Category Archives: Uncategorized

Poll: How many Twitter accounts do you have?

I’m curious: how many Twitter accounts do you own/manage? I probably have created more than I can think of off the top of my head–for various personal accounts, a couple other projects I started, work, and some clients. While I don’t actively update all of them, I update at least a few regularly, including @DavidJGarcia, @FrugalityGame and @FacebookPro. Someday, I’ll post a list of all the accounts I’ve created and why.

For now, I’d like to know: how many Twitter accounts do you have?

Post your explanations in the comments, and retweet, so we can find out about other people. Thanks!

Debriefing: Lessons learned from launch (Day 1)

We’ve opened Pandora’s box. The Frugality Game is now live for the public, and there’s no going back now. From a development standpoint, “we’ve fired a bullet, and now we’re running in front of it.”

Some people will love you, some will hate you, and some don’t care. We’ve gotten the whole range of comments, some amazingly supportive, others paranoid, helpful, negative, disinterested or fanatic. Some of my favorites:

  • “I love it! Graphics are great. If this teaches me something, I’ll be grateful. If it’s just fun, that’s okay, too. :->”
  • “My husband and his sister are both deaf so I know how having captions would really be helpful to another who segment of society.”
  • 343 on todays hit the piggy game. Whats your score?
  • I was suprised to find out what the game was about.I didn’t expect it to be what it is,but on the other hand it was very interesting.I like the fact that they only let you play so much at a time.It makes you want to go back again.It might be good for me to play it so I can learn to look at things in another way and figure stuff out.I like this game”
  • I think I found a glitch. where do I report it?” (Another user responded with the answer).
  • “Was really excited about the game until it asked your monthly income. Not comfortable sharing such info so I lied. I may sound like a conspiracy nutjob but hey with this obsession with control by our gov’t who knows what they have in store for us. I will stick with you unless you continue asking for personal financial info.” (The government already knows your income–and working with real numbers is the best way to actually improve your finances).
  • the game is alful!”
  • “So far the game is interesting….I like it two thumbs up (:
  • “why would I want a game to know how much money I make on a monthly basis. I think this might be a scam! Not playing again!”  (The best part of this was the response from other users–read the next two).
  • Some people crack me up. So rude for no reason. Shooting down people’s good ideas & a scam, come on?? It’s a cute game & I think it’s great that a group of people would go to so much effort to help us, in our economy, learn how to live better & prepare for the future. It is slow, I need a skip button or something! And it’s a bit cheesy, but I can tell a lot of effort went into it & that’s appreciated. I’ll play, you can always learn something new!”
  • “It is a good idea. The public needs to be better about spending, and because games appeal to everyone, this is the perfect medium. The people that have left comments in the vein of “OMG THEY WILL STEAL MY INFORMATIONS” are just ignorant. You can find out more about someone with a Google search than you could with this game.
    Educate yourself, stop being paranoid, and perhaps take something for what it is. Fear is the result of ignorance.”
  • “Would love to something like this done with every high school student in order to graduate high school.”

One benefit of a passionate community: you don’t always have to defend yourself from criticism, because someone else does it for you.

Photo credit:  RBerteig

The Frugality Game launches today!

What is The Frugality Game?

It’s a free, online adventure that helps families improve their finances while having fun.

In this “adventure that will change your life,” users explore the world with the fictitious Frugal family while gaining valuable tools, resources and learning. As players track spending and create budgets, they unlock savings, as well as additional games and storyline.

Users can play, save and win (prizes up to $50,000), as they learn to be smart, spend right and live well.

How is David J.  Garcia involved?

I’m involved in all of it. Technically, I’m in charge of social media, but I’ve also helped with the design, script, user experience, promotion and business development. This is the dream job I never even knew that I was dreaming of. I love it.

How big is it?

This is going to be huge. There are prizes (including $50,000 and a new car). We’ve already got 10,000 fans on Facebook, before we even launched.

How do I play?

Starting today, you can go to to preview the game and “create your passport.” Then, come back every day to unlock more gameplay and savings. If you use invitation code DJGPR when you register, you’ll get a bonus 2,500 Frugality Tokens (which help you win prizes). Go play, have fun and good luck!

In 2010, I challenge you to do these things

In 2010, what are you going to do to improve as a communicator? Here are my recommendations. I challenge you to at least try each of the following things (if you haven’t already):

  • Become a blogger.
    • Post daily for one month.
    • Write 2 guest posts.
  • Learn to use Facebook for promotion.
  • Create compelling content.
    • Add video.
    • Get your story published.
  • Improve relationships.
    • Attend networking events or conferences.
    • Meet new people.
    • Become a better friend.
  • Improve yourself.
    • Do a good turn daily.
  • Gain financial strength.
    • Establish an emergency fund.
    • Get out of debt (as much as possible).
    • Increase your income.

These are my challenges to myself and to you. What would you add? These are things that I’ve seen success from, or I know others who have (read this for inspiration).

PLUS, to make it even easier for you–I’ll post about EACH of these topics (and more)–a new article every day for at least a month.

To get a new article in your inbox every morning, just subscribe by email. You can also follow me on Twitter and get RSS updates.

Creative inspiration

Tomorrow, I’ll have some challenges for 2010, and we’ll begin in earnest with the details and how-to’s. Since today is Sunday, and most aren’t back to work yet, today I offer inspiration.

First, one of my favorite posts that I’ve ever written: You Don’t Have to Outrun the Bear. When things get overwhelming, this is important to remember.

Now, here are three YouTube videos you might enjoy, about creativity, embracing life, and living your childhood dreams. The last is excessively long, but it’s worth watching at least once, when you have time.

Have a Happy Sunday, and come back tomorrow to read my challenges to you for 2010!

You are a professional communicator

This is a blog for the professional communicator. How do you know if you’re a professional communicator? You’re a professional communicator if you:

  • Studied PR, advertising, journalism, business or marketing.
  • Write, design or edit.
  • Freelance.
  • Have a product or service to sell.
  • Want to spread your political or religious views.
  • Have ever considered entrepreneurship or have become an entrepreneur.
  • Want to get promoted or find a job (now or in the future).
  • Desire to reach people.

If any of these apply, you are a professional communicator–anyone who earns any income through connecting with people. This blog is for you.

What to expect from in 2010

“Ring out the old; ring in the new…” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

In 2010, I’m happy to announce that you’ll see an updated theme, fresh focus, new direction (with an emphasis on all aspects of professional communications) and tons of original content. I’m returning to a daily posting schedule, so you can look forward to something new here every morning.

I’m also inviting the community to contribute. If you have something to share, feel free to call or email me. Expect to see guest posts and additional interviews with communicators across various disciplines.

Finally, I’m excited about the project I’m working on full-time, The Frugality Game. It’s an online adventure that helps families improve their finances while having fun. Users play, save and win as they explore the world. They also gain valuable tools and resources to improve their finances.

You’ll read about the lessons I’m learning as I promote the game and manage the 10,000+ strong (and growing) community.

Come back tomorrow for more! Make sure you don’t miss a thing–subscribe to receive daily updates by email or RSS.

The Washington Post’s inaccurate use of “Mormon”

In an article published in today’s Washington Post (and re-published in various places online), William Booth inaccurately writes:

  • “Mormon pioneer Alma Dayer LeBaron had a vision when he moved his breakaway sect of polygamists to this valley…”
  • “…the Mormon enclave…”
  • “These Mormons, some who swear and drink beer…”
  • “The Mormons, led by an increasingly public and outspoken Benjamin LeBaron…”

He also refers throughout to members of the polygamist community as “the Mormons” and “Mormon men.” The only point of clarification comes at the end of the fourteenth paragraph, which mentions, “Polygamy was banned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the official Mormon Church, in 1890.”

Journalists and Latter-day Saints alike (especially those who are both) should instantly recognize the problem. Referring to such groups as “Mormon” is inaccurate by journalistic standards (according to my gold standard, the Associated Press Stylebook). It’s also unfair to the millions around the world whom the term accurately describes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (official name) has worked hard to distinguish itself from such groups, with good reason.

Here’s part of an official statement about why (more available herehere and here):

The Associated Press style guide tells its reporters that the term Mormon “is not properly applied” to the other churches that resulted from the split after Joseph Smith’s death. It should be obvious why the AP has adopted that policy. It is widely understood that the word “Mormon” refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sends out “Mormon missionaries,” sponsors the “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” and builds “Mormon temples.” Associating the term “Mormon” with polygamists blurs what should be a crystal-clear line of distinction between organizations that are entirely separate.

As a professional communicator, accuracy and clarity are my tools and my passion. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe that, as communicators, we “have a unique opportuntiy to build trust in the world.” So it saddens me when a high-profile publication like The Washington Post fails to live up to my high standards. I think we should do something.

Thankfully, the Post has a policy in place to address such mistakes:

The Ombudsman serves as the reader’s advocate. He attends to questions, comments and complaints regarding The Post’s content.

The current Post Ombudsman is Andy Alexander . You can reach him by e-mail at or by phone at 202-334-7582.

I encourage you to contact Mr. Alexander now to express your disappointment in the Post’s inaccurate portrayal. Here’s a sample letter (which I sent):

Dear Andy Alexander:

As a journalist, I am beyond disappointed with the egregiously inappropriate use of the adjective “Mormon” in today’s Washington Post article, “Ambushed by a Drug War: Mormon Clans in Mexico Find Themselves Targets…”

“Mormon” is never appropriately used to describe polygamist sects. From the Associated Press Stylebook: “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other … churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.”

Referring to these people as Mormons, especially in a high-profile publication like the Washington Post, smears the reputations of millions around the world who proudly claim that title as part of a church that has worked hard to distance itself from such groups. You also do a disservice to your readers, who deserve clarity and accuracy.

Please take the necessary steps to correct this error as soon as possible.

Thank you,

David J. Garcia
(949) 891-2001

If you care about the reputation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–or just about journalistic standards, accuracy and clarity, please consider calling (202-334-7582) or emailing ( Andy Alexander today! Thank you.


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And the winner is…

…going to be announced later in the post.

Don’t you just hate when they do that? Me too. But here I am doing that. So let’s get to it.

In case you missed it, I’m giving away a brand-new 2009 AP Stylebook to someone who commented on my blog in June.

Selecting the winners:

In the month of June, there were a total of 35 qualifying comments by 13 different people (and roughly 12,984 comments by seven spammers*, but we don’t count those). Since those comments are weighted (your first comment counts for more entries than your fifth, but they all increase your chances), the winner was decided by a random number 1-120.

Picking the “best” comment, however, was far harder. I’m not kidding when I tell you I could have felt good about awarding that to any of you (or several of you). So–because I’m the “sole and final judge”–I chose to do a second, unweighted drawing among the people who didn’t win the first AP Stylebook. That’s right: I’m giving away two brand-new 2009 AP Stylebooks!

A couple last reminders:

  1. I’m not stopping! Keeping coming back (or just subscribe), because I’ll have lots more new content.
  2. I’m looking for work. If you know of anything, please leave a comment, contact me directly, or send along my resume. You can also become a fan of “Helping David get a job on Facebook.

And now, without any further ado, the winners are:

  • Gail Nelson
  • Betty Jenkins

Congratulations, Gail and Betty! You have my brother Jacob to thank, who originally won, but opted to pass his prize on to another winner. I’ll be reaching out to Gail and Betty for shipping addresses, and they’ll receive their prizes shipped directly from If you didn’t win, sorry–better luck to you in my next contest.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you all for participating! I hope you stay around and continue to leave amazing comments!

* I completely made those numbers up.

(AP Stylebook image used for illustration only)