Westsidedad

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Field of drains. Although the rain stopped yesterday morning, the Little League field was soaked and all the games were cancelled. With the sun out, a few of us dads moved the tarps back to give the clay infield some breathing room. One of the great things about coaching Little League is that it plugs you into a friendly community of like minded men. All of them are middle-class dads who believe in coaching and community service. Community is a much sought after quality in our highly fragmented world. I'm reading an interesting book, Making Meaning: How Customers Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences by Diller & Shedroff (available on Amazon). The authors, who run a very successful design company, discuss how corporations work to create emotional experiences and even "communities" for customers. Here's a quote from the book,
Experiences that allow customers to communicate, or simply be heard, tend to increase satisfaction. These allow people to attach meaning to experiences - especially the meanings that are supported by social interactions with others (such as community.)"
They are talking about people getting emotional satisfaction and finding community through the purchase of products. I'm all in favor of marketing (heck, I'm a marketing consultant) but let's face it, finding community through a product is going to be pretty shallow in comparison to working in a community group, PTA or local church. One of the reasons we don't see more dads with kids in advertising (as opposed to young women in bikinis) is pure, unadultered fathering doesn't sell many products. It is about men spending time one-on-one with their kids. You don't need a fast car or a new pair of shoes. However, keeping up to date with the latest fathering weblogs (e.g. Rebeldad) is highly recommended (just kidding).

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