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Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Why do we like to point out other people’s mistakes?

Chuck and Beans misspell something, Shoebox Blog

There’s a trend going around and it’s one that I’ve had the fortune and misfortune of being on both sides of the table. It’s the one that’s illustrated above and if you aren’t like those bunnies that did it intentionally, it can be embarrassing or infuriating when someone calls you out on it.

I’m talking about mistakes. Not the ones that you make quietly and no one but your inner critic notices, but BIG and little mistakes that everyone notices and brags loudly in a public forum.

And what really sucks about the state of the Internet is when we see things as small as a misspelled word or as large as an inappropriately timed tweet, we’re are so ready to jump out and publicly declare it to be a fail.

Mistake #1: Grammatical Errors

There are two sides to this story – the first is a grammatical mistake. Those are simple errors that anyone can make and can be solved with a simple, private email that points out the error in the same way as a good public servant would.

Editors are the biggest participants in calling out this kind of mistake. If they could live off of the errors they find in marketing collateral, they would.

An editor is motivated by one thing and that is saving and protecting the English language. Grammatical mistakes and misspellings are black and white. Those things have rules that should be kept and rules that should be broken. And if you see one happen, be a decent person and send an email or a private message to the person who made the error instead of calling them out publicly.

Mistake #2: Social Media Fails

But then there are the larger missteps that are usually labeled as “social media fails.” These are the tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts written by people who apparently don’t “get it” and the mistakes they make are at the expense of the brand they represent. The innocent fails like Red Cross getting slizzard or Discovery Channel’s long commute are usually powered by an overworked, multitasking social media manager who forgot which profile they were logged-in as.

@Discovery tweets: God, I love my job, but this 2:30 hr commute is the pitts :p

Then there are the epic fails that are usually the result of a team executing a strategy that is restricted by corporate policies that came before the brand started playing in social media. And as a result, the repercussions from those kinds of fails can be detrimental to the brand.

Why do we like to point out other people’s mistakes?

Mistakes in social media happen very publicly, painfully, and usually before anyone can get the resources they need to handle it “correctly” before the crisis spreads like wildfire. I’d say that social media fails spread faster than social media successes.

I understand why editors have the desire and need to point out grammatical errors, but what about the rest of the population who are quick to call something a fail and label it as a mistake? What motivates them?

So I ask, why are people so quick to point out when someone is wrong?

Photo Credit: Shoebox (comic)

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber

Sunday Serial: Facebook, Millennials, Failing, and Whining

sunday paper - business section

Hi, my name is Laura and I have not blogged in three four days. And last night I composed this blog while sitting next to my mom – who doesn’t read my blog and completely missed NaBloPoMo this year – on the couch at my sister’s house in New Jersey, and there’s a baby coo-ing, laughing, and desperately needs his awesome auntie to play with him. Today, Sunday, is my nephew’s first birthday. Last year I spent the last half of NaBloPoMo writing blog posts on my sister’s couch while we waited for my nephew to arrive, and it’s kind of surreal that now, a year later, we’re here and our family has this amazing, gorgeous baby boy in our life. Wow.

So before I get back to some much needed and awesome family time, here are some informative and fun stuff that’s been floating around the Internet this week.

Four Blog posts about Facebook Trends, Millennials, Failing, and Whining

Some Observations About 2011′s Most Shared Articles On Facebook by Tac Anderson on NewCommBiz

Read this because: You’re dying to know which celebrity or famous cat dominated conversations on Facebook this past year.

Spoiler Alert: It’s neither, but you’ll feel better about visiting this website every single day.

Understanding What It Means to Be a Millennial by Mike Krass

Read this because: You can’t get enough of the conversation about how the millennials are all hipsters who dream of entrepreneurship. Mike does a great job of taking the conversation one-step further and throwing the responsibility back on us – now that we want to be entrepreneurial, what steps are we doing to make that happen?

When Death Feels Like A Good Option by Ben Huh

Read this because: The best way to learn about success is through failure, and, as Ben Huh, the founder and CEO of Cheezburger Network, says, “Failure is an option, and a real risk. Failure and risk something entrepreneurs understand well, and learn to manage. However, death isn’t an option, it’s an inevitability. And before I die, I want to take as many swings at the fence as I can.”

Great advice for entrepreneurs, pre-entrepreneurs, and anyone.

Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining by Michael Arrington on Uncrunched

Read this because: We all like to whine and be that person at the party who stayed up until dawn working on a great project, hasn’t taken a vacation in three years, and is working too much – but all while doing something we’re passionate about, something that’s great. Whining is a ‘badge of honor’ in some circles and we need to get over ourselves and just stop.

Bonus: This reality check may make you shut up and become a better person.

And Two More for Fun

Clothes for your nerd boyfriend – Because you want the man in your life to look like the men who shaped modern hipsterism – like Jim Henson, Gene Kelly, the crew from Spinal Tap, Frasier Crane, Bob Marley, and Mathew Broderick.

The 25 Funniest Autocorrects OF DYAC’s First Year – In case you haven’t seen this already.

Just shared this with my parents. My dad said, “I’m so glad I don’t have an iPhone.” And my mom said, “That’s good. Will you send that to me?”

Consider these two things my gift to you.

Photo Credit: jencu

P.S. The cute kid reading the paper isn’t my nephew.