Movin Out

11 11 2008

Well the time is come to move on to bigger and better things.  I’ve built a new blog using iWeb.  I won’t be using this site anymore, so come with me to:

http://www.thefringes.org

See you there





A Question for You

17 05 2008

It’s 1:25 in the morning right now and I can’t sleep.  Not that I’ve tried much, but there’s a question that’s been in my all day, and it has to do with a quote I like, or liked… At this point I don’t know what to make of it. So I figure I’ll tell you about it and see what you think.

In my emails I’ve been using a signature, that reads:

Aaron Baer

Ohio University Student

**my cell number**

My point is this: The world would be better served if we could braid the

network of social media with the discipline of the traditional news gathering

organization. So far, there are no good examples of this occurring and the

world does not benefit from the chasm between an emerging institution and
the obstinance of a crumbling one. – Shel Israel

__

I’ve been using this tag since I read this post  by Shel Israel a few months ago.  To me, it basically says that we need to find a way to bring together old ways of communication with new ways.  I agree with this statement (as I read it) and I want to be a part of an organization/company that finds a way to bridge this “chasm”.  However, in the past week I have been told by two communications professionals on separate occaisons  that I should leave the tag out of my emails.    It has been removed now, but I am still left wondering why I should remove it.  So I pose the question to you, my friends.  What is the lesson that I need to learn?  Am I misinterpreting what he is saying?  Can the quote be easily misinterpreted?  Or is there something offensive about the idea of the “obstinance of a crumbling one”?

I’ve had some great feed back on a lot of my posts, but now more than any before I’d like to hear from you on what you think of this quote and why I should leave it out.  Appreciate it, good night.





Lessons Learned – Part I

25 02 2008

During my time at OU, I’ve actually picked a few things up here and there. In between those pesky classes and long nights studying, I’ve learned a few lessons that I think will stick with me long after I leave Athens. I’m going to try and list those out, as much for me as for anyone reading this.  But for the simple reason that there is no way I can fit, or remember everything that I’ve learned in one post, I’ll call this “Part I”

1 – People do what they want – A simple concept and almost obvious at first. My point here though is that in many cases, regardless of the commitment someone gives you, at the end of the day, they’ll find a reason not to be there if they don’t WANT to be there. This still seems somewhat vague, so I’ll elaborate.

In college, there will ALWAYS be more homework to do. Even after pulling an all-nighter, odds are there is more you can do if you want. Considering the main reason many people go to school is a classroom education, this normally takes priority. For many it becomes their scape goat out of all types of responsibilities though. It seems that if anyone wants out of a commitment, class is a conveniently available excuse. How I see it though, when they took on that position, they said they had the time to not only be able to handle that position’s jobs, but all of their other duties as well. Wusses.

2 – It’s my fault. Seth Godin really hit this on the head with this post. Read it. You’ll realize you didn’t do anything wrong, I did.

I’m going to stop here. I have a broomball game at Midnight I need to warm up for. Awesome.





“Air” heads

1 02 2008

Fall quarter has came and passed and, although I miss all of my good friends at the “Home of Homestyle,” I, along with my car, am thankful to be able to spend my time in Athens, Ohio and not on 33W to Columbus. The new quarter also means no “History of Rock and Roll” Class, which is again a sad statement, but does mean I can attend PRSSA meetings on Monday nights.

This latest meeting we had Jack Buchanan from B&A come and speak at our meeting. I was instantly reminded of why I pay $65 dollars a year to be in PRSSA. Jack brought some very interesting ideas to our meeting and one that really got me thinking.

We started talking about brands (as good little PR students do) and I asked a question about what to do if the actual product I’m bringing to the market isn’t that good. Jack replied “You need to figure out the value of the brand to the people who use it or will potentially use it.”

That sounds like a good answer and I nodded slightly to show that he had thrown me into deep marketing meditation, but it wasn’t until I was on my thinking chair at home that I realized what he was saying. The question isn’t “why do people want this product” it’s really “What does the product do for them?” These seem like the same basic questions at first, but their truly not.

I look at the new Macbook air that came out a few weeks ago and see the disconnect between the two questions.

Why do many people want it? Because it’s a Mac, and Mac has a great reputation for making great computers and delivering them to great customers, graciously. But what does it actually do for them? Other than being able to send it in their inner-office mail, I’d say, not too much. The fact of the matter is there is only one USB port on there and no cd-rom drive so once you throw in all the extra things you’ll need to get it to do what you want, you’ll need more of a suitcase to carry it, than an envelope.

Why does this happen? Well Jack answered that question for me too. When I asked him about the product that wasn’t that great, I would say:

“I probably wouldn’t use it.”

Jack finally replied “Who cares about you? Go to the Market!”

I realized the question isn’t “what would I do?” or “What are we able to do?” It’s “What is useful?” and “How will this make my life easier.

At times it seems like elementary thoughts, but the practice of them seems rare… at least to me.





Utility Fielder

7 12 2007

I played baseball for 8 years growing up. LOVE THE GAME. However, I fell victim to a dangerous disease through my 8 years of ball… Coach’s son-itis. This is the terrible disease that usually only strikes in little league and is when you manage to play the same position as the coaches son on a team. The symptoms of this illness are as followed:

Frustration

Fatigue (from running after the missed grown balls that go through daddy’s boy’s legs)

Confusion

**If symptoms last more than four games, consult assistant coach and learn how to play another position

I literally ended up playing all nine positions in my time. I even pitched a game until I was taken out for hitting 2 batters (I faced 4)

However the idea of being able to play anywhere was something I liked, and that theme followed me. I wanted to be able to do it all. In high school I was in band, drama, speech and debate as well as many other organizations that accepted members that wanted to run themselves ragged.

All this activity led up to a defining moment in my young life. A conversation I had with my advisor, Mr. Supancic. Now I’m not usually known for my good long-term memory, and I can’t tell you when he said this to me, but I remember the absolute emptiness I felt afterwards. This is how the conversation went… abbreviated:

Mr. S – “Aaron you are a jack-of-all-trades”

Aaron – (satisfied and somewhat smug look arises on face)

Mr. S – “But a master of none.”

I now know this is a tired old expression, but at the time, it could have come from Solomon himself. My secret was out. I really wasn’t good at anything, just loud enough at a lot of things so that people thought I must be talented, or smart or above average because, hey, they see me around a lot, I mean I had the most pictures in my senior year book for goodness sake!

But after putting years of thought into this though I have come to a different conclusion than I originally expected. At first I figured that I had to bare down and pick exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. But I’ve realized that’s not good enough. The true dagger in the statement isn’t simply the master-of-none. It’s the jack-of-all-trades part.

Simply put, I want to be the master of all trades. The guy who can operate successfully in any situation and doesn’t have to B.S. his way by, but gets by through his knowledge of how the world operates and to make it work for you.

I’m not there, I probably won’t ever BE there. But I’m closer, and I’m definitely not in little league anymore.





Right infront of our eyes

1 11 2007

It’s official… I’ve gone corporate. I woke up this morning in Columbus, drove to Athens for five hours of class (and a half our meeting with my banker… can anyone spare some change?) and now I find myself sitting in the on the eighth floor of the Marriott Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.  I’ve heard it was a bad thing to be working for “the man,” but when that man is Bob Evans, I feel alright about it…

On my flight it, I was discussing with Mike, (my supervisor) different ideas on how to utilize new media at Bob’s.  I’m  managing two blogs for us now, one for employees and another to let people know about new store opening (look out Marysville), but of course we’re always looking at new strategies.

I asked Mike what he knew about facebook, and he said he all he knows is basically what his high school/middle school daughters  do on it; check friends profiles, message, post pictures, things like that.

When I started thinking about that, I realized that many my age are still using it for that base level as well.  Now there is nothing wrong with that, don’t get me wrong, it’s essentially it’s purpose.  However, we have not crossed the boundary yet of expanding our social networking capabilities outside of stalking friends and not-so good friends.  We’re allegedly the one’s pushing the envelope to this brave new world, but in my collegiate experience, I really never came across such sites like twitter, technorati, del.icio.us or flickr.

Jeremy Pepper made mention of how Auburn is starting to teach classes on the subject.  I hope for Scripps sake we’ll catch on… quickly

In college, the world can seem small, especially in a town like Athens.  You throw facebook in the mix, and it seems we just need to look out the window to see our neighbors from across the country.  However the growing reality that I’m coming to is outside of the University bubble, the world is more vast than I could ever imagine, and that I need to use every thing possible to be heard.





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20 10 2007

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