one vote by one vote

CNN is running an article titled “A millennial says: Stop trashing us!

The article begins with the usual but then arrives at the mind blowing statement “we are the ultimate underdogs”… barooo?…. underdogs? ….. why yes let’s get this pity party started…. ok…. here we go:

As a generation, millennials have been called coddled, under-qualified, whiny and, recently, “screwed.” Apparently, both our egos and our grade point averages are wildly inflated.
Thanks for your input, everyone. I’m listening. But there’s a time for taking constructive criticism, and there’s a time to take it personally.

What better time than now? It’s fight or flight at this point. Some cards are stacked against us (a rough job market and poor economy, for starters), and now we can add to that a serious PR problem.

We have never looked worse.

Because of all that, we’ve got a chip on our shoulders. We’re frustrated, angry, tired and scared “” the ultimate underdogs.

The “ultimate underdogs”? As one of you might text me, WTF? If the Millennials, a generation estimated to be between 70 million to sometimes upwards of 120 million in the United States alone, are “underdogs” then it is because you, as a generation, are CHOOSING TO DO SO.

With all due respect madams and monsieurs, WAKE THE HELL UP. You have power. You have a LOT of power. Almost twice as much power as my generation based on size alone. I’m speechless. Underdogs?

Just wow. But since the stereotype is that Millennials never listen to anyone, especially some jaded generation X-er like me, let me give you your words in your words:

A millennial’s plea: We must vote

We didn’t understand red states or blue states. We understood that these are the United States.

And as a generation, we millennials must be united in the fact that the collective power we possess will allow us to do great things for this country that we call our home. We must show this power en masse on Election Day, one vote by one vote.

I’ll quote that article again but first a brief visual to show how the country really voted. It isn’t high contrast state by state divisions. The votes within the states are more nuanced than people realize.

From these cartograms in the paper “Maps of the 2008 US presidential election results” by 2008 M. E. J. Newman you can see how the population really voted. What would that look like if the Millennials voted?

And now back to the CNN article:

Both campaigns have simplified their efforts to focus on 10 swing states. They will spend millions of dollars over the next few weeks targeting those states, as well as undecided voters. But some of us are not included in that game plan. Some of us were left off the roll call. You know what means?

That means, like Muhammad Ali said, we have the chance to shake up the world. Show them who is the greatest. Not just of this time, but of all time. Show up in numbers that no one can believe. Early votes. Absentee ballots. Election Day decisions. However you have to pull that lever, pull it. For this is our future.

So watcha gonna do y’all? Pity party or go vote? You’re not the underdogs. You’re the big dogs. You just haven’t quite realized it yet. I hope you do soon. You, our Millennial generation, really are the future of our country. Country, not political party, not color coded maps, but the future of the United States of America. We need you. (source)

Texans can find their voting locations here. Google yours if you are out of state. It is also interesting to note that Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin all voted Democratic in 2008 while the state overwhelmingly voted Republican. Maybe our votes don’t count?

Trip Advisor Trips Out and Rejects High Quality Photos

This cracks me up. I upload a professional quality photo of a restaurant to Trip Advisor as a favor to the restaurant. Basically my way of saying thank you as I’m not the type to spend time writing reviews. And I know people love visuals. A few of my photos got approved for a restaurant Rachel and I enjoyed in San Francisco. Trip Advisor has them live on this page and they are the only photos of the restaurant. Given we got great service and had fun watching the Giants game that night, it seemed like a nice way to say thank you.

I go on vacation and figured hey, why not upload a few more for that restaurant and a few other places we went. Good karma. Make people happy. Etc. I forget even which ones I uploaded but then I get this:

Thank you for taking the time to contribute to TripAdvisor. Our photo editors have opted not to post some of your photos because they do not meet one of our photo submission guidelines, listed below:

*File properties
No single photo file may exceed 5MB in size. All photos submitted to the site must be in .gif, .jpg, .bmp, or .png format. Any file not meeting these requirements will be rejected upon submission
In general, landscape layout (more wide than tall) will look better than portrait layout (more tall than wide). All photos will be scaled to fit the standard display boxes on our site. Photos should not be altered in any way that distorts the scene being depicted. We will not post photos that are blurry, dark or otherwise difficult to view. Sideways photos will not be published.

You can also view these photo guidelines on our site:

We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will continue to post photos that do meet our guidelines.

Yes seriously. Welcome back to 2005.

At first I am curious which photos were rejected. So I go to my profile at:

It has a link that says “My photos (3)” so I dutifully click it. Then I get this message:

My Recent Photos
You haven’t contributed any photos yet… but we hope you will!

Trip Advisor is now using 3 of my photos, with my permission, and the nav acknowledges it. Some other photo was rejected for being too high quality (shhhhh, don’t tell them servers can resize images) but now I also realize that they aren’t even giving me credit for the photos I DID upload.

So remember that, only crappy photos folks. Or YOU go out of your way to reduce your images to upload for some restaurant or bar that… um…. you don’t work for to a web site that you don’t work for.

Nah. I’m not a tourism bureau and I don’t work for any of these places. I was doing Trip Advisor a favor and whatever restaurant that was a favor (the email doesn’t specify which photo got rejected) and instead I get a rejection email as if I have done something wrong giving them my CC licensed high resolution photos.

Sorry Trip Advisor, it’s just not worth my time to hunt down whichever photos I uploaded if it isn’t worth your time to ask your programmer to JUST RESIZE IT. Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter (even MySpace!) have somehow figured out the magic of resizing photos. If I give you a free CC licensed professional quality photo then send me a thank you note, not a rejection letter like I’m some n00b. Really? I mean REALLY? If I wanted to be treated like that I’d buy a cat.

I guess the lesson is the Internet evolves. Evolve with it. Maybe a second leson is don’t have one of your first interactions with me, a first time user of your site in “gonna try your site because my wife likes it” and greet me with a negative email telling me that my photos aren’t good enough for you, no link, no data, and apparently batch rejection.

I apologize. Please excuse me for the error of my ways. What I won’t do is create special “lower quality export settings especially for older sites” even though the site is actively asking me for photos. Sheesh.


Now to flip it around, to be fair, I should sign up for Tendenci as an anonymous person and see how our team does on delivering customer service. It’s easy to find fault, and really Trip Advisor lobbed that one up to me as a photographer. But how does my company treat people in tone and voice when they exceed a system limitation that I might have forgotten about? I’m curious. We might suck even more. Something I will find out given my spare time not uploading photos to other sites during my travels…..

micro blogs – telling a story on a dime

I have the privilege, although lately I’ve had my head in the code more than the pr and marketing side of the business, of speaking to communications groups on the power of social media. You can thank my PR team for that really, although the content and delivery have to meet professional levels or they wouldn’t ask me back. But I have help with that too. The myth of the solopreneur is just that – a myth.

This year’s public speaking in particular has been strange but amazing having been invited to the IABC International Conference and now speaking at the PRSA International Conference in San Francisco. Part of me knows I have content great relevant qnd can deliver it and save professionals hundreds of hours of time if they attend. Just seeing the data from 500 clients go by like the matrix you pick up on trends others don’t see. I have that privilege thanks to the work of my team. Yet it is still surreal.

Yet you should come. The PRSA International conference is Saturday through Tuesday in San Francisco. And my session is on Tuesday. Specifically I am speaking on Micro Blogs. The official description is:

Micro Blogs: How to Tell a Story on a Dime
Discover the next trend in micro blogging.
Learn the best ways to tell your story on micro blogs.
Learn the ins and outs of the hottest micro blogging platforms and discuss their brand storytelling potential.

There is an irony that the talk description doesn’t include a photo given all of relevant microblogs IMHO are visual focused. Yes there is twitter, but even the stats on twitter show that tweets with linked photos are much more popular. And I have to admit I am more likely to post to Instagram than twitter these days. You can’t describe a Lady Gaga Votive Candle and the correlation to DjangoDocs as easily as you can show it.

If you are going to be at the PRSA International Conference in San Francisco this weekend through Tuesday, please stop by by session. And I’ll be attending (not speaking as I’ll be exhausted, just attending) the San Francisco Netsquared Meeetup on Net Neutrality on Tuesday evening October 16th. Mainly so I can heckle @thisisnotapril cause I miss her.

a formidable code of honor, and was militarily and tactically superior to a number of Chinese and European naval commanders“Ching Shih assembled and ran one of the most formidable pirate armadas the world has ever seen. Her forces wreaked havoc not only among the merchant shipping population, but were also incredibly successful at going toe-to-toe with the Chinese Navy in large-scale sea battles. She was tough, well-respected, had a formidable code of honor, and was militarily and tactically superior to a number of Chinese and European naval commanders. And best of all, she was able to get away with everything, keep all of her loot and avoid suffering the indignity of a death by hanging.” – (via @AnonChingShih)