Tag Archives: facebook

The Limit of Sugar Mountain

Oh ye, good Bloggarians… my sentiments shalt sting… my logic, yea, shalt shatter your emotional consonance… but, alas…

I just gots ta tell y’all the truth.

From Conkrite to Rathers, Walters to Donaldson, Friedman to Chomsky, ‘Media’ was the unbiased, uni-directional communication of news and information.

The ‘Social’ aspect introduced the possibility of ‘evolving’ Media communication into a multi-directional exchange between two or more homo (and/or hetero) sapiens.

In the ‘real’ world, only 7% of social interactions is based on verbal exchanges, with 93% constituting para-linguistic cues, such as facial expressions and intonation, as well as body language.

Enter, Mark Zuckerberg (etymology, ‘Mark’, West Saxon origin of ‘mearc’, or ‘limit’; etymology of Zuckerberg, Germanic origin, ‘sugar mountain’).

‘Social Media’ wasn’t simply accepted, it was embraced… applauded… lauded…

So much so, that the collective human ego was willing to turn a blind eye to the global lexicide instigated by it.

An already tiny minority of communication, Social Media is massacring that meager 7% into extinction.

Yet, as Social Media slays away at language, humanity stands by, echoing it’s shorthand laugh…

LOL… L.O.L.

For we have foregone all grammatical morality…

Prostituting parentheses and colons as emojis; pimping numbers 4 cheap prepositions; disemboweling words of their vowels; trafficking subjects and predicates illegally…

Woe is the truth! But the truth it still is!

None other than a Sugar Mountain of Limits!

Stunting  what otherwise could have been the birth of a new generation of Shakespears, Joyces & Hemmingways…

Replacing such literary possibility with a sea of Millennial authors, whose given Christian names have been traded in for ludicrous and vulgar eponyms…

KensDoll, Hot4U…Gr8Sexpectations.

All the meanwhile, Sugar Mountain mocks us ‘Users’… ADDICTS, itching to be Liked, Followed, Friended, and Shared. Tagged, no less we are… DIGITAL VOODOO DOLLS!

Damnation, I tell you! The demise of humanity beyond Biblical proportions! For at least Babel built a language!

What will it take to wake mankind from its Sugar Mountain coma? Our grandchildren receiving, literally, an abbreviated and misspelled version of history?

We z ppl of z US, n Ordr 2 form a > perfect Union, estblsh Justis, n shur domestic Tranqulty, provide 4 z common defense, promote z gnral Wlfare & scure z Blssings of Librty 2 ourselves & our Posterity, do ordain & establsh this Consttution 4 z US of A.

We should loath no one but ourselves for what is to come… for we crawl like ants to the Sugar Mountain, feasting on its socially carcinogenic saccharine. Rewarded by empty caloric comments, our Timeline gets fatter and fatter… until we find ourselves unable to escape our mobile, tablet and laptop screens.

I leave you with this: it is nary too late. For there are some who can be saved, who can see the proverbial light. In those people, I have hope. I see a future. They are the warriors empowering a Social that will never surrender to Media.

And once I find them, I swear by the letters with which I write…

I’m gonna add them as Friends on Facebook.

 

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What’s ‘Likes’ Got to Do, Got to Do with It?

You just moved into a new neighborhood, and really want to get to know your neighbors. Suddenly, you get a brilliant idea! Sprinting downstairs, to the entrance of your building, you tack a sign on the community bulletin board, “Party in 3D, Saturday at 8pm”.

Come Saturday, people start pouring in at 8pm– by 10pm, 200 people are jam-packed into your sardine box of an abode, overflowing out the balcony. They’re talking, drinking, dancing– really, really enjoying themselves. It couldn’t be going any better. As you wind through the crowd, making sure everyone’s cup runneth over, random guests cheer you on,

“Great party!”

“Really happening!”

“Wicked music!”

Come Sunday, your apartment looks like Katrina ran into King Kong throwing a hissy fit. But, hey, you don’t care, cause you just threw the party of the century. Mission accomplished…

YOUR NEIGHBORS KNOW YOU… and LIKE YOU.

Monday morning, as you sing to yourself in the most un-Mercury voice possible, “We Are the Champions”, you set off to work. As the elevator doors slide open, you meet a few of the party goers, who begin raving about your shindig.

“That was epic, Mike!”

“It was totally insane, John!”

“DUUUUUDE, it was fierce!”

By now, you should be stoked– and you would be, if…

Your name was Mike or John, or it wasn’t so obvious that ‘DUUUUUDE’ was an eponym for ‘I don’t know your name’.

See, the problem is, though it was a kick ass party, and everyone who was anyone was there…

No one knows you. They ‘liked’ your party, but who doesn’t like a party?

If you really wanted them to know you, remember you and actually interact with you again, you’d probably have fared better throwing a small dinner party for a few people in 3C and 3E. The week after, you’d invite Mrs. O’Mally and the Browns, whom you met at the mail boxes s a few days ago, over for tea.

Replace yourself with a brand, and the party guest with social media followers. Social media is more social than it is media– you can have 1,000,000 people love your page, but that doesn’t mean those 1,000,000 people really know you or care about you.

News flash: People are humans, and humans form relationships through one-on-one interactions. Those interactions are predominantly based on you getting to know them too– ie, seeking their presence in your life necessitates you giving a damn about theirs.

Brands today deal with social media as if it was a billboard space. They think its enough to boost a post, and get more ‘likes’. But in the end, those ‘likes’ are a faceless number of clicks. And as much as ‘numbers’ are the mantra of marketeers, quantity is the LAST thing social media is about.

Because social media’s greatest advantage, is it allows brands to get up close and personal. It takes brands from talking TO a consumer, to conversing WITH a person– having 100 people you know and speak with is infinitely more valuable than having a whole sea of followers who, you aren’t even sure, are really people with whom you want to engage.

The biggest culprit of this massive catastrophe, ironically, is the inventor of social media; to be social, a brand MUST be on Facebook, but…

The way Facebook taught brands to be social, has them acting more like immature frat brothers, than grown-up adult holding a mature conversation. Which, shouldn’t be a shocking surprise, given its founder just graduated a few years ago, and, like his other 20-something Silicon Valley compadres, deals with social and the business of it, as such.

But, for you marketeers out there who still love your numbers, let’s talk fact: on average, less than 1% of your followers are ‘talking about’ you. Worse, if you scroll through people who ‘like’ posts you’ve boosted, you’ll find more than a couple of Juanitas from Guatamala and Marias from Mexico– which would be so bloody brilliant if you weren’t a hunting store selling fishing lines in Cardiff.

The problem is compounded by brands rambling on with posts that offer no significant value to social media followers– in the pre-digital era of media, we called that ‘filling dead air’. Brands think by keeping up these posts, they are being socially ‘active’ and ‘engaging’ their followers.

But engagement is a two-way activity… and it’s the brand’s job to listen more than speak. The incentive to keep your followers in that engagement is recognizing and sharing the content and insights they provide you.

Because a successfully social brand doesn’t have an audience of millions; it has a front row seat in the audience of 100 people— and it is listens to each one of those 100 everytime they speak. Further, a brand that really capitalizes on social media uses its own pages to post content from each of those one hundred.

The payoff being quite self-evident: if a brand recognizes each of those 100, and they each have at least 500 friends in their social networks, that means genuine brand exposure to and engagement with 50,000 others…think about it, when a brand shares a follower’s content on its own page, that follower will share his or her recognized content with their own networks.

To cut a long and very twisted story short… having the most ‘likes’ might make brands feel secure about their social status in the digital world. But that insecurity should have probably waned their in sophomore year at the University of Grow Up. Punning the words of that ever-so-famous cereal rabbit, “Eh, ‘likes’ are for kids.”

It’s Social, It’s Media, But What’s It Selling and Who’s Buying It?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and the list goes on and on.

They’re social. They’re media. But what the LOL are they really selling? At valuations that exceed the GDP of most developing countries, what is so valuable about them?

Let’s step back to the stone ages– the 1990s. Remember phone bills? They were wrapped up in an envelop, delivered by someone called the ‘postman’. Millenials, if you watch Seinfeld, you can see footage of one of these highly endangered creatures.

Phone companies had a business because people needed to communicate. Now imagine, if in the middle of your call, an ad message interrupted your conversation– literally just put both parties on hold so they could listen to an ad. Yeah, that would have been the death of them.

Advertisers would have jumped at the idea of course, given that they’d brand my grandma’s oxygen mask or anything else that had at least a centimeter of space to brand. Phone companies didn’t do that because, back then, a business model was built on the business you’re in, not the air you can sell.

Okay, so let’s come back to the future, 2015. Phone conversations are replaced by social media chats, phone cords by WiFi and dialing pads by keyboards. Same business– connecting people… save that the social media companies are under the impression they can sell the air.

Chalk it up to the fact that most of their founders were or are in their 20s, and have been called the Tech ‘Gurus’– their experience in business, let alone life, is about as savvy as ours was at 20, so ‘Guru’ might be an overstretch (and of course a brilliant term only an advertising or PR exec could coin).

Throw in the fact that the old-school financial or investment experts are in a mid-life fret about not really understanding the technology, the age of digital and all the new apps in between– instead of offering their expertise to guide these creative tech geniuses through building a solid business, they’re slipping into their Silicon Valley Crocs and voyeuristically enjoying the ‘Billionaires Under 30″ ride.

Then again, these seasoned venture capitalists are no different than their Neanderthal Wall Street ancestors, who parlayed everyone into the 2008 shits and giggles meltdown.

Let’s step back a bit, shall we? Businesses sell something– something that is tangible, such as a product or service. Ergo, they have a ‘core business’.

Second, the business model is built on that tangible product or service.

Lastly, advertising (marketing) is used to sell THAT product or service.

So, when we use the simplified– oh-so-ever oversimplified, but key checklist– let us look at the social media business:

  • Product/Service: Communication. Call it sharing, posting, status update, poking– in business terms, its communications, people.
  • Business Model: Advertising. Call it ‘Pages You Might Like’, ‘Brand Influencers’, or ‘Brand Advocates’. If it looks like an ad, sounds like an ad and talks like an ad, it’s advertising.
  • Marketing Strategy: PR 20-something ‘Gurus’ in jeans and sneakers, sporting a ‘Geek is Chic’, ‘Techy is Sexy’, image. Big Bang Theory meets (or rather bumps into) GQ.

Will everyone who graduated from Wharton please stand up? What’s wrong with the above picture?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?….Bueller?

Well, then, let’s begin.

Social media is no different than telecom, broadcasting or publishing– they are all media venues that make advertising more possible and place-able. Having said that, the latter 3 create have core businesses, with business models built on their core products/services, and they use marketing to sell them.

Telecom sells phone lines.

Broadcasters sell programing.

Publishing sells information.

Advertising supports these businesses, but these businesses have something to sell– things that they produce or service– things that answer people’s needs and wants.

Social media sells people. Really, that’s about it. It sells people to advertisers.

They know that’s all they have to sell– because it is the easiest way to sell.  They know it so well, that they’ve compromised our personal info and content in hopes that they can close the gap between their ACTUAL profitability and their pie-in-the-sky valuations that they need to keep up in order to get more investors.

The joke is, the big punchline we haven’t seen coming yet– the last time history had businesses selling people was the slave trade; it’s irony at its best, my friends… social media as the altruistic hero carrying us all into the age ‘democratization’.

What we haven’t learned for some reason, though history is sick and tired of teaching us, is that people will only buy air for so long before they realize the air can’t be bought. It happened with the dot.coms, it happened with real estate, its happening with Quantitative Easing.

Valuations in the double-digit billions should make us think it won’t happen with social media businesses– simply put, they don’t have a business.

The question is, who’s going to wake up before all the 20-something Gurus and the financial suits-gone-surfers grow up?

If history is always right, unfortunately, we all will… 10 seconds after the social media bubble bursts, and we find ourselves covered in Guru goo.

Oh Ye, Vagina! Abandon Thy Ville-ainous Farm!

Friends, Ville-ans and countrymen! Drop your virtual potatoes and lend me your ears…

Good man men who plowth not for plants, but points, what is it you reap from such a game? What fruits do you bear when all you sow is virtual?

Honey child, unless your first name is Cruella, it’s time to let go of the Ville… Fish, Pet, City, Frontier, Chef…

but most of all, especially Farm.

Did you really want to be a farmer when you were 10? Then why do you want to be one at 30?

You may not see that it has consumed you- but from the objective view of point of our newsfeeds, it is undeniably evident you spend your entire life on that croppy game (pun intended, poorness of the pun, duly noted)…

Nonetheless, studying how this epidemic has become a pandemic which is now systemic in being utterly pathetic, what is most alarming is that each one of you Ville-ans do not recognize that you are on the verge of becoming…

…a VAGINA.

Otherwise known as a ‘Ville-an Amauroticly Gaming In Need of Aid’.

Unfortunately, a mild case will go undetected before one becomes a full-fledged VAGINA, and anti-social behavior can be observed. As a result, it becomes an extremely painful process for those seeking to get through to a VAGINA, sometimes seeming almost next to impossible.

The only solution at this point is similar to that of a heroin addict, ceasing the gaming and cutting off access to online friends who frequently used to play with the VAGINA. Initially, withdrawal symptoms mirror those of a heroin addict as well, such as a VAGINA appearing to be excessively itchy; however, over time, eventually this does dissipate as a VAGINA’s elasticity of substitution expands and they learn to replace gaming with other activities of interest.

Ironically, online studies show more men are VAGINAs than women, with the predominant number of them Brazilian. These studies come from online advertisers mainly who will throw a lot of money at a VAGINA, as they are a great way to test new versions of their games.

Additionally, because there are no medical studies on them, recognizing a VAGINA only occurs upon becoming exposed by friends, though in Appalachia there have been incidents where a VAGINA has been exposed by various family members as well. Of the ones who game at work, inevitably these VAGINAs are exposed by an office colleague or even their boss.

Sadly, in more conservative parts of the world, exposing a VAGINA is for some reason a cultural taboo. What’s even more tragic, is that these VAGINAs seldom have access to protection.

So, the next time you tell yourself you want to be a Farmer, ask yourself: yes, but do I really want to end up a VAGINA?
It’s time to end the madness, stop the mania.
You’re better than that.

Blog… James Blog…

Neither shaken nor stirred.

Slightly disturbed and incredibly amused though…

I came across an article entitled, ‘Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you’, and needless to say, I didn’t have to be Curious George to read on.

According to the UK Daily Mail article, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to look for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. through monitoring social networking websites and online media.

And given the list of words that indicate ‘genuine threats’, one could only surmise the DHS commissioned the consultants of the world-renowned and reputable firm…

‘Larry, Curly and Moe’.

For instance, under Weather/Disaster/Emergency threats, ‘closure’ would give reason for being monitored online…

The logical assumption then being, those chatting about looking for ‘closure’ after being dumped…

YA SUSPECT!

And for you effervescent Real Housewives of (fill in the city), who Tweet about drinking Avian water because it comes directly from the Swiss Elfs, boy have you just unleashed on yourselves a Panda’s Box, since ‘Avian’ is on the list too.

Any Looney Toons fans amongst us? Good. YouTube the bejeezus outta Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Search the channel for Porky Pig, and you’re roast- as ‘pork’ is apparently a threat.

Avid athletes, stick to yoga. Google ‘exercise’ and you may end up in boot camp- but it ain’t the kind Jillian Michaels runs.

Oh, and Sting fans… preferable to now refer to his former band as ‘Sting and the Stingettes’. You can’t bring up the ‘P’ word anymore.

I’d warn anyone to avoid Levis Dockers, since ‘dock’ is taboo- but not sure if the suffix makes it passable… nevertheless, at minimal on a fashion level, I’d still warn anyone to avoid Dockers…

Residents of San Diego, either move or stop talking about your city. ‘San Diego’ is included too.

As is ‘human to animal’- however, in any context, if you can fit that into a sentence, I’m behind the DHS monitoring you.

To be fair, the article is 6 months old, so I am not sure what has been amended or addressed since then- however, the inanity of the original thinking and first draft, if that indeed is what this is, makes for great late night fodder.

Below is the address of the article, so you can go through it and have a good chuckle. Coming to think of it, I wonder how much I’ll be chuckling after this is published, given I’ve mentioned at least 10 words on the list.

On the downside, this blog probably set off multiple DHS alarms.

On the upside, if the DHS is in deed watching, the hits on this blog should sore…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2150281/REVEALED-Hundreds-words-avoid-using-online-dont-want-government-spying-you.html

I will not blog mean things and spam

I am not Sam
I am not Sam

I do not like
blogging mean things and spam!

Do you like
mean things and spam?

I do not like them,
Sam-I-not-am.
I do not like
mean things and spam.

Would you like them
in emails and on Twitter?

I would not like them
on facebook or in pictures on Flickr.

I do not like
mean things and spam.

I will not blog them,
Sam-I-not-am.

Would you like them
on your wall?

Would you like them
on any site at all?

I do not like them
on my wall.
I do not like them
on any site at all.
I do not like them
in emails and on Twitter.
I do not like them
in pictures on Flickr.
I do not like mean things and spam.
I will not blog them, Sam-I-not-am.

Would you let them in an inbox?
Would you let them flood your Firefox?

Not in an inbox
Not on my Firefox.
Not on my wall.
Not on any site at all.
I would not let them in an inbox.
I would not let them flood my Firefox.
I will not blog mean things and spam.
I do not like them, Sam-I-not-am.

Would you? Could you?
On your iPad?

I would not,
could not,
on my iPad.

You may like mean things and spam.
You will see.
You may like them
in a forward CC-ed!

I would not, could not in a CC.
Not on my iPad! You let me be!

A Blackberry! A Blackberry!
Could you, would you,
on a Blackberry?

Not on email. Not on Twitter.
Not on facebook. Not in pictures on Flickr.
I do not like them, Sam-not, you see.
Not on my wall. Not on any site at all.
Not in an inbox. Not on my Firefox.
Not on my iPad. Not on a Blackberry.
I will not let them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!

I will not blog mean things and spam.
I will not blog them,
Sam-I-not-am!

On the Sexual Orientation Implications of the Poke…

I’m not gay.

Nor is what I am about to ask in any way intended to open a debate, exploring the political/social discussion around sexual orientation.

But there’s been a very perplexing question floating around in my head, which expands every time the ‘Poke’ suggestions on facebook include some of my female friends…

If I poke a girl, and I’m a girl, am I giving her reason to question my sexual orientation?

The ‘Pokes’ I’ve always gotten on facebook have been from the opposite sex (and I’ve never initiated ‘Poke’, but rather responded back, as I’m old-school and diehard in believing the whole ‘the man is the hunter’ theory… so all you little young chickies chuckling at me for believing in that theory and think otherwise, you come see me… Wonderbras don’t get men, nor does collagen… it’s AT-TI-TUDE, ladies, attitude… but let us leave that for another blog entry)…

Yet, I have never been ‘Poked’ by a female. So when that facebook ‘Poke’ suggestion thingy lists women among the potential Pokees, I always wonder, why don’t I Poke them and why don’t they Poke me?

Why does this bother me so much? Because apparently, I do have the time to worry about it.

Nevertheless, I really would like to ‘Poke’ a girl and say that I liked it (hey, I’m 38, so that’s pretty much the extent of humor I can offer via a Kate Perry pun). To do that though, I would first need to define what essentially ‘The Poke’ insinuates.

And since there is no real life social analogy on which the facebook ‘Poke’ was based, one can only start to deduct its overall intention through the ways in which pokes are used in various real life sociological situations.

On the most innocent level, I may poke someone at a table in order to request the passing of a condiment. (Poke) “Mary, please pass the salt.”

On a secondary semi-innocent level, I may poke someone on the shoulder to get their attention. (Poke) “John, remember me?”

At a tertiary questionably innocent level, I may poke a friend to draw her attention to someone of interest to us having entered the room or interacting with a viable contender seeking his courtship. (Poke) “Lisa, look who Mike is talking to.” (Simultaneous catty response to evident female threat by me and Lisa) “BITCH.”

Leaving the last level, at the pre-hook up or already hooked up phase outside the realm of friendship, in which poking may be considered as the indication to begin the foreplay that leads to… well… the playing.

Upon analyzing these poking situations, if I attempt to surmise how they are analogous to the purpose of the facebook ‘Poke’, I can surely omit:

Pass me the salt.

The facebook ‘Poke’ could indeed be a ‘remember me’, but when the Pokee pokes the Poker back, and the Poker pokes the Pokee again, that negates this option.

What if the ‘Poke’ is meant to draw our attention to something? But since it there’s no subsequent explanation in terms of to what our attention is being drawn, I fail to see the success in creating the ‘Poke’ for that purpose.

However, since we are not within physical proximity of many people we would otherwise be attracted to and approach when given an opportunity outside the virtual world, it would seem logical that a ‘Poke’ does indeed serve to initiate pre-foreplay foreplay in the absence of physical proximity.

So, if I ‘Poke’ a girl, I may well be passing on a message that I’d like to take a cruise on the relationship rather than the friendship. Then again, if I do ‘Poke’ a girl who knows me well enough, she may take it as nothing at all and chalk it up to silliness…

You know, Mark Zuckerberg, with all the ridiculous changes you make to facebook, you could at least resolve this dilemma for me and for all other people out there who have the time to worry about this.

End it already. Just make a Platonic Poke button and be done with it. Really.