Goodbye Bosco, I miss you so much ...

This past Monday night by dog Bosco, my best friend, died in his sleep. He was three months away from his 7th birthday and was healthy and happy. His vet suspects an electrical anomaly in this brain or heart caused a fatal heart attack. His death has completely devastated me.

Those of you who know me, and Bosco, know the important role he played in my life. He literally saved my life 4 years ago and was with me at least 23 1/2 out of every 24 hours. He loved to play frisbee and ride the escalators at Macy's in Palo Alto. People would always stop me just so they could admire him. He went virtually everywhere with me. He was amazing in so many ways and I needed him at least as much as he needed me.

It's been three days and I'm only now even able to write about his passing. I know the intense pain that I feel right now will subside with time, but the memories of our time together are strong and vivid and will live with me for the rest of my life.

Goodbye Bosco, I love you and I miss you so much.

Klout's PR Wounds Are All Self-Inflicted: What They Should Do Right Now

As I've said previously, I understand and appreciate what Klout is trying to do. But assigning a single score to something as nuanced and contextual as "influence" is the 3rd rail of online identity. When you reduce a person to a number, and that number is wildly at odds with the collective community's assessment of that individual's true influence, there's going to be a vocal, public backlash. And almost beyond comprehension, Klout has been caught flat-footed and fumbled their response to each successive firestorm that has arisen.

With that in mind, I recently read what IMO was one of the most "interesting" pieces I've seen in support of Klout, but you decide for yourself >> "There Is No I In Klout". 

My comment to the author as it appears in their comment section:


You say “Klout can be gamed you say? So can Facebook, Twitter, Google.” The problem with that argument is that none of those sites exist to promote a single metric scoring system, let alone one that purports to be the standard of measurement for something as nuanced as influence.

For god’s sake, when the Twitter account of a fictitious snake has a higher Klout score that 98% of the humans Klout is tracking (!/bronxzooscobra), you can tell that something is seriously wrong.

Beyond that I can’t understand your contention that it’s good for individuals because its “priceless to marketers.” It should be the other way around, and I think that’s what Klout doesn’t yet understand: It should be good for marketers because it’s priceless to individuals.

In general, I believe attempting to measure "influence" per se is largely a fool's errand. What Klout should do is state clearly that what they're actually measuring is "a person's ability to attract attention and amplify message", because that's exactly what they're doing. It's not influence in any traditional sense of the word, and insisting that it is drives people crazy. Even worse for Klout, it gives people a reason to call the entire product/company in to question.

Klout, you can largely fix your PR problem with a single swing of the bat - just change your positioning statement to reflect what you're actually attempting to measure. People will better understand the product and will respect you for clarifying your objectives. It'll also show them you're truly commited to honestly addressing their concerns. But your current strategy of claiming transparency while providing nearly none only continues to undermine what otherwise is a laudable long-term goal: Helping organizations and individuals identify and engage high-target amplifiers.

What's Old Is New: The country needs & demands bold, persistent experimentation

The excerpt below from FDR from nearly 80 years ago is as relevant today as when he spoke the words in 1932. It also highlights the ineptitude of the majority of politicians occupying Congress today, a group whose primary objectives apparently are avoiding risk and blaming the opposite party for all that ails the country.

America need true leaders, leaders with the courage to explore new alternatives to both new and persistent problems. Unfortunately the U.S. Congress has been reduced to a collection of human geiger counters; short-term public opinion panderers determined not to make a mistake that might cost them the next election. We need better. We should demand better.


"The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer. We need the courage of the young.

Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!"

~ FDR / Oglethorpe University Commencement Address (in its entirety) / May 22, 1932