15 September 2008

Short and Sweet Post About Relevancy

The following comment was just made on OpenSourceCU.com in response to a debate about a Resource One campaign that blatantly ripped off Currency Marketing's Young & Free initiative:

no amount of tutt-tutting here will actually affect public perception of R1. Why? Cause the public doesn’t read this, and more than likely, doesn’t care.

My first instinct is to try to argue this point. I mean, after all, apathy concerning the credit union movement is what we are desperately trying to change in our little piece of the blogosphere. Have we been successful? I'm not sure. I do know, however, that the attempt has been pure. I take solace in that fact.

But the point I will make is simply this: this network of credit union people about which James scoffs are writing, debating, and sharing ideas about a movement that they truly love - and for which they have a genuine passion for improving. If a consumer stumbles upon one of our posts (even the stupid ones I write about McRibs and Brett Favre), the result will no doubt be overwhelmingly positive. That's why our industry is special. Our Technorati rating, comment totals, or site visits will not change that.


Tim McApine said...

I totally agree Matt. I think the thing about the comments on OSCU that bothers me is the negative tone. Good points are being made, We can have a good discussion and all learn, but why the need to poop on everything? These random anonymous comments from people that like to throw rocks, naysay and then go away are not constructive. How is his moving the discussion forward? At least use a real name and link to where you are coming from. Otherwise, its not a fair discussion.

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...


I think that's what is concerning me most about the development of human discussion. Blogs, political discourse, and basic human interaction have largely been warped into a never-ending pissing contest. Worse, the old saying about "nice guys finish last" has become the public mantra. The "winner" of any debate now seems to be the person who can bring himself/herself to be the most obnoxious. Louder wins. The person who can stretch the truth the most wins. Deliberate character assassination wins.

It's disgusting, really.

Denise Wymore said...

This couldn't have come at a better time. My recent blog post did result in a sparring match with Jeffry Pilcher (we have a pattern of disagreeing) BUT at least he has the you-know-whats to identify himself. I respect him for that. AND, we were debating the survival of small credit unions. A worthy subject these days.

It's the anonymouse "JOE" comment yesterday that set me over the edge. A hit-and-run cowardly mean thing to say. I approved it (didn't have to).

It's about passion and commitment. The OSCU blog comments from REAL people, in my opinion, was a warning shot over the bow to credit union marketers. We need to be genuine in our message today. Otherwise we cheapen this brand we call credit union.

terrell said...

You make a good point, Matt. We should keep our discussions going, regardless of who is or isn't paying attention.

However, I do think Brent's post has an overly negative tone and certainly has rubbed some people the wrong way. Telling someone they suck and that they should "do good work" is not helpful.

James W said...

What I said has been dragged terribly out of context, compared to what I was getting at.

I was responding to this comment, by James Robert Lay (another James)

"If anything they are embarrising themselves in the CU world for doing this. Do R1 members care or even know? Probably not. But do their CU peers… we shall see."

I thoguht that post reaked terribly of grandeur. It pissed me off.

I'm not the best writer, and probably didn't articulate my point properly.

I just think, why would/should R1 care about our opinion of them. Remember, at this point in the discussion, it was mainly about R1 ripping on Y&F... not about the substance etc.

Personally, I enjoy reading all of these CU blogs. They give me good ideas, they make me think, and occasionally I feel like posting a comment when something really stirs my interest.

By no means am I suggesting that any of this is worthless, I just think that some people around have inflated the importance of industry-opinion within the CU industry.

As for posting anonymously, well... heck... I'm not game to pin my employer to my comments.

Hey, but for the record, I'm from Adelaide in Australia, 23, work in Marketing for a small industry specific credit union, and will now post around here with the first letter of my last name. I don't see why you would need to know anything more about me.

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...


Thank you for giving more of your side to this discussion. I think we all do ourselves a disservice when we over-inflate our sense of self importance.

I'll be honest, though. I haven't seen that mentality on the CU blogosphere...at least not much. The most notable of these blogs in my opinion have remained quite humble, cooperative, and passionate.

I agree with Terrell, however, that the OpenSourceCU discussion got off to an abrasive start. Even though the post was prefaced with the appropriate bias disclosure, comments reflected that a lot of visitors felt the same way.

What I will give Brent credit for is writing what many have already been thinking but didn't have the guts to say it. One of the things that disgusts me about modern credit unions is how unabashedly we rip off one another's marketing strategies. We complain that we cannot find a way to differentiate our selves to the public, yet we refuse to differentiate ourselves even from one another. Resource One's campaign was quite simply a rip-off. If it attracts new members to the movement, though, it will be a good thing. And I would imagine, knowing what I know of the folks at Currency, Tim and the gang will find great happiness in that fact. The thoughts of "credit union peers" are meaningless if they can pull that off

I wish Resource One luck with their campaign. Without better execution, though, I have my doubts that it will enjoy anything near the success that Young & Free promises

James W said...

I guess its just a vibe I get, sometimes... definitely not all the time, or I just wouldn't bother. I guess its kind of the same vibe I get from people who have said to me "go hang out with the CU skeptic".

That post by JRL just hit that vibe on the head for me, I guess.

I forgot to mention (as I've never posted on here), that I really enjoy this blog and the insight you provide. One day I'll start a blog of my own, maybe, we're a little under-represented here in Australia!

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...


Thank you so much for your kind words! When you get that blog started, I'll be first in line to read what you have to say! In my mind, the more voices we have in this conversations, the better.

Tim McApine said...

@jamesw - thanks for coming back and commenting here. Sounds like you've got a very interesting background and you've got plenty to add. Sorry if my first comment was out of line.

James Robert said...

@ James W (aka James II) - Glad to have you join the conversation from Australia. That is the beauty of this stuff.

Just wanted to follow up here as well to clear the air... basically the same thoughts are posted on OSCU.

Like you, I think my comment was taken out of context.

My comment was not meant to come off to “smack of grandeur and self importance” but instead highlight that there are two very different ways to look at this.

The point that I was trying to make is that we have two different groups looking at R1 MLMM. One group is the R1 members/non members. The other group is the CU world, those who work within.

In the member point of view (which for R1 is the most important), they see MLMM for what it is through the front end blog and R1 marketing efforts. They probably don’t even have a clue that Y&F even exist nor do care.

The second point of view is from those within the CU world behind the scenes. This is a hot topic and great discussion point.

My comment from before was that it will be interesting to see how this conversation goes down since it is so controversial and has been blogged about before but never with this degree of directness and honesty like Brent presented.

In no way was this meant for those who work behind the scene to sound self righteous… more of just a question to the CU industry to see how this debate pans out.

But in the end, as you stated “our analysis of R1’s program means very little if the members like it”. I do believe that from great discussions come great thoughts and ideas for us “on the inside” to learn from.

Look foward to you starting your own blog so then you can share your thoughts from a different point of view and the way you see things from across the way. Another point of view is always great to have.


everythingcu said...

@JamesW - If I may, I'd love for you to check out the discussion on EverythingCU.com. It's a safe-haven online community for CU employees only. We encourage open and honest discussion there, and we have a woeful lack of representation from Australia (though we do have a handful of Kiwis there). We keep CU vendors out so that CU employees can feel free to speak their mind without fear of repercussion or sales pitches.
-Morriss Partee

Jeffry Pilcher said...

The original post at OSCU set the tone.

jd said...

Matt, I got my blog up.


j-me said...

Ok, so I'm a month late on this discussion, but I just wanted to let you know I'm from the "public" end of things and found the negativity a bit disconcerting on the OSCU blog. But, now that I've kept reading it, yours, and other blogs, I'm enjoying seeing the inside of the CU world.

j-me said...

P.S. I actually may be considered a hybrid "public" person cuz I'm one of the spokester candidates for R1 now. Found all the CU blogs after throwing my hat in the ring. Quite the education. I'll admit I was unschooled on the difference between banks and CUs before all this.

Matt, the Credit Union Warrior said...

@j-me Welcome to the conversation! Best of luck with the R1 voting! In my opinion the more energy we can get behind credit unions, the better! No matter what happens in the voting, please try to learn as much as you can about the credit union movement. There is a difference - a difference that can make a huge impact on your personal finances.

Jared said...

Well this is interesting.

You guys dont know who I am yet, but you will. I have to keep a lid on things for now, but I am wide-eyed at these comments and all the information google has shown me in regards to Y&FA, OSCU, CM and more. Wow. Just amazing.

Dont worry though, I am just what the Dr. Ordered. You guys will see. After me, nothing will be the same again.

Anonymous said...

Could this possibly be Jared Guynes, one of the finalist from R1 MLMM spokester challenge (and possibly the winner). Maybe we wil find out on Wednesday. I hope he didn't spill the beans.

How I came to this conclusion... a little research based of the following press release and having J-Me post as well to the blog:

"Drawing from its pool of applicants, Resource One Credit Union has selected the top two spokesperson finalists, Jared Guynes and Jamie Lath, for its MyLifeMyMoney product service offering."