Insurance companies should fear people like Dr. Dave Ores more than any health care reform bill

Villager photo by Bonnie Rosenstock
Villager photo by Bonnie Rosenstock

While the politicians in Washington argue about how many uninsured people there really are, call each other liars and debate over eleventh-hour amendments, real people with real lives are not waiting around for some edict to determine their destiny. They get fed up, roll up their sleeves and get the job done themselves. And that is exactly with Dr. Dave Ores is doing.

Dr. Dave (as he in known locally) formalized his care for workers in the restaurant industry by founding the Restaurant Workers’ Health Care Cooperative. The healthcare cooperative is “an informal handshake” between the doctor and the participating restaurants. It is a not for profit health care delivery system that enables restaurant owners to provide health care to their employees, many of whom can not afford traditional insurance.

[What I’m doing] “should not be special, it should not be great. It should be the way things work,” Ores says in his CNN interview aired yesterday morning.

We agree. Health care should be not for-profit. When the profit is removed from health care, the measurement becomes “how well did we treat someone” verses “how much money did we make per patient.”

Dr. Dave is proving you don’t need to be rich or famous to change the world. You just need to care enough to get off your butt and do something for another human being, without expectation of reward. No big change ever happened without first being one small act, followed by another and another and another by someone who refused to give up.

Here is what CNN ran yesterday.

We found this photo published on the New York Daily News and had to include it. Apparently, Dr. Dave also founded the Eastminster Kennel Club Show, a spoof on the Westminster Dog Show. We knew there was another really cool reason we liked Dr. Dave! He is a dog person. (I wonder if he has a photo of Abe Lincoln in his office. That would complete the trifecta of a cool sit-com.)

Screen shot 2009-11-15 at 8.00.26 AM

Never touch your hair during the cutting/styling process

I had a hair cut appointment on Saturday morning. The rules are simple and unwritten.

1. Arrive on time, never late.
2. Chat with Jerry about social issues
3. Never touch your hair during the cutting/styling process.
4. Never touch your hair during the cutting/styling process. (Not a repeat, just a lot of emphasis.)

For the first time in eighteen years of Jerry cutting my hair, I touched my hair. The world came to a dead stop and I immediately knew that I had done. I had not just touched my hair; I had doubted his creative genius. Over time, I just hope we can get back to the level of trust we had for each other.

I read a tweet today that linked to this blog post. Very related and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Did I mention that you should never touch your hair during the cutting/styling process?

Graphic design, art, writing… anything creative at all, never touch your hair during the cutting/styling process.

The audience you are not getting because you are focused on your own niche

Here is the ugly truth about American soccer. It is something kids DO, not who they are. Yet many soccer clubs and tournaments focus their marketing and message around the assumption that soccer is central to the players lives and that everything else is ancillary or inconsequential.

The ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) produced the video below for their annual meeting just this past weekend. (It runs a little long, the movie beats you up a little with the message, but pay attention to the subtitles. They are really small, but perhaps the most important part of the whole piece.)

I get it; trade associations connect people together and that was the obvious point. But, the not so obvious point is that all these people who are working at trade associations during the day are spending their nights and weekends with their true passion; music.

We have seen this kind of thing before, but usually the talent is mediocre. But, these folks are darn good! The ASAE not only had the criterion of involving their members, but that the member had to have a high level of skill, proficiency and passion. Brilliant!

What does a harmonica have to do with biodiesel? Nothing except for Joe Jobe. Or a guitar with concrete or paint? For Joe Vickers and Phil Bour, the combination make perfect sense. Railroads and drum kits? Michael Fore makes it work. He probably taps out routines on his desk, driving his co-workers crazy. And there is no hiding the rapture Mike Skiados (ASAE) feels when he plays his guitar.

The Disney movie High School Musical (HSM) was a similar deafening intervention cry from kids, yet few adults paid attention to the underlying message, mostly dismissing it as bubble-gum entertainment. But the kids got it and that is what made the movie “stick.”

Social Media like Facebook gets this concept by allowing members to establish a core identity and then add interests and groups to them. More specialized sites like Meet the Boss, various Ning sites and sites like WePlay.com don’t. Neither do “gardens of brands” like Skittles or Ford. In their world, there is no room for “other interests” and no way to connect the person with them. (As an aside, the WSJ had an interesting article on fans. Worth a read… after you are done with this post and have commented/tweeted, of course.)

Anyone who doesn’t know me is surprised that among my passionate interests are newspapers, old typewriters, literature, photography, coffee, typography, dogs and harmonicas. Computers and soccer come in almost last on the list. Internet is the way I make a living and it is imperative I am knowledgeable and skilled in it, but it is not my passion. In their world, I develop Web-based properties therefore I must be a geek and only care about the latest technology. Sorry. Technology is a tool; no more, no less.

For sports organizations, the random connections that social media reveals is like gold. How many times have you approached a large brand for a sponsorship and gotten, “What does our brand/product have to do with soccer?” If you dig deeper into the social media networks like Facebook, you may well have a stronger answer. Your model is HSM and the ASAE video.

Our advice: Find the connections. The more random and strange, the better. Watch the touchlines and the space between games more intently than the games themselves at your next tournament. What are the kids doing? What are their parents doing? How many questions do your get about a particular topic? Why? Ask questions, observe behaviors. Your next sponsor may be in the non-soccer parts of the game that your sponsor’s target audience is most passionate about.

Note: This post was originally intended for just TourneyCentral, but because the medium here is also the message, we posted this on almost every brand we own. Dogs and soccer? Coffee and soccer? Marketing and soccer? Yeah, it all fits when you start looking hard enough. And, thank you Cindy Butts for the inspiration.

Thank you, Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin-inspired shirtI never thought I would be saying these words in the same sentence, but “Thank you, Sarah Palin for not going gentle into that good night.” I hope you continue to rage against the dying of your political career.

Why? Because without your endless visage on every cable news channel, how else would my pitbull friends be inspired to create such wonders as the t-shirt here, available for sale at CafePress.com How else would I be inspired to organize the very first “Pee Party” to be held everywhere on April 15, 2010?

Keep on talking, keep being silly. I figure for the next 3 years and 219 days you will probably give me more comedic material than I could ever hope to enjoy in a lifetime!

Is Fox’s Bill O’Reilly shoplifting from Kroger?

I was watching the Twitter stream and saw this tweet;

TheKid965 Random thought: The O’Reilly Factor’s current logo bears a striking resemblence to Kroger’s. Weirdness, and possible disturbingness…
about 8 hours ago from TwitterFox

So, I went over to kroger.com and then fox.com and sure enough, they are remarkably similar. What do you think?

logos

And, in case you were wondering, the Kroger logo was first by years.

AdAge Power150, I’m done with you

pawer150I noticed that the AdAge Power150 now has 979 blogs listed. “That is odd,” I heard my puppy brain saying to myself. “How can you be a top 150 list and have more than 150 blogs listed?”

Then, I thought that perhaps I now had a chance, that Charlie Moran would no longer reject me outright and place me 1,245th or something like that. So, I applied again. I was wrong, he rejected me. And, once again, he ranked the Collective Intellect of DogWalkBlog a 0. (I just don’t think he has read anything here!)

So, the heck with them and their ranking! We’re going to do out own ranking and call it the PAWER150! So, if you have a dog blog and think it deserves a better wag than the AdAge folks, submit it for consideration. We don’t know what the ranking system will be yet or even if we will have one, but submit your dog blog and we’ll start a list.

And while you’re here, share on Twitter

Clearing the clippings

It has happened again, more news story clippings are piling up on my desk faster than I can comment on them. So, here is the quick dump of stuff so my brain can breathe again.

Everyone deserves a second chance
No, no they don’t. You should take the time to do it right the first time. Not everything is a dress rehearsal for the real thing. Life is not a dress rehearsal. An article from the WSJ about how kids are taking the ACT/SATs over and over and how colleges are accepting the best scores from each section, rather than the scores on single exams. Get a clue, colleges! You may be helping your enrollment numbers, but you are not doing these kids any favors.

The fine art of copyright
ed-aj164_infoag_d_20090315210910jpgAn article in the WSJ about Garcia vs Fairey about him using Mr. Garcia’s photograph of Obama for the artwork on the posters, campaign, etc. L. Gordon Crovitz gets to the heart of copyright. The photog Mr. Garcia spent money to fly to the event, waited patiently for the correct pose and lighting ad then took the photo. Mr. Fairey simply lifted the photo from the internet, added a couple Photoshop filters to it and called it his work. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It is bad enough when clueless corporate weenie steal art, but when artists do it to each other, that is more than wrong. Shameful.

How to Twitter
An article by Julia Angwin on how to twitter for business, etc. Just a thing that stuck out as clueless in her article. She called CSS a Web program. CSS is not a “Web program” but a way to apply styles to content on Web pages. I was believing she did her research and knew what she was talking about until I read that, then she just lost me.

Now, seriously, after one article in the WSJ, Julia gets 1,683 followers? Seriously? How can a dog possible compete with that. Old marketing rules still apply, people.

School levy fall of the ballot
In the Dayton Daily News, Neighbors. Apparently, school levies ARE marketing-driven. After realizing that asking for more money during a recession is probably stupid, they tabled the Trotwood levy. Apparently school boards can be taught. I don’t expect the lesson to stick, but for now….

The groundwork has already been laid for Martial Law
This appeared in the Englewood Independent. A year ago, I would have said “interesting.” Two years ago, I would have dismissed this guy as a nut job. Today, he has my attention.

Well, that is all for the clipping desk. I’m sure it will start building up again starting tomorrow, but for now, sure feels good to start with a desktop I can see again!