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Jeremy Meyers.com

Hi, I’m Jeremy Meyers. In my life I’ve been a Downtown NYC weird son of hippie artist parents, a park kid, a goth 80s and industrial DJ, worked at several record labels, helped define early social media tools, worked in corporate PR (yuck), been a defendant in an internet censorship case for the ACLU in the mid 90s. I’ve lived in Atlanta since 2012 with my awesome partner and moody dog, where I build simple websites for small local businesses. Welcome!

Recent Blog Posts

February 13, 2020
Still don’t have much to write about in essay form. Kate and I are still in Atlanta, in a cute cottage in Grant Park. We recently celebrated ten…
February 13, 2020
September 12, 2018
This unruly body shows the scars of invisibility stores retaliations too dangerous to speak attempts to numb instead of feel to translate dismissal into love when feeling was…
September 12, 2018

Selected Writing

What’s the best that could happen?: Why Risk Analysis is only part of the story

Often, we keep ourselves from trying new things, going out on a limb, or putting ourselves out there by focusing on the worst possible outcome. “Oh, I could never ask him out, what if he says no and laughs at me?” “We aren’t ready to have a Twitter account for our business, what if people say bad things about our products?” “I can’t meet with the Dalai Lama because China would get pissed off.” The thing of it is that we can’t predict the future.  Our minds close us off to new experiences (by predicting disaster) in order to keep things as they are, but things are always changing. Therefore, if we can’t predict the future anyway, why not try flipping the script a little to keep things in perspective. Next time, just as an exercise, try asking yourself “What’s the best that could happen?”  What could be the best possible outcome for asking out that guy, or creating that facebook page for your business, or meeting with whomever, or going to that party, or taking that chance. Everything is always changing.  If you think of things in a positive way instead of a negative way, who knows what could…
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What Matters In Life: Connection and Giving.

This post was inspired by an interaction I had with my friend (who I’ve never met in person) Erika Bitzer, who blogged about it on planpitchprint in a post called “Fate and Twitter” For those who are connected with me online (or offline), I do try my best to help those around me as much as possible.  Whether it’s offering words of encouragement, sharing a link, or connecting people who might benefit from a relationship with each other (when Katie Morse posted a question on Twitter asking for people to summarize themselves in a single word, I chose ‘connector’). I believe that underneath every effective business plan and underneath every interaction must be an intent to connect and give.  This is the killer app. Those looking for maximum ROI with minimum risk are missing the point entirely, both in business and in life.  Giving as little as possible while expecting support in return is a recipe for a lonely existence. Often, we lose sight of why we’re actually here. We get buried underneath our day-to-day strategizing, planning, brainstorming, trying to stave off unexpected results.  We become afraid of surprises, so we try to plan for every contingency. We try to…
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What “What ___ Can Teach us about blogging” can teach us about blogging.

I don’t have many rules when I sit down to decide what to write here on my little slice of the internets, but one I try to stick to is “Avoid reactive post structure.”.  You won’t see me writing about the Facebook/Nestle thing, Motrin Moms, or Skittles.com for two very good reasons: The attention span of the internet is infinitesimal. Chances are, at least one of those three things mentioned will be completely forgotten about in a year. The lessons will have been learned, or not. The coverage will have been covered. For me, talking about an event as the main focus of a blog is backwards. It puts the focus on the event, rather than the point of view, and makes the learning that much less “portable”. Chances are, the lessons learned from Nestle and Facebook are much broader than “don’t respond to people on Facebook with corporate lingo”, but when the entire position is framed within the Nestle example, it becomes more of a challenge for people to apply it to their own situation, be it personal or professional, and therefore becomes less valuable to someone reading it a month, 6 months, 6 years from now. Why not…
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There’s nothing inherently useful about being an early adopter.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been ahead of the curve.  This is not ego, it just a simple statement of fact.  I tend to be into things several years before they catch on with the general population.  This is applicable personally as well as professionally.  I’ve been using the internet to connect with people since I started posting on my Prodigy account and joining Delphi chatrooms in the early 90s (and via BBSs prior to that).  If you’re reading this, chance are that you have either had this experience as well, or have a particular person in your life that has. I bring this up because I think that there’s a sense in the community at large that being an early adopter, a trend setter, someone who is on the cutting edge somehow makes you cool or rich or important.  What I’ve found is kind of the opposite.  I think that waiting for the world to catch up to what we know inherently to be true or important is one of the loneliest feelings that someone can have. It’s hard having to go into conversations knowing you’re going to have to ‘dumb it down’ or explain why…
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The difference between wanting help and being ready to accept help

Image by D3 San Francisco via Flickr In life, we are each frequently in the position of being able to offer help to others.  This may come in the form of giving advice to a loved one, strategizing on behalf of a client or your company, or just sitting back and listening to a friend rant about their day. If you really pay attention, though, you may notice something in a tone of voice or a type of request that gives you pause.  Perhaps the request is phrased in a very reactive way: “our competitors are using twitter, we need to be using it too” / “my boyfriend is acting weird, what do I do!”.  What you’re noticing is anxiety.  When we’re caught in anxiety about our situation or feel pressured, our ask for assistance may carry an extra layer of “save me” desperation. The thing about anxiety and desperation is that it tends to overwhelm our ability to actually be productive or address a situation in a meaningful way.  We get caught in it, rather than being able to calmly assess the situation and figure out the best possible course of action.  At that point,…
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Restrictions are the new freedom: Web 3.0, Twitter and Setting Limits

(yes I know, quite an ambitious title) What if Facebook only allowed you 75 friends? The continued rise of Twitter.com has been attributed to many things by many people. Beyond the ambient intimacy, portability, business uses, networking, simplicity, etc, is one thing that may not have been blogged about quite as much: In a bandwidth-is-cheap storage-is-cheap development-is-cheap world, setting limits can create freedom. Twitter.com limits all conversation atoms (a unit of measure for posts, replies, direct messages) to 140 characters. That’s it. No exceptions. This forces atoms to be succinct, without artifice or flowery stuff or suckuptitude or any of that capital-m-Marketing that more freedom allows. Turns out that setting limits is a pretty effective way to get people to say what they want to say and then sit back. I’d be very interested to see what effect putting the 10 minute time limit on YouTube videos did for overall creativity, usage, and density of videos created over time. (paging Mediaeater, can Trendrr demonstrate that). Being social network fatigued as I am (seriously, if one more site asks me to enter my email address, then upload a photo, then shout at my gmail contacts, I’m quitting the internets.), I hope…
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Recognizing and embracing true value: How do we address fear?

When we talk about values we enjoy when it comes to people, things that often come up are kindness, approachability, warmth, humor, a connection and openness to others and the world around them (often described as ‘lighting up a room’), and a willingness to include those around them in whatever is going on. These are pretty globally attractive characteristics, and those who display them are frequently well-loved and respected wherever they go.  
Scared (Photo credit: Melissa Segal)
In business, however, I feel as though there is a disconnect from embracing these same values. Kindness becomes weakness.There is a fear that making your business approachable will somehow lead to being taken advantage of by customers (or worse yet, ignored). People are afraid that being open to others will lead to competitors stealing their ideas, or that somehow the company will be ‘exposed’ as less than it claims, and that will lead to something drastic.   These insecurities are quite human and understandable, when we’ve been taught in business (and in our personal lives) that we must portray an image of a secure, independent and successful entity who is not reliant on anyone at all times, or…
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On Vulnerability

[Inspired by Brene Brown’s awesome TEDTalk “The Power of Vulnerability”, which I really recommend you watch before reading this post.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.] [and also inspired by Amber N’s Things I Wish People Knew About Me] Vulnerability is a scary thing. We spend a lot of time avoiding that feeling, but as Brene says, it turns out that vulnerability is a key component in connection, doing meaningful work, having fun, pretty much all that matters in the world. This year has been a struggle for me to remain vulnerable.  Being unemployed since January in this current economic climate is a scary thing.  I decided early on to look for something that is a good fit for my skills and interests and that I can get excited about, rather than taking a job that I’d be good at but would not feed my passion and curiosity for exploring the stories behind why people love what they love.  This is great in theory, but in practice has been a constant struggle to not feel like I’m being totally selfish and silly (despite this being the right thing to do according to not just me), which leads to me putting up walls.…
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On compassion.

When we are quick to judge others, people or companies that may not be communicating honestly, that may be scared of having people gossip, or spread untruths, or being perceived inaccurately, we are creating an ‘me vs them’ space for ourselves, which is fear-based and can make us feel very constricted and small in our definition of ‘ourselves’. Image by Tony the Misfit via Flickr Today (whenever you may be reading this), try to remember that each of us, as individuals, employees, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and lovers, strangers and enemies are doing the best we can at this moment.  We all want to love and be loved, to be understood, to be happy.  We each struggle to get past our fears and our thoughts in order to achieve this goal. Even you. Even me. We’re all in this together. [inspired by Teresa Basich’s wonderful manifesto, and the first decent conversation I’ve had with my father in  years.]
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On Authority: We don’t have it when we think we do.

In this business, we all talk a lot about authenticity, transparency, engagement.  I’ve seen a ton of blog posts, tweets, and whitepapers that say “corporations are no longer in control”. We focus on the new meaning of influence.  This is all well and good, they’re conversations that need to be had, and they are admirable goals that can in fact map to business ROI. We still make assumptions, though. There are still some old habits we continue to believe to be true. One of the biggest things I’ve been noticing people falling back on when interacting, especially on behalf of a larger organization is speaking from a position of authority. Authority is one of those nebulous positions that seems to have more to do with our own self-image than about any particular knowledge. For me, the most appropriate definition for Authority in this context is the typically inaccurate assumption that a given person or organization’s content has inherent merit based on its source, rather than on its actual value to the community. We all still fall into this trap sometimes. Our blogs are full of posts about the great things we (and the companies we work for) do, we create…
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Focus on the bridge: A framework for emotionally engaging storytelling.

In any exchange and especially in storytelling, there are two ‘islands’: the listener and the subject.  A great experience will put the focus in between them, creating a bridge by which the listener can cross to connect with the subject. One of the examples I’m most proud of is the Thrillercast series I worked on with Joe V. for Sony last year. I don’t think we knew it at the time, but this became the perfect example of the bridge concept in action. Identify the goal. Capture the long-standing affect that Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” and associated videos had on the world, through interviews with people who were a part and those who were influenced. Define the lanes. Identify the areas where “Thriller” had a major influence – Music, Songwriting, Production, Choreography, Dance, Video, Radio. Define the pillars: Identify the events or items common to each of the lanes that we want to make sure are touched upon throughout the stories.  In this case, the songs themselves became great pillars. Place your pillars. Figure out how to arrange the stories so that the overall story arc is tight and compelling.  Whether it’s grouping episodes together by topic, walking the listener…
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Be a person-sized learning atom within your own community.

[This post inspired by a post that Rich Millington wrote about Why Most Companies Shouldn’t Try To Create an Online Community] Most organizations really want a big following, not a community.A following is an audience that interacts with you. A community is an audience that interacts with each other. One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about in my capacity as a digital strategist is the choices companies make with regard to how they position themselves within the communities they enable.  I think as an industry we may be doing a disservice to the overall success of these communities by not stressing the following point: Even though you are the creators of the ecosystem, that does not mean you are the most essential part of the discussion. In fact, taking a stance “above” or “apart” from the rest of the community will only detract from people’s willingness to engage. Nobody likes to feel like ‘big brother’ is there, or that they’re being talked down to.  This is another example of ‘us vs them’ thinking. Whether people choose to start conversations or not is a function of how you position yourself within the community.  If you are the ‘voice…
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Are we going about this whole communications thing backward?

(Inspired by Justin Kownacki’s post “I Tweet, Therefore I Am Empty”) There’s an increasing backlash against Social Media as shiny object lately, and rightfully so. The concept of communicating online to meet business goals, when wrapped around this aura of Next Big Thing can easily mutate into the “Get me a Facebook account!” nightmare that haunts our dreams. Every time we recommend a channel plan in place of re-learning basic communication skills and applying them to the betterment of the audience, we do everyone a disservice. It turns out that companies (and people) that are bad communicators are bad communicators, regardless of whether they’re communicating on Twitter, in person, via an ad campaign. As those who are ‘in the know’ and focused on improving communications as much as we know how, should we be focused less on providing a friction-free way for the people within organizations to map their bad habits on to new channels (surely not a recipe for success)? Or are we going about it backward? Should we instead be focused more on swaying people’s hearts and minds toward investigation and communication styles that we know to be more effective, even if it is technically ‘outside the scope’…
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Adding That Third Thing: What Nobody Tells Us About How to Handle Charged Situations

There is so much that we all take for granted when going through life. One of the biggest assumptions that I have gotten caught in historically (and that I see a lot of people caught in) is the assumption that for any given situation, all you have to work with is you and the situation.  If you can’t change the situation (which mostly you can’t, not directly anyway), and you can’t (or won’t)  change yourself, you’re stuck and screwed. If you’re unemployed, and you can’t seem to find a job, you may become more and more frustrated as you focus on the ‘got to find a job got to find a job got to find a job’, leading to less and less success: You are annoyed, you take that energy in with you to job interviews, it comes across in your interaction even if you try to hide it, you dont get the job, you get more frustrated, and on and on.  Even if you get a job at that point, would you be happy about it? Probably not, with all that energy built up! If you’re a business, and you are used to marketing through the use of big…
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Me, Socially

I Am Instagramming.

My Annual Top Albums List.

Read More About It.