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Bill Van Loan
Los Angeles, United States
Communications Strategist with a Photographic Memory
Interests: helping others, art, comedy, plays, pilates, exercise, promoting creative people, win-win relationships, piano concerts, humanitarian work and promoting women in leadership is a passion of mine...
Recent Activity
Here's conventional wisdom: Success makes you happy. Happiness permits you to be generous. In fact, it actually works like this: Generosity makes you happy. Happy people are more likely to be successful. via Continue reading
Brands are based on trust. Corporations extract enormous value from the relationships they have with suppliers, employees, partners and customers. Yes, it's possible to trust a corporation, we do it all the time. But it's not free. The two key choices a brand makes to be trusted in the long run: 1. You will postpone profit-taking. There are always shortcuts available to you, always ways to make money sooner rather than later, plenty of chances to do a little less or charge a little more. via Continue reading
After reading a magazine article by a freelancer, I clicked over to his blog. It was part of a bigger media site, and it contained more than a hundred articles. Every single one of them was formulaic. The standard linkbait headline: ([Integer between 5 and 10] WAYS to [action verb like avoid or stumble or demolish] [juicy adjective like stupid or embarrassing or proven] [noun].) via Continue reading
Alas, this is the wrong question. The only way to get rid of the fear is to stop doing things that might not work, to stop putting yourself out there, to stop doing work that matters. No, the right question is, "How do I dance with the fear?" Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy. via Continue reading
First, let us say how much we appreciate all members of the Typepad community. We know the last few days have been trying and stressful to you all and us. Please know you have a team of people who love Typepad who have been working and continue to work to keep Typepad up 24/7. via Continue reading
You've seen the signs: ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT CARDS. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS. BATHROOMS FOR PATRONS ONLY. Guess what? There's no legal requirement that signs have to make you sound like a harsh jerk in order to carry weight or to inform the public. To keep our prices as low as possible, we only accept cash. The good news is that there's an ATM next door. Careful! We'd like to watch your stuff for you, but we're busy making coffee. Our spotlessly clean restrooms are for our beloved customers only, so come on in and buy something! Also,... Continue reading
Kids know important stuff, stuff we mature adults work very hard to unteach them. But maybe instead of urging our children to “be careful” and “act responsible,” we should follow their lead to have more fun. Here are the top 6 things preschoolers have over us: 1.�Make believe.�You don’t have to tell a kid that “anything is possible.” They’re pros at “pretend” or what behavioral specialists call visualization. Olympic athletes, in fact, spend nearly as many hours mentally rehearsing their success as they do physically practicing. Well, duh! Our kids could tell us. They don’t need anyone’s permission to be... Continue reading
It's forty degrees out and there's a guy standing in front of the office building, shivering, indulging in his nicotine addiction. I can't possibly empathize with what he's thinking or feeling. As I walk down the street, I pass an elderly woman in an electric wheelchair. Again, I have no idea what it is to be her. And there, whipping around the corner in a fancy car, is an industrialist I recognize, someone with more employees, power and money than most of us would know what to do with. via Continue reading
You will never, ever run out of strangers. And so, the goal of perfectly pleasing an infinite number of passersby is a fool's errand. They come with their own worldview, their own issues, their own biases. Since they don't know you or trust you and don't get you, they're not inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt or invest what it takes to understand you. Sure, some of them will applaud or smile or buy. And if that's your mission, have fun. But perfection in stranger-pleasing? Not going to happen, not worth the journey. For some people, some... Continue reading
The most underrated scene in the Wizard of Oz is the hallway leading up to the audience with the great and powerful one. One of the reasons that Oz is seen as being particularly great and powerful is that it's just so much trouble to get to see him--and that hallway is the perfect metaphor. I still remember visiting a talent agency in Hollywood a decade ago. The lobby was far bigger than most people's homes, and it was totally empty, a long, long walk from the automatically opened door to the Centurion at the desk. via Continue reading
Without a doubt, the ability to connect the dots is rare, prized and valuable. Connecting dots, solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious, is more essential than ever before. Why then, do we spend so much time collecting dots instead? More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it. Their big bag of dots isn't worth nearly as much as your handful of insight, is it? via Continue reading
We are constantly designing new ideas: content marketing programs, ways to practically educate customers, brand ideas, tools that help people get stuff done and more. It’s all highly creative and requires a back and forth between those designing the solution, those who will actually use the solution and the executive stakeholders who fund or otherwise support the initiative. � So much noise is made about getting end-users into the design process and making sure that we are all building something with the user in mind. That is super-critical. Far less noise is made about getting business leaders who may be... Continue reading
The two scarce elements of our economy are trust and attention. Trust is scarce because it's not a simple instinct and it's incredibly fragile, disappearing often in the face of greed, shortcuts or ignorance. And attention is scarce because it doesn't scale. We can't do more than one thing at a time, and the number of organizations and ideas that are competing for our attention grows daily. via Continue reading
You might be waiting for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little... The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive. Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. Whenever. via Continue reading
Letting the opinions of others control your life.�– People know your name,not your story .� They’ve heard what you’ve done, but not what you’ve been through.� So take their opinions of you with a grain of salt.� In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts.� Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.The shame of past failures.�– You will fail sometimes, and that’s okay.� The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant.� Your past does... Continue reading
Steal your business model. We don't have a shortage of business models, it's okay if you pick one that's already working for someone else. Steal your web design. There will always be enough people brave enough to invent whole new ways of interacting online. But unless you're an interaction designer or your business model depends on something new, do us all a favor and use something that already works. Steal your tools. You probably don't need to build a new email delivery engine, a new overnight shipping method or a new way to run payroll. Once someone has a reliable,... Continue reading
The first step�is simply to accept the change as a reality. Acceptance is the opposite of rejection or resistance. Acceptance keeps your mind calm and positive. As William James said, "The starting point in dealing with any difficulty is to be willing to have it so." The minute you accept that a change has occurred and that you can't cry over spilled milk, you become more capable of dealing with the change and turning it to your advantage. One of the best ways to deal with the worry that is often generated by unexpected change is to sit down and... Continue reading
Source "Further On" — Bronze Radio Return"The Little Ones"�— Argonauts"Anything You Want" — Jar of Stars"Happy at Your Gate"�— Erika Spring"Stay Alive"�— Jose Gonzalez"Lake Michigan" — Rogue Wave"Be Okay"�— Oh Honey"Ash and Ember"�— Augustana"Bottle It Up"�— Sara Bareilles"Sing" — Ed Sheeran"Peace"�— O.A.R."Lost"�— Scavenger Hunt"Skeleton Key"�— Kenzie May"Waves that Rolled You Under"�— Young Summer� via Continue reading
The traveling salesman, the carnival barker and the old-time businessman can hit and run. Make the sale, cut your costs, move on. Today, though, in the connection economy, two huge factors are at work: 1. Subscription. The lifetime value of a customer is high and getting higher. You might buy $50,000 from one grocery store over time. If you own an inkjet printer, it might come to a thousand dollars a year in toner expenses, with a profit margin approaching 90%... via Continue reading
Some popular social media marketing tactics that have helped increase noise on the web are Facebook's newest target for elimination or downgrading in the news feed. The three tactics in question are "like-baiting," repetitive posting of content and links to offsite spam. The perpetrators? Much of this spam is "published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would." While most music marketers aren't guilty of offsite spam, like-baiting and repetitive content posting is another matter. via Continue reading
Internet companies often strive for lock in. Lock in is what happens once you have a lot of followers on Twitter... it's not easy to switch. Same with all social networks. And operating systems too--it takes a lot of hassle to walk away from iOS. Once a company has achieved lock in, one way to grow is to appeal to those that haven't been absorbed (yet), to change the product to make it appeal to people who need it to be simpler, dumber and less powerful, because (the company and its shareholders understand) the power of the network becomes ever... Continue reading
Ideas used to be nicely wrapped up, wrapped in movies or books or some other sort of container. The Harvard Business Review and Fast Company would collect a bunch of them in one handy, easy to carry package. And the way we found those ideas was by going to the place where the containers lived and grabbing one. The bookstore was a valuable showroom for worthy ideas. Today, ideas spread. We find them from someone we trust, or as they flash across the sky of social media. Today, people with authority and leverage continue to need new and important ideas,... Continue reading
YouTube’s global head of entertainment Alex Carloss is telling creators to move beyond building a large audience and focus on building a fanbase. ��“An audience tunes in when they're told to, a fanbase chooses when and what to watch,” Carloss told atendees of the MIPTV conference in Cannes. “An audience changes the channel when their show is over. A fanbase shares, it comments, it curates, it creates.” via Continue reading
It used to be that if someone received bad customer service, there wasn't much she could do about it. Ask for a manager, vent to friends and family, or just shrug it off and promise (oftentimes futilely) to never spend money at that establishment again. But then social media entered our lives. And now if we have a bad experience with a restaurant, airline, shop, or service, there are plenty of places we can go to spread the word: Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Angie's List, and everyone's favorite: Twitter. Because it is now so easy for anyone and everyone to share... Continue reading
Has it ever been easier to experience an emotion at the click of a mouse? It's a choice. You can instantly become enraged, merely by reading the comments of some blogs. You can amplify your self-doubt by checking out what the trolls on Twitter have just said about you. And if you're really interested in bringing yourself down, go read some reviews of your work online. via Continue reading