I’m the media, dammit!!!…plus assorted thoughts from a PR lunatic

Item #1: It’s official. I’m a citizen journalist. And that makes me the “media,” at least for today.

I know it’s true, because I got a pitch from a company wanting lyro_logosmall.pngme to pimp for its new business-networking website. That’s right, the folks from Lyro want me to review and cover the “launch” of their new venture. I’m not gonna bother, since it looks way too much like LinkedIn, only more boring.

I include the link just in case you want to check it out. Besides, it allows me to celebrate my newfound media stardom. Just call me “Gatekeeper,” baby. Do you feel the power? crazybusy.gif

Item #2: Chill out, if you know how. I used my entire spring break (last week) to catch up on job-related chores. Went to the office 4 of 5 days, and my desk is soooooo clean.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just really busy is all. And thanks to this piece by by Alina Tugend in Saturday’s New York Times, I know I’m not alone.

Tugend cites a survey that says 36 percent of salaried employees polled didn’t plan to take their full vacation time. They were too busy. The story quotes liberally from Hallowell’s 2006 book “CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap.” I’d read it if I had time.

This quote from Hallowell, describes me perfectly:

Many people are excessively busy because they allow themselves to respond to every magnet: tracking too much data, processing too much information, answering to too many people, taking on too many tasks — all in the sense that this is the way they must live in order to keep up and stay in control. But it’s the magnets that have the control.

This blog is the biggest magnet in my life, and sometimes I wish I could reverse the polarity. It draws me in, then it sucks the life out of me. It’s my cocaine. Exhilarating, but every 30 minutes I need another line. It exhausts me, but it also offers a satisfaction that’s almost as good as…well, it’s not that good.

I know other bloggers who read this will understand, but I need you to explain it to my wife. Which is the perfect segue to Item #3.

Item #3: Happily ever after are us. More than once on this site I’ve mentioned my wife’s impatience over my blogging. It’s true that this site pulls me away from her and hearts.pnglife’s priorities more than it should. She wonders why.

“Tell me again, how much do they pay you to write that thing?” she often asks.

So last night I shut down the laptop and we went to dinner to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We only do this like every 30 years, so it’s a pretty big deal at our house.

Having a soul mate who loves you can turn the rest of life’s travails into mere bumps and bruises. No one knows this better than I.

I love you dear. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t read my blog. I know you’re crazy busy.


14 Responses to I’m the media, dammit!!!…plus assorted thoughts from a PR lunatic

  1. Lief Larson says:

    Gatekeeper. Thanks for the plug.
    Lief Larson, co-founder Lyro
    & University of Minnesota SJMC grad

  2. Brian Wooley says:

    Who you callin’ baby, “Gatekeeper”?

  3. Bill Sledzik says:


    Thanks for the note, and for having a sense of humor. As an academic, I just never felt compelled to connect with all the online social networks (save Facebook). Reminds me too much of having a real job. But clearly some I-mean-business types out there see real potential for your site.



  4. Sharon says:

    Of course I’m crazy busy…..I’m a tax accountant! love U too

  5. E. Michael says:

    Hey, I don’t think wives count as hits to your site.

  6. Lief Larson says:


    No problem. Just wanted you to know that I try to cut through the internet “noise” to get to you. I once had an academic professor at SJMC that told me internet advertising would never work. I think he’s a greeter at Wal-mart last time I checked. Thanks again.


  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    And you stay in the conversation, Lief. A lot of PR pitches to bloggers never see this kind of follow-up or sincere discussion. It speaks well for your company. It’s funny, here in our journalism school at Kent State, we’ve more than anticipated the boom in online advertising and online media readership. We’ve not yet figured out what to do about it, but we’re not ready to move to Wal-Mart, even after last week’s bonuses!

  8. In the blogging world, do we have “fifteen comments of fame”, as opposed to minutes?

  9. Kami Huyse says:

    Bill; Welcome to bloggers pitching hell. Now you will have to frequent the Bad Pitch Blog more often (ha-ha). Believe me, I have learned more about online pitching from being pitched than I ever learned in school or from mentors.

    Also, congrats on your 30th, pretty great accomplishment there.

  10. Eden Spodek says:

    I like how you’ve dealt with Item #1. I had a similar request from a marketer acquaintance to plug another web tool recently. I’m not feeling the love. Thanks for providing a fine example of how to handle such a situation in an eloquent manner.

  11. Jeff Davis says:

    I had never heard of Lyro until reading it on Tough Sledding today, so Lief’s pitch worked! I’ll go check it out myself .

    Great blog, BTW. I’m a regular reader.


  12. Lief Larson says:


    You were kind enough to cover Lyro.com briefly a couple of weeks ago while we were running a beta test. I’m pleased to say that yesterday we added the new features to the site. If you have a moment, http://www.lyro.com. We really appreciate what you’ve done for us.

  13. Bill Sledzik says:


    Done. I set up an account, but still need to do more exploring. I’m not sure these business networks are all that valuable to academics like me. I signed on many moons ago with LinkedIn, have done nothing with it, and received not one contact from it. Not sure it matters in my life. But I’m not selling anything. I wish you luck. I’m amazed every day how the business world is reinventing itself courtesy of Web 2.0.

  14. Lief Larson says:

    Bill. We’re still alive and well. We’re narrowing in our focus and continuing to improve the offering at Lyro.

    – Lief

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