Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More on the Prison/Homeless Churn

How many people are homeless before they enter prison? How many leave prison with no fixed destination? Of the 70 percent of released prisoners who return to prison, what proportion are homeless?

If only for public safety reasons, you might assume the correctional system would want to know those numbers. But surprisingly, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) does not explicitly track that information.

A well-funded assessment tool (COMPAS) was launched in 2008 to predict which inmates were likely to become higher-risk parolees. A preliminary assessment of its data estimated that 39 percent of inmates were at high risk of “residential instability.”

Upon request, the research branch of the CDCR provided a one-time summary of the total number of parolees -- and their housing status -- at fixed point in time. (Note that parolees do not represent all released prisoners; those who are released after serving out their sentences do not have to go on parole.) CDCR reported that 1,193 parolees were homeless in Los Angeles County with no identifiable address -- one in 25 parolees in Los Angeles County. Viewed in the context of Los Angeles' 2009 point-in-time Annual Homeless Count, CDCR's data suggest that one in 50 homeless people in L.A. is an active parolee.

The situation in San Francisco was similar. CDCR reported that homeless parolees numbered 199 -- one in seven, or 13 percent of active parolees. Based on San Francisco's 2009 point-in-time Homeless Count, that means that one in 33 homeless persons is an active parolee.

For this report, researchers defined as homeless only those parolees who listed themselves as either "transient" or "homeless." This is a very narrow definition of homelessness, excluding anyone who lists a shelter's street address or his mother's address (even if she wouldn’t let him stay there).


Ad Tech - Guy Kawasaki On the Art Of Enchantment

If you've not heard Guy Kawasaki talk you're missing a treat. A combination of jokes, quips, Silicon Valley stories, and teeth, Guy, a member original team that developed the Apple Macintoch and now a well-regarded venture capitalist and marketer, does a great job of keeping his audience engaged.

He's at AdTech 2011 talking about the Art Of Enchantment. That something that's a combination of smiling, caring, and likeability. "Ever follow someone you didn't like? The general answer is no."

Also he says if you want to be trustworthy, you have to want to help people. He says you have to "default to yes."

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Ad Tech 2011 Panel On SEO (Seach Engine Optimization)

Now, it's 12:11 PM, and this Ad Tech 2011 Convention Panel is about that ever-changing field of SEO or Seach Engine Optimization. (A panel just before Guy Kawasaki's talk about "The Art Of Engagement.)

The panel speakers are Melanie Mitchell, Senior VP, Search Strategy
Digitas, and presenters Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank, Rob Snell, Managing Partner
Snell Brothers Consulting (who talks about "Redneck SEO" ....Geez, but it's actually a pretty good and funny presentation), and Simon Heseltine, Director, AOL.

Yeah, that AOL that purchased The Huffington Post. Cool that AOL is in the house.

What's interesting about the panel is that marketers, and digital marketers are in this room, but the people who really need to be here, but are not, are journalists and Old Media publishers.

Everything that's being talked about here: basically how to use search and make a website to make sure people find your product - is relevant to an industry that's suffering in this area and is under the weird idea that paywalls will save them.

Some interesting notes:

1) the SERP - search results - have changed, and because there's so much more kinds of data that's presented.
2) SEO is now combined with Social Media Optimization (SEO).
3) A lot of people invest in SEO, and marketers get the benefit.
4) Panel preaches what I've said again and again: you have to be multi-platform: on blogs, video, micro-blogging platforms, photo-sharing platforms, and so on. I call it "dropping the nuke." Just make sure the nuke, your content and the platforms, is large enough to really be a nuke.
5) Make sure your training your people in this stuff.

The basic message is "optimize content." What's content? Well, if you're a writer, you should know: you make it.

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Google Hater: Ad Tech VISA CMO Antonio Lucio Slams Giant

Ad Tech Day Two San Francisco's Moscone Center West (really Day One, as it's the first full day), started with a keynote presentation by VISA CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Antonio Lucio, who's talk was one part about digital and e-commerce from VISA's experience, another part how he hates Google.

Well, hate is a strong word, but it's appropriate, because in the middle of his talk, he presented Google as, er, arrogant "We're smart (er than you), we have 73 percent of the market." And showing the kind of distain for the search giants expressed by everyone from newspaper publishers, to online marketers, and bloggers.

But aside from his issues with Google, Lucio shared some interesting findings from VISA's foray into social media:

1) Facebook has changed the way we interact and even shop.
2) Zynga, the Facebook gaming platform, has a higher level of "engagement" than the norm for the Internet. "Engagement" is the act of sharing information about a something online.
3) There's a process VISA observers in the online path to the purchase of a "something" that has been influenced by social media. It starts with 1) Advocate, 2) Consider, 3) Evaluate, then 4) Buy.
4) Today, a brand needs what Lucio calls "An Army of Advocates." Those are people talking favorably about your brand or about you.

Lucio didn't talk about the negatives, like people not talking favorably about you online. Moreover, he didn't talk about the fact that, even online, bad buzz, if based on an opinion, and not a fact, can cause a backlash and create good buzz over time.

Press Briefing Intros New Apps.

At the press briefing after the keynote, we were introduced to new product apps Made In Social (which looks at who's saying what about your brand), Loyalize (a real time audience engagement product where you can block cussing trolls), and AYTM (for Ask Your Target Market). (And an apology to other firm's I missed because I had to walk away and do The Tonya Hall Radio Show at 1300 AM in Colorado Springs - plug for her show.)

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Cheaters TV Show: Joey Greco On Cheating At Reality Rocks LA

If you've ever stayed up late, then chances you watched "Cheaters," a show featuring Joey Greco where people have him and his crew spy on the partner they think is cheating on them. Of course, Cheaters always catches the cheater.

When they do, it always ends up going bad, where the person being cheated on wants to beat up the person who's loving the cheater. It almost never fails to happen, that story line.

This blogger met Joey Greco at Reality Rocks Expo LA, and talked briefly about his show's popularity. "If you ask me, I just would simply have to say, it touches on a topic that everyone can relate to. You either have done it, had it done to you, or know someone that their life has been touched by (cheating). And, in any of those scenarios, you see and recognize the fallout from those decisions. And I think that's what makes our show compelling as it is to watch.

Mr. Greco says his show has changed how he views and looks at relationships. He says that he now believes that one should immediately act to fix a situation where cheating has occurred. "It doesn't mean you have to break up," he said, "but move to a place where you figure out if it's something worth continuing and everyone gets to go their own direction.

In his answers, it felt like Greco had a story to tell himself. Has Joey Greco ever been cheated on? The answer he gave was cryptic: "I think, at one point in our lives, we've all been on one side or the other."

Interesting. Which side for Greco, we may never know.

2011 NFL Draft - Arizona Cardinals Don't Need A Quarterback

For some reason that smells of helping a certain agent, some at the NFL Network are jack-bull-determined to push Missouri Quarterback Blaine Gabbert as a top pick, even trying to push teams like The Arizona Cardinals to pick him.

Blaine Gabbert really isn't that good. He didn't win a national championship or his last bowl game. And on long passes he's not accurate at all. Plus, the moment he sniffs a pass rush, he runs for the hills, or in football, the sidelines.

Even with all of that, and more, people like ESPN's Todd McShay, NFL Network's Mike Mayock and Charles Davis, still talk about Gabbert as if they are reciting political talking points. Think about that, the next time you hear these guys talk about the Mizzou thrower.

Now, they're trying to push Gabbert on the Arizona Cardinals, just because the Cards have the fifth pick, and had a terrible passing game in 2010, and they have something going where they feel compelled to constantly pump Gabbert's name.  It's weird.

Here's why the Arizona Cardinals don't need to waste their 2011 NFL Draft First Round Pick on a quarterback:

First, they have a ton of young quarterbacks. Derek Anderson and Richard Bartel are 27 and 28 years old, and BYU Rookie Max Hall is just 25, and John Skelton of Fordham is just 23.  Their average age is  25.75 years old, and all of the signal callers have great potential.

Second, the Cardinals elevated Mike Miller to Offensive Coordinator and the word is that now Second-Year QB John Skelton is looked at as the heir apparent.

It would be just plain stupid for the Cardinals to go up and pick a quarterback and get hooked up with paying a large signing bonus of around $27 million at that level, then actually lose teaching time because they can't have contact with him beyond the Draft, and all to solve what really is a passing scheme problem?

That is simply not logical.  It would be great if the NFL Network and ESPN draft talkers admitted that.