You want to teach what?

So, as I’m scrolling through Facebook, I come across the following advertisement.

Oh, she's cute, sure, let's see what this school is like....

So, if you know me, I’m looking to improve myself constantly, and I have a few projects on the burner that could use at least 3 of those topics… so I click through to the ad to see this horrible url:

You can click on it if you want, but, eh, why bother. See, when you go there, at the top of the page, you get a big form saying ‘Need Help(sic)? Speak with one of our advisors.” If you don’t believe me, see this nice screen shot:



So, okay, I don’t need help, I just want to learn data. You click on DATA and the page scrolls just a smidge and you get this:



If you click on the REQUEST MORE INFO link, it scrolls a smidge back up to that form you landed on in the first place.

Note that their first three code courses are all about web development, and two of the design courses are User Experience.

So, I figure, this must just be because they figure the Facebook people are simple folk and, as a result of that long URL showing that I came from Facebook, they’re going to hide the real information from me because it’d be confusing.

I do what any self-respecting Internet knowledgeable person would do and cut out all the crap from the URL and try to go to


I do not want these people teaching anyone web development or user experience, except maybe their own staff.

The Post That Wouldn’t Be Approved

The beginning of this is forked, because many stories stem from multiple sources, not just one, and the background required to fully understand the story needs to be presented in the narrative, else nothing will make sense.

So let us start at step two.

Today was a fairly monumental day in the United States when the Supreme Court made the decision that marriage, in general, should not be limited to a man and a woman, but that same sex marriage should be the allowed throughout the land. Luckily, in the same decision, they did give an out to religious organizations to not be forced to perform these marriages if they don’t want to, which is exactly what I wanted to hear. Needless to say, this is a particularly hot topic and is what many…very many… are talking about.

Fading back to step one, I work in Social Media, specifically in a marketing organization. On the one hand, I don’t like trying to capitalize on a ‘trending topic’ solely for the act of getting views, but, on the other hand, when it is something that is world-changing and positive, you should be able to drop the pretense of selling something and simply acknowledging the event. Even if you aren’t involved in the Super Bowl, how can you let it go by without mentioning anything about it? It’s a cultural touchstone. You don’t have to sell yourself, you just have to recognize it.

In fact, that’s what I believe social media should be like. It should be about putting a face on your company. It shouldn’t be about selling your goods, it isn’t a TV show you buy commercials on, it should be a place where you sit down with your customers and talk to (and yes, sometimes just at) them.

Dennys and Skittles are two things that I don’t tend to eat. But their social media presence makes me think positively of them. And that positive thought that I have does leak to other people I influence.That’s my goal for what I do right now. I want people to have a positive image of the company I work for as funny, topical, smart, helpful, and, really, just simply there (there being ‘social media space’) like a normal person.

So now we have the back story.

As the news broke and gained momentum, I felt that my particular handle, that deal with a developer audience, should say something, especially in light of other corporate based accounts having already said something, not to mention the CEO.

I’m not responsible for outbound content, however, so I’d have to get something approved. I tried to figure out way to, for lack of a better way to put it, developerize a rainbow.

What I came up with was this:



So began a process that would have given Dante a few more chapters.

The positives:

  • It all looks fine to me, very code and very timely.
  • I support this and like the clever graphic, nice work John
  • I like the message and the graphic
  • big thanks to John (I loved the image!)
  • I’m a fan of the concept

But, and you know there’s a but coming since I labelled this as the positives….

The negatives:

  • we’ve decided we’re not comfortable tweeting anything about marriage
  • it might not add much for our audience
  • it is a controversial topic that won’t really have the same impact on the perception of us as the other groups
  • We have decided not to proceed with this across channels.

To say I’m enraged is putting it mildly. And not just because, well, our CEO posted about it, we should have no issues doing it ourselves. I should also note that the people who said the first set of things ALSO said the second set. We may still use the graphic in one of our channels, but, if you ask me, it is too late and we’ll look like we’re just jumping on the bandwagon.