Should you be reading this right now?

Don’t you have some real work to do?

Probably.  Instead you’re reading this blog, tweeting, texting, instagraming, viddying, Facebooking, pinning and so on.

In the age we live in, it’s important that we embrace a concept I’m calling “Digital Blinders” the gist of which is, shut down all outside stimulus for a set period of time in order to put all of your brain cycles to work on one problem.  Far too often, we work on important problems while being distracted stimulated by outside sources which doesn’t allow us to fully concentrate and devote all of our logic and creativity to a problem.

What do I do when I have a problem or situation where I need to really focus?  I literally remove all of the outside sources of distraction.  I shut down email, close all of my browser windows, put my phone in airplane mode, put on my headphones (no music) and focus completely on the task at hand – if possible – and I know far enough in advance, I work from home.

Do you do something similar to this?  Does it help you produce your best work? Any tips?


Why do the loudest complainers always get the best customer service?

Angry scottfmurphyI experienced some really kick ass customer service this past weekend at the North Michigan Avenue Apple store.  Why?  In this particular case it wasn’t because I complained loudest – although I’m sure that would have netted me the same result – it was because I knew someone that worked there and she gave me an inside tip.  While I was sitting there having my camera lens replaced on my iPhone, I started to think about why the great service I received wasn’t the norm.

Why do the loudest complainers always get the best customer service?

Why isn’t that level of customer service just the norm.  A perfect example is the notorious Comcast – their general customer service absolutely sucks, but if you scream bloody murder on Twitter, they tend to act a little more quickly.  I guess what I’m suggesting is wouldn’t we all be a lot more satisfied as consumers if every company went the extra mile BEFORE we get all fired up?

What are your thoughts on customer service?


I’m joining Zeno Group

I’m very excited to announce that I have accepted the position of Vice President of Social Media Marketing for Zeno Group.  I have worked with Zeno on a number of social media projects at Sears and I am very excited to be joining their team.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sears, however, I felt this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.

I will be working with some pretty amazing people and really can’t wait to get started!


Promotion is a reality people! Accept it or move to a shack in the mountains.

I recently read a tweet from someone I have a lot of respect for, granted it was a re-tweet from someone else.  The whole thing has been sticking in my mind for almost 2 weeks.  The message was:

“Folks on social media want to talk to customer service and product experts not Marketers.”

Blanket statements like this drive me absolutely nutso.  The fact is, promotion finds it’s way into almost every facet of our lives, it goes where we are.  There’s no denying it, there’s no controlling it.  The best you can do is accept it and try to make it into something that people might be interested in.

To say that people participating in social networks don’t want to be promoted to may be true, but that’s like saying marketers shouldn’t be on TV because people only watch TV for information and entertainment.  What is TV like without promotion?  Look at CSPAN – have you ever watched CSPAN?!?!?  I would use public television as an example, but even public television has elements of promotion.

I think everything has to be balanced, the company I work for does a very good job of balancing promotion with entertainment, expertise and customer service.  I think a lot of companies struggle to find that balance.

The best advice I can give: keep it personal and transparent.


My post on the 3six5

A KC-135 refueling a B-52I had the great opportunity to visit the 434th Air Refueling Wing yesterday.  I will be putting together a complete blog post after I move into my new apartment.  In the meantime, I took the opportunity to request a change in my posting date over at so that I could write about my trip.  Check out the post and let me know what you think!


Results of my Netbook Contest

lettersThe moment you’ve all been waiting for (almost), I’ve decided that I’m probably not going to receive any more letter for my netbook contest.  The results are definitely a surprise to me.

Over the course of the contest, I received more than 400 unique page views, I was retweeted more than 15 times, including by some contest specific accounts, the post was shared on Facebook a couple of times, it was even written about on other popular blogs.

I received 7 qualifying entries.

7 people took the time to sit down and write a quick letter about why they thought they deserved a more than $350 laptop.  I guess the reason I was so surprised by this response was because of the prize.  I’m not talking about a $50 gift card or something like that, we’re talking about a computer.

I’ve decided to forgo the voting process and just pick a winner myself.  I’m going to re-read all of the letters this week and select a winner no later than March 6th. The winner will be posted here – the only catch – I expect the winner to take a picture with their shiny new netbook when it arrives and email it to me.


Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Jumps Into Action with Tsunami Warnings

Hawaii_Wing_Cessna_in_preflight_75F3E19E3E86BToday at 0600 local Hawaii time, the Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol – the Civilian Auxiliary of the Air Force – launched 9 Cessna aircraft to initiate tsunami warnings for the islands of Hawaii.

This is a critical mission for the Hawaii wing, they are tasked with being ready to launch within 1 hour of being alerted and according to an article on the Civil Air Patrol media site, they were able to meet that goal.  Hawaii Wing Commander Col. Roger Caires said “I am proud of our members, they again met the standard of being ready to launch within one hour.”

Hawaii News Now posted this article with a really good video of Civil Air Patrol crews in action.

As more information comes in regarding the Civil Air Patrol response, I will keep you updated.


Air Force Haiti Airlift Relief Operations Coordination Happening at Charleston Air Force Base

IMG_0004The Air Force is providing key airlift capabilities in response to the disaster in Haiti, this is all being handled by Air Mobility Command and the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base.  One of the main hubs, operating these airlift mission is Charleston Air Force Base.  While the majority of the cargo is being picked up at other locations, they are tasking many of the flights in and out of Haiti right now.  This includes just about every type of airlift “tail” the Air Force has at it’s disposal.  I spent the day touring Charleston Air Force Base yesterday – they had C-130‘s, C-17‘s and C-5‘s parked on their flight line, along with civilian heavy airlift 747‘s. (more…)


Air Force Medical Services Providing Critical Support in Haiti

040307-F-2828D-129The Air Force Medical Service is engaged in support of the mission in Haiti and has been since the first 24 hours of operation. Col Mark Mavity, Chief of Medical Readiness for the Air Force Surgeon General, says that the currently, the Air Force Medical Service has between 40 and 50 personnel on the ground in supporting a large inter-service and inter-agency operation. Over the last 10 years, the AFMS has developed a fast, lean deployment strategy when it comes to disasters and other field medical situations. They have done this using their EMEDS systems. (more…)


Air Force Provides Global Hawk Imagery in Haiti

070719-F-5853M-013.JPGI had the opportunity to speak to Colonel Bradley G. Butz who is the Vice Commander of the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Wing, based at Langley Air Force Base, Va.  Col Butz briefed us on the use of the RQ-4 Global Hawk in support of the relief efforts in Haiti.  Yesterday, the Global Hawk launched from Beale Air Force Base in California and made its way to it operating area over Haiti.  Once there, it spent approximately 14 hours on station capturing around 700 images in total.  All images will be made unclassified and distributed to anyone who needs the, he has indicated that they will be made available on the “unclassified internet”.  At the end of its duty day yesterday, the Global Hawk returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, where it will remain until it has completed this mission.  Once it has been released, it will continue on to the middle east to support the ongoing conflicts there. (more…)

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