Marketing WhyQuit, Joel's Library & Freedom

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 May 2006, 09:29 #51

Marketing World No Tobacco Day 2006
I thought it would be fun to let those interested see a zero dollar WhyQuit marketing effort in action. We're not big-time by any means but we're fun. We've done scores of campaigns over the years, some
successful most not. Today's objective is World No Tobacco Day, just 4 days away. Next to New Years it's probably the planet's biggest quitting day. How could WhyQuit put itself in position to become the unintended Internet destination of a significant percentage of those using search engines in just 4 days?

The U.S. Google search engine today ranks WhyQuit as the #3 "quit smoking" destination (see http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=qu ... gle+Search ) but #92 when "World No Tobacco Day" is searched. The best we can muster at the moment is a 2004 press release entitled World No Tobacco Day 2004 (http://whyquit.com/World_No_Tobacco_Day.html ), which I've just updated to 2006. What are the chances of moving this article to within the top ten by the morning of May 31, 2006? Probably not good but, like you, I love a challenge.

The first step has already been taken. In updating the page and tying it to the top of WhyQuit's main page, it should receive a significant boost when Google's spiders make their next crawl, almost always within 3 days. But linking it to this MSN Freedom message board thread (above) could also get noticed and each time a site other than the originating site has a link to a page it helps move that page up in Google's rankings. I'll also add it to a few other WhyQuit pages tomorrow (What's New, the youth page).

I've also gone to the most recent Yahoo news articles about smoking and nicotine and made brief comments in the discussion thread at the bottom, including the http://whyquit.com/World_No_Tobacco_Day.html link and inviting quitters here on WNTD. I have about a dozen other external sites where I'm very comfortable in sharing our links. I'll put the link up at each of those sites tomorrow.

What we cannot do is to spam other sites. We can extend invitations by posting links on all sites where we are entirely comfortable that our message fits in and is in accordance with the site's rules. We can also temporarily put it on our own websites (just until June 1).

If you are friends with a reporter you may want to see if they are interested in a short piece on World No Tobacco Day. A quick call can't hurt. Joel should be available for interviews if they so desire. If you have any friends who are webmasters they might assist wit
h a link on May 31. The simpler the better. It could say, "Today is World No Tobacco Day. Click here if you'd like to quit."

Will our World No Tobacco Day link move into the top 10. Probably not but it won't be because we didn't try. Still just one overriding principle for all of us, a principle that will always remain our common bond ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Patch, Dip, **** or Chew. Keep your eye on that top ten. You just never know : ) Together we can!

John (Gold x7)

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Jan 2007, 00:13 #52

January
A month for throwing life jackets
January is by far the biggest quitting month of the year, a month when a high percentage of still capitive smokers and struggling quitters dream that this may be their year for freedom. If the situation isn't appropriate or time isn't available for sharing the most important lesson of all (the Law of Addiction and NTAP) a simple suggestion to visit to www.WhyQuit.com may be all it takes to help make dreams come true.
It clearly takes a bit of boldness or even bravery to get in the "habit" of reaching out to those in need but like many here, you may eventually see it as throwing a life jacket to someone drowning. Still just one rule ... no nicotine just one day at a time, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jan 2007, 21:44 #53

for Tex
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Mar 2007, 03:36 #54

I saw a post from a member who was getting some pretty negative feedback from smoking family members and friends because of her efforts to spread the word about the importance of quitting smoking. I kicked up a few posts on helping others quit. The concept of becoming to preachy made me think of the following post I made a few years back when a member's spouse made a comment that she seemed like she had been taken in by a cult by joining Freedom:

Is Freedom a cult?

Back in July a member wrote to us that her husband said we sounded like a cult. I wrote the following post in response. I thought the comments help in a little way to capture how we really try to operate at Freedom.

Actually, I haven't had my work compared to a cult in my actual live clinic experience, although I have seen the accusation made from my Internet presence. Even though I was never accused of it in my live work, to some degree I was always cognizant of the fact that people could view what I was doing as seeming cult like. Much of how I operate is based on the assumption that if I were not careful I could easily be accused of trying to manipulate people I have helped in order to attain some personal gain.

A number of members over time have suggested that we work out some way to charge for participation in our group, or sell our material or encourage donations from our members to our group. It would be easy to do any of these things, but it would easily lead to the appearance that we are pushing our agenda for some sort of personal gain. Our style of operation makes these kind of accusations totally irrelevant. (See Does Joel have any books?, make sure to go back to the third post in that string.)

As far as how to answer your husband's accusation of our cult like status, I went out on the Internet and found a few sites that listed characteristics of a cult. Here is one of the checklists provided by one site, with my explanation as to where Freedom fits in with each critera. There where others that went into a little more religious aspects, but basically, we don't touch issues of religion, politics, and most other lifestyle choices, so these criteria really don't apply to us either.

Joel

Characteristics of a Cult

The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

I actually hope not everyone is focused on the leaders of our group, although as far at to each member having an overzealous, unquestionable commitment of the goals of our group, I hope that are members are guilty of this--considering the goal is for each individual member to save his or her own health and life by staying committed to never take another puff!

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

Actually, we want each and every member of our group to focus on his or her own quit. Hopefully others around you may eventually take your lead and quit smoking, but there is little we do to influence our members to pull in other people. We basically ask our members to simply set an example that it is possible to live smoke free--not by being members of our group but simply by staying committed to never take another puff!

The group is preoccupied with making money.

Some of these criteria may need a technical explanation of how we are different than a cult, but not this one. We have never made a penny from any of our members and have no future intentions of doing so either. Everything we have is given to our members and our lurkers free of charge, and we do not take donations.

Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

We are dealing with combating drug addiction. It is true that we do not want our members questioning or doubting this fact. We could have a hard time defending against this one.

Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

Outside of mentioning deep breathing, I don 't think any of these factors fit our group.

The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).

As opposed to us telling people how they should live any other aspect of their life, we make it clear that we don't even want to discuss about other aspects of their lives. Our premise is everything you did as a smoker, you can still do as an ex-smoker.

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

If we could save humanity from smoking we would try--but we can't. As far as having any Messianic beliefs in my work, following my suggestions may keep you out of whatever you consider heaven longer, but only because following our suggestion you are likely to be here on earth longer--considering our only real suggestion is to never take another puff!

The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

We avoid conflict at all costs. Even our Our Mission Statement spells out we don't want to take on institutes like tobacco companies or other industries who have interests in people continuing to smoke or use nicotine products. We want any person to be able to use our site for help, even if those people work for industries promoting smoking or nicotine.

The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

Here is one that we can't actually defend against.

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).

All we ask of our members is that they do not take a puff. We also explain that they should not take up other negative behaviors in order not to take a puff. (see "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking")



The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

Yes we have been known to induce guilt. See I Liked My Other Support Group More

Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.

If a member's personal goal was to prematurely cripple himself or herself, or to die prematurely, then we are guilty of trying to alter those personal goals. As far as cutting ties with family and friends, we in fact do the opposite. We don't want members spending an inordinate amount of time here at Freedom at the cost of time with their families.

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

Same answer as above. In addition, our hope is that by sticking to the commitment to quit smoking, you are buying yourself a whole lot of extra time to spend with family and friends. Living extra years and decades afford people who quit smoking more time and better quality time.

Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members

We don't want our members over socializing with each other or with management. We are an educational site first, a support site second, and as far as a social site, we try to keep general socialization down to a minimum. We want our members to use the time they spend with us in order to secure their ability to be better able to socialize in their real world with their commitment intact to never take another puff.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2007, 19:52 #55

From above:

Here is a post I put up back in 2003, although I cannot find the exact string it was in.
Is Freedom a cult?

Back in July a member wrote to us that her husband said we sounded like a cult. I wrote the following post in response. I thought the comments help in a little way to capture how we really try to operate at Freedom.

Actually, I haven't had my work compared to a cult in my actual live clinic experience, although I have seen the accusation made from my Internet presence. Even though I was never accused of it in my live work, to some degree I was always cognizant of the fact that people could view what I was doing as seeming cult like. Much of how I operate is based on the assumption that if I were not careful I could easily be accused of trying to manipulate people I have helped in order to attain some personal gain.

A number of members over time have suggested that we work out some way to charge for participation in our group, or sell our material or encourage donations from our members to our group. It would be easy to do any of these things, but it would easily lead to the appearance that we are pushing our agenda for some sort of personal gain. Our style of operation makes these kind of accusations totally irrelevant. (See Does Joel have any books?, make sure to go back to the third post in that string.)

As far as how to answer your husband's accusation of our cult like status, I went out on the Internet and found a few sites that listed characteristics of a cult. Here is one of the checklists provided by one site, with my explanation as to where Freedom fits in with each critera. There where others that went into a little more religious aspects, but basically, we don't touch issues of religion, politics, and most other lifestyle choices, so these criteria really don't apply to us either.

Joel

Characteristics of a Cult

The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

I actually hope not everyone is focused on the leaders of our group, although as far at to each member having an overzealous, unquestionable commitment of the goals of our group, I hope that are members are guilty of this--considering the goal is for each individual member to save his or her own health and life by staying committed to never take another puff!

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

Actually, we want each and every member of our group to focus on his or her own quit. Hopefully others around you may eventually take your lead and quit smoking, but there is little we do to influence our members to pull in other people. We basically ask our members to simply set an example that it is possible to live smoke free--not by being members of our group but simply by staying committed to never take another puff!

The group is preoccupied with making money.

Some of these criteria may need a technical explanation of how we are different than a cult, but not this one. We have never made a penny from any of our members and have no future intentions of doing so either. Everything we have is given to our members and our lurkers free of charge, and we do not take donations.

Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

We are dealing with combating drug addiction. It is true that we do not want our members questioning or doubting this fact. We could have a hard time defending against this one.

Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

Outside of mentioning deep breathing, I don 't think any of these factors fit our group.

The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).

As opposed to us telling people how they should live any other aspect of their life, we make it clear that we don't even want to discuss about other aspects of their lives. Our premise is everything you did as a smoker, you can still do as an ex-smoker.

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

If we could save humanity from smoking we would try--but we can't. As far as having any Messianic beliefs in my work, following my suggestions may keep you out of whatever you consider heaven longer, but only because following our suggestion you are likely to be here on earth longer--considering our only real suggestion is to never take another puff!

The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

We avoid conflict at all costs. Even our Our Mission Statement spells out we don't want to take on institutes like tobacco companies or other industries who have interests in people continuing to smoke or use nicotine products. We want any person to be able to use our site for help, even if those people work for industries promoting smoking or nicotine.

The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

Here is one that we can't actually defend against.

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).

All we ask of our members is that they do not take a puff. We also explain that they should not take up other negative behaviors in order not to take a puff. (see "Do whatever it takes to quit smoking")



The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

Yes we have been known to induce guilt. See I Liked My Other Support Group More

Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.

If a member's personal goal was to prematurely cripple himself or herself, or to die prematurely, then we are guilty of trying to alter those personal goals. As far as cutting ties with family and friends, we in fact do the opposite. We don't want members spending an inordinate amount of time here at Freedom at the cost of time with their families.

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

Same answer as above. In addition, our hope is that by sticking to the commitment to quit smoking, you are buying yourself a whole lot of extra time to spend with family and friends. Living extra years and decades afford people who quit smoking more time and better quality time.

Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members

We don't want our members over socializing with each other or with management. We are an educational site first, a support site second, and as far as a social site, we try to keep general socialization down to a minimum. We want our members to use the time they spend with us in order to secure their ability to be better able to socialize in their real world with their commitment intact to never take another puff.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Oct 2007, 07:33 #56

From: OBob-Gold Sent: 6/9/2003 3:16 PM
For Marebear.... or anyone other member for that matter....
WhyQuitBusCard.doc (a Word doc)
Knowbutts WhyQuit Cards (a pdf)
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Recommend Message 21 of 27 in Discussion
From: John (Gold) Sent: 10/28/2002 1:42 PM
I just received an envelope from Bedford, Mass (but without a name) that was filled with WhyQuit business cards. Don't be shy they are great! Did you do these Skydog? I tried clicking on your link attached at the bottom of the above message but my view doesn't show anything in the small boxes

I have a rather ancient scanner that isn't scanning well at all these days (I'm sure it's operator error -1997 Mustek 600II EP & [url=mailto:john@whyquit.com]john@whyquit.com[/url] if you know the settings I should try). Anyway, this is what they look like and I'll type out the messages on the other 7 cards as there are eight different messages in all. These are fantastic! Thanks! I'll enjoy handing them out! The blue background you see below is just a page I used to contrast and show the edges.

Here are all the card messages. I've kept the word per line breakdown the same as they are on each card. All cards have the same WhyQuit.com logo at the bottom. Thanks again so much. What a treat to find in the mail!
Are you sick of being a
slave to cigarettes?
Knowledge is the key to freedom

Quit smoking the easy way.
Cold turkey.
Find out how from people who've done it.

You know you want to
quit smoking
We want you to know how.

Free yourself
from the chains of
nicotine addiction.

Find out what the tobacco and
pharmaceutical companies
don't what you to know
Quitting is easier than you think.

Will you smoke your next
cigarette because you want
to or because you have to?

Know anyone who's
died from smoking?
Is that how you want to go?

Can you imagine
life without cigarettes?
Does your answer to that question scare you?
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

25 May 2008, 10:22 #57

Thank you, John, You Rock!!
!!!!!!!!!
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