The following are on their way out and will soon be gone.

#Hashtags  Hashtags or is it hash tags? are about as useful as the QR code. Have a QR code on your business card? Why???? That’s about as smart as having a hash tag on your card. Better yet, put a QR code on your website! Hash tags are dead. QR codes are dead.

Social Media as the answer to marketing is dead. The more that businesses use Facebook for marketing, the more turned off to Facebook become the people who use Facebook. The first to go? That tender young generation of soon to be consumers is using Facebook less and less and less…so those of us who have said that “social media” is a huge time suck with little return for most businesses are officially vindicated. Your business will not grow from Facebook and it will not die if you never, ever look at Facebook. Yes, if you operate a membership type of business, Facebook can be a free platform to interact with your members. Fine. But if you sell something, don’t expect people to flock to Facebook to support your business or tell their friends about your business. Most “friends” aren’t really friends and few are in the same region as the original friend. It will do you little good for the huge effort.

Apple as icon of the best is gone. The new cheap I-Phone signals that Apple is afraid of losing market share and will now compete on price rather than innovation. The real Apple died with Steve Jobs. The new Apple sells junk from China and most consumers see through that. There will be some who will pay double to get their Chinese junk in a nicer box, but again, look to the young for the trends. They are leaving Facebook.

Google is slipping. Right now, right this moment, we all want an alternative to Google. Businesses hate the SEO mystery rules. What do they want now??? Snippets of what? Micrometasnippetdata? Good grief. As their revenue shrinks, Google scrambles to tighten the noose by forcing us into Google+ to access our YouTube accounts and then grabbing everything from our tablets to throw on the internet without telling us (better check on that if you have a tablet) and sending us tons of junk through the Gmail account we never wanted. Guess what? We don’t need Google. Plus is a huge dud. Places? Okay, maybe if you have a diner. If Google continues to force us into these boxes that none of us like, we will just quit. Advertisers are already balking at the cost to advertise. If some kid at Stanford can create an honest new search tool, the masses will leave. How can I say such a thing? Watch your mother use Google. Most people have no idea how to structure a search. They put in one word and get confused by the 390 million pages found. Many people search for a website they already know but are too lazy to type it all in. They put “Sears” in the Google box and then click the Sears link. (There are people who can only get to Amazon that way!)

Barack Obama is on his way out. He’s a better marketer than deliverer. Ask any supporter and the operative word will be “disappointment”. I have never seen such popularity blown in my life. He has alienated just about every demographic that supported him. The teachers dislike his Secretary of Education. Sebelius blew the healthcare roll-out. We’re staying in Afghanistan for another decade. The economy continues to limp along and people are growing weary of struggling to make ends meet. The American Dream really is in serious shape. Race relations are more tense than they were in 1968. Even gay marriage was a result of a Biden blunder. Good Grief! Barry II like most sequels is worse than Barry I. Presidents are supposed to get better in their second term.

Ethics are on the endangered list. If we don’t turn from selfishness and greed and start doing what is right for this country, the party will be over very soon. China is at bat and our pitching is very weak. Bottom of the ninth and we’re up by one. Can you predict the outcome?

Pretty grim Thanksgiving message?

Sorry, but I’m seeing so many people make very bad decisions with their businesses and I’m concerned. I’m concerned that Walmart and Black Friday has won the hearts of the consumer and that many, many small businesses are now trying to be just like every other business. You can hardly tell them apart…nothing new. We want to skip the work and get instant results. And it doesn’t work. Big wins again.

Be different. Please. Be different.

Chris Reich, TeachU