Why You Need to Learn From the 17th Century

Socrates (or Sokrat in his starring movie role) challenged the conventional wisdom of his time with what we now call the Socratic method. But asking questions and engaging his audience to answer them ultimately got him killed. The leaders of Athens were angry because Socrates seemingly forced the questioned to follow through to a logical…

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Why VICE Succeeded and The Gothamist Failed

It seems the digital world has caught up with the sweatshops my late grandmother toiled in on New York’s Lower East Side in the early part of the last century. The only difference being that the consequences are more immediate… though just as harsh. This week, DNAinfo and Gothamist closed their doors after a vote…

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Five Tips to Prevent Censorship

Eight people were murdered by a terrorist in New York City, who in a choreographed attack copied from online forums, used a truck to mow down pedestrians at a time and place chosen to maximize destruction. At the same time, in Washington, DC, the so-called Tech Giants were testifying before a committee of the United…

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Does Amazon have the keys to your house?

Alexa, write my Ramble. Lol…didn’t even get an answer, just the ‘kerplunk’ sound. But Alexa did turn on my lights, give me news headlines, and is now playing my favorite background music for writing. Plus, we use the Echo Show in the kitchen to watch cooking videos and our 2-year-old granddaughter, Goldy, calls up her…

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Russian Ads and Soap: Lessons for Marketers

Every time I read yet another story about how the Russians managed to “throw” the U.S. Presidential Election with a $100,000 advertising budget on Facebook, I honestly burn with jealousy. In fact, I’d bet many marketers feel the same. I can only imagine the discussion in meetings, conference calls, and in confrontations at conferences: ‘Why…

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What Do Vice and Hugh Hefner Have in Common? More Than You Think.

One by one, they disappear. High-profile lives and their many followers… suddenly gone. It could be the pilot for the latest mystery-infused TV series (in the all-screen, any platform or distribution sense). Perhaps it’s the plot of a star-studded summer movie blockbuster, or even a bestselling novel. Any guesses? And no, for a change, the…

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When the Dreamer is Your Customer

What isn’t Branded? We Brand market segments, demographic identifiers, and, of course, generations. It’s hard to find blank space anywhere, isn’t it? Needless to say, the very mention of a Brand name conjures up images and associations that enable us to visualize, to value, to aspire, and to imagine experientially. Or—in the case of Brands…

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The Most Powerful Tool in Crisis: Humanity

It was the photo of a colony of Fire Ants balled together into a protective unit, floating amidst the debris and devastation of flooded Houston, that caused me to wonder about the notion of “nature vs. nature” and “technology vs. nature.” You see, these Fire Ants began evolving in Brazil, where wet conditions forced them…

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