggestions, the first will be,

If anyone offers you free and unbidden advice, ask what it will achieve and look at what they gain from it.

Actually, scratch that. If they don’t offer up what you get out of it, save yourself the time and just move on.

Weed Man thinks you’re stupid

The doorbell rang earlier this afternoon. Upon answering it, I greeted a young man with a tablet. He told me that he was with Weed Man and the company would be calling me soon to describe their lawn care services. He may have said more, but he was talking so quickly that it was an audible blur. What I did hear is that he wanted my phone number so they could call the right place.

I told him I was not interested and began to let the door close. He explained that if I wasn’t interested, he still needed my phone number so that when they called, I could simply ignore it and they’d remove my number from their calling list.

I don’t think so, pal. With the do-not-call list, they’re not supposed to call me at all, unless I give them permission, or have a business arrangement with them. As soon as I give them my number, I’m certain that they would claim I’ve given permission. Is trickery really the best way to start a business relationship, Weed Man?

Even ignoring the do-not-call list, they need my number so they can call the right place and when I don’t answer, they’ll delete my number? What?

It sounds like the Weed Man is overdoing a different kind of weed.

Logo copyright Weed Man Canada 2014

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