I dropped everything and drove the Health Care Reform Protest last Saturday.  Glad I did for a number of reasons:

  1. My wife and I drove 12 hours with a couple that knows more about what’s ‘really going on’ than we do.
  2. Saw first hand that HCR is equally about HCR and about Big Brother (see my pics).
  3. I was AMAZED that 50,000 people came on 48hrs notice – viral!
  4. Was reminded over and over about the social/economic/political/religious roots of the USA.
  5. Made a powerful viral video of the protest that’s been viewed by over 1000 people.
  6. Got ‘in the mix’… and have received a few biting comments about my efforts – so I must be doing something right.
  7. Reinforced my energy and vigor to right the ship come November.

What are your thoughts?  At a minimum, do you think it was the right thing to do???.. to publish an enormous bill with sweeping socio-economic, political implications on a Thursday, and demand a vote on Sunday?  What are your thoughts?

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Social Media and insurance is catching on like wildfire!  Now mind you, I say this in the context of the insurance space, where speed is measured in years, not days or months!  I’ve yet to see an insurance company ‘rush into’ anything.  But that said, I’m impressed with the level of interest in blogs and social media – genuine interest.  At the same time, brokers are starting to take a look at leveraging social media to drive traffic to consumer-driven insurance sites.  Let me just say, though, NOW MORE THAN EVER, there will be a premium put on the effectiveness of the landing pages and the user experience, the transparency of the broker and insurance product, and the ability for visitors to interact with the site and the brand.  And if they smell a rat… DO NOT give a project like this to your IT department to Design…..    Develop?  OK, but with detailed guidelines.  MUST MUST MUST have excellent usability with this – and that is no easy thing, especially in an environment of corporate and government compliance.

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The Epiphany?? As I sat with a new social technology partner (very great tech, btw, for casting and monitoring social media, managing SM campaigns, CRM integration, etc. – very powerful), a thought suddenly occurred to me.  When I first started writing about insurance technology back in 2005, I remember soap-boxing about the use of these technologies, the importance of getting in the game, of blogging and establishing that conversation, etc.  (In fact, a quick search of the blog reveals this thread.)  At the time, my thinking was that if the current group of health and life insurance players didn’t get moving, they would suffer loss in the future at the hands of more tech-savvy up-starts, sort of like what happened with the Spanish Armada (another post).  So it was more about competitive advantage.

Little did I know that the real threat would come from a future administration bent on taking over the entire industry.  And now, in general, the industry has a tiny voice in the media and blogosphere with which to defend itself.  And it’s getting its collective clock cleaned by tremendous mis-information.  Is this out in left field or true?  Thoughts?  Links to corroborate?  I heard a story yesterday about a Blue plan that was forced to retract a story by Kathleen Sebelius – anyone have any links to that?  Hmmm… “Sebelius served as executive director and chief lobbyist for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association (now Kansas Association for Justice) from 1977–1986.”

Interesting times.  Interesting times.  Thoughts?

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Love this picture.
The intersection of HCR and Government Intervention – and Youth.
How old do you think this guy is?  20?  Way to go, dude.