April 13, 2010

2008's Chariots Of Fire


(Please click on the photo to link to the site.)

By Shea Park, Founder and President of Ad-Spark

The age of CHARIOT'S OF FIRE is over. It's tea time for our economy's Masters' of the Universe. A "vetty" English film; most of Chariot's spectacular scenes were based on the 1928 Olympics.

Cut to 80 years forward to the 2008 Olympics and what have you got? It's now Chariot's ON Fire!

Forget China. If there were ever Olympian feats more interesting than NBC's $894 million 400 :30 meter-commercial dashes per hour, it would be the post-Wimbledon online and economic folly between London and Paris. NBC is planning to "warm and fuzzy-segment" bomb us back to the 1930's! Counter-intuitively, we say it comes just in the nick of time! Anything that will slow us down will speed up things in the long run.


Everything old is new again. London has more Russian Spies than a James Bond movie. Paris is once again avant garde in its anything-goes "let it all domain out" attitude, and Europe's paper of record, the Financial Times reports that a recession is a good thing.

Late last month, while hosting a world-class meeting in Paris, ICANN, the not-for-profit organization charged with overseeing the Internet's naming scheme, voted on a proposal that would allow companies to purchase new generic top-level domains ending in almost anything they want.


So instead of being limited to .com, .org or .co.uk as the last letters of their Web addresses, companies or organizations could add their company name to the end of their URL. Just what we need? More confusion on the Internet? Counterintuitively we say yes!

For example, eBay could become .eBay or Intel could be .Intel. Even cities could name their Web sites .newyork or .berlin. Not far behind may extensions like cds, .mp3tunes, .shop, .buy, .mobile, .sports, .stock, .news, .vid, .movies, .info, .XXX, .PC, .Mac, .etc... Hey, the more the merrier. Let's just pile on some more!

It's summertime. October's Black Friday is months away. World War IIIran doesn't begin until after the election. What, Me Worry?


Heard of the "Slow Movement" yet? Edgar S. Cahn is fighting for your right to be lazy! He makes a case that companies will actually profit more if they don't overwork employees because they will become healthier and more productive, he says. Western European countries, which treat their workers to more vacation time and shorter work weeks than their counterparts in the United States have more robust economies. Apparently slowing down won't only save lives; it'll save democracy. So take your time saluting the flag. It's the patriotic thing to do!


Referred to as "the finest woman prose stylist writing in English today", Joan Didion wrote Slouching Toward Bethlehem back in the post-Kerouac On The Road era. In her preface to the book Didion writes, "If I was to work again at all, it would be necessary for me to come to terms with disorder." In contrast to the more utopian image of the milieu promoted by go-go counterculture sympathizers then and now, Didion offers a rather grim portrayal of the wild and crazy goings-on. If only to save on gas, the era of "Life in the Fast Lane" is over. We agree.


The majority of today's media is focused on the slow economy with no attention that we should be slowing down accordingly. With the financial opinions flying like fireworks in all directions, where do we turn? What do we do?

Is "Desperate times require desperate measures?" the answer? When faced with problems some people react negatively or positively, while others remain neutral and even others are in denial. Hasty reactions do not always result in prudent solutions. My recommendation for those who can't help helping themselves, "If you're going to go negative, cynical or miserable, enjoy it to the fullest!"

Jack Myers' reports, "Economic Recovery Jeopardized by Advertising and Media Industry Struggles." The advertising business, arguably the core foundation of capitalism and certainly the lifeblood of the media industry, is facing the greatest challenge in its history. Perfect! Isn't life grand?


Earlier this week, the Financial Times published an article by Wolfgang M√ľnchau: "Recession is not the worst possible outcome", which suggests major economic policy changes from several important angles and is worth reviewing. Changes to economic policies and financial industries should happen; new policies could be considered to stop repeating historical recessions and continuation of the downward economic spiral. Wow, I knew that and didn't even graduate from Eton. After slouching through FT + 10 other reports, + research data + economy articles + interviews, I realize I know as much as everybody else economically in the 21st century. So do you.

Right after the Olympics, the other 2008 prize match is scheduled. Some believe the election is the heavy-weight championship fight for Economic Change, of one kind or another. Will it all comes down to the voting booth? Just push a button and change the world?

Just look at Wall Street. They're dealing with change from what was at one time the wrong side of town. It's a downright Uprising..


Doing my own part of measure my productivity, I took the little life/work/time calculator to see my balance. WHAT?! Only 85% used time? No way, something's wrong there. I have 15% unused time? How can that be?

Click on this hysterical CNN Personal Productivity Calculator to see how productive you are.

Wait, could this be user error? Not tracking or planning my time better? Or did my life work makeover from 11 years ago really work and successfully freed up 15% of my time? Maybe I should do it again!


Geez, it reminds me of the office research statistic that shows how offices which use egalitarian-style cubicles versus individual offices are 28% more creative! Not 27% or 29%. That's 28%. Got it?

Can we take a dose of "slow," calculate and prioritize our time more wisely and one day exude the economic confidence I observed while in Europe? People take much more time enjoying life and family over their career obsessions. They work hard, but I think they work smarter too. They do not sweat the small stuff, take 2-3 times more vacation that US, and appear to live happier and healthier lives. Who knows? Maybe it'll be a good thing that China and the third world are becoming "the new united states" so we can take some time out for tea and crumpets too! Is Madison Avenue actually capable of making this seismic change?


Continually I use the tortoise and hare analogy. The tortoise takes nice easy breathes, safer and more careful steps, and rarely commit suicide running into the light on a dirt road the way rabbits do. And yet they are often bullied and passed over for being too neutral. Check out Chariot's OF Fire. You'll find that the slo-mo sequences move you most. The larger message for me was that knowing your destination is far more important than how fast you get there.

The runners know where they're going. They look like they're running home!


Shea Park is President and Founder of Ad-Spark and has served the internet advertising industry since 1996. Shea Park is a life-long entrepreneur, with 20 years of business management experience, a 12 year veteran of internet marketing, and writer. Ad-Spark.com specializes in customer acquisition and retention strategies, internet marketing and training. She can be reached at Shea@ad-spark.com.

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