Thursday, November 12, 2015

Springhill Is Growing ...

Rural Social Media - "Springhill Is Growing...Love"

Dr. Dana C. Richardson, 

Eco Dev. 


Assisting contributor Dr. 

Steve Broe, author of, 

“Leaders in Transition”

Love – it's” 

 'The Giver,' Jeff Bridges; 

begins in black and white, which can be off putting if you aren't ready, then it segues into color as the story develops. Life in this Lois Lowry rending is explained as a society where life has changed. From a point in the past where mankind was different, a ruling way of life with principles that are to be obeyed without question is now in place. The families of this society obey the principles and take their wellness pill each day. The concept is a society that has become color less, all even, without interruption and without pain. Everyone lives in the culture with no highs, no color and no conflict. There is an underlying terror of control in the movie, slowly it creeps into the viewers realm as they learn that emotion and memories can bring pain. Most remarkably, however, is that memories and emotional highs and lows are part of a life which allows – love.

'The Giver' is deeply philosophical, challenging nihilism, functional nihilism, existentialism, and an entire host of want to be sociological theorems. They are all good theories, especially when you put a gun to the head of a person and illustrate how quickly they adjust their expectations of what you demand, suddenly, social theory goes out the window. Nagging at the back of our minds, in our present world, however, is a much deeper more primal fear. It is the question, 'what if we've got it wrong, and we don't know it?” The fear is that we may be stomping out love?

Now for the really scary part...what do you think? 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rural Social Media - Growing - Becoming -

“Springhill is growing: …extraordinary.”  
Dr. Dana C. Richardson, Eco Dev. 

Assisting contributor Dr. Steve Broe, author of, “Leaders in Transition”


          Robin Williams lived an extraordinary life, in the public eye, comedy and laughter falling from his performances, so quickly, that they made Daytona drivers drool.  Robin mastered his art over a career of very successful stand-up comedy in addition to television and movies.  By doing this he helped us see sides of our lives that lay buried under what we force ourselves to swallow;  the delusion of the ordinary.  We know that our lives become this as we constantly choke back chances to take risk.  Each time that we choose no risk, we fall into the unfortunate life lived ordinarily that poets over the centuries have written about.  Robin Williams took that edge of the cliff humor to the point where we had to either listen, or turn him off.  Was he a lightning rod for thought, which when the lighting struck, couldn't actually handle the charge?  In his movie “Dead Poets Society,” he plays a professor at a very conservative school, who wants his conservative students to realize, there is more to life than what everyone else tells you must be.  He uses Keating, “This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.”  Behind the frequent bilge of political correctness we’re on the edge of losing our ability to listen to a Robin Williams. It’s so unfortunate, so unlikely in the U.S., that this fight for your soul may have become our moment extraordinary?  If you choose ordinary, will those around you stand alone and extraordinary?

                Battle, war, these are terms that politicians who depend upon being elected, have tried to put aside, especially locally.  Local voting has dangers.  As Jack Nicholson being Colonel Jessup famously says about grave danger, “is there another kind?” Local politics constitute the breadth of America, and even in the Metropolis life, our country is forged in small units of business at the local level.  Politics, on the other hand, is the art of doing what seems to meet the majority need, that’s how we vote for representation that matches our needs.  The system of electing those who represent what we are doing, however, needs to step up to battle, but those who want to be elected, and especially at the local level, find they often have to choose between being a leader who isn’t going to let fear be their guide; and the tough decisions which will bring our nation home.  Now more than ever small business is being lied to, and the deadly lies involve how it’s going to be funded.  Who will be allowed to succeed who won’t?  The rules to that series of choices changed between 2012 and now, the vast majority of possible loans, are categorically “too risky.”  At this point entrepreneurs’ begin to feel the bite, every time they fill out an application for funds only to be told, “We’re sorry we can’t help you.”  Which is true, banks don’t make any money on loans they can’t make, politicians can’t cash in on votes they don’t get- read that sentence again, it is what is now in control of your country, at the local level, it’s extraordinary.

                This movement toward business which can prove it will succeed before it’s allowed to take the risk isn't new,  the deadly precision which small business must now prove it’s potential beyond surety, is. It means most entrepreneurs’ won’t get to try.  The difference is the fact that in decades past, if an idea were solid and the bank said “the risk is too high,” then we’d go to mom and dad, or friends, or the community.  Today families and friends are strapped with the worst tax standard in all of human history; we pay over 60% of our dollar into taxes; that do?  We have social media based financing groups, such as “Lending Tree,” “Street Shares,” and others; but those people are also strapped to the point that $25 dollar contributions are 70 percent of the time the most contributed amount  to the group effort at financing a small business’s needs.  Guess what, it isn't working; across the board the results are stated to be positive, but when you look deeper at the number of applications and the number and amounts of financing which occur, it’s bleak.  The answer is going to take local leaders with heart and real courage; the fake vote getting, compromising truth kind; won’t get America out of this trap.  The tax and law structure which placed us here didn't happen overnight and won’t cure rapidly. Every person who understands money and its use is going to have to pony up to the battle, or lose the market on small business, and kiss this country good bye.  Banks don’t make any money on loans they can’t make, politicians can’t cash in on votes they don’t get. Politicians and bankers need to get into this fight in a way that cannot be anything but extraordinary, and so, my friend, must we be extraordinary.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

No Point To It

Three things are essential
to survival in rural America.
Now we're not talking about
rural America 50 miles outside
Dallas, or Denver,
a burb of Chicago, those
places call themselves rural -
but in reality they are capable
of pulling all of the big city
resources they have right
into their mix.  Nope these
three things are for rural where
we're at...the sticks, as they
used to here they go...

1.  Friday night football.

2.  Main Street that is
open for business.

3.  Folks who do what needs
doing in the community, and
volunteering to help.

There are other but these three
are the main ones.  No football
and Friday night becomes just
another night of the week.

Business on main street in our
town means something, we don't
have a lot of plants around us
employing a lot of folks, so
our folks either work somewhere
and live here, or, retail their
hearts out to local folks while
praying for a break on the web.

Folks who do stuff that needs doing
isn't just a rural America thing, but
it does help, and we don't have a
huge population to draw from.  This
can mean, and sometimes does mean,
we end up with folks doing a lot,
from a few.  It's what is the only
way that some things get done.

Have any favorite observations about
your rural community, we'd love to
hear them?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Five Little Known Factors About Diabetes

Personal experience is often the best teacher
because we get to see first hand how
things are, wouldn't you agree?

When we talked about my future
the word diabetes wasn't in that
description.  That happened to
people who didn't take care of
themselves, didn't eat right, had
bad family history's of the disease,
but it wouldn't hit me.  I ran nearly
every day- worked out, was
active as a cat, had energy out the
wazoo, and was losing weight.
So the idea of having diabetes
never crossed my mind.

Went to the eye doctor of all places,
and my eyes prescription for contacts
changed twice in a three month period.
This doctor was very wise, he said,
"look I'm not tryin' to alarm you but
that's sometimes a symptom of
something else, you should see a

Eyes may change.

I was not gaining weight, which is
what I believed in error, that people
who got diabetes, gained weight-
wrong- weight loss is a signal.  Weight
change, that is dramatic and you
can't account for it one way or the
other, and that's a sign.

Weight change, dramatic weight change.

The next thing that happened is more subtle,
it's also harder to talk about.  It's an internal
change - you suddenly find yourself being
very thirsty.  Water, fluids, and anything
you can get your hands on that is wet, is                                                      
what you want, because you have dry
mouth, like you've never had.

Change in drinking habits, always thirsty.

You may notice, I did, that my feet started
to tingle.  My sense is that it's when we
say something is "going to sleep," like when
you have an arm in one position too long
and it starts to tingle- that's the sensation
in your feet.

Tingling sensation in feet and hands.

This last one is certainly not the least,
but you may find yourself becoming
very tired, sleepy tired, in the afternoon.
This wouldn't be your normal, "gosh
I'd like to take a nap," tired, this is
sitting down and then going to sleep-
Bam- just out, like a light, in the middle
of the afternoon.

Sudden drowsiness beyond normal.

When these five signs show up, get
with your doctor, it's important, there
was no real history in my family of
this disease, I was a person who took
care of my body- and yet, here it is,
If it can hit me, it can hit somebody else.
My hope is that by sharing what
happened with me, maybe you'll go see
the doctor can help.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Information Keeps Down the Frustration

One of the hardest things to do as a person who
wants to open a business is to know who to
go to?  So here is a list of the people who can
be helpful to you:

LED - website:  Louisiana Economic Development

SBA - website:  Small Business Administration

SBDC-website:  Small Business Development Center

This is linked through because that
is also a center for information.  You have two quick
ways to get around as a person with an idea to start
a business, one, call 318-465-2762 and ask for me-
I'll help you if I can.  Two, you can click on one 
of the links above and see information.  Again it
might be good to get in touch with me,  as my work in to try and
be a good guide to the information you need,
that keeps down the frustration.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

FaceBook Social Media Isn't What It Seems At All

  You may not be new to Facebook, and my hope in writing this is that you aren't, but if you are new to Facebook, this may save you 
some "skin in the game," from experience.  The leading consultants on social media will tell you how powerful it is as an advertising tool.  The leading local groups for discussion will tell you what a powerful way to stay in touch it is (personally for local - my preference is "ring -ring" but that's just me...).  Those who have huge groups of people in their Facebook family will tell you what a great place it is to share.  Are you seeing a common theme here?

  From this brief you should take away two things:  1)  Experts when it comes to this field, are called that, because they've learned all about this new way of behaving called social media, within the last decade.  They should be noted, and listened to, but also, understood for what they are, experts- you and I, aren't- and the difference, when we understand it- can really spare us a lot of sweat when it comes to what we call success for our Facebook page.  2)  We live in a culture and world which professes to be outcome based; every time you speak with someone the subject invariably becomes, "what happened," or a flavor of that- guess what (?)- the same holds true in social media with Facebook!

  This article really begins three years ago when Joe Vitale, Mr. Fire as he is known, introduced me to a new form of communicating over the internet called Twitter.  Dr. Joe said that Twitter would
change everything, and for me, it truly was, remarkable- suddenly I found myself conversing with people from all over the planet, and enjoying it.   From Twitter my exposure to social media got into Facebook  and I truly believed that I'd found communication via the web heaven- here it was, the answer, the dream, everything.  Wow wee, was it ever a mistaken first impression, because Facebook isn't what it appears to be.

  About the time that my experience in life began to change from working hard to working smart, my training on Facebook also changed, and Mari Smith entered the picture in her seminars.  Mari is not only brilliant, she is not only a student of the craft, but she is a powerful and influential member of what Facebook is actually about- so much so, that Mari speaks now at large events that not too many years ago, weren't.  Today those events, social media training events and seminars, many of which take place via the excellent work of Michael Stelzner, of Social Media Examiner 
fame; are well attended and recognized within the community of Facebook professionals, as having tremendous value, they do; took one online two years back, it changed my Facebook.

  "Scareech..." that's the sound of fingernails on blackboard, most unpleasant, almost no one likes that sound- so it gets attention, and it's why we need to throw on the brakes one second - and stop and realize that what Facebook appears to be is a great communication center where your face and photo's and even videos, can be sent to friends, and those who choose to want to look at what you are saying or going through, that you enter.  Would that pretty much match the opening viewpoint that most of us had?  My experience was from chat rooms and online meeting rooms, suddenly there were images, and video's and sound and motion, wow, it was like an entirely new universe to me, and I'd be willing to bet, for anyone who first walks on to the Facebook page, and starts getting into what it's about, it may seem so, and that, is what sets it apart.

  But the "scareech," is to call attention to the less obvious, the less surface issues, and begin to move into the deeper and more creative areas.  What Facebook begins as in your life, is likely nothing like what it is now; that's either good or bad, some people have actually had some bad experiences on Facebook; but almost every comment that I've heard over the years has been positive.  Let's stop and consider that- here is the 5th largest nation on earth by population, which has more interested and involved members of that nation, than just about any other.  Think about all the posts and all the conversations, and the sheer weight of the value of those and you begin to see, Facebook may be, and likely is, a phenomenon that has changed history; via exposure and open communications; and one which will, into the foreseeable future, continue to be a historically relevant force.  

  A force to be reckoned with, or, a flow to move along with, there are many different ways to relate to the fact of the enormous reality of what Facebook became; that was then, this, however is now, and it may not all be good- so hang on- we're going to go some places that not everyone likes, but places where we may need to check, because Facebook may not be what it appears to be.

  "High Tech High Touch," John Naisbitt began to hint at what we're seeing today, his insight began in 1988; so computing and the social media that we have today, didn't exist, but since that time, and the hardcover publication of his work in 2001, much has changed and not all of it is for the better.  Let me ask you this, are you primarily sharing deep and insightful parts of you out there on the social site?  Likely no, because we know, for the most part, that it is seen by- well; everyone- and certainly by your Facebook friends, that's certainly true; but, we don't want them to know it all, nor would that be good, would it?
So what are we not saying, what, in other words, if we were in a high touch; personal, in person, meeting, might we say, that here, in this high tech realm, we won't? On the other hand, because the person isn't there, what will we let fly that were they there, we'd never let get said?  Now before you dismiss this as obvious, stay one more round, because it's going to be worth considering, that's the way that social science is, taught it for a couple of years at two year colleges, that and basic psych  so, this is an informed opinion, with some facts to back it, Facebook, isn't what it appears to be.

  Imagine standing outside a house and looking into the window of that home, what might you see?  You might see mom and dad very wildly gesticulating with their hands and arms, and you might think that they are having - A.  An argument?  Or, possibly, B. A very intense discussion.  What would cause you to deduce such?  Their gestures, right(?)- their hands and faces, and things that you could see standing outside that window- and looking in. 

  This would be things that you would know from that perspective, that they wouldn't know that you knew.  Suppose that after several hours you return to their home, knock on the door, and go into that living room with them?  Now you can talk, exchange ideas, and both of you will know the same information, they know and you know.  You wouldn't know what was inside their heads, what they were thinking, unless they told you, so those things would be secret, unless revealed; in which instance, the secrets would become shared information.  Things that you know and they know, things that they know and you don't (their inner thoughts), things you know and they don't (what you saw), and a category we seldom like to address, that neither of you know- the deep end where a lack of knowing can be very powerful.  

  This is called the JoHari window concept, it was invented by two men who studied four areas of our thinking and feelings and lives and how those four areas impact upon our lives and the lives of others...this isn't new stuff, it's well recognized in the world today, here for example, is one site of 348 thousand that come up when Googled [click]  Here comes the kicker - we're going to put some ingredients into this mix and the soup is going to start to have a flavor because Facebook isn't all that it appears to be, point in fact, it may something we aren't thinking it is capable of being?  Something that we don't want to believe, it could be.

  Step back into social media, only now, see it through the lens of this truth, it's a harsher lens, because what may be happening, as we participate in it, may not be what we'd like?  What would your ideal outcome from Facebook be- have you one in mind?  When you post something, is it just, "getting it said," or do you think before you post?  How when you comment, reply, do you just "go with it," or do you stop and analyze, then reply; or, in such instances, do you choose to just observe with no comment?  We're going to wrap this first session up with a doozy; but it's a doozy worth it to you for thought, is my hope in bringing it to the table.  

  When you have a high touch experience, a hug, a smile in person, a group where everyone has a good time playing games, a great restaurant experience, a grand time- somewhere- that's warming to the soul, we love those times, and we remember them, they are warm.  Facebook isn't warm, it's techno, yes, you see the smile, but
no, the person isn't there.  

One of the brilliant leaders from Britain, Michelle Holmes teaches us to use video, now, Michelle I believe credits that idea to Marie Forleo, who has a great show on MarieTV; and also I'd believe Amy Porterfield another astonishing leader; who also, along with Mari Smith and Michael Stelzner emphasizes the use of, and high content value of, video.  Here's the doozy; video or not, it's not the warm tech of touch, it is still high tech, cold tech, no matter how warm we try to make it- and therein, we shall on this first session, stop- with the doozy-
is Facebook a cold tech nation?

  Love to hear from you, and we will be putting this session into a video, and we will continue to explore the doozy, but we'd love to have you join in that exploration- if we can answer any questions about this, please do contact Dr.D at, or the cell, 318-465-2762, yes, I do answer emails, in a day or two, and yes I certainly do answer the cell, but if we're meeting with officials or clients, might have to get back to you, I try to return all calls within a day...please do leave a voicemail, although friends have been fussing at me about that being full...;-)  See a pattern here?  At any rate, thanks for taking your valuable time to consider the nature of what Facebook may actually be and what that may mean...




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Growing The Development Culture

Growing The Development Culture

"Getting There..."  Dr. Dana Richardson,   Eco Dev

You’ve seen the movie, “Hoosiers,” starred Gene Hackman as the coach who took a small town ball team to state?  “Yeah, figures Dr. D that you’d choose a basketball movie story seein’ as how our boys are in the playoffs for football, genius!”  Yes I know, but some quotes are too good to pass up! Be they football, like Denzel Washington, talking to the team as Coach Boone, of “Remember The Titans,” at Gettysburg, “this is hallowed ground.” Or, Gene Hackman, taking his boys into a gym at state that’s huge, asking them to measure the basketball key, remember that?  They measured the net, they measured the key, and his statement was, “I’ll think you’ll find that the measurements there are the exact same ones we have back home.”  His point was; it isn’t the size the opponent, it’s the heart of the competitor, and it’s how you compete; whether we win, lose or draw (can you have a draw in football?) – If our athletes play their hearts out and play with good conduct and athletic manners of combat in football, they are winners.

  Economic Development carries in the program an idea that somehow we’re going to make businesses happen, education get better, the infrastructure of the community get better, the way that the community reports itself to the outside world, become enhanced.  In short, the expectations for a good economic development program need funds; and what we tend to believe is that those funds will always come from the Federal Government, State government, or some other source of grant money.  Here’s a shocker- they usually don’t.  In major cities which have huge economic development programs, the majority of the funding comes from the city leaders.  Grant money can happen, and we’ve been fortunate to have grants approved, but we’ve been unfortunate to then have the agency approving the grant, not receive enough money to fund the grant?  Interesting concept; that one is; sort of like, ordering a Cheeseburger, like everybody else, but only being able to watch other people eat it? Isn’t there a better solution, in order that, our community can continue to grow, continue getting there? 

  Did you catch that, how we report ourselves to the world sentence?  You may have thought “internet,” O.K., think “internet” as T.V.; see it?  How powerful is the impression left by the first contact with a website?  In the case of Universal Studio Orlando ( it’s pretty powerful – Harry Potter is front and center; and who, could forget Harry?  In the case of NASA a lot of really cool things are going on no matter what page you click to (   If you type in Lafayette Louisiana, you get this ( web site that is aimed at you communicating with them, and visiting them; hmm, that’s interesting, wouldn’t you say?  So what about Springhill, what do people see if they type into the search engine Springhill Louisiana?  It is in the top three on Google as a web site, great, but it’s behind, Wikipedia and North Webster Chamber of Commerce?  Is North Webster Chamber of Commerce, Springhill?  No but we have a nice link middle of their screen; but would a person have to want to find Springhill to use this?  Here’s the point; surfing facts tell us that when an executive is looking for a new community to come to, they go to; Google, and they search for the community- the question you need to ask yourself is, are the sites that they’re finding about us influencing their choice?  Is there any possibility that we might make our site better, more attractive, more welcoming and more inviting to them to contact us?  When those executives click on your page you have 7 seconds to impress them,  or they’re gone!  We need to perhaps think about what it is that we want to show them, so that, when it comes to getting them here, we’re getting there!