Somebody Else's Experience is the Best Teacher: Lessons of 2009

p_013Experience is not the best teacher, unless it’s someone else’s. Here are some experiences had by others in 2009 and the lessons I hope you learned from them.

1. If you are a high profile celebrity who is stepping outside your marriage to have affairs with other women, do not leave voice mail messages to one of your lovers. Even if you don’t identify yourself by name, we recognize your voice. And, the temptation of your lover to turn that saved message over to the media for big bucks when she finds out she is just one of many is just too tempting to resist.

2. If you decide to stage a hoax involving your son in a hot air balloon publicity stunt, spend more time rehearsing what your son should say when questioned later by the media. Or decline any interviews (Oh, I forgot. The whole point was to get publicity.) You can’t expect a six year old to grasp the importance of misrepresenting the truth or realize that this “game” is punishable by jail time for his parents.

3. If you’ve just gotten a new high paying job don’t diss your new company on Twitter:

[The company in question] just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

Tweets go out to anyone on Twitter, not just your followers. And, major companies are not only tech-savvy these days, but monitor social media to keep up with what’s being said about their brand.

4. If you are an Arizona video podcaster on vacation with your family, consider telling us about your vacation when you return rather than giving blow by blow details of your travels as you go. Burglars read tweets too, and after reading the following tweet may decide to relieve you of some of your possessions while you are away.

We made it to Kansas City in one piece. We’re visiting [wife’s] family. Can’t wait to get some good video while we’re here.

Modern technology is a wonderful tool, but when you use it to put your foot in mouth the result is swift and unretrievable.