At the Bottom of Diapergate

Well here I am once again, finishing off a week long journey into the world of cloth versus disposable diapers. Asking and answering the questions that caused such a big stir after the airing of Jeffrey Hollender's, CEO of Seventh Generation, Big Green Lies on the Fine Living Network

In a nutshell, Big Green Lies aired a segment on it's Earth Day show about the environmental impacts of cloth versus disposable diapers. In the segment the conclusion was that when all environmental factors are considered a user is fine to use either type of diaper... but is this true?

I had an hour long conversation with Geoff Davis, a representative of Seventh Generation. Geoff, who also did the research for the segment that aired, was very personable and open to all of my questions. At the same time, over the course of our conversation he did mention he and his wife chose disposable diapers because they felt cloth diapers were hard to deal with. As I disclosed in my previous post, my wife and I are going with cloth for our upcoming birth - so obviously both of us have to have some level of personal bias if we are all being completely honest. But just like Geoff claims that Big Green Lies looked at the issue objectively, so will I.

One of the first things that I asked him was if he would go on record in saying there was no bias in the study, without hesitation he said that he stood by the information presented and that he spent a day to a day-and-a-half researching online and other places for this segment. When asked what research he used to prepare the segment he pointed specifically to two studies that came to similar conclusions. 

The first, a Franklin & Associates study done in the 90's, which even he mentioned was done for the disposable industry and should be taken with a grain of salt since reports like this can obviously result in a clear bias.

If this is true though, then why was it used in the analysis of the debate? The second report he referenced was done by the Union of Concerned Scientists. One source Geoff did not mention was the RDA. By looking at their site you can see a counterpoint to most of the arguements raised in the BGL piece. Knowing now at least a portion of the data used I had to ask the obvious question... how can a company like Seventh Generation that has a stake in the disposable diaper industry be seen as credible on this topic, how was this not an hour long infomercial to promote products?

Geoff immediately pointed to the fact that they were very careful not to mention any products, which is true. He noted that of course a certain amount of this discussion will happen when Seventh Generation people appear on the show. When he and Jeffrey started this project it was originally supposed to be a book but it evolved into the eventual TV show. The intent the entire time was to educate the public to make better decisions to protect the environment. Geoff pointed to a couple of publications he did work on with Jeffrey that actually tell people how to make some of their own earth friendly products (Seventh Generation Guide to Creating a Healthy Home and Naturally Clean.) 

While I completely agree that they did do a good job of not directly pushing product in the show, there still is the issue that there was the potential for bias in the reporting (remember the grain of salt analogy.) This was a big reason for a lot of the initial backlash on twitter. Geoff did raise a good point that what this did is it got people talking, and he felt that as long as people were talking then they did a good job. 

And people are talking, believe me I have heard from a lot of people and there is a lot that people want to say.

A big question was one touched on in the segment and that is the fact that disposable diapers are currently the third most common consumer item in landfills. In further research I found no one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years. Also, disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials like crude oil and wood pulp. When Geoff and I started the conversation on landfill waste he said that life is full of gray areas and everything involves a trade off, that every benefit comes with a disadvantage.

The next bit of conversation he said is somewhat subjective, but to him the single greatest environmental concern is climate change, and because of this he views landfill waste as less of a problem. He believes in looking more at the greater impact caused by carbon emissions than the impact of disposables in the landfills. I will add that I agree that one of the greatest environmental issues is the effects of global warming and the melting of our polar ice caps - but to me, why does it have to be an either or?

I asked him about a place like Hawaii that is seeing the closing of landfills, where they are running out of places to dump their trash. Geoff pointed back to the video where they do mention that people who live in areas like this should focus more on the landfill issue and for them cloth might be better, but for people in areas where water consumption is an issue that the greater focus should be on the effects cloth diapers and washing have. But to me, shouldn't we look at Hawaii as an example of what the rest of us might face if we don't limit waste? Anyway...

This was an interesting transition because the topic of water usage and environmental impact were also high on the list of things people were talking about. One of the first things I asked was specifically about the segment on the show where the woman who served as the pro-disposable advocate talked about being opposed to using too much water. The irony was that she was standing on a lush green lawn, so I asked about that and about why they didn't ask her about other ways she could be conserving water. Geoff couldn't speak to this issue because he was not there during the taping of that particular segment and mentioned that hours of filming were cut down to fit in the six minute segment. At that I mentioned there is a certain level of being unfair since it is placing an additional level of negativity on cloth diapers when the greater issue is water consumption in general.

To this Geoff gave the stats that washing diapers will average an additional 50-70 gallons used every two days at home, and that homes that wash cloth diapers use 27% more water and diaper services use 13% than if you were using disposables. What Geoff didn't mention is something I found in other research, the manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 more water wasted than cloth. I am not a huge math person, but to me it looks like that both forms of diapering do have an effect on the consumption of water. If this is the crux of the argument for disposable, does this mean that the pendulum can't swing as far as disposable manufacturers want it to? This is not a reflection on Seventh Generation diapers since Big Green Lies was not meant to be, it is about all disposable manufacturers.

In addition to this information I asked Geoff if there were other ways to lessen the washing impact of cloth diapers. He said that  by lowering the washing temperature from the standard 160-170 down to 130-140, by using energy efficient washers and line drying that the impact caused by washing would be lessened. He added to this that it is not only the water, but products like bleach that are added to clean the diapers.

I questioned him about this, because in my discussions with cloth manufacturers (like sloomb and bum genius) they both recommend that chlorine bleach never be used on their products. In fact there are some cases where warranties are voided if bleach is used. Geoff had a reasoned reply that they looked at this based on what people actually do, and that people are using bleach. Since I don't know what every consumer does it seemed logical. But at the same time if they used time to mention this in Big Green Lies maybe more people would know and learn the appropriate way to use cloth diapers and lessen the environmental impact.

At the same time, some of the argument on consumer behavior benefits disposable manufacturers since the instructions on a disposable diaper package advise that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding. If all disposable users did that, how much water would be wasted with each flush? The fact that this is not happening means that it is not only the diapers building in the landfill, it is also fecal matter. Again, I am not an expert, but that seems just as nasty as washing a cloth diaper probably seems to some. 

I did ask if the Seventh Generation baby laundry detergent would work since the cloth manufacturers don't advocate bleach and he said it is not designed to be a zero residue product, that it is designed more for garments and not diapers. (So to a degree this adds to the argument that Seventh Generation has more of a stake in seeing disposables win this debate, but maybe that is just me.)

I wanted to find out why diapers are the only disposable product being put under the microscope, so I asked if Geoff recommends using disposable dishware and paper towels to regular tableware and cloth rags. Geoff felt this was a case of comparing apples to oranges - in his opinion we can't apply what we know about diapers to other things in the house. That in general reusable products are better than disposable and in general rags rule because of the lower impact they have due to the ability to clean your entire house with one rag before you toss it in the laundry. He also mentioned how often Jeffrey, even as the CEO of a consumer product company, goes out of his way to tell people to reduce consumption. I will agree with Geoff here that anytime you can reduce consumption you are doing a positive thing. But knowing some of the other data about how you can reduce the effects of water usage from cloth and the growing impact of disposables in landfills maybe cloth diapers have their place in this conversation too.

Geoff and I got back on to the topic of ways to reduce the effects from laundering in general, some of the tips he offered (and these do not all apply to diapers) are the ones mentioned above, also washing in cold water, use detergents that are 2x-4x concentrated as they use less packaging (along with a lower impact on shipping due to volume,) hanging clothes to dry and using naturally based products to launder with (he did reiterate he was talking in general and not just about 7th Gen products.)

When I asked again how by doing all this the pendulum does not completely shift, he mentioned the cost involved in purchasing these next generation washers that can run inthe $700 range. 

So I asked about the cost information I showed in my previous post and he agreed that you can more than make up this difference, but it is having to incur that large one time cost to purchase the washer that makes it much harder to justify for a lot of people. That people can find the extra few dollars every week to purchase disposables. While I see his point, the fact is still out there that there are ways to lower the environmental impact of cloth diapers and there is a way for people to save money (maybe enough to buy a better washing machine.)

Having felt at this point we had pretty much talked enough about the environmental impact I want back to the potential for a biased report. In the show there is a portion where it is mentioned that cloth diapers interfere with the enjoyment of the baby, I had to find out what this was all about. Geoff said that this was more about the fact that cloth diapers can be seen as a chore and that time spent cloth diapering could be time you are spending with your baby. That this is where the blush comes off the rose because of all the work involved. 

Now if this is truly unbiased reporting, why was an implication like this used for the cloth diapers and not something similar for the disposables (editorializing if you will). And also, why when they showed cloth diapers did they only show the old school diapers at the service and not any of the easier to use cloth diapers that are gaining popularity? 

To the first point, Geoff did mention that if they were to do something like this again this might have been looked at more closely and that he could see the point raised on editorializing. He said they might have bit off more than they could chew by trying to touch on so many issues in BGL. But in the end, he is absolutely pleased with what they did.

So, about the name, Big Green Lies - if disposables control 90-95% of market share, then is it really appropriate to call cloth diapering a BGL and to have devoted the time to it on the show if all things are unbiased? 

Yes, was the answer from Geoff. It was right to put it in the show even though most people choose disposables. Because many people struggle with this decision before deciding on disposable diapers and they wanted to let these people know that their decision is still a good one. And it is fair to call it a Big Green Lie because they believe the decision for cloth is not as clear cut a better environmental choice as some make it out to be.

Again, as I have said in previous posts, I agree that no one should feel guilty about a personal choice - but in all honesty I would like to see another media outlet pick up the torch to remove the element of bias that will be perceived here due to the relationship of Jeffrey, Seventh Generation and Big Green Lies. 

Geoff felt, and I agree, this is a topic worthy of discussion, and the blogosphere spreading this message shows that this has hit a nerve. Geoff closed with saying that he does not see what they have done since the airing as damage control (which is what I originally called it.) He said they love and encourage debate if it leads to healthy purchasing decisions, and that a healthy decision is one's own to make. He said that Seventh Generation always puts the earth first, customer second and company third.

Now, we have heard a lot from Geoff, but I wanted to speak directly to people on the other side of the argument too and give them a voice on this issue. One such person was Paula, the owner of BabyWorks in Portland, Oregon. When I asked Paula for a statement it was easy to see how passionate she is about the issue, and although she had a lot to say the following really speaks to her point of view:

"I think disposable diapers should be what they are - a convenience product that is simply not an environmentally sound choice.  That does not mean they do not have their place, nor does it mean a number of people won't use them anyways for whatever reason.  There are occasions they are useful for - mainly, situations which do not have access to laundry facilities (e.g., travel, no washer/dryer, etc.).  We need to let go of the environmental argument.  When I eat a take out meal, I am well aware that I am throwing the (paper) box away and that it creates trash, and so I don't do it often.  The restaurant does not tell me this is "better" than using my own dishes to try to get me to buy more take-out.  We all know what is going on, and in that moment, have made a choice.  People using disposable diapers should be aware they are creating trash.  It is not about making people right and wrong, it is about awareness.  This awareness might drive more people to make a diapering choice from an informed point of view.  They don't need more confusion from spin doctors
as in this infomercial."

So, with that I am drawing my own end to diapergate. I may not have done anything to sway anyone elses point of view, but at least I was able to look at all sides of an arguement and make a decision for myself... one that I am happy with. I encourage all of you that read this to do the same. Don't just accept the information given to you, seek out answers, educate yourselves and get involved. Find out what you can do to make an impact on the world we live in and make informed choices so you can be happy that you are doing all you can for the world all of our children will live in.


Little Green Truth?

When I decided to start this blog my focus was to discuss things that were important to me and also to share the marketing knowledge and tips I have acquired though the years. Even with my experience in social media I never expected to get so personally involved in a story that was buzzing in the twitter world. But that is exactly what happened when I recently wrote about how Seventh Generation was handling a public relations issue via twitter.

Even more than that, I never thought that I would be so publicly involved in a story about the environmental impact of diapers, but sometimes stuff happens. Full disclosure, my wife and I are planning on using cloth diapers when our second child is born this summer. I joke that it is because we are hippies, but there really is a lot more to it than that. Part of the reason we decided to go the cloth route is because we do try, as a family, to do all that we can to help the planet - but we also looked at the economic benefits of cloth diapers and that is what finally pushed us to go the cloth route.

We did consider using Seventh Generation's chlorine free diapers since (more disclosure) we do use a variety of their cleaning products. But in reality the final decision was strictly one of cost (since we thought either way we were doing the right thing for the planet.) The website diaperdecision.com breaks out the total expected cost of multiple cloth options versus standard disposable diapers. The site finds that a parent will spend roughly $900-$1,200 more for disposable diapers over the time their child will be in diapers. So we thought hey, we are doing something good for the environment and saving money in the process, it is a no lose situation.

But then a funny thing happened...Earth Day. It all started with the  premier of the Fine Living Networks "Big Green Lies." The show was created by Jeffrey Hollender, the Chief Protagonist" & CEO of Seventh Generation. In the show they discussed both sides of the argument of cloth vs disposable and in the video it appeared to many in twitterverse that BGL downplays the impact disposable diapers have in increasing waste in landfills but puts added emphasis on the fact that cloth diapers use more water in their lifetime. Thus, the show concludes the result is a tie and everyone should feel good about whichever path they chose.

I agree, nobody should be made to feel guilty about their choice, but is it fair for Jeffrey Hollender to be leading this public discourse as the show basically could act as a commercial for his products (as many people pointed out on Twitter.) Wouldn't this be akin to the CEO of a fast food chain creating a show explaining that you should not feel guilty about eating a double cheeseburger and large fries daily because he has data to prove that it isn't as bad as it seems?

So this is where my little blog comes into play. My wife is on twitter and follows multiple manufacturers and sellers of cloth diapers, she told me about a trending conversation regarding people being upset about BGL and the content on the show. So, I decided to follow the conversation and to look at Seventh Generations twitter feed to see how they were reacting - and they were reacting and doing, what I called, damage control. To be honest, I thought it was good that they were responding - they had their talking points in order and put the replies out there. I did mention that I wished the PR team luck, since as someone in the industry you never want to deal with negative PR, especially when it is coming from people who are buying your products.

Well, my article picked up some steam and was retweeted a few times (which I am thankful for, by the way.) It eventually found it's way to the people at Seventh Generation and this morning Meghan contacted me asking for a conversation. I gladly accepted Meghan's offer and we exchanged email information, so I am currently waiting for a conversation with her, or someone at Seventh Generation, to get their full side of the story and to get their answers to some questions about the cloth versus disposable debate.

In the meantime I have been doing some research, and have contacted some people on the other side of the issue and I am learning even more than I ever thought I would about diapers. I also learned about a really cool project being done by Sloomb called one diaper-one treetm. I personally found out more about this company by following their replies on twitter. 

Sloomb, was one of the more active twitterers, along with bum genius and Babyworks when diapergate hit. These companies were using the power of social media to push their issue to the forefront, and it is obviously working. 

This is why I love social media, and also why it can be scary for people who protect brands. We are able to have instant feedback on issues that impact so many and no longer can we assume that there are walls to hide behind. Hopefully I will have the follow up to this in the coming days where I can share some of the great information I have already obtained, and combine that with the information I get from Seventh Generation. I hope, in the end, that I can help clear up any confusion and can share a collection of data from all points of view so everyone can feel comfortable in the fact that they were given some Little Green Truth.


A Little Ray of Sunshine

It's funny how the mind works at 10:30 on a Sunday night. I have had multiple nagging issues that just weighed enough on my mind for me to think about for a few minutes and then shrug off. However tonight was one of those nights where they all just keep playing in my head keeping me awake. Then, for some odd reason I thought about my dog, Keady. She is a little Boston Terrier with a big attitude. However, the thing that popped into my head was what drew me out of bed and to the keyboard. 

It was an image of Keady lying in a sunbeam. This, by far, is what makes her happiest in the world. Even if it only lasts for a few minutes she will find a sunbeam coming in through the window and plop down determined to enjoy every last second of it.

The things that have been bothering me aren't the things that I typically like to write about (marketing, social media or whatever the Bears have done to make me question why I follow them like a religion.) What is really getting to me is what is happening in the world and the way everyone is reacting.

We are now living in a word of eternal pessimism, doubt and general anger. Trust and respect are two things that are hard to come by... and this is sad. I am sure I am not the only one that lays awake wondering about these things, but maybe others are worrying for other reasons.

It is easy to get caught up in what is wrong in the world. Everyone wants to talk about the latest scandal, how much money is being spent by big corporations and by our government, what is the latest pandemic, etc. But whatever happened to just enjoying life?

The thing I remember most after September 11, 2001 is the way America came together. How everyone really felt good about being American. How we took notice of the little things and were willing to spend the extra few minutes talking to our neighbors. It is sad that this didn't have a longer lasting place in our lives.

What happened is self-interest and greed once again took over. We went back to the world of wanting more and more and never being satisfied. We felt it was part of what made America the greatest country in the world - we pushed our fellowship of man to the back of our minds and pushed the new luxury car into our driveways. This is not to slight personal accomplishment, people should always push themselves to do more and people should be able to enjoy the rewards of their hard work... but think about this. 

Think about the first Thanksgiving. Sure, I wasn't there and it could have been a real crappy day, but think about what we have been taught about that day. It was a day for giving thanks for basically being alive. For overcoming long odds and surviving...this, more than anything that can be bought in stores, is America.

In my lifetime we have seen many upturns and downturns - and right now we are seeing a downturn of major proportions. We are fractured along political lines. We are fractured based on our views on what should be done to the people and corporations that are being put in the spotlight for the economic ills we face. We are fractured in our views on social issues and morality. We are fractured on our views on what our effect really is on our planet. We are fractured, but I truly believe we can be mended. We just need to find our rays of sunshine.

Obviously our economy is in the crapper (yes, I grew up in "The Region" and say the word crapper with no shame.) No matter what is done or is not done people are outraged. People also want to see heads roll and people punished for what is going on in the world of big business. For the most part I was one of those people. A lot of people lost everything, including a lot of good people. However, being angry has gotten me nowhere. I am not saying people should not be held accountable for their actions, but really I am more interested in what I am doing to make the lives of others better. I am more interested in living my life.

I am not choosing to bury my head in the sand, I know there are still tough times ahead. What I am choosing is to focus on what is good in the world - there is still some good out there if you are willing to look for it. However, it might mean you have to take off your political war paint.

Both sides of the aisle have some valid points and some great ideas, but too often we all put blinders on and refuse to acknowledge someone who is "red" or "blue" if we lean the other direction. When it comes down to it, we all want the freedom to run our own lives. We want to be happy in our own skin and respected for who we are. The thing is, in our quest for personal freedoms we have tuned out the voices of others, or we have taken to talking so loudly that we can't even hear what someone else has to say. This goes for both sides of the aisle.

I can't tell anyone what to believe, but I shouldn't have to try. People should be free to live their lives with equal access to happiness and fulfillment. We should not work to segment the population and quiet voices that our different. We should look for those simple things in life that make us happy.

In a couple of months my wife and I will be bringing our second child into the world. In spite of what is going on outside my doors, I couldn't be happier that our family will be growing. It is no longer about possessions or personal status, it is about being happy and knowing I am doing right in the world.

Personally, I am going to makes sure I spend as much time with my family as humanly possible. I am going to make sure I am doing everything I can to protect the planet I live on. Even if we don't know the full effects of our carbon footprints I am choosing to error on the side of going full hippy. I am going to focus on what I can do to make others around me more comfortable, to be more tolerant and patient. I am going to stop obsessing about money - either I will have it or I won't, as long as I have the support of family and friends I know there is always a way to make things work. I am also going to make sure I continue to be snarky and sarcastic and never take things too seriously, I mean really... lighten the hell up people.

Finally, I am going to look for my sunbeams. Even in the times when things are darkest I am going to seek out those little rays of light and soak them up for as long as I can.

(I was just about to hit publish, but I wanted to add that I really do feel better about typing this out. Writing was always something I loved, but just pushed aside when life got in the way. Even if I am not the greatest writer in the world it is something that has always been personally satisfying and I know I should do a lot more of it. I hope others can remember what that one thing was that made them happy that they put on the back burner.

There is a quote from the movie Dazed and Confused that I absolutely love. It is from the character David Wooderson and I think it is the only appropriate way to close this post. "The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just got to keep livin' man. L-I-V-I-N.")


Did Big Green Lies make a Liar of Seventh Generation?

For those of you that have read the blog before you know I am a big proponent of social media and the value it can add to your business. But for every good there is an evil dark side - and right now Seventh Generation Products is dealing with the backlash of an angry e-public. The worst part, they seem to have really ticked off a huge part of their core audience - the eco-friendly, mother earth loving...mothers (including MrsBoilermaker.)

It all started with the Earth Day premier of the Fine Living Neworks "Big Green Lies." The show was created by Jeffrey Hollender, the Chief Protagonist" & CEO of Seventh Generation. On the show he implied that disposable diapers are better for the environment than cloth diapers - Seventh Generation makes an eco-friendly disposable diaper. Now it is one thing to say that Seventh Generation makes a diaper that is better for the environment than others that clog the landfills of the world, but to say they are better for the environment than cloth (no matter what your saving water reasoning may be) - well, you just might expect that you might boil the blood of a few hacky sack moms.

After the airing the hippy twitterverse was livid, including leading cloth diaper manufacturers like Bum Genius. This has lead to a day of damage control on the Seventh Generation twitter page

What this should serve to remind everyone who is selling anything to anyone - there are eyes and ears everywhere. Everything you say and do can impact your brand and in the new world of social media you no longer have complete control of the message. You can't always please everyone, and you shouldn't try to - but make sure to try not to do anything that can upset your core demographic - especially when they can quickly rally and gather the troops.

All I can say is good luck to you, PR staff of Seventh Generation.


Moving Beyond Twitter

So, you finally figured out twitter, set Tweedeck up on your desktop to manage your feed and monitor chatter. You have begun using analytics to measure traffic and have figured out how to best utilize landing pages to capture leads or sell your products. You have figured out who to follow and have begun adding your twitter link on your email signatures, your corporate site and blogs. 

But what happens if twitter becomes Friendster, Myspace or even Classmates? Tools that were once thought to be sure ways to speak directly  to your audience that were quickly eclipsed by the next big thing, facebook. That does not mean that facebook is going to go away or even twitter for that matter, but you would be best served to see where else your audience might be.

If you have figured out twitter you should also look at Plurk or identi.ca? These two micro blogs also utilize 140 character messaging. Plurk uses a timeline which is a nice feature to easily go back and find old messages if you remember when they were posted, however this same feature can seem kind of annoying and cumbersome to people that are familiar to the twitter feed. Identi.ca allows people to join or create groups that let  you find and talk to others with similar interests. While I find this to be a cool function for identi.ca, the web interface is a lot more cluttered than twitter and there are not enough applications created at this point to effectively utilize this like twitter.

But moving beyond twitter means moving your social media strategy beyond mini blogging too. Creating a full corporate blog that can be linked through twitter, creating landing pages on your site that can be linked, linking to content on your site like white papers or newsletter articles... these are only scratching the surface. You need to evaluate all the tools available to you.

Do you have videos that you want to share with the public, then create a YouTube channel. Creating a channel offers another venue for you to craft specific messages to share with your audience. But YouTube is not the only game in town. If you have videos you will also want to look at 12seconds for short video updates, DailyMotion, Seesmic, and Vimeo. Another place you can post your video is facebook.

Facebook has risen to the top versus Myspace and the creation of fan pages has allowed corporations a spot on the powerful networking tool. Facebook allows you to post videos and other content to your page. You can promote events and webinars on your page and you can send messages directly to everyone that has opted in as a fan on your page. It allows you another source to link your twitter, Plurk and identi.ca feeds too.

Another piece of the pie is social bookmarking and news feeds. If you have content on your blogs or your corporate site that you want to drive additional traffic too then make sure you have it linked on some of the most popular sites, including: digg, reddit, delicious, diigo, Mister Wong, StumbleUpon and Twine.

The last thing I want to focus on is FriendFeed. If you are not familiar with FriendFeed then you should make yourself familiar. FF is a tool that aggregates all of your individual social media tools (including all of the ones I have listed in this piece) and allows you to gather all of your feeds in one place. A great feature for marketers includes the ability to create rooms. These rooms are basically a place where people of a shared interests come together to share content and comments. It is a good place for marketers to either create a group based on their product or service, or something aligned to their field. It also is a place to find users of the other social media tools who have opted in to a room that natters to your organization. It also aggregates all of your feeds for your friends to see in one place. If you post something to reddit its here, same thing for YouTube, twitter or any of the other feeds you add to your page.

As you can see, social media is more and deeper than just facebook, LinkedIn and twitter - the safe havens for those trying to push campaigns in the office. What I ask you to do is look deeper, explore the other tools available. You never know when you might be a trailblazer, and you never know when the tool you base your campaign around has become obsolete.


Weird 24 Hours for Purdue QB's

Within the last 24 hours we have seen former Purdue QB, Kyle Orton, get traded in a huge swap with the Denver Broncos. You know, the one featuring Jay Cutler and a ridiculous bounty of draft picks.  We have also seen future Boilermaker QB Justin Seller, well, get sent home. Drew Brees, you might want to just stay inside for a few days until the storm passes, and Curtis Painter, well, I don't think this effects you anyway.

In what many are calling the biggest day for the Chicago Bears since Super Bowl XX the talking heads are going nuts, so is a large portion of the fan base. This is equal to the second coming...of Sid Luckman I guess. I'll be honest, I am not ready to jump on this bandwagon just yet. 

Obvious Purdue bias aside, I don't see this trade as such a positive for the Bears. Chicago gives up not only a QB who reportedly was respected in the locker room, but they also give up a whole lot of draft potential (ok, Angelo may not be any better at drafting talent then me, but seriously, two firsts and a third?) The Bears give up a QB that did what was asked, did not complain and won almost twice as many games as he lost. Orton was becoming a solid fantasy QB last year until the leg injury, the one sustained fighting for a first down. So, what did the Bears get in return, a QB, who in the last few weeks flipped and flopped on whether he wanted to be traded or not. A QB that the Broncos were willing to trade for a one year wonder in Matt Cassel. A Bronco QB that was brash enough to say he had a stronger arm than Denver legend John Elway. Sure I want to see a confident QB, but to me this would be like Matt Forte coming out and saying he is a better runner than Walter Payton.

I hope it works out well for the Bears, I want Cutler to be a Hall of Famer as a Bear QB - but a strong arm doesn't beat 25 mile hour winds whipping off the lakefront. To succeed in Chicago you need to work hard, shut your mouth and put up results - hopefully Cutler can do this.

On the other side I think Denver is getting a steal - all the picks and a QB that fits a shut gun based offense. Orton, and his neckbeard, almost seem like they belong in a city like Denver. Orton never was Drew Brees at Purdue, and he will not be Elway in Denver - what he will be is KO, a guy that will put the work in, put it all on the line and occasionally provide some humorous antics.

The other Purdue QB making news is Justin Siller, who until today was projected to be in the running for the starter role with Senior Joey Elliott going into next season. Earlier today news came out that Siller was dismissed from the team for an academic violation. This is never good news for the school, team or player. The specifics are yet to be released, if they ever will be, but this is just a sad story. Siller got some play last year as a Freshman during the uneven Senior season of Curtis Painter. I hope Siller can rebound from this, and I hope Purdue and Coach Hope can get something positive going after such a bad thing to happen going into his first season at the helm.

So, Bob Griese and Gary Danielson double check your TV contracts- Jim Everret, stay away from Jim Rome for a while. And finally, somebody please send a memo to Billy Dicken please, well, just because I am sure things could be worse.