Category Archives: Uncategorized

Which Social Sites are Best for Which Marketing Outcomes? This is a great highlight article for PR & Communications, too!

This is more than just a Marketing article…
This infographic connects specific social media activity to a direct business result (based on 4 dimensions, incl. customer communication, brand exposure, etc.) Great visual to help your clients understand pros/cons of each platform and maximize the desired results!! Enjoy –

Which Social Sites are Best for Which Marketing Outcomes?



Cracked has emitted a gem idea in presenting retro-popcultural/cinematic analysis – in UFC FIGHTING FORM!!!

This is so inspiring!!!!!!  I think Cracked may have inadvertently inspired a new trend in pop-culture puzzles, the one to finally overtake the “6 FILMS to KEVIN  BACON” bar brain teaser!! Two different films, presented head-to-head (in the UFC cinematic style below), fighting to prove a hilarious series of cinematic similitude between them!!

So I challenge YOU, dear readers, to send me your best candidates and I’ll match them with their cinematic doppelganger!!


Classic Comedy Training on Phonetic Pronunciation!

Enjoy this comedy TV gem – Victor Borge and Dean Martin demonstrating the value of phonetic pronunciation in songs!

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You’re not fluent until you can read the signs!

I started my professional career as a corporate language trainer in Switzerland.  Although I had already achieved a considerable measure of fluency in French and German – two of the three major languages spoken in my beloved, surrogate homeland Confoederatio Helvetica , experiencing the language acquisition process from the perspective of my adult students gave me fascinating new insights into what really gives students a sense of ownership in the target language.

So what is it that really give them that elusive sense of ownership, that first heady taste of foreign language ROI? The moment when they complete their first freeform language transaction? They understand, are understood…and then they get the emotional payoff – to feel like a conqueror of undiscovered lands!

Well, there have been several evolving theories as to what constitutes this sense of target language ownership, heretofore referred to as language acquisition theories – and anyone who’s studied a foreign language knows that memorizing verb conjugations isn’t the way to make friends with your new foreign language!!  Although certainly a necessary component of language education, what really makes students fall in love with language is to bring the perspective down to the reality of everyday life – verbs, nouns, idiomatic phrases, and simple automatic responses. What are automatic answers to questions that their mother asks them daily? Or what’s the foreign translated title of their child’s favorite disney film? Over the holidays, I liked introducing my students to US Christmas traditions – the original Grinch cartoon (so memorably narrated by Boris Karloff), Christmas carols in English and working through recipes for traditional holiday foods like cookie cutter, frosted sugar cookies, etc.

Most importantly, I found that humor was a very seductive incentive; give them a comic book or joke that they can practice and then repeat to friends and colleagues offers exposure, not only to idiomatic phrases and timing, but to the critical component of the target language’s humor psychology. (And believe you me – humor psychology is NOT universal!!)

Which brings me to the point of today’s blog entry: getting to simple, everyday applications of the target language/culture’s psychology is a powerful and effective method of creating that sense of ownership – and it doesn’t even have to be verbal! In other words, getting a student to replicate  (not just write a book report) some small gesture – and know WHY they’re doing it – gives the student that elusive, sought-after feeling of ,”I’ve got this, I can do this!”

The website that I’ve cited here below does an unusually great job of presenting these psychology bits in a simple and extremely accessible way, as applied to the French language!  At the bottom of this French Culture & Communication page, the teachers give a few etiquette points and then move into some fun and accessible hand gestures. (Not THOSE kind of hand gestures, mind you!!) For example, the site teaches students how to count on their fingers as French people do (it’s not quite the same as in the US), how to make the French ‘ok’ sign, what hand signs should accompany the expression for “I promise to…”, and how to non-verbally tell someone, “It’s over!” (Which is especially appealing to high school students who can relate to that phrase to their relationship high-dramas…)

So, if you’re related to anyone studying a foreign language – be it a child, neighbor, spouse – look for websites like the French one cited above that can supplement the book lessons with some of these fun, reality-based applications of the target language….and then encourage them to go beyond reading about it. Get out and use it!!  Be your own part of globalization!!

The Two Deadly Sins of Book Loving

From an early age, I have been an active fan of the rich detective novel series, The Deadly Sins, of the late Lawrence Sanders.  But I never anticipated indulging in any of the deadly sins myself!!

That is, until I found Nancy Pearl’s website and book! Her expertise and knowledge have tempted me into BOTH book Envy and book Lust!

For your reading and recommendation pleasure: “The New York Times calls her “the talk of librarian circles.” Readers can’t get enough of her recommendations while bookstores and libraries offer standing room only whenever she visits. Since the release of the best-selling Book Lust in 2003 and the Librarian Action Figure modeled in her likeness, Nancy Pearl has become a rock star among readenrs and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.” (from her bio page)


Check out her website, Book Lust….just be ready to ask for forgiveness!

Her Morning Elegance

In a slight departure from my primary focus on language, communication, marketing and advertising I would like to share a music video with you…

In this case, the visual artistry and whimsical/dreamy music were exquisitely blended to culminate into a poignant statement that I felt compelled to share.

So, for your consideration, here is: Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie.

Bringing You Smiles for the Holiday…

I’ll admit to having a big soft spot for cute pet talent/humor, and so I wanted to share “Nora the Piano Cat” as a Happy Valentine’s Day wish to my readers! I should clarify that this falls under the classification of  “pet with unusual talent”, rather than the clichéed pet tricks; Nora now enjoys her own YouTube channel and online merchandise store. Enjoy the clip and this holiday weekend!

2009: Strange Days

The current global financial crisis is proving to be, as expected, a challenging time for many businesses — but from two different (and dangerous) directions: 1) cost-of-capital, credit issues (highly publicized) and 2) the negative repercussions on overall business activity if the US pursues the course of financial protectionism.

Most businesses are reacting to the crisis by tightening their budgets, the logical step in preparing for a lingering economic dry spell. According to Strange Marketing Agency (UK-based), however, digital marketing looks set to continue its rapid growth, as its many solutions and advantages become even more apparent when marketing budgets are subjected to even greater constraints.

In this post, then, I wanted to share this link to Strange’s online marketing trend predictions for 2009. I’ve been scouring and monitoring other 2009 trend predictors on the internet since late last year, but I think this is one of the best -and most actionable- list of trends and recommendations for the digital marketing industry. Read and enjoy!

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Comedy Nostalgia

A great friend once told me that being in your thirties was way better than your twenties, because you -simultaneously- come into self-awareness AND you start to really enjoy yourself!

Now that I’m in my thirties, I totally agree with that perspective and one thing I’ve really started enjoying is launching into various retrospectives – re-visiting music I liked in high school, finding my original Muppets Show lunchbox, sifting through my mother’s collection of Pat Boone 45s, re-watching original Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels shows.  I know I’m not alone in this enjoyment; VH1 has certainly turned more than one person into a Saturday afternoon couch potato with their “I love the 70s/80s/90s” retrospectives.

(Which leads to the separate question: Who, in presumably sound mind and body, would EVER decide that “Livin’ On a Prayer” was the #1 song of the 80s???? Did I really lose 2 hours just to watch that???)

So inasmuch as Bon Jovi seems to have remained “#1” (??!!!) in many Gen Xer minds, I’ve rediscovered several comedy skits that may not have received the nostalgic appreciation and value that they deserve and I’d like to share a few of them with you.  Please enjoy these SCTV gems: Taxi Driver starring Woody Allen, Dick Cavett and Bob Hope!

These links have been temporarily disabled on the host site and will be reactivated shortly!

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