Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Peaceful Day with Little Duck

Little duck in the water

Swimming in the lake

Watching life go on.

Looking for her mother

Seeking out her father

In the morning sun.

Quiet fills the air

No sense of despair

Just enjoying peace.

Swimming towards the beach

There’s her mother

There’s her father.

Life is grand

Waddling in the sand.

Labels: A Peaceful Day with Little Duck

An Overview of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company: Rolling the Industrial Revolution

While Goodyear rubber may not have been the decisive factor in the industrial revolution, its revolutionary manufacturing process for rubber tires served as the foundation for distributing the ever increasing product of the emerging industrial market and carried this nation through two world wars, to its eventual standing as a world super power. From its humble beginning as a manufacturer of tires, the Goodyear Tire Company has expanded to a multi billion dollar corporation with many diverse products. Founded in 1898, it has integrated itself into the modern world.

“The founding of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898 seems especially remarkable, for the beginning was anything but auspicious. The 38-year-old founder, Frank Seiberling, purchased the company’s first plant with a $3,500 down payment – using money he borrowed from a brother-in-law. The rubber and cotton that were the lifeblood of the industry had to be transported from halfway around the world, to a landlocked town that had only limited rail transportation. Even the man the company’s name memorialized, Charles Goodyear, had died penniless 30 years earlier despite his discovery of vulcanization after a long and courageous search.

Yet the timing couldn’t have been better. The bicycle craze of the 1890s was booming. The horseless carriage, some ventured to call it the automobile, was a wide-open challenge. Even the depression of 1893 was beginning to fade. So on August 29, 1898, Goodyear was incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000. (Goodyear)

David Hill, who purchased $30,000 of stock, became the first president. But it was the dynamic and visionary founder, hard-driving Frank Seiberling, who chose the name and determined the distinctive winged-foot trademark that remains an integral part of the Goodyear signature, a symbolic link with the company’s historic past.” (Goodyear)

Goodyear’s Tires easily falls within the family of products classification. On their Website, when I click on the Market’s they cover I see Tires, an Automotive Aftermarket with such products as belts, hose, tensioners, and air springs, Industrial Products such as Airsprings, Hose, Hydrolic, Conveyor Belts, Power Transmission, molded Transportation and finally, Rubber. According to Goodyear’s Website “Goodyear is one of the world’s leading tire companies together with its U.S. and international subsidiaries and joint ventures”. But according to Wikipedia, “The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is the third largest tire and rubber company in the world after Bridgestone and Michelin. And further, according to CNN Money, “Goodyear is -one- of the world’s largest tire companies. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 100 facilities in 29 countries around the world”.

Goodyear’s website is pretty much easy to navigate. Its design is easily handled by both Internet Explorer and Firebox type Browsers and its lean (i.e. not too flashy but bright and simple). It gives me the sense that the company and by extension, its product line, is robust, simple and reliable while at the same time, keeps rolling with its product line. I had the option to select a menu based on where I located (the US in this case) but for comparison purposes, I also selected to explore the European Section, Germany and the United Kingdom in specific. Here I found details about their line of European products and services, was easily able to navigate the relevant menu’s again and at the end, found myself spending hours reading about the company’s History; I then used Google to supplement, to see if there was any negative aspects to what appears to be a company with a solid product line.

All things being equal, I reasoned that there had to be some bad I could find on the company and while I am sure if I would have more time I could unearth some more negativity, all I could find at this juncture was a Grinch survey (and some news articles):” Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is the Grinch of the Year 2006, say voters in the sixth annual Jobs with Justice (JWJ) contest to name the nation’s worst corporate malfeasor. (

From a social responsible standpoint, Goodyear’s Blimp supports Disaster Relief and thus tries to appear a bit involved. “The Goodyear blimps routinely display messages encouraging donations to support the victims of Natural Disasters. The blimps’ electronic sign often provides telephone numbers or website addresses for the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and other relevant organizations active in disaster relief efforts.” (Goodyear)

I have looked upon the sky and have seen had a ‘close encounter” with Goodyear’s blimp (GoodyearBlimp). I have driven cars sporting the Goodyear tire as they crept off the lot. Every time the subject of tires would roll across my life, with the expectation of Firestone, it is the first tire company I think off. I attribute this to the blimp, the tires already installed on some new cars and of course, years of television advertising, coupled with the disaster Firestone was in the news for. ~ DrAT

Labels: An Overview of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company: Rolling the Industrial Revolution

American Idol's Forgotten Stars (and the Albums They Released)

As is expected, a big stir always follows the Top 5-6 contestants on American Idol. But there are some pretty good things about being one of those voted off relatively early in the competition; the rest of the world has had a chance to see what you can do. Record companies, producers, and everyone else from the entertainment world sits on the sidelines, like professional sport recruiters-waiting for their chance to pounce on those who have been booted off. As such, there are literally tons of American Idol participants-the “Forgotten Ones”-who have gone on to release albums. Many of these albums you have never heard of. Many listeners express remorse that these projects have remained so obscure over the years. Clearly, Hollywood’s Big Guns are aiming for the names that will make CDs (or MP3s) fly off of shelves. But if you’re one of those who likes to stray off the beaten path, here are some selections that you probably have missed.

American Idol Contestant: John Stevens (Season 3)
Album: Red (2005), Maverick Records
Album Highlight: “This Love”

Along with powerhouse singer Jennifer Hudson, Season 3 brought us John Stevens, the red-haired teen with a voice that revisited the Rat Pack’s finer days. Listen to his album, and you really will think that you’re listening to a much older singer. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Clearly, this young man embodies the kind of vocal maturity that has been lost on many in his generation. One highlight of the song is “This Love” a subdued, yet dreamy cover of Maroon 5’s original on the Songs about Jane album.

American Idol Contestant: Sanjaya Malakar (Season 6)
Album: Dancing to the Music in my Head- EP (2009), The Label Record Co. NY
Album Highlight: ” Rainy Days”

Sanjaya Malakar is perhaps the contestant that many viewers were happy to forget. But even though he was the butt of many American Idol jokes, it was clear that many celebrated his voice. He’s enjoyed a punctuated stint in reality TV world. But most are unaware that he released an EP in 2009. The disc contains some of the fluffy production that you might expect. “A Guy Like Me” begins with Sanjaya’s syrupy vocals and some sensitive urban production-but then takes an abrupt turn with a rock-tinged edge that is more intrusive than “shocking.” The same occurs on “Quintessential Lullaby” a song that might have been dreamy and exotic, if not jammed with more forced guitar work. “Rainy Days” just might be Sanjaya’s most coherent song on the EP. With more focused production, the young singer might have garnered a more respectful audience.

American Idol Contestant: Jasmine Trias (Season 3)
Album: Jasmine Trias (2005), Universal Records
Album Highlight: “All I Need”

American Idol’s first Filipino finalist charmed millions with her voice, in Season 3. But after her dismissal from the show, she landed in the Never-Never Land of the music industry. Her self-titled album released in 2005, was packed with different producers-which is quite evident upon listening to the project. As a result, her sound travels from Britney-esque pop to re-fashioned torch songs, to MTV Party-to-Go club anthems. Jasmine Trias can definitely sing. Her voice actually rivals some of today’s renowned pop tarts. But without production that supports her vocal strengths, the project falls on deaf ears. An interesting highlight is her cover of Mary J. Blige/ Method Man track “All I Need”–not as raw as the original hip-hop song, but an interesting attempt, nonetheless.

American Idol Contestant: George Huff (Season 3)
Album: George Huff (2009), (self-released)
Album Highlight: “Free”

George Huff was one of the most likable American Idol contestants. Never without a smile, it seemed impossible to put a damper of Huff’s parade. His mature singing style was likened to Luther Vandross, amongst other notable R&B singers. And his self-titled Christian album is no different on George Huff; he provides audiences with what he does best. The album is filled with the kind of bright production that you’ll find on many top-notch gospel albums. George showcases great vocal control-a delight for those who enjoy Christian music.

American Idol Contestant: Nikki McKibbin (Season 1)
Album: Unleashed (2007), Maverick Records
Album Highlight: “Cry Little Sister”

Harkening back to American Idol’s first season is Nikki McKibbin, a magenta-haired contestant who garnered her own edgy following. She went on to release Unleashed in 2007, an album that is obviously true to her roots. Her voice remains steady and clear on all the tracks. But one could say that the work’s overall sound is a bit dated, and has probably been buried amongst all the rock albums that emerged from the 1990’s grunge era. Her cover of “Cry Little Sister” (ala The Lost Boys film) is a creative one, even if the intro is a tad “watery.”

American Idol Contestant: Michael Johns (Season 7)
Album: Hold Back My Heart (2009), Downtown Records
Album Highlight: “Feeling Alright”

This Australian singer wowed American Idol judges in Season 7 with this smooth, soulful voice. But we all know that it takes more than a dashing audition to snag a permanent position on the AI stage. Johns offers an honest and direct approach to the music on this work, taking to the piano on several tracks. It’s definitely the stuff great independent film soundtracks are made of. Part bluesy, part soft rock, Michael Johns definitely subscribes to his raspier octaves to make a statement. “Feeling Alright” has a Michael Hutchence (INXS) feel to it. (An accidental homage?) As does “Little Bear” and “Hold Back My Heart.”

American Idol Contestant: Allison Iraheta (Season 8)
Album: Just Like You (2009), Jive Records
Album Highlight: “D is for Dangerous”, “Friday I’ll Be Over U”

Allison Iraheta, American Idol’s Salvadorian rock princess proves that with some smart and thorough production, pop/rock albums can be a success. Just Like You does a good job of highlighting Iraheta’s powerfully edgy voice. But it is the tricky arrangements that really showcase her ability to catch the ear, and stand out from all the wannabes. “Friday I’ll Be Over U” offers a refurbished throwback 80’s sound, while “D is for Dangerous” exercises some pretty daring chord changes.

American Idol Contestant: Elliot Yamin (Season 5)
Album: Elliot Yamin (2007) Fight for Love (2009), Hickory Records
Album Highlight: “Free”, “Alright” (2007)/ “Cold Heart” (2009)

This is the singer who was most compared to Stevie Wonder on American Idol. And it is obvious that recording on his own has afforded him the opportunity to stretch his vocal chops. Elliot Yamin has actually released two albums. The first, self-titled CD appears to be more of a representation of his core style. “Free” is a song containing juicy background harmonies that highlight his soulful, raspy voice perfectly. “Alright” offers a go-go inspired dance vibe. Fight for Love contains slicker production on many of the tracks. Songs like “Cold Heart” provide a bit more instrumentation for Yamin’s voice to play with. But both works are appear to have been well thought out.


Labels: American Idol's Forgotten Stars (and the Albums They Released)

8 Basic Elements of a Sales Copy

Selling is the main skill you have to apply if you are going to generate more income for your business, and this applies online, too. The truth is that a lot of people hate selling. Sales copy is actually needed to persuade the reader to make a purchase, to ask for information about a service or product. Basically, it is aimed to encourage the reader to take an immediate action.

You have to put yourself in the potential customer’s shoes before starting to write down a sales copy. Your sales copy is like an individual letter trying to convince your prospect to purchase your product or service from you.

Since you are going to write your own sales copy, you may want to follow the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) model.

Get Their Attention
You can do this with an attractive headline that will get your reader’s attention instantly and your readers will keep reading the rest of the sales copy

Get Their Interest
Your sales copy should actually keep your the reader involved, engaged from one paragraph to another comfortably.

Create Desire
At this point, you must tell your readers how exactly he/she will benefit from your product.

Call to Action
Don’t presume that your readers know what to do next. You may want to ask your readers to take certain actions.

Now, I will cover each and every element of sales copy in details.

You must have a headline at the beginning of the sales copy, because this is the first thing your reader is going to look at. Your headline must be catchy so that it will grab the attention of your readers.

This part should summarize your sales copy and emphasize more on the benefits.

Addressing the problem
You can start by telling the story of your reader’s problems, how frustrating it is and then slowly uncovering the solution.

Reveal your benefit
Tell your readers how they will benefits from your product or service. Don’t just mention the features of your product, please emphasize more on benefits.

Give testimonials
Build your credibility and trust in the eyes of the reader by showing some testimonials from your current customers.

Make some final offer
The best offer is usually an irresistible offer, price, terms, guarantee and gift.

Call to action
You sales copy must guide them to fax you, call you, or click the order button on your webpage.

Extra notes
You may want to use P.S. to emphasize more on your irresistible offer, benefits and your guarantee. Give the reader the most compelling reason why they must purchase your product or service.

That’s all the 8 elements you must apply into your sales copy. One thing you must know is no matter how good your product, if you cannot communicate that to your potential buyers, and convince them to buy your product, you will not make it.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to produce sales copy that work. All you need to know is how to sell to people.

Labels: 8 Basic Elements of a Sales Copy

5 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight This Year

With so many diet trends and weight loss programs on the market these days, it can be really confusing to know what works and what doesn’t work, what’s safe and what’s not. Many people fall into the trap of believing that there is a quick-fix for weight loss. This new year, make a resolution to obtain permanent weight loss through healthy methods. No more quick-fix diet fads and unhealthy programs!

While there are many products available with claims of being an easy method, there are only a few ways to guarantee weight loss. Burning more calories than you consume (by exercising), consuming fewer calories than your burn (by dieting), and boosting your metabolism (getting your body to burn more calories while at rest and during exercise). A person who is very active and is used to moving and using their body all day long is sure to burn more calories than someone who is sitting at a desk all day. Even while the person who is active all day is resting, their body is still burning more calories! Here are some great ways to increase your metabolism and get your body burning calories all day long!

1. Get Active – Try to incorporate more activity into your daily life. Whether walking to lunch, taking the stairs, or parking further away in a parking lot, try to get as much movement in as possible.

2. Eat throughout the day – This will prevent your body from having energy hi’s and low’s. It also gives your metabolism a steady stream of fuel so that it doesn’t have to store up energy (fat) for later.

3. Lift Weights – Bodies that contain more muscle use more fuel than bodies that contain more fat. Muscle is living, moving human parts that need fuel to operate. Fat stores are just that – stored fat, that is just sitting there waiting to be used. Converting your fat to muscle is a great way to boost your metabolism.

4. Drink Water – Help keep your body processes moving at full speed! Drinking water also keeps your organs functioning and moving, which also burns more calories.

5. Don’t do Fad Diets – They will only wreck your metabolism. Your body becomes confused when you starve it and then pig out. Yo-yo dieting causes your body to question when you will eat again, and begin to hold on to as much stored energy (fat) as possible.

The new year is a great time to make resolutions to change your way of life to a more healthy one. Aim for permanent weight loss and increases in metabolism. This will help you to keep the weight off longer and enjoy the process much more.

For more weight loss information and to sign up for a free “fat burning tips” newsletter, visit us at This article may be freely reproduced as long as it remains complete, is not changed and all links remain intact, including this portion.

Labels: 5 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight This Year

An Unprecedented Election

Never before has one vote meant so very much to so very many.

The 2008 Presidential campaign was perhaps the campaign to beat all campaigns. It was more like a sporting event than a presidential election; complete with fans, cheerleaders, fouls and penalties. People showed up at the polls in record proportions for the primaries as well as the general election.

It was an election where the Democratic candidate was sure to win, no matter who that candidate ended up being Remember the last 8 years? ‘Nough said. It was also an election that no matter who won, they would go down into history as the first of their race or gender respectively to be introduced to the Oval Office.

Each Candidate had their own cheering section on YOUTUBE, thanks to a brilliant young group of people that call themselves “Barely Political,” who produced an informative, yet hot and hilarious video by “The Obama Girl,” entitled, “I Got a Crush on Obama” and Taryn Southern with her video, “Hot4Hill.”

This in and of itself was an unprecedented first. Never before had hot chicks made videos supporting their candidates in a fashion that made politics seem like fun. Never before had a hot chick campaigned for someone using underlying sexual overtones as her markers- and least of all, never had it been done from one female to another.

If Barack Obama won, he would be the first Hawaiian to win the white house, as well as being the first black president to sit in the Oval Office. If Hillary won, she would be the first female to win the Whitehouse and the first former First Lady to be president Though Mrs. Roosevelt was more actively involved in the administration of the nation during the final days of the Roosevelt presidency than Mr. Roosevelt was.

During the primaries, the Democratic Party changed the rules of voting at the Democratic Convention, prohibiting any state to vote early. Florida and Michigan voted at the accustomed time anyway, and the Democratic Party refused to count the votes cast in those two states. The party gave both states the opportunity to hold a costly re-vote. Both states declined and neither was counted.

This was another first. Never before in American history has any state ever been openly and publicly disenfranchised, much less 2 states in the same election.

Hillary Clinton carried Florida in the primaries which would have given her enough votes to win the nomination. Since the Florida and Michigan votes didn’t count, the then little known Barack Obama won the primaries and the nomination by a narrow margin.

Initially the popular opinion was that Rudy Giuliani would win the Republican nomination. Whether it was because his own daughter came out in support of Barack Obama, or for some other reason, Rudy dropped out of the race; but not before Barely Political made their video of hot chicks getting into pillow fights over Obama and Giuliani.

John McCain, a former POW from Orange Park Florida ended up with the Republican nomination. Anticipation skyrocketed as he waited until virtually the last minute to announce his running mate: Sarah Palin.

This ticket once again put the election into the historical spotlight. If Obama won, we would have the first black president and the first president from Hawaii. If McCain Palin won, we would have the first female vice president and the first vice president from Alaska sitting. Either way, this election would go down in history.

Slowly the McCain/Palin ticket lost momentum as the novelty of the “Gosh darn,” “Girl next door,” wore off and people started hitting the poles to vote early in real politics.

Oddly enough, though it was the Democrats who disenfranchised Florida and Michigan for voting early in the primaries, it was the Democrats who were pushing people to get to the poles as early as possible for the general election.

Despite Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s “God Damn the United States of White America” speech; in spite of the fact that Obama was an admitted pothead in his own autobiography, a fact that no-one even questioned, much less challenged during the entire campaign; Regardless of all the lies and fabrications surrounding Obama about his religion and national loyalty because of his not so common name: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA; despite the accusing tones and angry stares of some Southern Blacks aimed at whites because they assumed that white folks would rather vote for McCain than for a “Brother,” simply because McCain is white; in spite of all of this, it was a no brainer from the beginning that the Democratic ticket would win this election simply because a vote for the Democrats was a vote against G.W. Bush.

And now, racing into the finish, Barack Obama has an unprecedented lead of 15 % points against his opponent. Normally, this close to the finals the margin narrows; but this time, America has made her wishes unquestionably clear.

Never before has one vote meant so very much to so very many. Never before has one face truly represented the entire nation. At long last, every child in America can go to sleep at night honestly believing that their dreams are truly within reach without regard to race, religion or even gender.

Congratulations Mr. Obama. It seems that you have won the opportunity. Now the eyes of the entire world will be upon you, in hope, in defiance, in looking for answers, trusting and mistrusting, playing Monday morning quarterback with the decisions that you make.

Congratulations Mr. Obama. You have won the opportunity, now what will you do with it?

Congratulations Mr. Obama.

Congratulations Mr. President.

Check out some of these videos from “Barely Political.” They are hot yet informative, stylish, classy and yet funny all rolled together in the same work. Way to go MIMMS!

***Warning, not for the prudish or frigid at heart.

Labels: An Unprecedented Election

Are You Practicing Good Netiquette?

The use of common courtesy when communicating online or in email is called netiquette, (net etiquette) or socially acceptable behavior when navigating Cyberspace. How we speak to others in our emails reflects who we are as individuals–our credibility, professionalism, values and work ethic. Nothing is more off-putting than someone who comes across as rude, curt, or arrogant in an email. So, how do we avoid being perceived as insensitive and unprofessional in our email correspondence? Here are a few tips.

  1. Don’t Yell or Scream. Did you know that typing in all caps is considered yelling or screaming online? Most people are used to reading things in lower case letters with a capital letter at the beginning of sentences or when using proper nouns. If you wish to emphasize a particular word or phrase, capital letters may be used, but do so sparingly.

  2. Fill in the Subject Line. Ever received an e-mail where the subject box was left blank? You’re not sure whether to read the email or to delete it. Most people will delete it unless they personally know the sender. Filling in the subject box with a clear and concise description of what your email message contains increases the chances of your message being read and acted upon.

  3. Offer A Friendly Greeting. When writing a personal message, it’s okay to begin your emails with a salutation such as “Hello” or use the person’s first name. Check with your company’s netiquette department for the use of salutations when addressing business correspondence. In any case, be considerate of the person who will receive your email. Think about how you would like to be treated and then use greetings that express who you are.

  4. Always, Always Spell-Check. What a wonderful invention–Spell-Check! Resist the urge to push the Send button before you have had a chance to re-read your message at least twice and check for spelling or grammar at least once. Your goal should be to consistently produce email messages that are readable and actionable!

  5. End on a Good Note. Thank your reader in advance for responding to any request(s) you have made, and close your emails with an appropriate courtesy such as: Regards, Sincerely, etc. You may have a special phrase you like to use that gives the reader a clue to your personality. For example, when sending emails to my needlepoint buddies, I use the phrase, “Happy Stitching”.

  6. Respond Promptly. I know that most, if not all of you are extremely busy and most likely receive lots of emails on a daily basis. However, responding promptly to those emails is the courteous thing to do. Always respond as quickly as possible (within 48 hours), unless there is an emergency. If you are going to be out of town and will not be checking emails, you may choose to use an auto response message that lets your reader know when to expect a reply.

  7. Watch Your Language! Under no circumstances are you to use foul or crude language in your emails. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. No matter how rude or crass someone may be to you in an email, you should rise above this and respond (if appropriate) in a courteous manner without name-calling or sarcastic statements. Make your words as clear, direct and objective as possible. If you mistakenly offend someone or have misinterpreted a message, offer a sincere apology. Remember to never assume what the sender means. Instead, take it at face value.

These are just a few tips on email netiquette. For additional information, contact your company’s Information Technology department, Help Desk, or browse the Internet for more articles and advice.

Labels: Are You Practicing Good Netiquette?

7 Tips for College Career Centers Using Twitter

Contemporary college career centers are using Twitter to connect with college students, employers and other career resources in the recruiting community. Although many career centers have joined the Twitterverse there are still thousands debating the value of Twitter for their career center. As one career center director told me a few weeks ago, ‘We really don’t have the manpower to jump on every new thing that comes along.”

As a former career center director myself, I often think about how valuable Twitter would have been for the two centers I managed or in the others where I managed employer relations. Maybe I am biased, because I am somewhat of a techie, but I believe Twitter gives new options to college career centers who want to meet students where they are. Hopefully, these 7 tips will help college career centers evaluate the benefits of using Twitter in career planning service delivery.

Use Twitter to Inform Students; not Stalk Them
Like with any other social networking tool, career center staff cannot be shocked or surprised by what students will say on their Twitter timelines. Your goal as a college career center is not to stalk your students or make judgments about what they say or don’t say on Twitter.

Twitter lists help college students catalog information

College career centers can use Twitter to make lists of other Twitter sites they believe to be pertinent for college students.. Lists from college career centers using Twitter could include for example New Grad career advice, Job Search Tips, Resume tips, Healthcare Employers, On-campus employers etc. With Twitter lists, career centers help students gather information in meaningful ways.

Share information about career workshops and events via Twitter.

Twitter is a great way to give college students current, up to the minute information about career workshops. As a former college career counselor myself, I know how difficult it is to market career workshops to students. Using Twitter to countdown to the event beats flyers that are soon forgotten.

College students will help to market career center services using Twitter

When I do career workshops on college campuses, I ask students as they arrive, to tweet about the workshops to their friends. I can typically expect several more students to walk in up to 15 minutes after because they received a tweet from a fellow student in your session.

College students can tweet questions during workshops

As career professionals we know that there are always students sitting in the workshop with questions that they don’t ask. I have encouraged students to tweet questions to me @HBCUCareerCntr while I am doing the workshop. The first question I ever received from a college student during a workshop via twitter was “What do you tell the employer, if you were fired from a job?” It’s typical of the type of question a workshop participant might want to ask without raising their hand.

Twitter helps students read and research other career information

Consider Twitter to be just like the career library in a career center; only bigger. Career centers can even tweet about which career books, magazines or resources are available in the career center. Students can click on links in tweets, re-tweet to college friends in their major or “favorite” a tweet for later research.

Career centers use Twitter to connect with employers who don’t recruit on their campus

This is one of my favorite uses of Twitter, especially because I managed employer relationships for two career centers before. Career centers are always seeking ways to expand the number of employers who recruit students and alumni for jobs and internships. However, companies select target schools from which to recruit based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include travel budgets or number of potential applicants from desired majors. Twitter can help career centers establish relationships with companies that are not coming to their campus. For example, if a college has a small Hospitality program, it might not make business sense for Sodexho to come to your campus to recruit. However, a career center, can follow @SodexoCareers on Twitter and share relevant information with students.

Twitter is just one more tool that college career centers can employ as part of a broader marketing strategy to engage students in the career planning process. It doesn’t solve every challenge of helping students with career planning.

Labels: 7 Tips for College Career Centers Using Twitter

A Review of Vilfredo Pareto's The Rise and Fall of Elites

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian sociologist, who, in his 1901 treatise, The Rise and Fall of Elites, foretold the ascent of socialism as a ruling doctrine in the decades to come. Pareto, to his credit, does not even remotely consider socialism capable of achieving the existential and moral utopia that its advocates espoused. Moreover, he extensively attributed socialism’s rise to “the sanction of the victim,” a concept that Ayn Rand would discover explicitly a half-century later. Pareto’s general analysis of human nature and his starting premises are severely flawed; nor does he pretend to attempt to justify them. Nevertheless, many of his observations correspond with the reality of events in politics, economics, and the general society.

Pareto’s groundwork for the treatise is immensely shaky; his basic premise with respect to human nature is that people’s motivations are inherently irrational and based on sentiment rather than logic, and that any reasons that individuals ostensibly present for their actions are in fact post-rationalizations. To this my response to Pareto would be a paraphrase of Rand: “If you do not consider people capable of genuine rational judgment, do not check their premises, check yours.” Certainly, some individuals, perhaps most of those who lack a systematic worldview, do act on whim and impulse, and Pareto may well have been one of them, which might have led him to attribute his own inner state to all others. Indeed, he had not presumed to use rational thought to justify the very premise about people’s sentimental motivations! He merely stated that the matter is out of the scope of the given treatise.

If anything, sentimental motivations in the less rational of men are what leads to the downfall of elites and what had led to the rise of socialism. Pareto observes that, for the greater part of a society’s existence, it is dominated, politically, culturally, and economically by a certain paradigm of men and ideas-this elite usually possesses at hand the police power of the state and the means to maintain some manner of order within the society, for good or for ill. He does not state whether this monopoly on force is necessarily abusive or whether it can be employed in a just and limited sense; he merely asserts that an elite holds this monopoly during its tenure. The elite lays claim on certain resources (rightfully or wrongfully, using production or force) and its ability to gain those resources and maintain its position depends on the degree in which its willingness to employ force to protect its claims corresponds with its asserted claim. This is a value-neutral proposition for Pareto in that it can be actualized for good ends or for ill ones. A business elite in a capitalistic society could use the retaliatory police power of the state to punish arsonists that attack the factories of entrepreneurs or to persecute thieves of its property; a socialist elite, on the other hand, can use force to unjustifiably coerce some into sacrificing the fruits of their produce to “needy” others, something for which Pareto repeatedly and eloquently demonstrates aversion and loathing.

How does an “old elite” lose its dominance and become replaced, after a brief turbulence, by a “new elite?” Pareto cites conditions in which, though the old elite’s claims to resources remain the same as prior or expand, the elite is less willing to defend those claims. Citing the French aristocracy of the late 18th century and the bourgeoisie of his own time as examples of this, Pareto clearly refers to the principle of the “sanction of the victim,” though he could not have known this concept by name. With a rising “religious-humanitarian impulse” in the general culture (and Pareto rightfully recognized socialism to be just another religion in worship of the State), the old elites become prone to exercising uncommon generosity, mercy, forgiveness, and even aid to the very forces that would depose them! Pareto cites endless examples of the bourgeois business elite of the late 19th century offering financial aid to Socialist causes, agitating for coercive “moral improvement” of the society, and requesting that punishments for delinquents, criminals, and murderers of their time should become virtually non-existent. Amid this “moral softness” and subservience to sweet-sounding credos, the old elites still hope to claim their former share of resources, except no longer by honest production, but by exploitation of government favors, including subsidies, trade barriers, and connections with the rising promoters of newly fashionable causes. They seek a little temporary security by conceding to their enemy the battlefield of ideas, resources, and policy. Pareto brilliantly illustrates why they are bound to lose.

Here are two armies, A and B, confronting each other. In A, there is no discipline whatever, little courage, no vigor, no faith in their own flag. These people do not even dare say clearly that they are fighting against B, but wish to pretend that they are at peace in the midst of war. They raise subscriptions to provide arms for B and are unwilling to spend a penny for their own. They prate and lose themselves in vain talk, they bring grist to their mills and seek to get something out. The best soldiers desert their own camp and go over to that of B. On the other hand, the men of B know what they want and they want it strongly, they maintain discipline, they have faith in their flag, they hold it high, they say very clearly that they want to defeat army A, that they want to disperse and destroy it. They are tied together in a close group and each one of them is ready to make any sacrifice for his comrades and for the flag. They never dream of aiding the enemy, they procure arms for themselves and not for others. Their number grows constantly. Then you would be asked: “On whose side do you think will be the victory?” Would you be in doubt what to reply?

In contrast to the old elite, the rising elite does not give tacit sanction to the forces and principles opposing it; hence its vigor, intensity, and endurance in pursuing a reform of the social order. Yet, the victory of the new elite does not necessarily mean the actualization of the principles for which it rallied the lower rungs of society; after victory the elite becomes more rigid and establishes its own hierarchy; in the case of the socialist elite, as history has demonstrated, it has been a hierarchy of favor-mongers, bureaucrats, special interest group leaders, and flowery orators who manage to say nothing at all in an hour’s speech. This elite was on the rise at different times in different countries; what Pareto observed in France from 1880 to 1901 took place in the United States from 1929 to circa 1969, as Ayn Rand observed the tacit compliance with which the American middle class and business leaders surrendered the battlefield of ideas and the moral high ground to a coalition of New Dealers, global altruists, and screeching hippies that today dominates the intellectual institutions of this country.

Nevertheless, if Pareto’s theory is to be extended to today’s conditions, the socialist/hippie elite is clearly in decline. No more does it arouse college campuses in waves of violent activism; no more do its youngest heirs champion “saving the world” (though the hippies could only have ruined it), but rather they seek to pay ritual homage to left wing principles in order to get acceptance into elite academic institutions and thus “get ahead in life.” Gradually, the young elites are falling prey to the rising doctrines of materialism, self-interest, and prudence, which are to overturn all remaining vestiges of socialism. Government continues to expand and redistribution of wealth continues to occur, but this more due to cultural inertia rather than any deliberate, devious, and coordinated scheme from the New Deal or the Great Society. In the meantime, a growing, vigorous, dynamic, principled, and broad-based ideological backlash is emerging; it covers multiple constituencies, as Pareto said in well might; from the neo-conservatives to the libertarians to the Objectivists, the advocates of limiting government, liberating free enterprise, and making more room for individuals to exercise their own self-responsibility, are colorful, creative, industrious, and vocal personalities. The spokesmen of the leftist elite, on the other hand, are bland, predictable rehashers of the same credos they had espoused forty or even seventy years ago. They have nothing new to offer, and are gradually themselves being infused with bits of free enterprise materialism in their personal lives, if not their explicit statements.

It needs to be recalled that Pareto is not a critic of elitism and does not see elite dominance as the equivalent of an oppressive government. There is no reason why an elite cannot be commercial, meritocratic, non-coercive, and productive in proportion to the values it receives. The prospect is ripe in the coming decades for establishing that “natural aristocracy” which Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers predicted to emerge in a free market of goods and ideas. Pareto’s recipe for the survival of an elite is a balance of “consolidators” and “innovators” within it, of those who would wish to preserve existing prerogatives and those who would seek to expand into new realms. Without sufficient membership in either category, an elite either grows stale and repressive, or falls prey to the trend that would displace it. A meritocratic elite, by not confining membership to a select group existing by virtue of birth, race, gender, nationality, or connections with authority, would admit anyone into its ranks who is sufficiently productive to have made a name for himself-there would be no formal initiation process, nor a hierarchical ladder to climb. The elite would be self-made, and self-perpetuating through voluntary association.

If Pareto’s unfounded touches of cynicism concerning the sentimental motivations of all men can be ignored, and rational principles can be employed to secure the ascent and maintenance of a free-market natural aristocracy, it may well be that a setting of eternal stability, growth, and liberty is at hand.

Labels: A Review of Vilfredo Pareto's The Rise and Fall of Elites

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