I Was There: What Makes A Fan A FAN

Thursday night, another evening to any other city in early September. Except Kansas City, where we are all currently setting aside our unusually-heavy-on-the-red wardrobe for tomorrow. It’s the eve of the first Red Friday of the year, where the entire city dons Chiefs red in solidarity of our support for the highly adored NFL team. 

I approach Red Friday a bit unorthodox from the way many around here do, for it’s also this time of year the St. Louis Cardinals are making a charge towards another Postseason. Come tomorrow I’ll be repping the Solid Red polo and hat of the Kansas City Chiefs with a baseball-leather necklace seared with an ‘STL’ logo. This, I’ve come to learn, doesn’t set well with my neighbors. In fact, it bothers them more than it understandably should.

See, by popular logic, the reason for my ‘rebellion’ is traced back to my Ozarks roots, where there are no professional teams so we adopt whom we choose. In Springfield most residents are Cardinals baseball fans and Chiefs football fans. No other sports matter. We cheer ‘winners’ and are notorious for jumping on bandwagons depending on which side of the state is swinging the bat or throwing the pig skin better.

This doesn’t set well with me.

The team you cheer for should not be dictated by what area of the country you grew up in. It may heavily influence your fandom, but that’s a lot like voting straight ticket in an election; Nothing wrong with it, so long as you’re willing to back your choice up beyond the statement ‘just…because…’.  Rather, the team you root for should be determined by the experience you have with said team.

This explains better than popular logic why I am a Chiefs fan. My first Chiefs game came after my first Rams game, so I had something to compare it to. That said, it took me all of 5 steps inside Arrowhead to start picking out the differences. The Rams play in a dome where St. Louis residents gather each Sunday after church to view a football game. The fans cheer, applaud and boo on occasion, but the vibe of the stadium suggest that nobody’s really invested in the actual game until November when the Cardinals aren’t playing a couple blocks away. Even then they’re biding their time until the Blues game that night. Arrowhead, you arrive to an already packed parking lot of tailgaters, many of whom have been there since 6am, some even attending the church service in the on-site chapel. The game starts some time between the loud cheering beforehand and the first Kansas City Chiiiiieeeeefs FIRST DOWN! Yet you’d never be able to figure out exactly when because the crowd is non-stop LOUD from the moment they hit the gates until they arrive at Gates after the game, only stopping the cheering to eat. Win or Lose, a Kansas City Chiefs game experience trumps all and for that I quickly became a Chiefs fan. 

This also helps explain why I’m a fan of the St. Louis Blues or even Sporting Kansas City. Both sports don’t get a lot of national attention, only in the respective community they play for. But one game and you’re hooked, no matter how much you know about the sport, it’s rules or anything at all.

Most importantly, this can help explain, far better than popular logic, why I’m a Cardinals fan. Something that always been hard for my KC family to swallow. Most that know me (and are probably reading) have heard the story of how I planted my feet in Cardinal Nation, more than likely several times, so Ill spare you another. That being said, there’s always been something magical about the Cardinals and my experience with them. From watching every game in my grandpa’s living room splitting a bag of peanuts to cheering like no other in the stands of Busch Stadium during the World Series. A Cardinals experience is very similar to a Chiefs experience. It’s been said every professional sports town is an NFL town…except St. Louis, where the Cardinal reign supreme. The atmosphere is so contagious even the most skeptical can’t escape with doubt intact. 

Its not something you’re born with, but it’s something you can be born into. It’s not a passion acquired, but rather a passion found. You cheer for your team because you are a fan, NOT because you were born within twenty miles of where they play. 

Red Friday is a mere moments away and I may catch some flack for whichever team a person notices, but that’s where my pride shows the most. It’s what makes me a fan.


Business Lesson: Chill With Your Social Strategy Already

My English teacher owes me $50.

I don’t bet often, but when I do, it’s always on what I feel is a sure thing. I never really liked the rush of chance, so I didn’t hesitate in telling my English teacher that social media was here to stay and if you give it three years, they’ll be teaching it as part of education curriculum.

You can still make an argument about the relevancy of social media in today’s society, but that would be a lot like making an argument for equal rights…you best just move on to some other cause, you’ve all but lost entirely.

From the first thing we check in the morning to the last thing we tweet at night, this stuff in engrained in the daily routine and has transcended the stages from ‘new’ to ‘fad’ to ‘medium’ to ‘way of communication’.  Yet, like everything before it, we are now arriving to the HOW stage. Acquaintances have been made, places have been established. But let’s face it, do we really know what we’re doing on here?

That’s a bet I’m not comfortable making quite yet. I could delve into the ‘personal use’ side of things, but there aren’t characters in this infinite-character-limit blog post to the cover the terrible hashtags, emotions on the sleeve posts, subtweeting community that has taken over the internet. Instead, I’d like to focus on the corporate side of things…

It seems that every time a new megaphone comes out, Big Businesses are scared to utilize it. Newspaper, Radio, Television. Websites.  Always slow to capitalize, for the most part. Now that we as a society have been engulfed in social media for the better part of a decade, most businesses find themselves testing the online waters like we did in 2005 (or our parents did in 2011). Everyone HAS to have a Facebook page…oh, and a Twitter…Google Plus! wait, nevermind on Google Plus…what about YouTube? Should we get on YouTube?!

The problem with this logic is that it goes against the flow of social media as created by us years ago. It’s great to stretch your business out across so many platforms *so long as you have the content (and staffing) to give each one it’s own special attention. The perfect example of this is businesses that link accounts. It’s great that you’re saving time by posting to one that automatically posts to all others, but as a customer you are trying to attract, why am I following you on all of these if they’re all feeding me the same information? 

Another thing, the hashtags. Seriously? This is actually the chance business social media accounts have to surpass us on social innovation. Hashtags are the most neglected thing in social media. People actually believe they HAVE to have them (when most of the time they don’t) and that the concept of ‘The More The Merrier’ is a good thing to go by. Hashtags are like needle-nose pliers; in a situation that REALLY calls for it, they can be handy, but most of the time regular piers will do. Businesses have the power to create a hashtag that is both relevant AND engaging, which could result in a successful campaign, but instead they’ve gone the path the rest of us have blazed: “Check out our new special this weekend #denim #sale #retail #shoptilyoudrop #cantstopmoreshop #weekendz #blessed #it’ssomethingideserve (I included that last one because, for some reason, a large group of people still think apostrophes in hashtags work).

However, probably the most annoying, bad habit businesses have gotten into: Content Quotas. This whole ‘we haven’t posted in two hours, we should post more’ thing has to end. Businesses still cling to the notion that has worked on every medium prior: “oh, they don’t care? MAKE THEM CARE! Post more!!” What makes social media so different is that it’s the Great Equalizer, their megaphone is just as big as the businesses. In a land where a comment can do as much damage as a post and a single RT could shift mass opinion, businesses no longer have the upper hand. There’s no quicker way to get someone to care less about an event/products/anything than to continually try to shove it down their throats on a Facebook newsfeed.

In case you haven’t checked into the education scene these last few years, social media IS being taught in classes all across the country. It’d be nice to see every CEO/President/Marketing Director/Intern fill some seats in these. Of which the curriculum should at the very least include:

  1. Choose the social media platforms that best suit your business AND the audience you are going for.  ‘Too many’ IS a term to pay attention to. Also, however many accounts you choose to create, treat each of them seperately and rarely ever post the same content.
  2. Keep the Hashtags to a bare minimum. Let me stress BARE minimum…BARE…or just none. Challenge yourself not to use them. Reward yourself with a Dunkin Donut or something if you don’t use them. You earned it…
  3. Kill ‘Content Quotas’ and create every post with the highest of quality. Never underestimate the power of follower-generated content and sometimes let that guide what you do.
  4. Be original. Be transparent. Be YOU.

I can’t confirm or deny whether or not that bet was mutually agreed upon, BUT…teacher who for the sake of this bet shall remain anonymous (yet you know who you are) I’ll expect a check in the mail soon.


The MOST American Commercial of Super Bowl XLVIII

30-60 seconds. The elevator pitch of advertising. The client tells you that you have 30-60 seconds to grab the attention of an audience that would otherwise be doing something else, deliver the message that client wants to convey, get that message to resonate in the minds of that audience who may or may not still be paying attention and, ultimately, persuade them to believe in that client’s product so much that they will pay money for it. This is Marketing/Advertising with Media 101, how else can you justify paying millions of dollars for 30 seconds?

Every spot has an agenda. Where it gets tricky is in the ‘HOW are we going to do this?’ category. We’re long past the days of the generic cookie cutter commercials: familiar, politically correct setting, a quick problem presents itself, which is then easily settled by…you guessed it…using said product! Cue jingle, bam! Commercial. You still see these from time to time, but not in the Super Bowl. Only the pros play in the Super Bowl. This is where we as Americans have come to demand the BEST at everything. From the Halftime Show to the broadcast to the actual game itself. If it’s not your best, don’t bring it, I mean…come on…it’s the Super Bowl.

Now step back and remember the advertiser’s challenge: conveying that message in 30 seconds (unless your client has buku budget and thinks that, in a generation used to 140 character messages and 6 second online videos, 60 seconds is a far better idea), to an audience that demands to be entertained, amongst a cluster of other 30 seconds messages all trying to do the same thing. It’s like trying to have the best billboard on a road that everybody hates traveling but takes anyway to get to the big concert. Oh, and there’s another billboard every .000001 miles.

A lot of stuff goes into these commercials before an idea is even put into place. There are focus groups, surveys, opinion polls, demographic analysis, etc. Once the problem has been established, THEN it’s time to go about finding a solution. More focus groups, surveys, psychographic analysis, etc. Should we go for funny? Should we get a celebrity endorsement? What music should we play? It’s a science, one that most would consider insane for a 30 second outcome, but this is what YOU have come to demand. Super Bowl = ‘impress me, commercial’.

That formula has grown to be increasingly consistent. You can almost ALWAYS expect GoDaddy to do something out of the ordinary, you can ALWAYS expect Old Spice to throw some seconds of just pure random, like they rolled ‘bowling’ ‘old asian mother’ and date night’ on a set of dice and ran with it. Chrysler has been sticking to the vintage-ish, 60+ second spot with a serious monologue from a celebrity endorser, viewed sometime before or after Halftime.

Then you’ve got your heavy hitters: those that have been doing this consistent theme for the better part of a decade. Oh look, Doritos has a child or animal attempting (and succeeding) in stealing a bag of Doritos from a clumsy adult. Toyota’s using an aging celebrity mixed with something kids can enjoy (this year: The Muppets…ooohhh cross-promotion for a new movie, didn’t see that coming) on a weird road trip. Budweiser…something something mix in a cute puppy or trainer that has grown into a friendship with the Clydesdales. Every. Single. Year.

Surprisingly though, there’s not this outrage of ‘haven’t I seen this before?’ This is because, after those rounds of focus groups, opinion surveys, statistic analysis, etc, it STILL works.

Then there’s Coca-Cola.

Remember that Coke spot in 1971? The ‘Hilltop’ spot where everyone around the world sang “I’d like to give the World a Coke”? I know..I wasn’t even born then, but I’ve had access to a computer my entire life and odds are, based on all the parodies created from this and the amount of times it’s been used as an example in Advertising, Marketing and even History classes from Jr. High up, there’s a good chance you’ve seen it regardless of how old you are. If not…geez…here.

This was the foundation Coke built in branding itself as ‘the Beverage that unites the world’. They’ve done an exceedingly good job at this throughout the years, sticking to this message and many times driving it home through traditional mediums like TV and radio ads, outdoor advertising, online marketing and guerrilla tactic campaigns. This Super Bowl XLVIII spot was no different in honoring that original 1971 Super Bowl spot. ‘America The Beautiful’ sung tremendously through multiple languages. That’s Coca-Cola, they’ve done it, they don’t show signs of stopping. Because it’s worked. This kinda did too; it got people talking. But not ‘man, that was good’ or ‘I liked that’, or most importantly ‘now I want a Coke’. Instead it was ‘why are there multi-national people singing OUR country’s song?’.

Consider these points: Coca-Cola inc., is a product distributed around the world. The Super Bowl is a game that is viewed by the masses…around the world. It’s one of the few nights of the year that we have the world’s attention for something other than national disaster or politics. Now, were I put in Coca-Cola’s shoes, how could I appeal to as many viewers as possible and put my brand in a position to gain max profits from this highly coveted commercial slot?


Let’s pay homage to our roots, uniting the world through our product WITH a twist: It’s America’s Night, we’re playing America’s Sport, let’s sing the American Song, but unite the world in doing so by singing it through different languages.

It was brilliantly executed, but, just as everyone sitting on my couch that evening watching it recognized, it was bound for controversy. It’s evident every time something like this comes around that our country has difficulty accepting the fact that there are differences that exist, both international AND domestic. We are, in fact, a conglomerate nation. Founded by multiple nationalities from multiple cultures that all brought something to the table and ultimately, that’s what has made us as great as we are. One race, one culture, one idea cannot make a nation this great, it took a little bit of everything. It’s what gave us Democracy (an idea that caught fire through the FRENCH Revolution), Music (pick your nationality for this one), Football (started from Soccer no matter how badly you want to deny it) and even Taco Tuesdays. It’s our diversity that makes our nation turn. The country that was founded on the idea that everyone is created equal and no one should be persecuted for their beliefs. This includes language, gender, race and sexual orientation.

I guess the upside from the whole situation is that it is becoming increasingly clear through commercials like this that hate IS diminishing. Until then we just have to continue to ride the wave with a focus on our path.  Hopefully, one day the world will be united, maybe even Coca-Cola will be the one to do it. Just not this time it seems.

Overall, brilliant advertisement. Well thought, well shot, way to stick to your guns and keep consistent with the theme that has in many ways made you. Bravo, you get America better than we get ourselves.


Top 5 Reasons I Know I’ve Become A KC Resident

There’s a spot, a couple benches next to the bus stop, outside Gomer’s on 39th and Broadway where these two old guys go every Saturday morning for as far back as I’ve ran by it, probably much longer.  They argue and bicker back and forth about the hottest issues, from Obamacare to Andy Reid’s offense. They may not have all the answers, but they think they do.

As often as I can (weather and motivation permitting) I try and run from my place downtown through Westport and back. Along my route is this corner. When my path crosses these gentlemen’s we say our greetings, maybe talk about the weather depending on how long the light lasts, then carry on.  It was back in August on a slightly breezy day with a longer-than-usual red light that I caught these guys talking about the upcoming Chiefs schedule and how they don’t know if Andy Reid is the right guy for the job. I stopped, took out one headphone and simply said “Honestly, I think the guy’s as good as any. Look what he did in Philly, he’s not done yet.”  The two guys stopped bickering with each other, looked at me, then to each other, and erupted in laughter. In what could quite possibly have been the first thing in history they ever agreed on, they looked at me and said “Son, you’ve not been here too long have you? Best get settled in, this season’s gonna be a lot longer than the rest of your run!”

Wise old men…

That aside, I’d like to think I’ve come a long way in the 10 short months I’ve been living in the heart of Kansas City. Sure, it’s only a couple hours from my hometown, but the differences in KC and the Ozarks stretch much further than that. There’s a lot around here you have to soak in, and I can’t sit here and type like I’ve mastered every single thing quite yet, but the first five make for a good place to start…

5: It’s Windy. All The Time. No, not Chicago windy (fortunately) but at any point in time on any day of the month, there’s at least a slight breeze. I have a theory that this is because we’re so close to Kansas…and Kansas doesn’t really have many trees…so the wind just sweeps through that flat state and hits you like a brick wall. It’s also why it takes forever for the Sun to go below the horizon line in the summer. Geesh, grow some trees Kansas.

4: For a Big City, You Seem To Know Everybody. It’s kinda crazy that in a city of more than 2 million people you see a LOT of familiar faces. I knew a few moving up here, it of course didn’t hurt to have some family here and a rather large Drury network to fall back on, but the more you’re out the more you see. The more you see, the more you see again. Seriously, there was a guy at Power & Light I ran into with my little brother and some friends that looked like Alan from The Hangover. Not three weeks went by before I saw that exact same bearded individual eating Sunday brunch at Tomfooleries. I give it a week before I bump into him at Hy-Vee.

3: The Border War Is Alive And Well. Each state’s respective college may have parted ways into separate conferences, but trust me when I say that has in no ways diminished this awkward interaction between the locals at each end of the bridge.  Working in the industry I do I get to interact with both sides of the City. Each think they have something over the other. Take it from the newcomer’s perspective, BOTH sides are awesome in their own right. Obviously I have some bias being from the great state of MO, but KS has a lot going for them as well, plus the girls over there are pretty cute…JUST, give me a little more time with that whole ‘Jayhawk’ thing…

2: It’s The Best of Both Worlds, Old AND New. It’s crazy that just about anywhere you can go, you can see how far back these city’s roots are but at the same time how far they’ve come. The history is SO rich, from the American Royal to the Nelson-Atkins to the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame to the Jazz Museum. yet at the same time, KC is one the hottest Tech hubs in the nation and has gone against the grain with the flow of the economy. The best part about the whole thing is that nobody here really takes that for granted, it’s truly awesome.

1: You Shake Your Head and Laugh Every Time Someone Says ‘BEST BBQ IN KANSAS CITY’. This statement is a bold faced lie! Anyone who says it hasn’t thought about this: there are TONS upon TONS of barbecue places in KC and no matter how amazing that piece of burnt ends you just demolished is, it’s almost a guarantee there is somewhere around this city that can do it better and there always will be. It’s really a blessing far more than it is a curse and definitely a good problem to have. Sure, there’s the Big Four (Joe’s, Bryant’s, Gates and Jack Stack) and each can hold their own, anybody who’s come to KC for the food can tell you that, BUT this place is called the BBQ Capital for a reason. What about R&J’s on 80th and Parallel? What about Smoking Guns in North KC? Smokehouse? LC’s?! Seriously, there’s even a guy that has a trailer on North 7 Highway in Blue Springs with burnt ends that can stand plate for plate with any of these places I just mentioned…and these are only a fraction of what this town has to offer. Don’t deny yourself the awesomeness of KC barbecue, it truly is the best in the world, but don’t EVER call one place the BEST. This is a town effort.

I’ve got a long way to go, this town is far more complex than five points. But I’m in no hurry. I’ll grab my Sporting scarf, put on my Chiefs hat and head out for a Z Man with a glass of Boulevard Pale Ale, never knowing what this town has to offer me next!

This last Saturday was a very nice day (kinda windy, go figure), so I decided to go for a run. Sure enough, those two were outside Gomer’s, talking up a storm. Today’s topic of heated debate: BBQ. Let’s just say I didn’t make this my Number 1 without reason…One was arguing about some new place that opened up just a few blocks from him, the other was just sitting and laughing, only stopping occasionally to say “yeah, but it don’t beat Gates”. I stopped, the light was red for a while, took out one ear bud, and said “come on, everybody knows there’s no such thing as the ‘best BBQ in KC’. They stopped, looked at me, looked at each other, then turned back to me and said. ‘Son, you’ve come a long way!’

Proud to be here.

Alumni Profile: Aaron Robison

My alma mater is too kind: check this out! Alumni Profile: Aaron Robison.

12 In….14

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox. In 6 games they proved with little remaining doubt why they deserved the 2013 World Series Title. The beards may be gross, the methods may be abnormal, but the way they played the game this year won them the title. A franchise that suffered for so long is now in the conversation of ‘dynasty’ and I couldn’t be happier for one of America’s most storied teams.

As far as another one of the those storied teams, a team that STILL can hold it’s own in that dynasty conversation, The Cardinals fell flat. No excuses, no pointing fingers. The St. Louis Cardinals got to the World Series playing the kind of ball that it takes to get a team there, but didn’t go much beyond that point. It happens…I mean, can you imagine if the Detroit Tigers played in the 2006 Series like they had all season long? Wouldn’t have ended like that I can promise. That’s all just part of the game. 

It’s also what makes the game worth playing. As a lifelong Cardinals fan it’s never easy to see your team get to the Fall Classic and lose…but that’s the way the game goes. It’s why you watch, why you cheer, why you throw things when it doesn’t go your way. It’s why you swear off the sport all together, only the be calling work ‘sick’ for the 2014 Opening Day. 

The 2013 Cardinals may not have any hardware to add to the prestigious St. Louis trophy case, but you’re kidding yourself even as a fair weather fan if you think they’re done. By all accounts this team shouldn’t be half as far as they are. They lost their leader, their skipper…only to gain a guy that hasn’t managed anyone over the age of 12 in his life and a postseason legend that had never made it as far as the postseason goes.  The average Redbirds pitcher should be graduating college this spring and nearly the entire infield was taking grounders at AA Hammon’s Field 12 months ago. 

In so many ways this Series was eerily similar to the 2004 one. We didn’t get swept, but try not to get hung up on that for a moment. That Series featured a bunch of guys that had barely experienced a postseason, let alone a World Series. A young Pujols, an injury-prone Edmonds, a postseason novice Rolen. All trying to take on a Red Sox team with nothing but momentum and raw destiny. We ate their lunch.

It didn’t feel good, still burns a little to be honest. But it made coming back in 2006 with guys that had now been there and tasted defeat, only to appreciate the victory and play for more. It took that experience to move from ‘happy to be here’ to ‘unfinished business’.  This 2013 crew is only just beginning to scratch the surface and is in many ways lightyears ahead of that ’04 crew. 

I guess the most disheartening thing from this whole situation has been the sudden animosity from the STL fan base. Since when do we boo our players and blast them on Twitter? Demanding their head, or at least a trade…I understand the Internet is the great equalizer, giving everyone a voice. But we shouldn’t abuse that on petty issues like sports. These guys have a job to do and there’s a reason they get paid to do it. Wong will steal a LOT of bases, trust me. Adams will hit a LOT of home runs, believe it. Martinez will strike out a LOT of guys…shoot, even Kozma has a shred of upside (this is a big step for me). They make mistakes, they’re young. None of us start out at the top, we have to learn our way up. They’re in the process, bear with them, and yes, despite the errors, they’re still better than you and your hashtags. 

That actually goes for the entire team. I’ve had the agonizing, thrilling, joyous and always rewarding pleasure of following the Cardinals since as early as I could understand it, even working for the organization in AA Springfield, watching a lot of these guys come up and flash that talent I know they’re capable of. Jay, Freese, Adams, Rosenthal…studs, all of them. They wear the Birds on the Bat and have earned every stitch. I realize given the recent success the Cardinals have experienced we inherit a lot of new fans.

To you, I say welcome. We’re a very proud fan base that I hope you can passionately love and follow. I hope you learn the Cardinal Way; we do not boo our players, we do not blast them on social networks. We praise performance, we believe because we have seen. We know that a game is 9 innings and the other team better play every out of them. We’ve been around a while and we’re very good at what we do.

In Cardinal Nation, we win a lot. We lose some, but we’re always…I repeat, ALWAYS, right there in it.

See you next year.

Action/Consequence: The Concept Lost On Millennials.

From career choice to personal interactions, social media is a pretty big part of my life. This is in part the ‘look at everything I have done’ generation I grow up in, mixed with a University that was ahead of the game and hammered home not only the power social media possesses and the opportunities it presents, but also the responsibility we have to control ourselves on it. 

For the most part, the constant evolution of the online nature has yielded a sense of awareness to the issue of ethics. That said, it doesn’t take half a scroll down one’s newsfeed to find something that causes an eye roll or head shake followed by a question of where humanity is heading.

For years I’ve studied the actions that prompt someone to post what they do. A sense of entitlement, narcissism, ignorance or just a different perspective on the definition of ‘interesting’. The biggest thing to note is that at some point or another we’ve all been guilty of it.  Like falling down or the feeling of getting too close to a fire, we’ve all posted something that we immediately second guessed. Certainly not on the same magnitude as others, but it’s a feeling we all understand. It’s like I’ve always told my clients, colleagues and superiors in the office hierarchy, the ONLY thing I truly know about social media is that there is no right way to do it, but there are millions of wrong ones.

In college, some friends and I started a social campaign as part of a project to promote online ethics to the audience that needed to hear it: Everyone. We started a Facebook page called The Social Media Résumé Project (then we dropped the ‘the’…it’s cleaner) and took our presentation to local high schools and junior high schools in an effort to minimize the amount of things posted online that could affect future opportunities. We showed statistics, gave personal testimonials and offered alternatives.

Yet, as it always has been, the most effective form of education is through experience and the impact those consequences have.

SMRP has lived on (often times barely) to exist with that purpose. Mainly because those stories are out there, even close to home. Recently my friend Amanda, owner of 417 Pet Sitting sent me this testimonial of her experience managing those that manage social media: 

Most of us, at some point, put thought into what we post on Facebook and other social media sites. As a 30-something, single, female, business owner who is active in the community, I have accepted the fact that “big brother” is watching my every move.  Even when I have a “night off”, what I am posting reflects on me and ultimately my business.

 I am a fairly laid back boss, I like to get to know my sitters which then helps me invest the trust in them that is required in our profession.  That being said, I have always been friends with them on Facebook.  We email and text daily about clients and jobs.  We share totally open lines of communication, which brings me to my point: 
Recently I was having trouble with one of my sitters.  I had received a couple minor complaints from customers which were addressed and resolved. But, in keeping an eye on her, I started noticing more and more posts and inappropriate pictures. To make matters worse, they were being posted during times in which that young lady was supposed to be caring for clients’ pets.   As much as it angered me that she was blatantly lying to me and the clients, it saddened me that she was making such poor choices in posts and photos online.  Someday, this young lady is going to be a business professional. She has since taken down her Facebook page.  At least now she isn’t sharing her lack of responsibility with everyone, including her present and future employers.
Mistakes happen. the goal is not to abolish them, all in all it is the very thing that makes us human. 
Make them, just don’t tweet them.