Sunday, October 1, 2017

How to talk diplomatically at the coffee tables of Catalonia

It should be clear that this week's political, and unpolitical, discussions at workplace, home, and bus will be about Catalonia. But what if you are not studied history, or didn't even know that Spain might be an issue.

I have prepared a few easy getaways on how to participate in a friendly, and sometimes sarcastic, way to all the discussions concerning Catalonia for the following week until you can capture what is really happening.

Crowds gather to await the result of the Independence referendum at the Placa de Catalunya on October 1, 2017 in Barcelona
BBC/Getty Images

- Lenin called one-party systems centralised democracy. These days there are not so many who believe socialism should be instated with tanks, and concentration camps. I don't think people would vote for Lenin.

- Greece is the cradle of civilisation in many ways, and it is very close to Spain.

- It takes a certain way of thinking to shoot elderly people with rubber bullets. Then again in Israel it is kind of cool to drive over kids with tanks. I believe in Israel's right to existence by the way.

- Not all Nato Countries are Police States but all Nato countries have a police.

- Democracy should be used with wise and care. That is why we have politicians elected. I am not a politician by the way.

- Police brutality might be a good word to describe violence but I would still wait until we have a clear picture of what actually happened. Videos can be used for propaganda as we all know.

- European Union cannot police all their member states. Some problems are better left for people to decide upon. Remember what happened to Soviet Union?

- If there's not going to be a Rambo movie about it - it's probably not that bad.

With these 8 random one-liner(ishe)s you can nail the coffee table talks, and get enough to time to delve yourself into it.
(c) Dublimat Diplomacy Learning Center

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I got exposed to posing ex-amnesty bloggers exposing

Here the author writes an intro which leads to the main topic, and then makes two lists.

On default I keep Adblocker on, and remove it when using sites that I like to support. This also includes Facebook. I don't hate commercials, and I understand the business model of having ads. Of course ads sometimes make me furious the same way that a two hour movie that you want to give another chance for every 15 minutes thinking that even if it's bad I'll be one experience richer. Ads are usually shorter but they are everywhere.

About the Bush, said George and went back to Facebook. What I meant to say to myself: "get to the topic, lad!" 

I was Scrolling down Facebook today when I got exposed (pun intended - you'll find the pun soon) to a weird commercial. It was an ad for Amnesty Ireland Exposed (backward pun indeed) - a blog from "former supporters of Amnesty International Ireland who recognise that AI has truly lost its way, is no longer independent and that donating to Amnesty  Ireland is really bad value for money." Actually the name of the blog is Amnesty International Ireland Exposed and the domain is just shortened to Amnesty Ireland Exposed. From a Copywriter's perspective, I think that the shorter one is better. The target is obvious, and it really doesn't matter are you against Amnesty International, or the Irish Branch. Their tagline is the classical clickbait "10 reasons why donating to Amnesty Ireland is bad value for money."

The anonymous blog is doing two things right. It has a clear message (don't support Amnesty), and it uses credible sources (Irish Times, Independent, established newspapers so to speak). I am person who likes clear agendas and visible targets. These kinds of one-purpose movements are at their best when they have a focus. This definitely has one. Also, at these times when there is an information overload on the web, credible sourcing is required. Also, very good use of Facebook marketing dollars. It is very cheap to reach out to people using that platform. 

It is said that in (marketing) communications you should put the bad news first, and the good news at the end because the final perceived message is the one that is the tone that is left for the audience. If you noticed, I did the good news on the previous paragraph. Those who know how certain texts are produced are already seeing the clouds darkening the sky.

Let's see what are those 10 reasons. They are:
- Amnesty promotes international sex industry (Amnesty International Promotion of the global sex industry)
- Amnesty doesn't care about prisoners of conscience nor the people on death row (Amnesty International Ireland has lost its way)
- There are too many organisations and non-profit organisations are getting tax reliefs (Amnesty’s work is no longer unique – now it is only draining scarce resources)
- Amnesty international gives monetary support for Ireland's branch ( Amnesty International Ireland failure to properly fund international group)
- Amnesty pays their worker's salaries - mentioned again (Amnesty Chuggers – I am sorry but facts do matter!)
- Give shelter and clothing to refugees, and support Goal, Irish Red Cross, and Concern worldwide (If you want to help those in need, there are better orgnisations to donate to other than Amnesty Ireland)

Before going to commenting individually those 10 (or as I count 11) reasons, I should mention that I have been a member of Amnesty Finland, and I have been paid by them for one (1) month's work. In my comments I will bring out justified claims. 

To the aforementioned blog writers: If my arguments work for the blog site, please feel free to use them. I must warn though, if your reading skills would be better you will not use me as a reference.

Comments in numerical order:
1. Sex industry is a controversial topic. Feminists are divided by the question. From liberal feminist's perspective it is on other hand empowering profession, and at the same it's about the freedom of profession. On the opposite human trafficking, slavery, and the grey-area of is-it-or-is-it-not-free-will is brought into questioning for good reasons. Blog has picked it's side, and it does very good by sourcing academical studies. My competency isn't good enough to disregard those. My own opinion is leaning to liberal feminism but I don't want to disregard the slavery part. 
2. That is kind of bullshit. Amnesty's annual report is - in my humble opinion - one of the greatest source works of human rights violations. Just because you don't agree on the reproductive rights of ladies doesn't mean that Amnesty's work on those other topics are off the table. The reason why Amnesty Ireland might be actually more efficient on the reproductive rights -field than death row- and the prisoners of conscience is because the latter two are fairly lower in Ireland. Also 8th amendment is very high on the list. Check this.
3. I really don't see why Amnesty shouldn't pay their workers. I do agree on personal level that the director gets a nice paycheck. On a sidenote, if you would copypaste the figures and not the figures that somebody made up, you would actually find out that the director makes a hundred euros more a year than you claim. You might want to update it. :D
4. This was completely a mystery text. How I gathered this text was that there are a lot of non-profit organisations that can be supported, and they are getting tax reliefs. Would it be better that there would be less, or that non-profit organisations wouldn't get tax reliefs, or am I just reading you incorrectly?
5. Amnesty supports Amnesty's own branch. Well, you are right. I give you this. Still it doesn't really answer why people shouldn't support Amnesty Ireland. 
6. This again. The url is nice and very seo-friendly if you look for -> "chuggers-chuggers-and-more-chuggers". They do have a nice link to three story piece which explains that their fundraising is effective. What? Why do you link to stuff that prove that you are wrong and the chugging is effective. I don't even. It's Iona institute all over again. 
7. This one is actually very spot on. Amnesty is a lobbing organisation, global think tank, global research facility, and a global propaganda organisation aiming at the equal respect and human rights and stuff. It is nice that you were once supporters of these things. Also very nice of you to offer shelter and clothing to the refugees. Very good advice on how to be a good person. This site is not complete shite.
8. Continuation on the previous point. Refugee council is also an admirable cause. This site is now officially only 5/8 shite. If I don't have anything bad to say about the last two -- this site will be only half shite (5/10). Let's go genderless.
9. Fecking gobshites. You were on the roll. This is the official Alex Jones section. George Soros and other US corporations own Amnesty Ireland. You were even very good at linking to established news sites. Why didn't you find links for these? I have a hypothesis that even you felt bad if you link to Alex Jones or Breitbart, or any other of those sites. Well, the burden of proof is on me on my hypothesis, the burden of proof on claiming that George Soros or some other Us company owns Amnesty Ireland is on you. 
10. I don't even. I'll just give this site 7 out 10 shitefactor. Of all the Amnesty's awareness campaigns you took this one, and saw that it was a crime because there was only one tweet about it. 

Thank you for reading, and those anonymous gobshites, these were your 10 links of fame. Congratulations.

If I would like to be so ridiculous I would say that this blog has the same writers as the Life Institute or the Iona Institute. Take a look. Can you make a difference?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Marketing is too disruptive - Lean examples of beautifully capitalistic world

A short essay about the difference between selling and marketing. Also something about lean. Essay's style is opinionated science fiction with no sources. All the assumptions are taken on the face value. Originality of the post on Richter Scale 0. 

Phone sales is selling

There is a small (or huge) distinction between marketing and selling. To use an example; when you are watching a TV show on old fashioned channels (not Netflix, HBO, or any other subscription based digital channel) which are funded by commercials (or in some cases through taxes or donations), your show is filled with little gaps that where marketing people do their best to raise awareness. They also might offer a so called call-to-action. Which is the "go to the nearest shop and buy!", or "call this number immediately!" 
Nobody threatens you with a gun to buy those matafaking, awesome whatevers. Phone sales is a completely different area. There is a small part of marketing involved there. Specially when you are cold calling. Cold calling is an unsolicited contact. In those cases the seller has to explain who they are, why they are calling, and what they are selling, and to call the person answering the phone a potential buyer is a stretch on imagination. If they are unaware that you can buy for example socks or phones right now, the seller has to first raise awareness, and this has to be done very fast. 
I used to work for a company where we sold office equipment with brand names on them. Calling wasn't exactly cold calling as some of the customers where expecting calls every month, or a quarter, and some of them didn't. The customer list was based solely on previous interactions. The customers were not just potential customers, they were already customers. 
One of the key performance indicators that we used was a conversion rate. Conversion rate was the amount of calls made that turned into sales. These numbers were somewhere between 0-5 per cent. Generally 2.0 or higher was decent and 5 was above expectations. 
Now imagine what the conversion rate is with unsolicited calls.  First we should make a some kind of definition for an unsolicited call. For this purpose I would say that there are three conditions where as two of those conditions have to be met. Getting a hat trick here is just a plus for the definition, and disruptive as fuck for the "potential" customer.
1) Contact is not based on previous interactions with the contacting party.
2) Contact is based on a random number generator, or - even at best - on a random list of contacts (list of people living in area A, list of people who are working, etc.).
3) "Potential" customer has not filled in forms where they give permission to call them.
You probably have a clue already why I started putting the "potential" in quotation marks. Calling something potential with a less of an 1 per cent success rate is the same as calling a lottery ticket a potential winning ticket. And we probably know at least a one person who has won 5 euros with a 3 euro lottery ticket. Such potential, such wow.
Now to the point of effective sales. If you would be working in a lean phone sales company, or a company that sells stuff also using phone sales, your target should be having as big conversion rate as possible. Everything else is waste. If you are not calling the right person, at the right time, selling the right stuff, you are wasting your capacity, and your customer's time. Added bonus is an annoyed customer. If your sales men can give up the sales, but still feel good about raising awareness of the products in a manner that the "potential" customer finds helpful, although not currently in a state of doing business, you can mark that as a 2/3 waste.

Ads are marketing

I sometimes read statements that bluntly argue that a good marketing campaign is when people feel the urge to buy the stuff that the campaign is raising awareness of. I could not agree more. My zone of uncomfortable thoughts lies in measuring. 
If marketing would be looked as a product, the raising awareness/call-to-action -statements of an ad should not be measured in terms of sales. I'll use IKEA as a case study. There is no argument against IKEA doing pretty okay for a Swedish assemble-it-yourself-mofo-retailer (mental note: Lego is also a Scandinavian/Nordic brand - coincidence?). IKEA does a lot of marketing (tv-show Friends, anyone) and a little to no sales outside their shops. Compare this to the idea of somebody making you an unsolicited call to try to raise awareness, and sell you a bookshelf to be assembled at home ("with an incredibly low price!!!"). But it doesn't do that, although I would be interested in getting that call. I would love to hear that cold-calling opening pitch*.
Instead IKEA sees the ads as a product. They don't want to annoy people, so they buy ads where people are used to seeing Ads, and as a product placement. So even if they don't reach the right people at the right time offering the right stuff, they still don't waste other people's time. Except during that commercial break on Friends. 
But there is a new breed of marketing (I'm stretching a bit - 20 years is basically a grown-up) which tries to combine sales with marketing. Which is perfectly fine if you can market and sell the right stuff to the right person at the right time. 
When internet sites are getting accustomed to offering ads with new measures like pay-per-click, or pay-per-view there becomes an unintended incentive to make Ads disruptive. Ad-space buyers don't want to raise awareness, they want people to click, and to make people click they need to put the commercials just underneath the mouse cursor; Or open new windows; Or putting commercial ads inside texts - this is perfectly acceptable to me, and the least intrusive marketing scheme in my humble opinion -; Or having "I want your hourly newsletter"-boxes ticked by default.
To jump to my point: Ads should be measured by who they reach, and not how many they reach. I understand that I am asking a lot, but so did the politicians who wanted to fly people to the moon (I know it's cliche comparison). 

Ads are the product. Sales is the interaction.

"Imagine there's no waste, it isn't hard to do, nothing to disrupt, only right people at the right time doing right stuff." -John Lean

I've wanted to create this fictional character called John Lean who is loosely based on the factual character John Lennon. John Lean is a visionary, who doesn't think of how to get there, he imagines how the end products look alike.
John Lean has a global company called The Lean Beat which manufactures and sells customised music instruments. Lean Beat has a manufacturing department, an engineering department, a marketing department and a sales department. People working in all departments work rigorously together changing ideas. On the premises of selling and advertising, John Lean is mostly interested in how the two latter departments work.

Marketing department has a lot of people working on the creative parts, and inside their team works another team whose sole purpose is to find out if people find the products meaningful. Their product is the ad. They do rigorous search profiling their customers using a huge chunk of data, and a lot of analytical tools including Fermi problems, 8 wastes, Pareto charts, three M's (mudi, muri, and muda - not forgetting the media, message, and market), stream-value-mapping and 5 why's just to mention the few most obvious. They don't give a flying fundamental about how their ads align with sales. They only care if the ads align with their other products. In terms of input and output, they care if the marketing team receives meaningful information about the products, and that they can conceive those messages to people that actually want to use their time for the ads. 

Sales department is also big, but there are only a few people who actually sell. Most of the team actually works out to find people who want their stuff without disrupting their lives at all. One of the workers there is Jennifer. Jennifer's market area is the whole UK, and she works on the market area all by herself. She sells instruments by the phone and email. Her conversion rate is 99,996 (very Six Sigma, so much wow). How they manage this is by calling people who are seriously thinking of buying an instrument. Jennifer calls them exactly when expected, and quickly works out the customisation plans. 

Also because the marketing nor the sales department waste people's time, people don't find their marketing nor their sales efforts disruptive nor harassing. 

This is a childish text that nobody who wants to make short-term profits should care about. Also in a dog-eat-dog capitalism you can't play nice. Game theory might present a small glimpse of how the work should work: if every company on this planet would try to market to people that are interested in the ads, and to sell people who actually need stuff, companies would require a lot less capital in their sales and marketing. Everyone would profit. Less things would be produced, and it would be superawesome for the nature.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will lean as one"

* Opening pitch imagined: "Hi, this is Joe from Assemblers at home Ltd. How are you doing? Do you have a minute to talk about what a new bookshelf could do in your living room? I assume that you have a living room? Do you have a bookshelf there? Do you still have space there? What if I could say that you could assemble your own bookshelf at home up to your standards? It would cost 25 euros + handling fee of 10 euros. Building up the bookshelf will take on average 7 minutes. Do you want to hear the best part? If you measure the space that you can allocate for the bookshelf we will send you customised parts with an extra cost of 8 euros. How does that sound? (open-ended questions are always good for picking up information).

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Old script living

I must admit that I pressure myself to writing, and to be creative. This feels still weird. 

Oil spill stopped under 200 bars of pressure. Off he goes again. Just to celebrate saved ocean life. This time in Las Vegas. His part time nemesis Joker recognises the armour that my son is wearing.
He walks closer.
Even closer.
"Lex Luthor wants to buy you a drink," says Lex Luthor.
Uncomfortable as my son can sometimes be he whistles and the Iron Man's armour flies through the ceiling. With a spin of a hand - basically just finger - the whole armour gets attached into him. May I remind that this is the prototype of mark 42. In the movies they use cgi.
"Sorry, busy," my son says and flies to New York. It wasn't a disaster. It could have been. My son doesn't have disasters, he has cramps. Inherited. Sorry.
Anyways. Lots of thumb-thumbs, and of he goes. Did you know that Metropolis is trying to be New York. My son landed on the highest of the buildings. Andrew Webb was waiting for him in his mark 42 armour. Anything less would have made Webb's spider senses tingle. May I note that my son was also wearing similar kind of armour - just much more fabulous.
All trademark-satiriximus are intentional.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Plugging mouths

Oh a shooting star!
- Don't tell me your wish, or it will not come true.
- I already didn't!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
- I don't

Would you keep quiet?
- Won't you?

Name one thing that is worse than people talking behind your backs!
- Nobody talking behind your back?

This is the happiest day of my life!
- You see where it is leading?

What is your strongest move you can do professionally?
- Killing the next person who speaks.

I can't pay you but you will get great visibility
- So will you with my SEO-designated blog-missile

Eighties just called and they want your "funny" joke back!
- I can't hear the laughter track, bro
- They don't use laughter tracks in intelligent shows, Yolo!

Which one is cooler; Ice-Cube or Ice-T?
- Hahahahaa. Is this one of those Vanilla Ice jokes?
- Don't push it
- Why
- Because you can't touch this

A Rabbi, a Muslim, and an atheist goes into a bar and --
- Stop it. You are just trying to make an obvious joke about peace, prosperity and social ladders, and that everybody should mind their own fucking business because there is no joke. Except the peace. Which is a joke.
- As a Muslim if with you man, except I am also suicidal.
- As a Rabbi I only care about the glory.
- Wait. No.
- You should always see four quotes beforehand.
- Are
- Are?
- You?
- You
- Going?
- Going
- To
- What? a checkmate?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Welcome to Sinn Fein

I am not the only one who sees that the politics in crisis. In a countries where there is a freedom to vote, people abstain using that power that a lots of other people used gunpowder, ink and manpower to achieve.

There are not many good reasons to avoid the crisis. There are too many good things in life and too little trustworthy parties to just go for it. For me it was kind of easy. I've been a party member before, I know the crisis (for me it has been that parties should be judged by their goals and their doings). I've been and I still am a member of organized and less organized political movements. Sinn Fein is not the most leftist or a liberal party of Ireland, but it's hefty lot more credible than the labour party. It kind of reminds me of a party that I used to belong. It was Left Alliance back in Finland. It wasn't the most liberal and the most to the left, but it was the party whose other member wanted positions themselves there.

When I joined Sinn Fein I was actually surprised that somebody called me, just to check what kind of a member I wanted to be. I was happy with the idea that I just join the party and can support it with my subscription fee. I got surprised by that proactiviness I did enjoy it even though I could have lived without it.

We met with this Party Worker (I don't know if it's appropriate to say his name as this is a public blog), and his reason was only that because we work from the grassroot-level (my words, not his) that we want to know what people want to do in the party. People can be supporters, and it's a big thing; Joining a party is already a big step because you are aligning yourself with the ideas of a party.

To keep it short.
There might be some political stuff on this blog.
I wanted to write about Finnish government possible trying to make slavery official.
It is nice to write stuff.
I enjoy writing.

This is not a poem.