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Before you post your next blog, facebook, instagram, article or user review…ask, what’s it for?

And if it’s not positive, informative or with the purpose to change someone or something for the better, it might be harmful. And in that case…best keep it to yourself or at least move it to a private channel.

Just because there’s a tool, doesn’t mean it should be used.

Drawing credit to Hugh Macleod, Gapingvoid

The Importance of Ecosystems

Taking a chapter out of Apple's fully integrated "system", the others (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) are now in a full throttle war to get you to buy-in to their ecosystem. It's a simple formula...how much of your on-line experience stays in one portal? In order to secure more of your attention (translates into sales), each of these organizations must build both physical and on-line systems to make you feel completely comfortable. It needs to appeal to your tastes and be really, really simple and intuitive...a la Apple. Google isn't adding YouTube movies to sell movies per se. It's another reason for you to stay at home on the Google ecosystem. Why go to Netflix?

Kindle Fire, Nook, iPad...designed to keep you in the system.

Not so long ago, the measuring stick was which site you had your browser home page set to. Now, it's which ecosystem do you spend most of your time in.

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

Not anymore. In fact, there never was. People have never been dumb. Most just weren't motivated to seek an alternative, especially about things that didn't originate in their own town. You knew if farmer John's milk was good...you could ask a neighbor. It was much harder to know if the Sears catalog was lying to you. The problem wasn't smarts. There just wasn't a reliable way to learn. Enter ubiquitous high-speed bandwidth...today's internet. It changed everything, especially the rules about keeping people in the dark.

Last week a company tried to sell me spark plugs and spark plug wires for more than five hundred dollars. The same products were available outside the shop for under a hundred. The jig wasn't hard to figure out. When I asked them about it, no problem..."just bring in your own parts". A sucker punch. Here's a national, well recognized brand, categorically ignoring all the new rules of customer care and marketing hoping to pull a fast one on people. What do they really hope to gain? Makes you wonder.

Most trickery is more subtle. An ad campaign that promises the best meal while the restaurant is consistently empty. A website that boasts fabulous customer service while overbooking practices drive people mad.

Try covering up your lousy restaurant.
Try hiding the fact that your hotel is dirty.
Try fooling people to pay more for an airline seat.
Try keeping people from talking with each other about your service.

You can't do it.

On the flip side, try hiding the passion and enthusiasm of your best people.
And, try keeping your secret sauce a secret.
Or, try keeping people from spreading your fabulous idea.

You can't do that either.

So, are you going to do average work, spending time to keep people in the dark, hoping to find a few suckers? Or, are you going to get busy doing things you want people to talk about.

Unfortunately, you have to decide.