Peter Thiel did it for all of us who had been verbally flogged by Gawker, in public.
He financed the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. The jury awarded Hogan $140 million. Sure the decision is being appealed by Gawker. But meanwhile the meter keeps running on their own legal bills. The latest is that Gawker is exploring the possibilities of selling itself.
If this were the turbulent 1960s, instead of the turbulent 21st century, creative genius and free thinker, Don Draper, would probable take out a full-page ad in The New York Times.
In it, Draper would thank Thiel for being able to sock it to Gawker and its founder Nick Denton. Following the thank-you would be the signatures of all the Munchkins, the little people whom Gawker gleefully tortured. Gawker's merry band of mischief-makers tormented me online for several years. Today, we Munchkins are dancing in the streets.
In another brilliant move, Donald Trump has positioned and packaged the future of the GOP as the party of the working man.
Among his initiatives, if elected president, will not be cutting Social Security. That means, in a few minutes of speaking, Trump has pulled in the working man and woman and we aging who depend on Social Security. You go, boy. Here are the details from BusinessInsider.
A rebranded GOP, with the leadership of a business player like Trump, can kick the extreme liberalism of some factions of the Democratic party to the curve.
During the past 10 days, reports Euel Elliott in Fortune, five polls show that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a dead heat.
So, folks are beginning to think the unthinkable: Clinton could lose. In January 2017, it could be a President Trump. That would have ended two political dynasties - both that of Clinton and that of Bush.
Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea might be, like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, riding into the sunset, singing "Happy Trails to you." They could take refuge in the Clinton Foundation and other types of initiatives to change the world. Their wealth would allow them to continue to have power.
But essentially it will be the end of a long era. Some of us will miss the youthful version of Hillary, the smartest girl in the class with her coke-bottle eye glasses. We recall the chubby Bill who liked his fast food too much. And the awkward First Daughter who did make it out of those teenage years. And that was then.
When we were teenagers, the talk about where to shop for shirtwaist dresses and affordable SAT coaching was called "bargain-hunting." And it was a bonding device. I knew I had finally penetrated the in crowd in high school when X told me about the secret outlet operated from an apartment in downtown Jersey City, New Jersey. That was then.
Now, the bonding takes place among us "Golden Girls" over lessons in financial literacy. Two new female friends here in Arizona pounded into me the bad economics of buying a condo. Keep renting, they mandated. And, stick with your two mutual funds instead of buying individual stocks. Then we went to the early bird special seafood dinner for seniors. I felt so a-part-of.
Actually, the bonding is more intense than in our youth. That's because we can't afford to make mistakes any more. When I was 16, the shirtwaist dress I paid too much for, even at the secret outlet, can be made up for through a part-time job. We had the time and infinite energy to make ourselves financially whole again.
Currently, we have become like mother hens about all our female friends' financial matters. Typical is the text or swing-by the apartment with the, "thinking about your car insurance. Call State Farm and you might get a cheaper rate."
Last weekend a group of Golden Girls introduced me to dental tourism in Mexico. They had chastised me for continuing to buy dental insurance which "gets you nothing." There was that smirk mothers used to give about "I told you so" when the fee for the mouth guard at the Mexico dental clinic was hundreds of dollars less than what I would have ponied up at a local dentist, even with dental insurance.
This week a woman not old enough for Medicare asked me about medical tourism in Mexico. She needs a knee replacement. I referred her to another woman on my financial-literacy network. Hopefully, this long Memorial Day weekend the bunch of us will get together for a cookout.
Would I have had this many close friends in my middle years if I hadn't participated in the economic boom and could be financially reckless? There's no way of answering that, of course.
Those who never got the hang of maxing the potential of blogging ask me: "Should I throw in the towel on blogging? After all, I can promote my business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Pulse and Medium."
My answer is: "That depends. If you are willing to experiment with how to blog, keeping up with Google's changes, you should give it more time."
A blog remains our unique signature on the Internet. An example is lawyer Bill Marler's blog on foodborne diseases. It's the go-to site for breaking news and analysis in that niche.
A blog is also space we don't share with all the other players on social networks and social media. On Medium, my post is pitted against that of Hillary Clinton and other big names.
And, third, it continues to function as the primary source for my most stimulating and lucrative assignments. Just this week a nation in Asia contacted me for a proposal for doing social media to bring their tourism to the next level. Yes, that effectiveness in attracting new business spans the globe. They bumped into my three syndicated blogs when searching for possible vendors.
However, a small business has limited resources. They may find through trial and error that aggressively posting on Facebook is what fills restaurant seats that night and brings in enough customers for oil changes to keep the staff busy.
When Paul Chaney was editor in chief of Web Marketing Today he asked me to write an article if small business should consider or continue blogging. I gave that plenty of thought. Unfortunately, the publication was folded into another. So, here I present my point of view.
Litigation is expensive. And, given the complexity of the legal system, no one can predict its outcome. So, it's high-risk business. Most people, like celebrities such as Hulk Hogan, can't afford that kind of risk.
Therefore, the head of Gawker, Nick Denton, has been speculating recently that there had to be a deep pocket behind Hogan's lawsuit against the tabloid, him, and a former editor in chief (EIC). The litigation was about the invasion of Hogan's privacy. Gawker posted an online video of Hogan's having sex with a friend's wife. The Florida jury ruled in favor of Hogan.
As a result, collectively Gawker, Denton and the former EIC will have to pay $140 million. That is, if the jury verdict isn't overturned. Gawker is appealing.
Well, Denton wasn't being paranoid. Tonight, the New York Post reported that there was a deep pocket. That deep pocket is high-profile venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel.
There has long been bad blood between Gawker and Thiel. In 2007, for example, the gossip tabloid disclosed that he was gay. That was before Thiel revealed that information about himself.
Thiel knows his way around litigation. He earned a law degree from Stanford University Law School. He practiced law for a large law firm. He even had interviewed at the U.S. Supreme Court for a clerkship with Antonin Scalia. But was turned down.
As yet, there hasn't been a response from Thiel to the media. When it comes, given Thiel's antipathy toward Gawker, it could be a stunner.
"Twitter will no longer count media attachments toward the [140 character] limit ... Media attachments ... currently take up to 24 characters ... Usernames - or @handles - will also be excluded from the character count when you reply to another user, leaving you with 140 characters to say whatever's on your mind ..." -Kurt Wagner, Re/Code, May 24, 2016. Here is the article.
These are important changes.
That's because conversations on Twitter, as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn, are replacing the use of traditional email. Many websites for public relations agencies, for example, provide contact information only in terms of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There is no email address. The message is: The cool dudes have already moved away from email.
But email's hold on professional communication will not end until there is a bullet-proof tool to ensure the confidentiality and security of the correspondence. It is all too easy for a social network to be hacked. Of course, an email account can also be hacked.
My most successful networking - that is, which develops new business - comes through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. That's because it blurs the boundaries between personal and professional. The message is softer, not so brittle commercial.
"In a court filing on Friday, lawyers for JWT and WPP at David & Gilbert LLP said that JWT Chief Communications Officer Erin Johnson's claims [of gender discrimination] are 'baseless' and that she doesn't have enough evidence ... [Gustavo] Martinez' lawyers also filed a motion to dismiss the suit ..." - Nathalie Tadena, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016. Here is the article.
Based on the material disclosed by the WSJ, the behavior of the plaintiff seems, well, unusual.
Long story short, her bonus for the year 2014 was lower than for the previous year. She asked Martinez if the men's bonuses had also been lowered and she contends he didn't answer. It could be perceived that her performance was being questioned. This echoes the rancor of Ellen Pao in "Pao v. Kleiner" when she was terminated for not performing well as a venture capitalist.
Another peculiar action is that Johnson sent a text message to Martinez about 10 days before she submitted the letter which set the legal moves in play. In the message she said she had turned down another job offer. She remained loyal to him and looked forward to a good year together.
If this litigation isn't tossed and it makes it to trial, defense lawyers could make mincemeat of the plaintiff's motives, business sense, and emotional stability.
As soon as she filed the gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Pao had a difficult time finding work. The job she landed at Reddit only lasted a short time before she resigned. She lost the case.
Now Pao has joined with other females in tech to launch Include. Its mission is to increase diversity in the startup world. This could be a first step in her rebranding.
In 11 years of legal blogging, I have been following gender discrimination lawsuits. Frequently the female plaintiffs' careers suffer. Along with that, emotionally, litigation is a tough process.
One wonders if Johnson will also need to rebrand after the defense lawyers have a go at her. There is no predicting the outcome of a trial. It's always a risk. Yet, she took on that risk. That's the question which hovers over this whole enchilada. She might have had another job offer in hand. If not, with her background she could have landed a comparable or better job.
Then he retired. Now, his primary identity in the media is that of Santa Claus.
That's because of his signature beard. And, he's not happy about that. David Letterman wants to return to being David Letterman.
In this speech he recounts the pain of not being recognized at a state dinner at the White House. In short, retirement chewed through, then spit out his self-esteem.
President Obama hasn't even retired yet from his current job. But just because it looms on the horizon he's a lame duck. Less and less he is taken seriously. Retirement is how personal branding gets disappeared.
The only way the Lettermans and Obamas of the world can become entities again is to rebrand.
Letterman can become a serious thought leader on the psychological impacts of retirement and how to reduce them.
Obama can become an organizer to halt the current push toward protectionism. Incidentally, in his speech at the New York Stern School of Business, GE head Jeff Immelt showed how to maintain a global imprint while going local. His stance is anti-protectionistic. Obama and Immelt can join forces on that campaign.
On my syndicated blog Over-50, I provide tips on how not to come across as "old." Once we are perceived as "old," the dynamic goes into play to force us to, well, retire. Retirement is not the space we want to be in.
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