Archive for the ‘podcasting’ Category

Confession Of A Fair Weather Fan



Postseason=The beginning of the Major League Baseball season for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I like baseball. I just don’t care about the MLB until post-season. The same is true for the NFL.  It wasn’t always this way.

I was raised in a small New England village with a great baseball field about 100 yards downhill from our back porch.  Between the ages of 5 and 13 , during the daylight hours when I wasn’t in school, doing homework or participating in organized sports at another venue, that’s where you’d probably find me with the other guys from our neighborhood playing baseball in Spring and Summer or touch football in the Fall.

Since I was a New Englander, I grew up a Red Sox fan. The Yankees represented the Evil Empire.  New England didn’t have an NFL team in those days and the Jets didn’t exist, so the New York Giants was my default team of choice.


In later years, I lived in Pittsburgh where I became a Pirates and Steelers fan.

But now I’ve lived more than half of my life as a resident of New York state and, although during some of those years I’ve been a half-hearted Yankees fan, I’m not emotionally committed to any of the New York teams. I may, at times, like certain MLB and NFL teams more than others but I’m not passionate about any of them.

I’m a fair weather fan.

Which is why baseball season starts for me this week. Now that “the wheat is separated from the chaff”, “the cream has risen to the top”, or whichever metaphor you choose to use to describe the process which has brought these contending teams to the playoffs, I’m about to get interested.

I was particularly looking forward to watching Terry Francona and his Indians battle the Red Sox. But, alas, it’s not to be.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to an October and early November of close games, late nights, emotional ups & downs, and watching some amazingly gifted athletes and managers perform under pressure.

I find watching them to be inspiring and educational….even if I’m just a lowly fair weather fan.  

                                                             Batter up !


Staying Relevant

Paul Greenberg, author of the customer relationship management book, CRM At The Speed of Light, cites a recent blog post about an observation from the IBM Institute of Business Value’s 2012 CEO Study which states, “ The view that technology is a driver of efficiency is outdated; CEO’s now see technology as an enabler of collaboration and relationships-those essential connections that fuel innovation and creativity.” Greenberg notes, “This leads CEO’s to see that the three most important areas for creating sustained economic value are (in order) human capital, customer relationships and products/ services innovation. We are seeing the beginnings of more distributed organizations to handle these transformations.”

So, what does this mean for us Alpha Boomers? We keep hearing that the business community has been reconsidering its attitude towards that part of the work force which is seasoned in our favor although the evidence remains slim. We certainly bring a lot of expertise to the table when it comes to establishing and maintaining positive relationships with customers. And, although Alpha Boomers may not be in the top quintile of Early Adopters when it comes to technology, we are certainly more open to embracing innovative new technologies that have been previous generations.

But, as a story in the New York Times noted this past weekend, the latest economic recession hurt we Boomers more than it did Millennials or members of Gen Y. A woman quoted in the article observed that employers are afraid to hire Baby Boomers because they’re concerned that they might have a negative impact on the company’s health insurance premiums and that it might not be worth investing in training Boomers due to the possibility that they’d leave the company in five years. Personally, I find the concern about leaving the company to be a bit disingenuous since a three years is considered long-term commitment nowadays.

However, in a recent editorial, the journalist Thomas Friedman observed that “everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value” better than the above-average software, automation, robotics, cheap labor and cheap genius that’s available to companies these days. It’s going to require individual initiative on each of our parts to develop 21st century skills which compliment new technology and, as Friedman notes, will require us to combine our PQ (passion quotient) and CQ (curiosity quotient) with our IQ (intelligence quotient) to find or invent jobs along with a commitment to consistent learning and re-learning.

So, it seems to me that a challenge to Alpha Boomers will be to make a psychological commitment to stay fit in body, mind and spirit and to do the math so that we’re able to create a cost/ benefit analysis for potential employers which honestly compares the cost of hiring us over a three year period to the cost of hiring a younger worker.

Your thoughts?

Seeing The Song

I love Billy Joel’s music and I respect him as an artist. But I have to disagree with him on his generalization that “Before MTV music said LISTEN to me, and after MTV it said LOOK at me.”

I’d argue that pre-MTV rock music artists like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and KISS were very much visual as well as music acts. Fashion and attitude have been part of Rock N’ Roll culture since its inception.

During MTV’s early years, our team of researchers surveyed MTV viewers in those markets where the channel was available in order to learn their reactions to the songs we played. We used a methodology common to radio where the respondent was asked to rate a song based on how familiar they were with it and their level of positive or negative reaction to it. Early on, we were trying to determine a way to factor the visual variable into the equation and we found that the MTV viewers we spoke to frequently responded “I’ve seen that song”. Consequently, we changed the language in our survey to ask “Have you seen this song?”.

During my four years as MTV’s Director of Video Music Programming, it was my observation that the video component might have created some initial interest in a song but, if the music didn’t strike that responsive chord with viewers which catapults a song into the level of viable hit, the video was going to provide the necessary momentum to save the song.

It’s always been about the music.

Image may attract attention but, in the end, it’s the relevance of the music and the emotional connection it makes with the listener that really matters.


RIP, The Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb

I was saddened to learn of the untimely death of yet another member of the music community, The Bee Gee’s Robin Gibb. Robin and Barry had been the two survivors of the four Gibb brothers. The youngest brother, Andy, died tragically at the age of 30. Robin’s twin, Maurice, passed away in 2003. Now, of those four talented brothers, only Barry remains.

My only personal encounter with the Bee Gees was in an elevator at 30 Rock. I was then working at WNBC Radio. The Bee Gees were the musical guests that week on Saturday Night Live in the wake of their huge success with the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. One afternoon, I was heading back down to the radio station on the second floor from the seventh floor commissary and, when I stepped into the elevator, found myself alone with the three Gibb brothers.

Fortunately, I was feeling more glib than shy at that particular moment so, as they looked at me and I at them, I smiled and asked: “Are you boys all behaving yourselves?”. They seemed to enjoy the engagement and we all laughed and bantered a bit during the brief five floor elevator ride. I immediately liked them all. Despite the fact that they were, at that point in their careers, huge and wealthy stars (and not yet the objects of derision by the tragically hip), they were unselfconscious and very likable.

For some reason, I felt the strongest connection with Robin. It might have been his eye contact or something that he said. Whatever it was, although I was favorably impressed with both Barry and Maurice, my reaction following that five floor 30 Rock elevator ride was that I liked Robin Gibb best.

Although I still enjoy hearing “Stayin’ Alive”, my favorite Bee Gees hits tend to be the early ballads. I’d never given much thought to who sang lead on their songs so it was a little surprising to learn that Robin Gibb had sung lead on some of my favs, “Gotta Get A Message To You”, “Massachusetts”, and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”.

I was impressed with this report aired on NPR’s “Morning Edition” following the announcement of Robin’s death:

R.I.P, Robin Gibb. Thank you for your music and the memories.

Education And Digital Natives

We Baby Boomers are “digital immigrants”. We’ve had to learn to adapt to computers, email, digital downloads, smartphones, texting, tablets, etc. The Millennials are “digital natives”. To them, the constant stream of rapidly changing media tools have always been a part of their lives. Here’s an interesting infographic about “digital natives” and learning courtesy of Elnora Lowe:

Via: Voxy Blog

Thanks to Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media for bringing this info to our attention.

My Work Philosophy

I believe in improving the customer experience (CX) and in “making lemonade out of lemons”. If that’s not your approach, I don’t really want you on my team.

Buzz4Boomers March 6, 2011

The March 7th edition of Time magazine features a cover story about pain management and discusses how the new medical concept that chronic pain is a disease of the central nervous system is impacting the approaches that science and medicine are taking to help provide relief.,8599,2057269,00.html

Time also discusses non-pharmaceutical approaches using alternative treatments to ease pain including acupuncture and massage therapies. While reading these articles, I started thinking about about my daughter’s current project for her U.S. History course in which she’s researching PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and how it’s been viewed and treated in the context of various combat situations: The Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea , Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also reminded me of a technique which I’d just learned about called “Tapping” which, in my admittedly primitive understanding, combines a mash-up of massage and acupuncture theories. “Tapping” is a term being used to describe EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) which was originally created by Gary Craig. This 19 minute video on the Stress Project site features vets from Vietnam and Iraq who suffer from PTSD and who have employed this therapy. I don’t doubt that you’ll be moved when you watch it.

EFT originator, Gary Craig retired in 2010 & transferred resources to the EFT Universe site. Craig warns about watered down or bastardized versions of EFT as “tapping” or “meridian tapping” therapies. You can see more details here.

The concept makes a certain amount of intuitive sense to me but I would need to explore it more fully. You can judge for yourself.

In the meantime, to quote Monty Python, “Now for something completely different”.

Digital media specialist and consultant, Shelly Palmer recommends that we fund PBS for just 3 more years and then cut them out of the budget. His argument centers around digital trends, not politics and whether or not you agree it’s an interesting read: