On Ghostwriting

Long time no see, friends.

I hope I haven’t driven off the tens of you who stumbled across this blog from time to time. Writing at BMA has been awesome, in the 3rd year and going strong.

Also, I’m teaching marketing now at Hough High School, and that has been rewarding.

In my classes I have been placing emphasis on writing. Of course I’m a little bias, writing everyday would have that effect. But I want the kids to understand that writing helps you build a process of organizing your thoughts in a manner which others can understand.

Keep that thought in mind.

Background: before I started teaching I was looking for other ways to bring in additional income. I found this site called Write Zillas, and it is a database of freelance writers. The site would take in orders and writers could bid on them.

Awesome, I thought. I joined.

Little did I realize, the orders were for college papers and essays. Even PH.D candidates were posting orders for their thesis papers.

Not awesome, I thought.

This ties in my former point: if these college students are not writing the papers and essays that are to showcase their grip on the subject matter, how can they progress in their thinking?

Ghostwriting can be good. Very good, especially in the business world.

In the academic world? Not so much.

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One of My New Favorite Poems

I don’t wear Levi’s, but their “Go Forth” campaign totally resonates with me.

People right now are hurting. And for things to get better, others got to pick up, and do something about it.

What really won me over was the poem they used in their first video, Pioneers! O Pioneers! by Walt Whitman. I’ve pasted it below. If that poem doesn’t tug at you, then you’re not paying attention. I’ve bolded my favorite parts.

Come my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within,
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental
blood intervein’d,
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O resistless restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress,
(bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang’d and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon’d mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

See my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions frowning there behind us urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

On and on the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly fill’d,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill’d.
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the pulses of the world,
Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement beat,
Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Life’s involv’d and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Lo, the darting bowling orb!
Lo, the brother orbs around, all the clustering suns and planets,
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait behind,
We to-day’s procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you daughters of the West!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have done your work,)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Not for delectations sweet,
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the studious,
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock’d and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged nodding
on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call–hark! how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army!–swift! spring to your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Something to think about.

DW

Societal Issues Communicators Should Think About in 2010

Communicators and our audiences have shifted focus over the past couple of years. Everybody is looking for the next breakthrough, the next big idea. I am not saying that there is something wrong with that, but there should be more to it. How will the next breakthrough or big idea help:

-Your business?

-Your audience?

-Your community?

-Your society?

If the breakthrough and/or new idea is worthwhile, then a good answer should be able to be applied to the above questions. Below though, are four themes that I believe communicators should focus on for our feeble society to stay at least near the top of industrialized nations.

1. Increased Incentive for the best and brightest in the Arts and Sciences

Yes, this is a business/economic lover encouraging the next best and brightest to focus on issues other than business, finance and the like. Why? Read this article that came out in November 2009. It highlights that the sectors that help our society (education, science, sociology, psychology, social work, etc) suffered a massive brain drain from the elite colleges and universities. There simply wasn’t enough incentive (salary, notoriety) for the top brains to attract them. There are too many of us business-minded people out there already (law of diminishing returns would also apply here- the more brain power going to business, the less reaped benefit for every next businessperson entering the field). My extreme scenarios:
-The first elementary school that offers a base salary of $1 million dollars.
-A school district governed like a corporation’s board of investors.
-Teachers actually invested in like stock; go to specific schools around the nation.

I like said, they are extreme. But something needs to be done. And communicators, let’s use our voice to help that happen.

2. More Attention on Small Businesses

The coined phrase “too big to fail” is probably the worst phrase we had to hear this decade (actually it’s a toss up between that, and anything that came out the mouth of Paris Hilton).

Quite frankly, these organizations got “too big to fail” due to our society’s reluctance to work with the little guys.

With millions of businesses out there, you’re telling me that less than 100 businesses crippled our economy?

Supporting small business increases the survival of our economy, cost of living, and overall quality of life. Go local, help the nation.

Few tips:

-Banking: If you decide to trust a bank again, use local and regional.

-B2B: The blame goes to small businesses too. We got to work together to stay relevant.

-Marketing: From my post, “Open letter to Charlotte…” statistics are there stating the dismal online performances- FREE performances actually- of small businesses. Contact those businesses that have dedicated to work with you. (Insert self-plug here).

3. Communicators: Can We Stop with the “Thought Leader” Nonsense?

Marketing, advertising, and public relations combined is the language of business; large and small. Of course we are going to have forums and conferences about “the state of marketing, advertising, public relations,yadda yadda”, but let’s get back to basics here. This industry was created because many businesspeople need assistance getting their message out. Period. Why not focus on the biggest segment of the U.S. Economy (psst, that’s small business)?

In any case, we, communicators, make the world go round. If business controls government (which it does), and marketing/communications is the language of business (which it is), it seems like we got some work to do.