I am a marketing strategist with a focus on copywriting and web design. I am the co-founder and CEO of Cited, Inc. I write on a wide range of topics including: marketing, persuasion, current affairs, technology, cybersecurity, and privacy. U.S. Army Veteran
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www.robertwilliger.com @robertwilliger

Do Things Because they are Right

There seems to be a trend towards people supporting issues or causes due to some connection or benefit. An example is the guy who says, "as a husband, brother, or father I support this women's issue."

Or as I saw pointed out recently in a tweet people supporting LGBTQ inclusion because it is good for business.

We should be supporting people and causes because it is the right thing to do, not because we see some benefit in it. As a human being it should be how we think of and treat other human beings.

If your business gains from it, wonderful, but that shouldn't be the reason behind why you are doing it.

It Is Important to Laugh

We must learn to treat the demagogue and aspirant dictator in our midst just as we should treat our external enemies in a cold war - with the weapon of ridicule. The demagogue himself is almost incapable of humour of any sort, and if we treat him with humour, he will begin to collapse. Humour is, after all, related to a sense of perspective. A.M. Merloo, M.D., The Rape of The Mind, 1953

Every so often on Twitter when a politician does something stupid and everyone is mocking them someone will try to be superior and start lecturing how attention should be put towards some other cause.

For example, when Trump attacked Chrissy Teigan I saw numerous verified Twitter accounts saying how people should be tweeting about something else. First of all, tweets aren't a limited quantity, it is possible to tweet about multiple topics at the same time.

Second, laughing at leaders is important as dictators can't handle humor. Being mocked and laughed at is something they fear and by making jokes at them it reduces some of their power.

Finally, there is a lot of stress out there, it is okay to lighten up and joke around at times.

Authority

"In many persons the weight of authority is more important than the quality of the authority."

A.M. Merloo, The Rape of the Mind, 1953

This statement was true and the time it was first written and continues to be true. We see this on social media that people are following and assuming that just because someone has a checkmark next to their name or have a huge following they should be considered an authority on a topic.

There are a lot of people providing great analysis and information online, but it doesn't mean that they are right. We are dealing with new situations and while we can learn from the past we need to also look from new angles.

These days everyone needs to make their own decisions and have their own thoughts. Listen to those with knowledge but don't take their words as gospel.

Stop Making Shit a Thing

Steve Bannon said that the sky is actually going to be purple

Brad Parscale says that Trump will become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as well as the Trump family ruling America for the next 100 years.

Media do us all a favor, stop making this shit into something. Just because Steve Bannon says something it doesn't need to be reported. Brad Parscale can make whatever predictions he wants doesn't mean it needs to be taken seriously.

Why the fuck would anyone do an article about Don Jr. or Ivanka running for President acting like it matters. How about some stories on those actually running.

There is shit that is only a thing because the media is making it into a thing. Stop giving oxygen to these people and strengthening their messages.

Do You Think They Remember Your Phone Number?

It seems a common way many small businesses like to market is by signs on their vehicles with a name and a phone number. The problem is people are seeing these when they are driving so even though they could take a picture of the number many never will and you will be forgotten about.

A memorable domain name with a website explaining your services is the solution to this problem. A website it easier to memorize and search engines will help people to find it even if they can't remember the exact address.

I see very few of these vehicles that are including a website or at least an email address. A lot of people do not want to pick up a phone and call. A website is an essential tool for every business and can be used to set your business apart.

There is a Cost to Free

There is a cost to free apps. While it is great to have free email, online storage, note taking, and more we need to remember that we are giving up privacy.

Without even realizing it think of how much information can be contained in your email. Items such as bank balances, past dues, and medical information.

In many cases it is worth it to actually pay a small amount for a service where you can support a small company instead of handing your data over for mining by corporate giants.

Before choosing to hand over your information consider for a moment the cost of that privacy.

Should You Really Do That Quiz

Do you really wonder what Friends character you are similar to?

Does posting your rapper or porn star name on Twitter to participate in a hashtag something that will bring more value to your life?

Don't think I am judging as I do plenty of things online that are a waste of time. The issue with many of these challenges is the information you are giving out. Many of the components of these trends and challenges are information that is used as security questions at many websites.

While some of these may be innocent fun it is also possible that a hacker who has some of your information can then scrape Twitter or Facebook and use this additional information to gain access to various accounts.

Whatever you do online take a moment to think of the information you are sharing and how that could be used by someone with the wrong intentions.

Almost Everyone Has Something to Sell

One of the attacks that I commonly hear about people who have changed their views politically is that they are just trying to profit with the changes in environment.

While there is some truth to it, there is also truth that even those you agree with have something they are trying to sell.

While I am not questioning whether these people believe or are genuine most of them on any side are doing this in part for some other motivation.

Look at the online bios or their social media feeds, in there you will see mentions of newsletters, books, podcasts, and cable news appearances.

When things calm down politically MSNBC and CNN will need a lot less former Assistant US Attorneys from the Southern District of New York. A normal presidency, whether Democrat or Republican, is going to demand a lot less podcasts about what it going on.

Listen to these people but also make your own decisions in the end and understand that they all are trying to sell you something.

Let's Encourage Not Criticize

Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse are starting to speak out.

Did it take too long, yes.

Are there statements on the weaker side, yes.

Should they do more, yes.

Should we be criticizing them for those things? The answer is a strong no. They are likely testing reactions. They know they are going to get attacked from one person and his followers they need to make sure it is worth it.

While the statements may not be as strong as we want we need to encourage people to speak out and not attack them when they do it.

If they get attacked for their statement being too weak or qualified do you think that will motivate others to step forward?

We are in a new territory and new rules are being developed. Those that wil come out ahead will be those that can see nuance and navigate the challenges not the purists who demand all or nothing.

Yelling Nobody Is Talking About Doesn't Make You A Genius

Nobody is even talking about this.

Nothing matters anymore.

It seems that there is a large amount of twitter that feels that pointing something out and adding that phrase to it somehow makes them more intelligent or superior to the rest of us.

You don't really know what the fuck most of us are talking about do you really? There is a world outside of social media.

Also, yes, there are things that get overlooked because they all go back to one core problem and that is the source of all this shit.

Don't Be Afraid to Mute and Block

While people are entitled to free speech there is no guarantee for them to be heard. I have been more liberal in my use of the block and mute buttons on social media and I think my life is better for it. It isn't being a snowflake or needing a safe space it is just I don't want to give oxygen to trolls and conspiracy theorists.

When you share something even to mock it or reply back to attack you are increasing the chances of the algorithm making that more popular. Why give them the satisfaction. If someone doesn't have something of value to say better of just blocking and muting and not even giving them the recognition.

Ex Post Facto Persuasion

Not everything that someone does is for a reason. There is a person on Twitter who calls themselves a Master Persuader but can't seem to convince anyone but the group of sheep that follows him. One of the things he likes to do is take what someone says and then reverse engineer that into some brilliant persuasion strategy.

Most of the time people are slinging shit and seeing what sticks. There isn't a grand strategy behind everything. These days especially if you spend time on Twitter everyone thinks everything is multi-dimensional chess.

After the fact it is simple to take something and try to turn it into a strategy. The harder thing is thinking of it before and actually having a strategy.

Bottom line, just because someone tells you a strategy is brilliant you aren't required to believe it.

We Can't Outsource Thinking

It is hard to keep up with everything going on but it is critical that we do not try to outsource our thinking. People want to give up and let the media and assorted pundits explain everything to them. It is important to actually look at sources. See if the information makes sense to you. Everyone can be fooled. Better to take a moment and see if it makes sense before clicking share.

Time to Start Writing

Well here we are at the last day of September. Only three months left to the year and I haven't acomplished what I had hoped to but it is never too late to start. My goal is going to be to publish something everyday on this site. Most things won't be any great masterpieces but I need to start somewhere and this is the place to do it.

I write on a wide range of topics including technology, cybersecurity, privacy, information warfare, and persuasion. I hope you find some value in this and learn a thing or two.

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