Interpretation and social media. Your filters make all the difference.

What is your interpretation?

Trish Ross from Dominion Stores 1979Write a story, ask 10 people for their interpretation and I would bet you get 10 different results!  Why do you think researchers do “blind studies”?  They know there will be different results and are looking for commonalities.

When faced with a particular situation or challenge, you are applying your personal filters before making an interpretation and deciding on how you will react.  You won’t be wrong.  But, you may not be reacting the way the person sharing information intended.  Be careful not to judge “lest ye be judged”!  Rather than applying only your filters, put yourself in the shoes of the person sending the message.  What is their personal dynamic?  Thinking that through, what do you think their interpretation may be?

What is your interpretation now?  Did it change?

(eg. In the picture above, you might think this boy and girl were dating and visiting family at Christmas.  He was dating someone else at the time and she took the picture!)

What are filters?

filtersThink about coffee filters.  There are different types.  Bleached versus unbleached.  Thicker and thinner, and so on.  Using a different filter will affect the end result.  Look at metal filters versus paper filters.  When you use a very fine grind and a metal filter, there is a higher likelihood of sediment in a pot of coffee than if you used a really dense paper filter.  With the paper filter, the coffee actually brews longer and fewer coffee grounds pass through.  The result changed because of filters.  There is a different taste or “interpretation” of the coffee.

For most of us, the filters are things like ethnicity, social status or sometimes, just the hormones that are raging that day.  Tell a teenager and a 40 plus the exact same thing and I would venture to say there will be very different interpretations of your message.  Their filters are life experience based on what they have been exposed to by that time and the effects of hormonal activity!

Social Media and interpretation.

When using social media, who is responsible for interpretation?  Ultimately, you are.

The person posting has no idea who you are or what your life experience is.  They can’t anticipate what your day has been like or what life has thrown at you.  The post you are reading may have nothing to do with you but for some reason, you feel it is about you personally.  Places like Facebook and Google Circles have such a great reach that you can’t help but have a very large cross section of readers.

writerFor writers, by all means try to anticipate how your message will be received.  But, when it comes to your personal stuff, don’t be fake.  Share your feelings and accept that sometimes, others will assume it’s about them and become upset.  They are applying their filters, not yours, and have no way of knowing what your filters are.  If you can’t accept that others will sometimes have a different interpretation, then don’t get involved in Social Media.

Conversely, take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions.  Anyone who tells you they have no control is full of beans.  They just don’t want to be responsible for their interpretations!

Make it a great day!


P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for Social Media, it’s like a giant public diary.  I’m thankful for our differences.  I’m thankful for the circle of life.

What are you thankful for today?

Social Media Can Be A Mine Field

Social media is a great tool for marketing and staying in touch with people in far away places. Just remember that it can be fraught with danger!


One of the challenges with social media is that people can’t usually see our faces and body language. That means they only get about 40% of the message. Is that enough to ensure you aren’t misunderstood?

Mom&BrettI’ll use a personal example. I wrote a blog in January of 2012 about how great a year 2011 had been and posted it to my Facebook news feed. My reason for 2011 being so great was that in 2010, we almost lost our house, my mother died, my father had a stroke and my son died. In 2011, I had been in a new job for a year, we had managed to save our home with the help of friends and family, my other kids appeared to be getting their lives back on track after losing their brother the year before. When you compare the two, 2011 was a great year.

What I forgot about was that my nephew had died that year.

I received a call from my brother-in-law. He was furious. “How could you say that!”. My wife asked me to take down that blog because of the pain it was causing my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Although not sorry for what I said, I was sorry for how it made them feel and took the blog down.

If you are going to be active in social media, be prepared to eat some crow once in a while. I’m not saying not to be honest and say what you feel. Just be prepared that not everyone will agree with you and you might bruise some toes once in a while and have to explain yourself.

Social Media and Business

When it comes to business, the challenges are even greater. My brother-in-law might not be happy with what a I said a few years ago but he has forgiven and moved on. We are friends again. That took a couple of years!

criticismIn the case of business, prospects and clients aren’t necessarily so forgiving. I’m still married to my brother-in-law’s sister so he was forced to be near me and that gave us a chance to “kiss and make up”. Your followers and customers don’t have to. With a click of a mouse, you are unfollowed. If you are lucky, that’s all. With the power of social media, your followers, prospects and customers have a voice.

Look at Air Canada for example. There was an incident in February of 2017 where a plane had been grounded due to weather. It was midnight and passengers were told there was no food available as everything was closed. A West Jet pilot was in the same airport. He took the initiative to order pizza and came to the Air Canada passengers saying that “‘Hey … I am from WestJet and we do things differently. Who wants pizza?”. Facebook postings went nuts! Lucky for Air Canada, most of the commentary was positive for the West Jet pilot as opposed to directly negative for Air Canada.

Air Canada, to their credit, was quick to apologize and recognize the West Jet pilot for his efforts. Silence could have been deadly. Social media is a mine field. Tread carefully.

Have A Voice But Remember Words Matter

Question?By all means, have a voice. Just remember that words matter. Your readers may not have your language as their first language and are interpreting into their context. For example, “I’m going to the park” may translate to “I’m making a trip to the park” in a Latin language. If you’re lucky, your comments translate that well but not always. What if it’s something like “I beat my wife at a game of chess” and it translated to “I played a game of chess with my wife and I beat her”. If English isn’t my first language, I might be concerned you were beating your wife!

Words mean different things to different people. I highly recommend reading The Secret Language of Leadership by Steve Denning. Choose your words carefully but just as important, try to understand how your readers will interpret them.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for social media. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for opportunity. What are you thankful for today?

Testing…Testing…Can you hear me now?

You should always be testing when working with social media. How else can you tell people are hearing your message?

Testing what?

Today, I want to talk about testing links. First, do they work? Second, do they work?!

First, testing your links to see if they work.

HTTP 404 errorHave you ever had that experience where someone posts about a great subject and when you click the link you get an “HTTP 404 Error”, the browser can’t find the page requested? How frustrating is that?!

If it happens once, you may click another post from that person later but if it happens too often, it’s like the little boy who cried wolf. You won’t believe you can trust them and you won’t “hear” anything they have to say again. You may even choose to “unfriend” that person. Are you testing links before you post on social media? All you have to do is open a fresh tab and paste the link you are posting before you put it in your social media communications. Better it fails you than your “listeners”.

Second, testing links to see if they produce traffic?!

You’re finished testing to make sure your link actually goes somewhere. Now, do you know if anyone actually clicked on it?

Google url shortenerI like using Google’s url shortener for this purpose. It’s free and easy to use. There are others with more in depth reporting but that’s for later when you are making enough money to cover your cost. This is a great way to get started. Using, I can tell:

  • how many clicks;
  • what type of device;
  • what operating system;
  • and what countries the clicks are coming from.

When you go to one of these reports, you can see how well that link is working. If you go to your initial login page, you will see your list of links with their history. Compare the number of links and look at the types that are getting the most clicks. You can use to identify what your followers pay attention to.

This isn’t to say you should never make posts that don’t get a lot of traction. You need to be honest with yourself and your audience. Just make sure that you can identify what will get attention faster when you want it. When making posts that get the most attention, you need to take the opportunity to direct your audience’s attention where you want it. Do you have something to offer related to the post? Say so and give the opportunity to go there.

So, what should you be testing? Everything! For today, let’s just focus on testing your links. You might want to check out Pure Leverage for great marketing tools and to learn more about things like testing conversion rates, colours, etc.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great teachers. I’m thankful for patient partners. I’m thankful for every new day.

What are you thankful for today?

Is your blog being found? 5 things you can do to attract attention.

You did a great job on your blog. When people read it, they will be thankful for the information. Is your blog being found? There are five things you can do to get the word out.

Blog and Shamelessly Promote

Your blog may be found by accident, but not likely. You need to do a little shameless promotion.

Most of us want others to achieve success for themselves. Your words are important. Whether you spent minutes or hours writing, you did so because you had something to say that you believe can help others. Think about this, if you stand all by yourself and deliver a moving speech in the middle of the forest, will it have any effect? Probably not. You need to invite people to your party!

5 Things You Can Do

  1. Self Host Your Blog
  2. Social Media
  3. Email
  4. Pinging
  5. Public Engagements

Self Hosting

authorityBlogWhen you want people to show up at your party (your blog or website), it works better if it’s easier to find. Think about this, if we met and you couldn’t remember my web site, you would probably search my name. You will likely end up on one of my domains. People tend to be curious and will try to get to the root domain. If you don’t own it, they end up leaving your site and may very well end up buying from someone else. By self hosting your own domain, they will just end up deeper in your territory!

Social Media

You have your own domain but people still aren’t finding you. Did you invite them? This is where social media can really help. Let people get to know, like and trust you. Then invite them to your web site.


Spend some time creating your content and then start marketing your site. Be careful with your messaging, we all have different filters, but make sure you spread the word that you have something of value to offer. I don’t know you are selling something if you don’t tell me. Make use of your auto-responder to get your message out.


I was watching a Smart Marketing Coaching (SMC) webinar and Mark Call told us about where you can ping your blog and let the search engines know you exist. Sure, Google, Yahoo and Bing may find you eventually but use Pingler to “shout it from the rooftop”. This may help speed up the process and increase the likelihood of you showing up higher in the search results.

Public Engagements

Get out in public and do some networking. Join your local chamber of commerce. Get involved in community service. Internet marketing and webinars are a great way to reach out internationally.

Meeting face to face adds another dimension and you develop friends that you can ask to read and share your blogs. This extends your reach even further.

Your success is just a stone’s throw away but you need to take action. Life will start for you when you start it for yourself.

Do you have the stones to succeed?!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my faith in mankind. I’m thankful for GVO and Pure Leverage. I’m thankful for you.

What are you thankful for today?



Practice safe text! Tips for safe Internet and messaging.

When it comes to keeping your files safe, you need to put good practices in place.



First, a good Anti-Virus program.  My preference is AVG.  I find Norton too resource hungry.  Not too sure about McAfee.  Some I know like Kaspersky.  But, Anti-Virus isn’t enough.


man-stopI would also advise getting a copy of Malware Bytes.  Most people don’t realize that malware and Viruses are very different and require the appropriate tool.  Many Anti-Virus packages include malware scanners but my experience is Malware Bytes does a much better job.  If you choose to use the free version, make it a habit to run the scan regularly.  Purchasing a full copy will allow you to have it always active and have regularly scheduled scans.



There are a few habits you need to develop:

  • Be careful about sites you visit.
  • Understand what makes email suspicious.
  • Use common sense when sending sensitive information.
  • Don’t make yourself a target for Identity Theft.


3D-Women-Search-08When you are browsing the internet, use an up to date browser.  My preference is Google Chrome or Fire Fox.  As much as I love the convenience and speed of Google Chrome, in my opinion Fire Fox is more secure.  I don’t have a security background so understand that is only an opinion.  Make sure when you are browsing that before you click a link, hover over the link and look down at the bottom bar of the browser to see where it actually goes.  If in doubt, DON”T!


Many of us have the bad habit of opening and email as soon as we see a name we recognize in the from field.  All that means is that it’s made to look like it’s from their account.  It may not!

Clues to look for:

  • Is there a name in the to field?
  • Has the email been copied to multiple people and do you have any idea who they are?
  • Are there files attached and were you expecting them?

No name in the to field may indicate it has been blind copied, often done by spammers and Identity Thieves.  Spam is bad enough but many of these files are an attempt to get at your personal information.  If you weren’t expecting files, email the person directly or better still, pick up the phone.  You may actually be protecting them as well as yourself.  It’s no longer if but when.  (For your peace of mind, yes, there are links in this article.  They go to other blogs related to Identity Theft.)

texting and messaging

3D-Women-Idea-01A little common sense here.  NEVER send banking or other sensitive information through the Internet, Email, Text or Messaging services.  It’s really that simple.  Your banker, accountant, lawyer and financial advisors should never be asking for information that way.  By all means, respond with a phone call and give the required information or make an appointment to fill out the appropriate forms in person.  Anyone asking through social media and internet channels is either careless or they are just after your information for other purposes.

Now that I’ve scared the heck out of you, the Internet and social media are a lot of fun and a great way to stay in touch.  Just practice safe text and be ready when the inevitable happens.

Make it a great day!


P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for my ID Theft Plan.  I’m thankful for Social Media.  I’m thankful you read this far!

What are you thankful for today?

To learn more about a #LegalSavingsPlan and/or #IdentityTheft plans, visit