Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005
When Chicken Little was running around telling everyone the sky was falling, many people believed him. In the end however, we all knew the sky was in fact, not able to fall.
But if you are a subscriber to any number of newsletters, and most of us are. Then you would have thought that Chicken Little was back again, and that the sky was really falling this time.
I haven't seen that much chaos since the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Publishers running scared, and trying to re-subscribe all of their current subs before October 31st 2003.
It's those damn new laws about that dreaded "S" word that nobody can type because you will be accused of S "ing" someone and you'll lose your entire ezine, newsletter, and whatever else you own on the Internet. And why can't anybody's keyboard spell that awful "S" word anyhow?
About a month ago I was involved in one of those panic things with that stupid "Teddy Bear Virus" hoax. I believed that what the person emailed me about the virus was absolutely true. I spent a lot of time fixing the virus, then I spent more time sending out an email to my entire mailbox list since the beginning of time.
When I found out it was a hoax from over 1 year ago I was, to say this least, very embarrassed. I then of course had to sent out another email apologizing to everyone and tell them it was a hoax. They had to do the same for all the people they sent those emails to.
All I needed to do was stop and think, before I reacted. I should have done some investigating or research before I ran off uninformed and told all of my mailing list that "Rome was burning" and they needed to put out the fire.
This past week many publishers were afraid of the effect the new S*am laws being enacted in Europe and California were going to do to their newsletters. If they would have researched the topic a little they would have found out that those laws will not be an issue.
If you are using an opt-in or double opt-in subscribing system (and you SHOULD be) you don't have to worry. If you're not using a system like that, then you need to start. That's all there is to it.
Shooting from the hip, and acting on emotion, only clouds your sense of good and honest judgment. Panic does not allow you to process thoughts in a rational way. To think clearly, one must remain calm, cool, and collected. Don't cry wolf if there is a sheep in the backyard.
It's a good thing to be protective of what you own. Nobody wants to lose what they've worked so hard to build. In the same token, you can't be over reactive and make crass decisions based on something some one or somebody told you.
Even the best sources, and people we have trusted for years are prone to giving out misinformation, for whatever reason. Always check the source and do your own research. Don't do something because everybody else is doing it, or because "they" said it was the right thing to do or else! Check everything out for yourself, then make a decision.
There is always opportunity in a crisis situation. I am the eternal optimist so I always look for the good when bad things happen. Sort of like, all clouds have a silver lining kind of outlook.
Here is a Chicken Little joke about how a second grader saw an opportunity in that potential sky falling incident.
A teacher was telling her students the story of Chicken Little. She asked Mary what she thought Farmer Brown said when Chicken Little knocked on his door and told him the sky was falling. Little Mary thought for a moment and then replied..........I think Farmer Brown said....Holy shit, a talking chicken!
You see, Mary thought for a moment and concentrated on the talking chicken aspect of that whole disaster, and could have cared less whether or not the sky was falling.
As publishers, that's what we should be doing. Looking for, and finding out about new laws and what's good for our subs. They are counting on us to give them honest and accurate information.
We cannot ask them to re-subscribe in the next 48 hours, or they will be deleted from our sub base, because of the new laws. When we do that, we are sending a message to them that we were not aware of things we should have been. I myself did not re-subscribe to two newsletters because of that reason.
We have to do our homework and be on top of situations before they happen. When I saw the trend of re-subscribing starting to develop, I started asking questions of people I trust, and did my own research.
I did not send my subs a re-subscribe email, because I knew I was handling the new subs correctly. That's not being an in -your-face know it all, that's the honest truth.
When we react hastily to any given situation we give up some of our credibility as a professional. We don't want to do that, nor do we want to create undo panic in the subscribers we all work so hard to gain.
So, to everyone that publishes an ezine or newsletter, including myself. I say, let's all remember this....... Hey Chicken Little, The Sky Ain't Fall'in.
About the Author
Jim Schulte is the editor/publisher of the Internet Marketing Junkie newsletter. He has a passion
for writing and has authored several articles. He also writes newsletter and website reviews, and has composed ads for online marketers.