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Is Bad Publicity better than NO Publicity? (What a 3 year old, Kanye and Joe Wilson have in Common…)

September 14, 2009

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” — Oscar Wilde

When my son was about 3 he had a horribly annoying habit of swearing.

I refuse to post a picture of Kanye. Plus, Taylor Swift is much prettier.

I refuse to post a picture of Kanye. Plus, Taylor Swift is much prettier.

He unfortunately learned the “F word” from his father (not to say that I’m not known for being a bit of a potty mouth myself..) and once my boy realized the power he had with this word, he proceeded to use it whenever possible to get the biggest possible reaction.  He specifically enjoyed using it to torment his father, who would FREAK OUT when the boy swore.

On one specific occasion, my lovely son and I were at church when the boy broke free and ran full tilt to the altar with me chasing after him like an idiot (the boy has always been fast.. he’s on the track team after all).  I grabbed him on the altar, just as he turned to the packed house and just managed to utter.. “F…” my hand went over his mouth before he could get out the other three letters.

Father Charlie made a joke about how cute kids are (if he only knew….) and I hoisted the boy outside.

Unfortunately, I was not at the VMA’s on Sunday night and therefore wasn’t able to provide this same service to Kanye West.

Here’s the thing… the boy liked to say the “F word” because it provoked a reaction… and he would suddenly be the centre of the universe. And he has always liked attention — good or bad.  As long as you’re talking about him, you’re still talking about him. This is called being an attention whore.

His father and I would argue about this. He would get very angry with the boy whenever he said something inappropriate. I, on the other hand, would calmly tell him that it wasn’t very nice to do such things and have little or no reaction.  The boy didn’t swear at me.. but he did at his dad.

Think about it… were we all talking about Kanye West a couple of days ago?  If he hadn’t been so rude to the incredibly cute Taylor Swift, would we be talking about him today? No. What about Joe Wilson? Did most of us even know who he was before he called Obama a liar?  Were either of these guys “trending” on Twitter?

Not so much.

They can both go ahead and claim they were caught up in the moment, got all emotional or even they were hepped up on goofballs.  Bottom line is, now they are “news”.  Bad publicity is still publicity.

Wilson’s received over a million in campaign donations since his outburst. It will be interesting to see what effect Kanye’s little stunt has on his public image.  Either way, they are both in the news and hot topics.

Sure, you can argue “free speech” (I’m all for it with the background in journalism and all..) but there’s a time and a place for everything. And interrupting someone’s acceptance speech to “speak your mind” certainly isn’t the place nor the time. I just can’t help but feel that both of them were being somewhat manipulative and acting like attention whores….  or kind of like 3 year olds.

I tweeted this earlier today: “I refuse to tweet about that rude man on the VMAs. I refuse to help him trend. That’ll show him”… After all, if I’m not going to reward a 3 year old with “bad” attention, why would I reward a grown man who ACTS like a 3 year old?

Mind you, I guess I just did by posting this…

p.s. Rec’d the following tweet from @wordpost : @beth_warren Hey Beth, thanks for your latest post about that guy who did that thing at the VMAs. I’m still chewing through the irony.  I KNOW! I struggled with whether to add to the circus or not. …yes, I understand the irony..

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The Secret to 1000’s of Followers….

August 31, 2009

I was re-tweeted multiple times the other day after posting the following:

“How to gain 1000s of twitter followers! Just be real, stay cool, & stop using BS widgets to make yourself popular!”twitter_bird_follow_me__Small__bigger

I have to say that this wasn’t MY original tweet.. I RT’d my friend Robert Casanova (@theh2hproject) .. but the message was such that many many people agreed and passed it along.  Definitely struck a chord.

Apparently there are still some that think whoever has the most followers wins (*cough* Ashton Kutcher *cough*)  But here’s the thing that some people really don’t seem to “get” about Twitter, Facebook and social media in general.. It isn’t all about the numbers.  I KNOW!  SHOCKING!

It’s about actually connecting and having relationships.  If you don’t actually have conversations with these people, what’s the point of it all?

Therefore, I spent some time yesterday “culling the herd”. 

Unfollowing.  Un-friending.

It had to be done.

“It’s not me, it’s you.” 

I had to break it off with a few of them.  Looking through who had recently started following me on Twitter, I realized that some were not people that I had any interest in following (or not people at all for that matter..) and so deleted or blocked as the case may be.

Sorry, but I have no interest in learning about buddy’s MLM scam  business… nor do I wish to view anyone’s webcam.. and my teeth are quite white already, thanks.

Aside from the usually spamminess that was purged I also stopped following a few people for various reasons.

If I reply to something you’ve tweeted and you can’t be bothered to EVER respond, that’s a monologue, not a dialogue. We are not interacting.  See ya.

Only talking about your biz offering and all that you can do for me.. thanks but no thanks. Bye.

If all you ever have to say are quotes by someone else or just RT’ing everything.. appreciate the thought but…. you are not enthralling. Just sayin’.

And if you’re some guy who’s major interest in Twitter is hitting on women in a not-so-subtle manner.. again, not interested dude. Feel free to check out POF or Lavalife.. that’s what it’s there for.

The bottom line is.. if it’s all about communication, community and connections.. I’ll go for quality,  over quantity.

You can keep your  1000’s of followers. I like real relationships and conversations much better.

Wanna See My Trucks?

July 31, 2009

“Hi neighbour!” said the little kid next door. “What are you doing?”boy_playing_with_truck_ui-2

The daughter answered that we were just hanging out, enjoying the patio. And what was he doing?  “I’m playing trucks! Wanna see my trucks?”

Earlier we could hear him on the other side of the fence dancing around and singing “I’m five years old! I’m five years old!” in that sing songy voice that little kids do so well.

Of course, we looked at his trucks.. they were very impressive. He was happy we liked his “diggers”.

The whole interchange made me think about social media and how it brings down the barriers that we put up as adults… and essentially allows us to be five years old.. if we want to be.

Think about it.. would you randomly walk up to some stranger on the street and ask if they wanted to see your trucks? Or your dolls, or your business offering or what have you. No. You likely would not, as you would be perceived to be insane or at least borderline creepy.

But if you’re 5 years old, you can do that. It’s socially acceptable. (Mind you, most 5 year olds don’t have a biz offering, but I digress…)

Social media removes that barrier. You are allowed to act like a five year old. You can be forthcoming, friendly and brutally honest like only the really young can be.  You can chat with people,  be a little silly if you choose… ask people to read your blog posts.. take a look at your new application, check out your website…. look at your trucks.   And most will.

And then, like most five year olds do, they share. Introducing you to many new friends who you wouldn’t have met if you hadn’t let down those barriers and in essence, acted a little like a 5 year old.  Without the tantrums, we hope.

Wanna see my trucks?

Keeping it Real.

July 30, 2009

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Groucho Marxar119056881934158

I was listening to my local radio station the other day and the announcer on air made a huge deal for several breaks about playing the new Pearl Jam tune. I’m not the biggest PJ fan in the world (is it cool to call them that, or did I just out myself as a geek?) but because he was making a big deal out of it, I noticed. So when he said “here it is!” I listened.. and low and behold, there was the intro … which sounded an awful lot like AC/DC’s Back in Black… which it was. 

A couple more songs played, then he introduced the new Pearl Jam again without calling notice to the fact that he pushed the wrong button the first time around.

Now, I went to radio school and worked in the field.. and I have pushed the wrong button. Some programmers will say just pretend it never happened. However, as a listener, I feel as if you are trying to dupe me. I know what I heard. Don’t treat me like I’m dumb. I would have had far more respect for the dude if he stopped the song in it’s tracks, said “I’m a dumbass, sorry…” and THEN played the track.

When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.  ~Bill Copeland

I follow this guy on Twitter who has created numerous Twitter accounts in order to promote his new business.  Which is fine, except that he operates all of them himself, pretending to be other people.  He’ll have Twitter conversations with his various accounts, asking “the guy who works for him” questions and replying.. he’s even gone so far as to create fictitious CLIENTS.  And then proceeds to have “wow you guys really helped me” conversations.

Here’s the thing.. he slips up every now and again and responds from the wrong account. He also phrases all of his tweets the same way for each account, so it’s pretty obvious.   If I notice this, others have to be noticing too. I understand he’s trying to start a “buzz” about his venture, but by creating fake clients and fake employees, I have no reason to trust anything else he’s saying.  So every time he contacts me about something, I am entirely skeptical.  

From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.  ~Syrus

Last year I joined the AC/DC fan club in order to take advantage of the advance tickets available to club members. Part of my membership package included a “gift pack”.  So I waited.. and waited and many months later still had not received my “special fan club gift”.

So of course I was a little put out.. I went to their website and looked for a “contact” to complain to.  Finally found an email address and shot off a note.. also noticing that on the fan club page it now said that they had a YEAR to send out the item (I didn’t notice that the first time…. I’m not sure it was there in the first place..)

Then I waited. And still nothing… so I started telling people I was going to boycott AC/DC and blog about it and oh you wait.. they’ll be sorry. (Knowing full well that likely this would have absolutely no affect on this little Australian band…) Then FINALLY (the day before I moved coincidentally!) I received a package from AC/DC Fan Club headquarters!  Got my buttons and stickers and other trinkets.. plus a note that apologized for the delay.

And I was happy.

“Honesty is something you can’t wear out” – Waylon Jennnings

The gift itself wasn’t that big a deal, it was the fact that they admitted fault,  and fixed it.

All anyone really wants out of any relationship whether it be personal or business is that the other party in the relationship is being honest and treats them with respect.  Everyone screws up. Admit, fix it, move on.

Just be real.

Because most people want to be spoken to  honestly and be treated like they have a brain in their head.

Oh, and maybe some AC/DC buttons.

Won’t You Be My Neighbour?

July 25, 2009

mr_rogers_neighborhood_smallI moved about a week ago and consequently I am adjusting to a new house, new town, new everything.

Met a couple of my new neighbours over the last little week or so. They seem nice enough. The last few places I’ve lived I’ve not gotten to know many of the neighbours so needless to say if I was ever in dire need of a cup of sugar, I’d be out of luck.

Mulling over the whole neighbour issue, I was thinking that fair being fair, I should really make the first move and say hi, how are ya… after all, just because I’m the newbie, it doesn’t make it their responsibility or duty to make me feel welcome to the neighbourhood.  Friendship is a two way street.

This morning I read this tweet from my friend Kneale Mann (@knealemann on Twitter.. check out his blog here)

Go to your followers list. Pick five people. Have a close look at all of their profiles and sites. Say hello.

Coincidentally, I had not only been thinking about doing something along these lines in my new ‘hood, but had also thought about this re: Twitter. 

Yesterday, I tweeted that I like it when a new follower says hi to me and tells me why they’re following..  I don’t always “catch” all the notifications of new followers.  I try, and I make an attempt to take a look at their profiles and determine that yes, they are indeed humans for one, but whether or not I’d enjoy their tweets.

I’d been slacking off, obviously.

Therefore, I took my lovely friend’s advice and went through a bunch of followers, said hi, looked at their profiles, read some of their blogs.  I’ve met some pretty cool people from all over the world just by saying “hello”.  I have new friends in the UK, California, Guatamala, Peru, New York… all over the Twitterverse..

If you don’t cross the proverbial street to say hi to your Twitter neighbours, how are you going to become friends? Guess you could say friendship is a two way “tweet” (yeah, I know…)

Won’t you be my neighbour?  Because you never know when you’re going to need a cup of sugar.

Being Contagious.

July 10, 2009

 Infectious and Viral isn’t Always a bad thing…

Viral – a term used to describe anything related to viruses.  Virus – a microscopic infectious agent.biohazardlabel

I was online with a friend and we were discussing an online group that we had both joined.  It’s grown very large very quickly and many in the group are boycotting a particular business. Neither of us are sure if  all of the reasoning behind the boycott is sound, but that’s neither here nor there.  We were saying that the business in question would likely see some not so great repercussions from this viral phenomenon.  People were angry and it was spreading.. yup, like a virus. 

We discussed how viral marketing can go either way — can either hurt or help.  The same friend sent me the link to this video which was recorded at festival in Calgary.  It’s essentially a human reenactment of viral marketing.

Buddy is just enjoying himself.  His “product” so to speak is his dancing… and fun.

He’s just dancing away having a great time, doing the best he can and being quite entertaining ….then he engages a “customer” in essence… another guy comes and joins his dance.  These two guys are having so much fun that a couple of others are drawn in and come over to join… then a few more.. until there’s a rush of people at the 1:30 mark of the video.  Then SWARMS of people are tripping over themselves to be a part of this because practically everyone is doing it and it’s now THE THING to do.  Everyone gets caught up in the feeling.  His enthusiasm became contagious and spread through the crowd within minutes.

Buddy was just being himself and being real.  He was just being the best darn (possibly drunk) crazy dancer he could be.  He didn’t have any kind of slick come on or marketing or ad campaign. His “product” .. what engaged people.. was his fun loving attitude.. a couple people joined, then a few more.. until loads of people were infected with his spirit.. they all wanted a piece of the party. 

It’s very much the way social media and viral marketing both work.. like the old shampoo commercials said “I told two friends, and they told two friends.. and so on.. and so on… ”

If your first customer is super happy with you, he’ll tell lots of other people.  And they’ll tell others.  It becomes contagious.

And if you love what you do and enjoy it and provide a great product, you’ll be “infectious”… people will want to be a part of the fun.

At the very end of the video you can hear a girl say “HOW did he DO that?”.   Just by being real and enthused…  and being the best darn crazy dancer he could be.