Josh: The Podcast, Episode 23: Dan Lovell (Part 1 of 3)

Photo: Nightlite Mary via Facebook

Dan Lovell and I sat in a basement conference room and got deep on media and the presidential election. Then it gets very music nerd. Part 2 will come out Sept. 22, 2016 and Part 3 on Sept. 29. Enjoy!

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia
Some of Donald Trump's supporters are racist asshats
2-year-old boy fatally shoots himself in the chest
Nightlite Mary
The Formerlies
United Way of Central New York
Auburn Citizen
Jeff Cahill murder case
Cayuga land claim
Donald Trump's casino pays fine for chip purchase loan scheme
Brain Pickings
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Panic! At The Disco
Twenty One Pilots
The Ramones
Pro Tools
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Bonus material for patrons is about being the light and being the good.

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Lessons in working hard and reining it in from Bert Kreischer and Robert Kelly

Sometimes I listen to a podcast with the expectation that it's going to be really fun, and instead of laughing a lot, I find myself saying, oh no, now I need to listen to this again with pen and paper nearby.

Comedian Robert Kelly was on Bertcast — the podcast of comic and Travel Channel personality Bert Kreischer — and it really turned into something you need to hear.

Here are my takeaways from the episode:
• Help your friends out, but also hold them accountable
• Know the things you want and need to be your best — and demand them
• Learn how to cut off the fat
• Learn how to say no
• Don't say anything you can't take back (Kelly is sometimes on Comedy Central's "Roast Battle," a show on which the point is to make fun of other comics; the lesson here is some things are off-limits — know how you can tease people, but know what's too far)
• Spontaneity isn't always good
• Don't put in the work if the payoff isn't there
Hard work is hard
• We are in a period of excellence and variety
• Don't let emotion get the better of you
• What is your peak? Are you willing to keep going on the other side of it?
Sometimes it's worth the risk
• It's worth doing exactly what you want, but do it for you, and do it your way
• You don't know where it's going, but it's definitely not going anywhere if you don't do it to your expectations
• Not everybody is going to be a rock star
• Have measured expectations
• Be realistic about where you are
Try to be better
• Do what you do; you ever where it's going to get you
• Don't let expectations weigh you down
• In a saturated market, how do you stand out?
• You're worth what you're worth. If you get $X and someone's only offering $y, you can still love them honestly but say no
• Don't jump in a big pond just to be a small fish. Kelly's actual quote: "Why do I want to be the pepper in your chop suet? People want chop suet; they don't care what's in it."
• It's up to you if you stay or go – not the audience, not your mother, not anyone else
• Bring people with you


Josh: The Podcast, Episode 22: Chris Malone

Chris Malone and I sat down in a Central New York cafe and chatted about everything from the evolution of language to wine, whiskey, books and music. Enjoy!

Chris's blog, The Infinite Abyss(es)
Chris on Twitter
Chris on Instagram
Pewter Spoon Cafe
Syracuse Improv Collective
Social Media Breakfast
Syracuse New Times
George and Rebecca Barnes Foundation
Everson Museum
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Andrew Bird
Dropkick Murphys
Sister Sparrow
Umphrey's McGee
Lous Armstrong
Empire Brewing
Reaverbocker Brewing
Middle Ages Brewing
Eastwood Brewing
Founders Breakfast Stout
Great Lakes Blackout Stout
Frankie's Piccolo Bistro
Hermann J. Wiemer Wines
19 Crimes Wines
Bloomer Creek Wines
Glenmorangie Lasanta
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Bonus material for patrons is a little bit of perspective.

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What is context and why does it matter?


In 1871, Otto von Bismarck engineered the unification of Germany. When he was forced out of power in 1897, he said that things would probably start to collapse within 20 years, and that a European war would probably break out thanks to "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans."

In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria decided to go check out the provinces and hold a parade on a day of national significance to the colonized Serbs. He was assassinated, and World War I broke out, which led to World War II.

This is not to say von Bismarck was a miracle worker or could predict the future. He merely understood the context of the situation.

Learn something: Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, Blueprint for Armageddon Episode 1 »

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy pulled a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Territory (Hawaii was not yet a state). The attack marked America's entry into World War II.

It also marked the beginning of the end of the America First Committee, a large anti-war group that shut down on December 10 of that year.

This wasn't the tie-dyed hippie peace, love and understanding anti-war movement we all know from movies about Vietnam. And it wasn't the "hate the war, love the troops" anti-war groups we know from the more recent American wars.

This was a "we're white Protestant Americans, screw everybody else" group. They were hard-left isolationists. They wanted to make sure America didn't bail out Europe (you know, again, like after the first World War). They wanted America to turn away Jews fleeing the Holocaust. They wanted to shut the borders, cut off aid, and rely on homegrown everything — avoid all international trade as long as possible.

This was an organization claiming 850,000 paid members. 850,000 people who wore pins and carried signs and hung posters that said "America First."

So you'll forgive me if I can't get behind Republicans using "America First" this campaign cycle.

Significantly, we'll remember the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor a month after the presidential election.

If you think I'm being over-sensitive about this context, look back on how World War I got started: A government official went into a territory that wanted to be independent without being cognizant of the history of the date he picked.

Context is everything.

What is context?

It's content outside of of a vacuum.

Think of a rainbow. On a t-shirt. A purple t-shirt.

In the 1950s, nobody would have made that t-shirt. It didn't mean anything to anyone. Now, it'd be popular, especially with a particular segment of the population. Why? Context.

A Red Sox cap would have meant nothing to anyone in 1840. "Why is there a 'B' on your cap, sir?"

When Kelvin and I started our podcast, we started with the premise, "A black guy and a Jew walk into a bar."

We can use that premise not just because we are a black guy and a Jew who occasionally enjoy going to a bar when we're in the same town, we can use it because of some context.

First of all, "a [blank] and a [blank] walk into a bar" is a common setup for jokes, so it has some cultural meaning.

Secondly, we're not sensitive about our cultural identifications — our "othernesses."

If you were to randomly walk up to a black guy and a Jew and greet them as such — "HEY! It's a black guy and a Jew!" — you'd better hope they have good senses of humor.

That's context, and it's important.

The Selfie Stick would have sold horribly in the 1980s. Nobody was taking selfies.

Marketing? Maybe. Timing? Maybe. Cultural context? For sure.

While I'm not a proponent of "political correctness," I'm also not a proponent of hurting people intentionally to prove a point. But above all, I'm a proponent of understanding context. If you don't understand context, you don't get to criticize people for feeling how they feel.

For instance, you don't get to tell Dana Schwartz she's overreacting when someone calls her a "filthy oven-dodger" if you don't have the context of people trying to kill everybody like you.

You don't get to belittle the relationship between adoptive parents and children if you don't know firsthand what it's like to be part of a family that might be called "non-traditional."

You have no context. Get it? Good.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 21: Back in the 912. Plus: Beer

We're back at home (and work) after a wedding, baby-hugging tour and a whole bunch of new-to-me IPAs.

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Savannah Craft Beer Week
Josh on Untappd
Trillium Brewing
Wormtown Brewery
Middle Ages Brewing
Founders Brewing
Tree House Brewing
Firestone Walker
Mayflower Brewing
British Beer Company
Brew / Drink / Run
Coastal Empire Brewing
Service Brewing
Southbound Brewing
Moon River Brewing
Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium
Donald Trump in Mexico
Trump's immigration speech
Rock 'n' Roll Savannah
Robert Kelly on Bertcast

Bonus material for patrons is about remembering to wonder about how amazing we are as a species.

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About a book: momentum by Shama Hyder

Six years ago, when I reviewed her previous book The Zen of Social Media Marketing, I wrote about how smart Shama Hyder is. So, when her team asked if I'd review her new book, momentum, I said absolutely.

SH-Book-momentum_03momentum landed at my doorstep at a tumultuous time in my life, and I'm embarrassed to say I sat on it for a few months until I could find the focus.

I'm glad I found that focus, though. The book is absolutely worth a read if you're starting a business, in business, or need to rethink your social marketing strategy.

It's most important if you're not integrating your online and real-world marketing strategies.

Hyder details five principles: Agility, customer focus, integration, curation and cross-pollination. She also includes a bunch of tools and takeaways, and I'm not going to spoil those, or you won't need to read the book, which means you won't need to buy the book, which means she would have sent me a book to read for free and then I gave away the good stuff. Instead, I'll clue you in to my notes.

I will say, first, that the book is astoundingly simple to follow. Hyder includes real-world examples, and runs a narrative of a fictionalized sports drink company throughout the book, so you'll be able to see what the strategies she outlines look like in action, rather than having to figure out how the strategies apply to you.

I have two different note-taking strategies for books. One is to use a single notebook, which has the drawback that if I'm taking notes on multiple things concurrently, they get mixed. The other is to use Post-It Notes upside-down (so that the sticky bit is at the bottom), so that when the note is full I stick it to the last page I took a note on and the notes are right-side up. That has the drawback of a bunch of little pieces of paper, but more continuity.

I used the latter method for momentum. Here are some of the highlights from my notes. Bold items are my favorites.

• Targeting very specific individuals is now very easy.
• Marketing used to be an outward push; now it's an inward pull.
• It's easier than ever to analyze effectiveness and change strategy mid-campaign
• There's a ton of data now; use it to be agile. Track and adapt.
• "Agility in marketing leads directly to marketing momentum" (p. 20) — when the lights went out in the Super Bowl in 2013, Oreo took to Twitter for an unplanned campaign
Nothing is sacred
• Identify your goals, make them clear and understand who is in charge of them
Be specific about your targets
• Create overall strategies, then drill down to individual campaigns, and be willing to change those individual campaigns
• Be patient, track, change and automate
• All your online activities should be integrated
• People use social media to show themselves off, not to connect; that makes it easy to figure out how your target customers present themselves and you can then make that happen with your product
• Sometimes going viral is luck, but by making a campaign personal, you can get there predictably
• Use existing data to answer specific questions about your customers
• Create a customer persona with a detailed background — it will help you understand the customer better
• Survey, analyze, listen and test
Conversations are better than monologues
• Connect with influencers among your customer groups
• Your customers should have a consistent brand experience whether they find you on Instagram, Twitter, a radio ad or a billboard
Stop separating your digital and traditional marketing groups
• Find ways to integrate your digital and traditional marketing, such as posting radio and TV ads on YouTube and asking someone to like a Facebook page on your company's business cards
"Information is not a substitute for knowledge." (p. 99)
• Outside content is important — don't only push your own content.
• Partner with your partners — if a store that sells your product is having a sale on other items, promote that sale and maybe people will pick up your product, too.
Close the loop: Introduce your partners to each other
• Return on investment (ROI) is no longer about money coming in, it's about relationships being built

I hope you go pick up a copy of momentum, wherever you are in your business. Take the advice personally, and take it seriously. It's meant for everybody.

Disclosure: Book provided for the purpose of review.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 20: Goals


Hey, goals are important, and we're almost two-thirds of the way through the year. Plenty of time to set some new goals, but also a good time to check in on where you are with your aims for 2016.

Please note this event has moved to September 15 Ladies' Night and pin ceremony at Zerubbabel Lodge #15
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Yearlong running goal
Resolutions for the Rest of the Year

Bonus material for patrons is a little memory from childhood. I mention

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Happy birthday, Jenny


On the first of August, I sat down to work, and found my mouse was difficult to move. I should mention that's unusual. It's a laser mouse, I have a fairly smooth non-reflective mouse pad, and my wrist is in fine shape.

It turns out there was a sweet note from my wife, Jenny, who decided August was going to be "love notes for Josh" month.

Awesome, right? Definitely. She always is.

It's Jenny's birthday. So, happy birthday, my love.

If you're looking for something to get Jenny for her birthday, might I suggest liking her Facebook page and following her on Twitter?

Still one of my favorites, this song was the recessional at our wedding.

Josh: The Podcast, Episode 19: Time out


We're out on vacation for a little while, and we want to make sure you remember to take a break every now and then, too! Enjoy this story of a little misadventure adventure weekend.

Please note this event has moved to September 15 Ladies' Night and pin ceremony at Zerubbabel Lodge #15
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Feather Nest Inn (they seem to have cleaned up a bit!)

Bonus material for patrons is a reminder to get outside.

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The songs of our lives: A music meme


Mitch did this post about songs, and I thought, oh, hey, Mitch has a good idea once in a while, maybe we'll make that a meme and steal it. Sorry, Mitch. At least I credited you.

That's OK. We don't have much in the way of overlapping answers. But now I need to dig out my "Thriller" album. Thanks for that, Mitch.

Anyway, feel free to keep it going. What are the songs in your life?

1: A song you like with a color in the title

"Man in the Long Black Coat" by Joan Osborne (covering Bob Dylan)

2: A song you like with a number in the title

"Gimme 3 Steps" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

3: A song that reminds you of summertime

"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve

4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about

"Everything About You" by Ugly Kid Joe

5: A song that needs to be played LOUD

"Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Again)" by Sly and the Family Stone

6: A song that makes you want to dance

"El Sopon de Yuya" by Edesio

7: A song to drive to

"Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones

8: A song about drugs or alcohol

"Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop

9: A song that makes you happy

"What I Got" by Sublime

10: A song that makes you sad

"Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday

11: A song that you never get tired of

"Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen

12: A song from your preteen years

"Bonin' in the Boneyard" by Fishbone

13: One of your favorite 80ís songs

"Superman" by R.E.M.

14: A song that you would love played at your wedding

"Home" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (this was our recessional)

15: A song that is a cover by another artist

"Everybody Knows" by Concrete Blonde (original by Leonard Cohen)

16: One of your favorite classical songs

Mozart's 41st Symphony

17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke

"Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul and Wild Pair

18: A song from the year that you were born

"Play that Funky Music" by Wild Cherry

19: A song that makes you think about life

"Knowledge" by Operation Ivy

20: A song that has many meanings to you

"Goodnight, Irene" by Brie Sullivan, Andrea Coller and Zach Root (original by Leadbelly)

21: A favorite song with a personís name in the title

"Jolene" by Spring Heeled Jack

22: A song that moves you forward

"Sometimes" by Michael Franti & Spearhead

23: A song that you think everybody should listen to

"U.S. Blues" by The Harshed Mellows (original by The Grateful Dead)

24: A song by a band you wish were still together

"King of Spain" by Moxy Fruvous

25: A song by an artist no longer living

"Under Pressure" by Queen with David Bowie

26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

"When I Fall in Love" by Nat King Cole (too obvious?)

27: A song that breaks your heart

"Martha" by Tom Waits

28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love

"Take This Waltz" by Leonard Cohen

29: A song that you remember from your childhood

"Perhaps Love" by John Denver and Placido Domingo

30: A song that reminds you of yourself

"Comfort" by Emily Shore