Posted by: acohen109 | April 27, 2009

B.I.O.N., I’m making this happen

Believe it or not. Yes that’s right internet, it’s time for a new, handy, practical acronym, to fall into line with the likes of BRB, ASAP, OMG, and ROFLMAO. Just watch. You’re going to start seeing it allll over the place.

I may even create a hashtag, that’s how for-goshdarn-serious I am about this. Maybe I will just retweet a bunch of crazy stories with it. OR recruit Ripley’s Believe It or Not and convince them that their current title is way too long and clunky to be popular, and that they need to get on the BION wagon.

Posted by: acohen109 | April 24, 2009

Tom was kind of a crappy friend anyway

Van Owen Out
Tom Out too. Myspace is DEAD

Not too long ago, I was visiting MySpace and Tom was in a meeting, too busy to speak to APOC. Well I hope that meeting was about his imminent canning because that’s the only way you justify brushing me off, fool.

Coincidentally everything they were feeding us was a lie; Myspace isn’t in direct competition with Facebook? I guess it’s not a competition after one side gets creamed.

Myspace isn’t actually dead. I’m sure they will languish around for quite some time, like the that balding guy who used to show up to my friends’ house parties. They’ve got a lot of potential directions to go in and honestly they could pull a rabbit out of a hat; I do believe that there needs to be a variety of social networking sites available and MySpace and FB have been firing away at each other for so long I’m sure they’ll continue out of habit, despite the hiring of a Facebook exec to run the MyShow.

But faced with a radical redesign and repurposing and officially out of its depth standing next to Facebook and Twitter, Myspace needs to come out swinging and hit a home run in the early innings if it wants to retain (regain?) any sort of credibility. This changeover has been overdue for a while now, and the next steps, whatever they end up being, will be very interesting.

So the moral, which in encapsulated very concisely in the following image, is that its possible to find upside in a downside.

FTW

Posted by: acohen109 | April 14, 2009

I.P.G. B.Y.O.B.

Okay so I haven’t weighed in on Annenberg class’ recent excursion to the IPG labs. Given that they kinda sort own the company I work for, it’s a dilemma, but since my feelings are almost entirely positive I don’t feel that bad about sharing them.

There’s nothing to dislike on the surface; they’re clearly going beyond the call to establish the hipster, ahead of the curve image that’s best suited for selling the stiffly collared CEOs of the world on social media and its multi-faceted virtues. That was a great run on sentence just now, if you were wondering, capable of serving as a great example of how to blend genuine opinion with an unrelenting and inexplicable need to stay as far away from the period key as possible; all my life I’ve rebelled against various English teachers trying to chop up my paragraphs and frankly I don’t think it’s made a bit of difference. Anyway.

I get that IPG has constructed a set up bubbles designed to display how media is related to the population these days: a dorm room here, a gas station there, etc. It’s a great marketing tool. But in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder exactly how much time is spent playing the multiple video game systems littered around the office, or watching the space age TVs. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of discovering and analyzing these new social media techniques is all about fooling around with them, but that’s just how I’m wired; I’m suspicious that way.

To interject a personal note: here at GH and outside the office I do spend a lot of time reading. Reading tech blogs. News sites, announcements, scanning big time websites, all in the name of finding and implementing new social media methodologies for our clients. Research is a huge part of the business because being behind is lame, and liable to get me fired.

And here’s the rub; there’s not a lot that IPG showed off to us that you couldn’t find by poking around the internet for info. It’s awesome that they had a lot of the stuff I’d just been reading about on display, and it’s perfect for selling to clients, but, and forgive me, is that all? There’s nothing wrong with Social Media Management as a field, appropriating the latest coolness and convincing clients to back it, use it, and love it, but I guess I was expecting something slightly different. That sounds ungrateful now that I type it, but I think a lot of the people reading this blog understand what I mean.

It’s an impossible situation, and frankly they must have been holding back on us, because I don’t believe they’d get funding for that operation if that was all they did. I feel like we got the “safe” tour, maybe the one they use on clients just now trying to branch out into the internets. And as cool and hip, and fun and delicious (thanks Karen, who paid for the food) as it all was, they could have taken us a little deeper into the rabbit hole if you ask me. Which no one did, so I’ll clam up now.

I love IPG labs, just for existing as a hub of social media research, innovation, and salesmanship…not to mention the space age coffee machine that puts our little Flavia to shame. If anyone from over there has stumbled upon this, Welcome. Hire me someday, I’ll be an asset. But for now I have to catch up on gadgets and technology the old fashioned way.

Posted by: acohen109 | April 6, 2009

Settle down now Twitter

TweetPics

So there have been image services floating around Twitter for a while. No biggie. But the gears are in motion for this happening officially, and sooner or later it’s gonna be insta-tweet pictures right into the feed.

Twitter IMO evolved as an offshoot of Facebook. Someone took note of just how addicted people were to status updates; not directed at anyone, just little adrenaline shots of ego cast out into the ether like “Janey is doing some laundry, finding spare change!!” and soon enough, here we are in the present day and Twitter is sitting at the cool kid’s table.

But what’s after Pics? Videos, yah? and then game applications, and birthday trackers, and friend suggestiosn, and you see where I’m going with this. Twitter needs to watch out because losing your identity out in the internets is a real possibility.

I don’t think they’re in serious danger, this is clearly conjecture; there’s too many people getting addicted to Twitter right at this very moment to do any reality based stormcrowing. But the hottest flames, they say, burn out the fastest and Twitter needs to stay unique, simple, and fun.

Little things like ExecTweets or whatever harebrained moneymaking scheme they come up with next; they’ve gotta do what they’ve gotta do, it is a business. I get that they can’t just sit around twiddling their thumbs over at the Twitter office space. But the next big thing is always around the corner and if they move in the wrong direction as they attempt to capitalize on their current flavor of the month status could go badly for them in the long term.

Sooo…Jason Calacanis likes me. At least, I think he likes me. He’s at least asking his friends about me, that’s something.

Yesterday on a podcast called “This Week in Tech” (Twit) (Odeo) Jason, Kevin Rose, Dan Patterson, and quite a few other people from the rogue’s gallery were discussing the future of social media.

Someone (sorry I’m just not great at voice recognition) mentioned how cool it would be if you could say something like “I’m having a wedding” and Twitter would be so on the ball that things relating to weddings started coming to you. Someone else on the panel was sweet and nice enough to mention that there’s this company out there called Zicam that will pick up on people complaining about colds and tweet them coupons. That’s an interesting correlation to begin with, but I love the whole idea of social media servicing needs, that’s what I’m into this for.

More on topic: here today we have Mr. Calacanis asking his 63,000 tweet followers what the name of the Twittering cold medicine co. was. Ace that I am, I hopped onto Radian6 and found about 50 people chattering back at him within a minute.

I asked him to re-tweet our coupon. Stupid? Offensive? Zero percent chance of success? Definitely. But what have I got to lose, showing off the coupon numbers to my superiors is great because it’s all legitimate interest in the company. More than anything else I’m just happy a ton of people on Twitter know about Zicam and that slowly, surely, some kind of rep is evolving. It’s still a tiny account but the ratio between coupon usage and actual distribution-by-tweet is phonomenal.

The people, they like-a da coupons. They love-a da retweeting. It’s all good for me.


Also, John Mayer loves Twitter more than Jennifer Aniston. Duh.

Edit: I really have to stress that I’m on a ton of great accounts and do a lot of fun things that go beyond the Digital Media arm of the Zicam campaign. But you know what, few of those things let me interact with the public and public figures like this one, so that’s why it’s going to be mentioned.

Posted by: acohen109 | March 18, 2009

It ends with a picture of a monkey

Something I will never, ever, forget is that people love to stick their feet directly into their mouths. I worked retail for too long to honestly believe the general populace is an intelligent, functional body of productive individuals. I include myself in that by the way.

But seriously social media has taken stupidity to the next level; whereas before the rise of new media, people could sneer and joke and whine and complain with no end in sight, and still appear helpful and obedient, the game has changed.

How to Tweet your Way out of a job
All you need to know about this story:

“A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.”

This is a similar situation to the PR professional bashing Memphis through Tweets, as he arrived there to service the FedEx account. Busted. Screwed.

So on the one hand you have these people, who are using social media but haven’t really flipped the switch and realized that anyone can be out there reading it. Why take these kind of risks? It’s because you’re not actively thinking about it. Twitter has recently jumped into the mainstream, and it’s going to be a while before everyone wraps their head around it.

Okay so if the above examples are the one hand, what is the other hand? Ask Charlie Villanueva of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Charlie Villanueva is Addicted to Twitter

All you need to know: This got posted to his account at HALFTIME:
“In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.”

Also in this group: The great Shaquille O’Neal himself, with over 200,000 million billion followers on his Twitter. The big man will literally tweet about how he is standing on a street corner holding a pair of tickets, ready to fork them over to the first person to ask for them.

So what we have here are attention whores basically. Unlike the above category of folks, they know the world is listening and it’s obviously quite an ego boost. Twitter has the fun ability to exponentially expand celeberity because it feeds into the obsession folks have with their idols. The reason TMZ and E! and the like are so popular isn’t because of great reporting; it’s constant access, allowing fans to worship 24/7.

Not to continue the sports metaphors incessantly, but it applies; why has the NFL exploded in the last five years? The game hasn’t changed much. But access has. There’s a 24 hour TV station. Players are writing blogs and twittering, dozens of reporters are responsible for constant updates and speculation on absolutely anything. The sheer amount of content is enough for fans to really lose themselves in and it’s become a money and fame producing juggernaut.

I really think social media has changed the way the entire concept of “fame” works and I’m extremely curious as to the next possible direction it can go in.

Also, a monkey:
Everyone loves em

Posted by: acohen109 | March 9, 2009

In Soviet Russia, Twitter Follows You

Uh so I thought this deserved it’s own blog entry. I have been put in charge of raising the internet profile of…Russia. Seriously. Catch me sometime when I’ve got my laptop and I’ll show you the documentation.

I haven’t done any work on it yet because the billing code hasn’t been processed, but I am mildly uncomfortable with the thought of this assignment and my boss has told me to blow it off if I want to. Still, should be fun to have on the ol’ resume.

RussiaOnline’s Twitter
Don’t worry this is a joke that I threw up there when we were first discussing possibly getting this project, but I still think it’s funny. How did I get a follower? Note that RussiaOnline is following McCain, Gore, CNN, Felicia Day, and Shaq.

I’m debating junking all of those and just having RussiaOnline creepily watch Sarah Palin, or the official Alaska twitter if it exists. These are the kind of things that make me happy.

But seriously this is a real project. It is tremendous in scope, and if I ever get disappeared by the KGB, now you will know why.

Posted by: acohen109 | March 9, 2009

Avocado>You

Sproutbuilder.com

So as some of you may or may not know, I got this job by feverishly attempting to drag many of Golin Harris’ clients into the world of New Media. For such a huge PR firm it was ridiculous that there was no specialization going on; in hindsight it is not so surprising:

The client list is made up of a lot of old school companies. Big names, sure, but if you’re big, you’re not new, and if you’re not new, you apparently hate New Media. Did anyone get through that maze of commas?

Well I made progress today. Got onto the team for the California Avocado Commission; run by old schoolers 100% but they’re down for an internet revamping. Will it be restricted to Facebook and Twitter? ah ha, no. Microsites, yay. Blog Networking, yay. Youtube channels, w00t. I’d love to spill some of the ideas getting thrown around here but I feel like that’s unethical, it may have to wait. Either way I like avocados so I’m excited.

Meanwhile, I have to whip up a widget that counts down to Cinco De Mayo, along with daily avocado related recipes. I’ve never actually used sproutbuilder before but it doesn’t exactly seem daunting.

Question though; I’d love to just purchase the “individual” account because those are the only tools and analytics I need, but the bandwidth, Scotty, the bandwidth! If this stupid widget gets downloaded 5,000 times the “individual” account isn’t going to cut it. Suggestions? I wish we could just take the hosting elsewhere, I’ll have to see if that’s doable.

Posted by: acohen109 | March 2, 2009

Baby Seal Test

My friend Rebecca doesn’t understand how to put images onto blogs. I present a test, an example, containing possibly the cutest furry creature on the planet. Don’t worry I’ll edit this into a real post later, but for now, it is just a picture of a baby seal. Sorry to bug your RSS.

The Mindflex Game

Yay the Mindflex is upon us. You wear a headband, you focus very intently on the little ball, and you move it with your mind. There’s even an obstacle course.

What is the relevance to New Media? Well for my money this is the greatest invention of all time. Telekinesis! And besides they are a prospective client and I’ll be working up a New Media campaign for them, so there.

I think there’s definitely some crossover between the New Media crowd and the “I’m excited because this game lets me move objects with my mind” crowd.

Okay, onto something a little more relevant; I’m going to be transferring this blog over to another address fairly soon; I’ve set up blog networks a few times now and there are serious benefits to being able to access the FTP client. For one thing, it will be so much easier to transfer over my favorite theme/setup, namely because the updated version is lame. Luckily I still have an archived copy to upload.

My beloved laptop is currently in the shop. Would anyone like to guess why? Barring prior knowledge (aka looking at my facebook) I doubt any reasonable person could guess: There were “multiple playing cards, and a disk” wedged into my CD-Drive. …well I know how the disk got there. I put it there. The playing cards? Absolutely no clue. There have been no small children around my laptop. I know of no one with an outright grudge against me, at the moment. I’m very curious as to how many playing cards were actually stuck in my drive. The entire ordeal is distressing. Maybe they were stuck to the CD? But more than one…how could I not have noticed? It is a complete mystery.

There was a time that a friend of mine got way too drunk and threw up, and in the middle of the vomit; an iron nail. Did he consume it? and not notice? impossible. Was it on the floor the entire time and no one noticed? Extremely unlikely. The point is, sometimes things just happen and no one has any idea why or how.

It has been pointed out to me that if all the cards are Jokers or something, I’ve probably been targeted for death, to which my only response is that, so far, I have lived a life without regrets and salute you all.

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