Rob’s World

Social Media Strategy— Remain Relevant

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”– Robert Frost (1874–1963) –American Poet


Why Bother

My brother and I recently had a conversation about a new venture I am starting.

“Why are you doing this, putting yourself at risk? You have everything you need, don’t blow it all, you are crazy,” he said. My response was to quote John F. Kennedy —“I choose to build… in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of my energies and skills, because that challenge is one that I am willing to accept, one I am not willing to postpone, and one I intend to do.”

My brother has retired to a life of painting and is gradually disengaging from the world.

Not me! Not now! Not ever!

So, Who Am I

I am an average, middle-aged male with a lovely wife and two highly successful children. I have a nice home, good friends and a love for travelling. I enjoy the outdoors, spend hours in the garden, and have a passion for building. I also sit on charitable foundation boards as a way of giving back to the community. Professionally, I have managed money for 30 years and do not take unusual risks with my client’s money. It would be easy for me to put everything on autopilot and sail into the sunset.

But…”life goes on” and if I don’t keep up, I will miss it.


Business, Pleasure or Both

What do any of the things I have said in this post have to do with learning to develop a social media strategy? It sounds so corporate. Why bother?

Well, the answer is simple—to stay relevant. Learning to develop a social media strategy for both my business and personal life is good. It is a way to stay current and engaged in society. The struggle to remain relevant is a life-long proposition, something we should all keep in mind.

 My Voice

What is my voice—what will I blog about? That remains to be seen. Curiosity, discovery and creativity are important principles to me. They will guide me as we progress through the course material and allow me to express my opinion.

Stay tuned, or I guess in this case, stay online.

Back to, is our future! Or is it Deja View?




Is social media doomed to repeat history?

George Santayana the Spanish author and philosopher is famous for his quote “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” So I ask you, will internet social media and its users learn from the past or be doomed to a cycle of regulation, ubiquity and extinction?  Yes, extinction. Harsh!

Straight Up

Unless we learn from the history of media, social media will suffer the same fate as other forms of mass media.  It will become the instrument of those who have the power to control the media.  The minority elite who mine big data to exert influence over everything we do, from what we buy, to what we think, to who we vote for.  We take social media for granted as part of everyday life, until ultimately it is discovered that an elite is controlling our lives and a revolt ensues.

Democratize Social Media 

But what if we could break the cycle.  Matthew P. McAllister writes in his book The Commercialization of American Culture  “a well-developed media system, informing and teaching its citizens, helps democracy move toward its ideal state.”  Use social media for good not evil.  Sounds simple, but unless this happens we cannot break the cycle of extinction.

 What should we do?

First let us define the function of social media.  I believe J. R. Finnegan Jr. and K. Viswanath have correctly identified three main functions. 

  1. the knowledge gap
  2. agenda setting
  3. cultivation of perception.

We must close the knowledge gap by ensuring that everyone should have access to the internet and media: encourage public discourse and balance in coverage, and ensure no single social class controls the delivery of social media messaging.

How do we do it?

So how do we avoid ground hog day and learn from history to have social media succeed in making the world a better place?  What do you think?


Twitter post

Is social media doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? What is your Deja View?


Facebook post

Is social media doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past?  What are you going to do about it. Are you the one who can save the world of social media? Hurry it might be to late.


Social Media a Freaken Fad

Andrew Cohen, are you kidding me!

Social media now becoming a freak show says venerable opinion columnist Andrew Cohen.  “Social media is the fad – and the freak show – of our time”.

What is he talking about?  There is no stoping the use of social media, it’s not another fad. Though far from perfect somebody try and stop me from using it.

Rueben the faddist

Who doesn’t like something new?  Just try and put a newborn baby down.  Try to hate that new car smell; that new pair of shoes; the confidence a new driver gives you on the tee. According to Andrew Cohen, if alive today, his friend Rueben would be the first to embrace the power of online selling; the internet as a “market place of ideas”; the convenience of knowledge at your finger tips.  Since when is natural curiosity and the desire to try something new and exciting a bad thing?  Reuben sounds like my kinda guy, a fun loving visionary with a sense of curiosity.   But not so fast……

How do I hate thee, let me count the ways

So lets have it Andrew.  Starting at the top; social media has become the instrument of hated of our time a vessel of vanity and a form of insecurity; a terrorist recruitment tool; it facilitates bullying; is the cause of increased anxiety: the leading publisher of fake news; the reason why students are lazy; and last but not least the new opioid. Wow what have we done!  Run for the hills, the sky is falling.

Hold on, before we pile on poor Andrew Cohen perhaps we should consider his point of view.

Luddite and reactionary 

He is right.  It is dangerous to challenge the norm.  Those who do not follow the status quo are often labeled luddite and reactionary.  But he does have a point about social media.  It is the current media for expressing ourselves to the world.  We use it to tell everyone who we are; our hopes and dreams; our likes and dislikes, and how we want to be thought of.    Unfortunately it hides no blemishes.  To deny that it has become many of the things Andrew hates about social media, is folly.

To err is human

Is Andrew Cohen really a luddite reactionary huddled on the edge of humanity? Of course not.  The faults of social media are not the faults of social media.  What? Anxiety, hatred, vanity and laziness existed before the invention of the internet or social media.  We all make mistakes.  Undesirable human social traits are not a fad.  So is social media really a faddish freak show?  Only to the extend that humanity is.


Twitter Post.

Help!  Social media made me a Freak! Somebody Stop Me. 

Facebook Post.

Andrew, say it ain’t so.  Social media is becoming a freak show   – only if humanity is.  Let the naysaying begin luddites








Privacy Trumps Freedom of Speech

Woman wins lawsuit over two-second video used without her OK  – Ottawa Citizen, 11/28/2017

The loss of privacy is my biggest fear when it comes to using social media.  It is why  I do not have a Facebook page or Instagram account.  My kids put Snapchat on my phone, I just don’t get it.  The obligatory LinkedIn account and Twitter to get quick news is the extent of my social media participation.  I am not one to bury my head in the sand and hope things go away.  Social media in it’s present form is hear to stay, so   here I am posting in a Social Media 101 class.

Big Deal

What is all the fuss?  An advertising firm created a commercial for a condominium project with a short clip of a lady jogging. The clip was less than 2 seconds in an 80 second commercial. Oh, and they didn’t ask her if they could use her image.  Big deal.

Well it is a big deal.  The right to privacy is not arbitrary.  No one gets to decide to use  your words, art or image without expressly asking for your permission.  You own them.  If I am walking along the street and suddenly have to go to the bathroom I don’t arbitrarily walk into someones house and take a…….. because there is a bathroom.  The owner of the house gets to decide if you can use the facility.  It is the right of ownership.  Your image is property and you have the right to protect it.

Consent, no means no

In this joggers case she purposely shielded her face to signal she did not wish to be photographed.  Was shielding her face enough to say no?  Maybe, maybe not but the fact that she expressly asked the condo company to remove her image seems to be a good indicator of her lack of consent.  The fact that the videographer continued to film and track her and the media company left the video online for a long period of time means they took liberties.  In the eyes of the media company it seemed ok to take what they infer are small liberties.  Where have we heard that argument before.  No means no.

Everybody does it

Woe is me.  The media companies argue that they will not be able to video in public areas and that it would be harmful to their industry.  Everyone with an iPhone does it so aren’t we all guilty of invasion of privacy?  So here is the dilemma, how do we protect a persons right to privacy and not lock everyone with an iPhone up for taking videos in front of a crowd? I don’t know the answer to that question.  I do know that when you are using an image ,without someones permission,  to make money you are violating their right to property and by extension their right to privacy.

A Small Victory

Small claims court decisions rarely change the world.  What this ruling might spark is an examination in social media of what are reasonable privacy rights and how to enforce them in the free and open platform that electronic social media has become.

Guess I will have to stop jogging until they figure it out.





Best Tomatoes Nobody Knows About – Social Media to the Rescue.

I don’t know about you but I love Heirloom Tomatoes.  Nothing beats a freshly ripened Heirloom topped with a drizzle of virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground pepper and a dab of sea salt.  Oh, and don’t forget a little chopped basil to spice it up. Sadly, finding an Heirloom tomato in Ottawa this time of year is difficult.  Finding an Heirloom that tastes good is even tougher.  What to do, what to do?

Hope is not lost

So you want to grow your own Heirloom tomatoes?  Why not?!  How else can you satisfy that craving for the fresh taste of summer, the shear ecstasy of a first bite, the lingering taste of salt and pepper, the smooth rich bath of olive oil and balsamic, without driving around the city for three hours in the desperate hope that some exotic grocery store will sell  something that looks an Heirloom but most likely is, well, crap.  Enough already, social media to the rescue.

Do it yourself


So how does someone with no gardening experience or desire to go back to school learn how to be an expert Heirloom tomato grower.  Hmm let me think….Ah ha!  Social Media.  Talk about a lifesaver.  All the information and support a tomato starved city dweller needs to become self sufficient can be found with a few simple key strokes.

The Holy Grail

Tap tap et voila… 10 Tips for Growing Heirloom Tomatoes  

Wait a minute, I don’t own a greenhouse but I do have a backyard.  Perhaps I can find 2 Easy Ways to grow Heirloom tomatoes 

Wow the summer went fast, the tomatoes are growing but oh, oh, some pest has discovered my plants.  I don’t know what it is, must be a way to find out about tomato pests and disease problems.

Can you believe my crop! What am I going to do with all of these extra tomatoes?.  Wait I know I can make a million dollars by selling my famous Heirloom tomatoes.


Off to the market

Now that I have decided to sell what I can’t eat it is time to find out how to make some money with my tomatoes

I wonder how much money I can make selling my tomatoes 

This is really turning into something.  Maybe I will quit my job and just grow Heirloom tomatoes so my kids can inherit a fortune.

Now there is an irony, my kids will inherit the family heirlooms…….


Twitter Post

Heirloom tomatoes and Social media, eat well get rich. #Besttomatoes

Facebook Post

How does a simple quest for a tasty Heirloom Tomato demonstrate the power of social media?  Learn how to grow and sell your own tomatoes and leave something for the children.  24F8A10600000578-0-image-m-44_1422015561813