The English Prime Challenge

English Prime looks and sounds just like the everyday English language we use with family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers, with one major exception, the verb 'to be' and all its variants, ie, is, was, am, will be, etc., are removed. By using English Prime, often referred to as E-Prime, one can communicate more clearly and realistically than otherwise. The verb 'to be' creates the illusion of absolute certainty and unequivocal truths. Sometimes, this is appropriate, such as the statement, the flower is planted in the pot, or when describing certain properties or qualities, such as the dog is hairy. Even then, the word 'hairy' can have many levels of meaning and as such is not terribly clear. When used in the context of identity, the word 'is' becomes very problematic. For example, the simple sentence 'John is a troublemaker' would appear to suggest that John makes trouble all the time everywhere. Moreover, it suggests that one's own perception of the situation should be taken as truth, which it is not. Another person may perceive John as a goof off, but not a troublemaker.

A more accurate and realistic statement about John's behavior might be something like, 'the way I see it, John appears to behave as a troublemaker when at school.' This conveys a point of view, in a given context, not an absolute universal truth; It presents an appearance of behaviors which are interpreted by the observer as being that of a troublemaker, in a particular setting; It does not imply equality between John the person and a specific set of behaviors, in a specific set of conditions. John may behave in a very helpful and compliant way with friends outside of school. John is very helpful would contradict John is a troublemaker. Which one true? Which one false? It depends on the observer, and on the context, the conditions under which those behaviors are being observed.

Let's take another simple example: The sky is blue. Although this may seem the common experience, and does describe a property or quality of the sky, one would agree that the sky exhibits many shades of blue, at different times of the day; at night one would say the sky is black. E-Prime would remove the 'is' and replace it with something like 'appears as.' The sky does only appear as blue at some times, for many people, but not all people, at all times. By stating the sky is blue, the presumption becomes that it appears as blue for all people at all times, which it does not.

English Prime arose in the mid 1960's out of General Semantics. Here is the main idea of ​​General Semantics: ' people can only know what they observe and experience when they see, hear, touch, taste, smell, think, and feel, and furthermore, that what they observe and experience can affect how they observe and experience in the future. Because each person has different experiences throughout their lives, they interpret their experiences differently '(wikipedia.org). This way of understanding semantics (ie, the science of meaning in language) aligns with modern quantum physics, in that the observer and the observed influence each other, that which we perceive becomes colored by the very act of perception itself. We don't really experience an object as much as we experience our interaction with an object. Just about everything we call reality exists as a point of view, a perspective.

Another example, simple in structure and yet potent in effect, 'I am depressed' becomes 'I feel depressed.' There is a huge difference between being depressed and feeling depressed. In the former, we are identified as depressed; In the latter, we are experiencing a feeling or state of mind. Or, better yet, 'I feel depressed when I make a mistake' adding a context, a condition to that state of mind. And, even better than that, 'I experience feelings I label as depressing when I make a mistake.' The statement 'I am depressed' has an unrealistic absolute-ness about it. Some proponents of E-Prime have stated that improper use of the verb 'to be' creates a kind of 'deity mode of speech' which allows' even the most ignorant to transform their opinions magically into god-like pronouncements on the nature of things (wikipedia.org). Our point of view, our perspective, the ways in which we as an individual interact with our world, may appear to us as 'our truth' but, in fact, falls far short of Truth. Individual truth does not exist. Individual perception, interpretation, point of view and meaning does exist. Truth is; everything else: appears as. So, when you find yourself saying something like so and so is a such and such, or that I am such and such. Stop. Consider how you might phrase that using E-Prime. Take into account this idea of ​​personal perspective, point of view, context and conditions, not an absolute, eternal fact. Up your game. Consider applying English Prime to your written and spoken words. It will require some rethinking, and rewording, of common phrases. The benefits include improved clarity of thought, speech and communication. It even has benefits in the realms of mental health.



Source by Ken Fields

Reaching the Affluent on Social Media Platforms Top 7 Strategies Using the HR Department

Social Media is a phrase everyone knows or has heard, and is certainly being tossed around by seemingly everyone with a heart beat and a pulse these days, and yet it is difficult at times to answer the question regarding Social media. If Facebook, MySpace, and Wikipedia are Social media sites, then what is social media? Perhaps the best way to define social media is to break it down. Media is an instrument used for communication, such as the radio, a newspaper, and television, and social media would be a social instrument of communication.

In Web 2.0 terms, you’re given information while that information interacts with you. The interaction can be various things from comments to rating a product or articles, and thus the beauty of Social media – it’s a two-way street providing you the opportunity to communicate while you’re engaged on that site. At one time it was commonly held that no one could sell High-priced items online, or anything else of real value for that matter – but that time has come and gone. More than three-quarter of US online adults made a purchase over the Web.

Nearly 4 out of 10 online buyers have made a travel purchase and more than one-third have managed their credit or banking accounts online. American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group’s report “The Second Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America” found that 70% of US consumers with over $100,000 in discretionary, house hold income surveyed prefer online buying to the in-store experience. The same number (70%) also goes online to research products, comparison shop and make purchases.

This fondness for online shopping could very well be a case of time equaling money. More to the point, the retail experience has varied in its character. For example, the introduction of online retail has significantly changed the overall shopping experience. The term e-tail encompasses so many different experiences such as grocery e-tail, auction e-tail, and or specialty e-tail and a host of others. But now there’s a new experience on the rise and has been added to online shopping which is the rise of e-luxury online.

So what has sparked this sudden growth for luxury online? This new growth is largely because most wealthy Internet users in the United States are optimistic about the economy going forward according to Ipsos Mendelsohn and their online spending has historically been higher than average. That should make everybody happy and present an attraction to retailers, which have increased their attention to social networks to attract customers. But does this mean that the affluent will be as receptive to social marketing as other Web users? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. According to a study conducted by Unity Marketing, the outlook is mixed. But as confidence grows among Affluent about the economy, the Affluent will drive online spending. Believe it or not, the affluent lead the way to E-Commerce recovery, and that leads to another interesting point I’d like to make.

In the past, most corporations’ communications teams were responsible for protecting and preserving the corporation’s reputation. However, with the huge popularity of Social media, every department in your business can play a huge role in branding, monitoring and protecting the corporate image and reputation, beginning with the Human Resource department. One of the greatest challenges for Human Resource executives is breaking through walls that some corporations put up simply because there’s a belief and or policy to allow only their communication’s departments to represent the company and its brand identity. In some companies the wall is big. But there is a way to knock it down, if one has the right tools. Except in a few instances, most companies offer largely undifferentiated products and services; airlines for example fly their aircraft over and over, while serving the same food, and retail stores offer the same merchandise.

In many respects, their brand strategy is quite simply their business strategy. A brand, frankly speaking, is a promise to consumers to provide a specific level of service, value, and quality that can be expected and received. Think of a brand as a covenant between a business and its customers. Branding expert Martin Lindstrom said it best when he said “Great brands and religions have something in common: the idea of vanquishing a shared enemy.”

Today’s media approach to branding the message of a company to the consumer is greatly enhanced, with all the Social media platforms out there today, one thing is for certain – if the promise is not kept, customers will flee and go elsewhere. A classic example is Eastern Airlines who promised to “Earn its Wings Everyday” through superior customer service while simultaneously canceling flights, losing bags, and serving passengers horrible food. As a direct result, trust between customers and the airline were irrevocably broken, passengers boycotted and eventually Eastern Airlines went out of business and destroyed the brand forever.

What went wrong? Eastern Airlines failed to align the behavior of their employees with the brand promise, and that leads to my first tip to anyone building a brand; understand that the copy in your ad does not deliver your brand’s promise, nor is it your product – your brand’s promise is delivered by your people.

Herein lies the opportunity for Human Resources to break down the walls and into the branding game, by helping ensure that all of the large and small actions that people in the company take every day, throughout the organization, fall in line with the brand strategy.

Finally, use these seven tips to further enhance your position and participation in the company’s brand identity, ensuring that your company and its brand will have ever lasting years, and be in business for years to come.

Top 7 Strategies and Tips for getting Involved with the Company’s branding from the Human Resource Department to reach the Affluent:

  1. Conduct interviews as if you’re using a crystal ball. Look deeper and ask questions that lead to future responses.
  2. During interviews start thinking of the big picture – convey how the corporate reputation affects every aspect of the company’s business, including the hiring and terminating process.
  3. Create a company policy centered on conduct and disclosure, and offer to the communications department for implementation outside of your office and department.
  4. Understand how quickly information moves online and be ready to respond swiftly should an issue appear online.
  5. Review Social media sites before conducting an interview, and become aware of the social behavior of the person seeking the position in the company before to employ them.
  6. Keep your temper under control, and never speak badly to anyone using Social media and review if the potential new employee has done the same. Remember that your bad comments will out live your temper.
  7. Think the Future. Try to predict how announcements, changes in policies, ad campaigns, and world events can impact your organization, while taking part to lead in a reputation crisis.

Keeping these helpful tips and strategies in mind will go a long way in the process of an HR executive participating and supporting with branding strategies. Ten years ago it would not have been possible for this kind of intelligent departmental interaction to be feasible.

As a Human Resource executive, you can take advantage of this opportunity to reach the affluent consumer by incorporating social media and monitoring into your communications plans today!



Source by Rone De Beauvoir

Librarians and Houses – Polo, Illinois – Historical Architecture and the NRHP

Polo, Illinois is a small city of about 2,500 in Ogle County, a county whose largest settlement has less than 10,000 people. The rural communities in Ogle County are astounding and filled with history, art and architecture, if you know where to look. Armed with a list of sites in Polo from the National Register of Historic Places, I started looking at the Polo Public Library – a building that is one of five in Polo that share that status.

The Polo Library is a Carnegie Library that was constructed in 1903-04. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. The librarians were friendly, giving me contact information for Polo citizens affiliated with historic preservation, and, most importantly, providing me with directions to an elusive lime kiln nearby. The woman I spoke with chased me down in the cold of January several blocks from the library because she had given me the wrong email address by mistake. Very kind.

Also in Polo is a cluster of architecturally important houses, all near each other, and all listed on the National Register, two of them the work of Joseph Lyman Silsbee (wiki) one of which reminds me of the important, earlier Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Winslow House.

Silsbee was an influential and very important American architect. He served as an early mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright and was very influential on the young architect and other architects of the Prairie School. While the house is pretty obviously Classically influenced, some of the trademarks of Prairie style that Frank Lloyd Wright would later make famous are clearly visible, including leaded art glass and a low pitched roof. The building was constructed from 1899-1901 and added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1993.

Behind the Bryant and Lucie Barber House is another Silsbee work, this one older. The 1891 Henry D. Barber House is more Classically obvious than its neighbor but still not what I would call a high-style example of Classical Revival. It’s an important work by an important architect, one that can be compared and contrasted with his other work, next door, from eight years later. The Henry Barber House was listed on the NRHP in 1974.

The other house listed on the National Register in Polo is across Mason Street from the two Silsbee works. It’s an ornate Queen Anne style mansion known as the John McGrath House. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) hasn’t made the NRHP nomination forms available online (despite their assurance to me that they were available) for any of the listed buildings in Polo so I don’t know much about the McGrath House. I submitted a request to the National Park Service, and the IHPA but haven’t heard back from either of them.

What I do know about the McGrath House is that it was designed by someone named George W. McBride. Unfortunately, the only George W. McBride I know of served as a United States Senator from Oregon. Though the senator was alive in 1896 when the house was built, he was not an architect and had no affiliation with Illinois anywhere I can find. I can only conclude that it is someone different. The McGrath House was listed on the NRHP in 1996.

Online Resources

*Buffalo Township Public Library: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Property Information Report

*Joseph Lyman Silsbee: Biographies:

*Bryant and Lucie Barber House: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Property Information Report

*Bryant and Lucie Barber House: NRHP

*Henry D. Barber House: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Property Information Report

*John McGrath House: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Property Information Report

*John McGrath House: NRHP

There are three non-residential sites in Polo listed on the National Register.



Source by Andy McMurray

Wiki Strategy: Promoting your Travel, Tourism or Lodging Website

A wiki is a website which allows users to add and edit content collectively. “Wiki wiki” means “rapidly” in the Hawaiian language.

A public wiki can be visited and edited by anyone using a browser. This creates a powerful online collaboration environment that is self-managed by its users. Wikis are considered part of the social internet, and a category of Web 2.0. There are many wikis that provide opportunities for hotels, inns, resorts and other tourism and hospitality businesses to post their own listings.

How big are Wikis? The most famous and, frankly, awe-inspiring wiki is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). According to Alexa, it is the 9th most popular website in the United states.

A private wiki can be password protected so only users can view and edit the information. This makes an excellent collaboration tool for your hotel’s work-team. We have tested over a dozen wikis for this purpose, and currently use several within our offices and manage hundreds of pages of collaboratively edited information.

From a hospitality and tourism marketing strategy perspective, a Wiki offers you the opportunity to copyright about your own area and business. The results will send your website qualified traffic, let you manage your hospitality brand, and most likely send you qualified traffic and online revenue. These are entirely free marketing resources, but you must make the time to utilize them.

Before you start exploring and entering your own copy, take 20 or 30 minutes and learn how to edit a page.

Etiquette: many wikis let you make updates anonymously. Ideally, you should log-in and create an identity. Don’t be self-serving or self-promoting — while you want your business added, it is better to build out complementary and appropriate information as part of adding your business (depends on the wiki what that info is. It is OK to correct mistakes, it is not OK to remove competitors. When you add a new page, make sure you start with the template that is appropriate. If you make mistakes, other people will fix them, and if you “spam” with inappropriate content, other people will remove you.

Wikipedia is a powerful resource that many hospitality businesses should be added to. Also check out its sister site, Wikitravel (www.wikitravel.org) for a website that is definitely appropriate for any hotel, inn, resort, hospitality or tourism website. Taking a few hours to create an information rich page about your area, your niche and/or your business is worth your time.

Wikicompany is a business focused resource that lets you add your company for free in just a few moments. See the listing I made for a hotel website marketing company.

There is a growing number of niche wikis, an example being SingleTrackwiki for mountain bikers. Keep your eye out for these and add to them if appropriate. They always appreciate quality content.

RoaringForkWiki. is an example of a wiki about an geographic area, the Roaring Fork Valley. That is the home of Blizzard Internet Marketing, and is a wiki produced and managed by Blizzard.

Many people want to set up their own wikis about topics they are passsionate about, or about their area. Mediawiki is a professional level version for real geeks. I would generally recommend you try an easy online versions try wetpaint, seedwiki, jotspot or stikipad which are easy to setup and get going.

We recommend you take a few hours and implement an online marketing strategy to promote your Travel, Tourism or Hotel website in wikis.

Resources:

Qwika is a wiki search engine if you want to search over 1000 wikis at once. Its results are dominated by wikipedia.

Check out the html to wiki tool if you plan on migrating web-based content to a wiki.

Mashable Blog on Stikipad

More about WikiCompany

New York Times on wikis in business

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