Archive | February, 2010

Parisian Love needs Ultimate Control. Google, this is the year…

Parisian Love needs Ultimate Control.

Google, this is the year 2010, not the year 2000.  Your dominance in web search is all but assured at this point.  Why did you need to advertise on the Super Bowl?  Were you worried that the American public, in its haze of beer and buffalo wings had forgotten you and will wake up after their deep-fried orgy and start searching on Bing?

Whatever the case, you tried to use the telvision medium to tell a story.  Unfortunately, what this video proves is not that Google tells a story, but leaves a story open up to a lot of interpretation as they mine your data for a story.  Sure, I thought the commercial was cute the first time I saw it.  But after watching the commercial again, I have a lot of deep concerns.

I’m really worried about the searcher.  The searcher doesn’t know French well at all and has to look up a pretty basic phrase.  Web translators have come a long way, but they are no better than looking the words up in a dictionary.  And how are you expected to succeed studying abroad if you don’t even know how to get laid?  What’s worse is the lover gives up his dream of a carefree, long distance relationship for a “job in France.”  Buddy, you might have noticed there’s something called a global recession going on.  If you can’t speak French well, and you have no idea what field you might work in, searching “jobs in France” will end you up at the Paris McDonald’s, which is just as bad as the one down the street in America.

Then we get to the search for churches.  The obvious story suggests that the pair gets married, but the search doesn’t necessarily show that. Maybe the baby they later build the crib for is a bastard out of wedlock.  Also, perhaps the searcher just wanted to be closer to Jesus, Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster in his new life as a Parisian burger flipper, since they never suggest a wedding really happens.

This commercial is the perfect example of why you have to take control of your story in full detail.  If you don’t, crazy people will rewrite it into the story of a student studying abroad and getting the wool pulled over his eyes by a cheap Parisian hussie.

Comments Off

Farmville, or how I learned to stop worrying and love…

Farmville, or how I learned to stop worrying and love Zynga.

There was a time I was obsessed with Farmville.  If I didn’t harvest my crops on the hour, then plow my fields, then plant new crops for harvest in another 24 hours, I was not a happy man.

This insane loyalty makes Farmville genius.  The players are people who play the game at least once daily, if not several times in one day.  Additionally, they may play other Zynga games daily, like YoVille, FishVille, PetVille, or MafiaVille Wars.

Think of the cash Zynga must swim in just from advertising on these games, not counting the money people burn changing their real money into Farmville Cash.  Zyng’s genius is sickening.  Get people obsessed with playing flash games with lots of surrounding advertising, and Zynga watches the money roll in.

What’s craziest is how Zynga says these games are social.  If sitting and clicking virtual plants on a virtual farm for hours is social, I don’t want to know what you call Xbox Live.   Farmville created a second network of people on Facebook I had to pester constantly for crap to help my virtual farm.  Before Farmville, I wondered who my real friends were, now I now it’s people who will fertilize my crops and send me different colored fencing.

Zynga, I, The Anti-Social Media, salute you.  By having people sit in the dark at the computer and call it farming with their friends, you have found a way to print money.  I can only dream of being as profitable and evil as you.

Comments Off

If This Post Sucks You’d Better Comment on Why

There’s a storm brewing about blog comments.  Engadget turned off their comments because of trolls, then a bunch of blogs reacted because they have balls and haven’t turned off their comments, and now folks on Twitter are all grumbling and indirectly commenting with every link to an Engadget post.

Here’s my take.

Blogs need comments.

I know that seems weird coming from the person who proclaims himself to be anti-social media, but think about it harder.  Without blog comments, how are you going to tell an author s/he sucks?  Sure you could e-mail them, but that doesn’t publicly call them out that their information is inaccurate or their opinion just plain bitchy.  Or even worse, it doesn’t let you fess up when they actually do something right.

We’re moving into a world where blogs are hosting their comments less and less. Every link on Facebook or Twitter or wherever has the potential for someone to say something about it.  Maintaining comments on your own page is the best way to gauge reaction.  Otherwise, people will spit all over you and you will have no idea why you’re so wet.

Shutting comments down is a signal of giving up.  You look thin-skinned.  It’s different if you’ve never used comments because that just shows you’re too cool for school.  But giving up is never the solution.  It’s lazy, complacent, and an excuse.

For the readers and commentators of the world, here’s my Anti-Social Media Rule: Don’t be negative and pissy in blog comments just because you canYou don’t look cool.  No one looks cool for trolling a website.

There’s an art to being negative.  Let’s imagine someone’s blog post as a painting.  You can slap some post it notes on it to point out that parts that are weak, or you can just cover it all in feces.

One of those options is the better choice, and it’s not the one dealing with bodily excrement.  Comment wisely, whether you’re starting the conversation or adding to it.  No one needs to throw feces or clog the toilet over a blog post.

Comments Off
This is not social media news, Mashable.

This is not social media news, Mashable.

This is not social media news, Mashable.

Comments Off

Facebook page punishment spurs debate

Facebook page punishment spurs debate:

This article is a pretty lengthy affair about how some middle school kids got detention for being part of a Facebook group that made fun of a teacher at their school.

The incident sends a great message to kids everywhere. They need to know that every single thing they do has consequences, and they should be scared to even type a period without thinking about how this action will effect their personal brand in the future.

To the teacher that was made fun of: dish it right back to them.  I bet some of your co-workers, friends, maybe even some of these kids parents hate them just as much as you do (or at least you do now).  Show them how it feels to have false information, or even worse, the ugly truth spread all over Facebook.

Comments Off
Feature: How NOT to Tweet with Sarah Palin
Someone has been…

Feature: How NOT to Tweet with Sarah Palin Someone has been…

Feature: How NOT to Tweet with Sarah Palin

Someone has been reading my posts, and it’s not just people who hate social media more than I do!  I’m not sure if it is a certain former Alaskan governor or someone on her new team of FOX News administrative aids, but Sarah Palin’s Tweets shifted in style on January 25, 2010.

Previously, we saw tweets like this one, which made little sense.  Not only do her tweets make sense now, they also have a link to her Facebook content.  Gee! I’ve never heard of that idea before!  Linking a tweet to significant content, what year is this, 2007?

Let’s also compare this tweet with the other one’s grammar.  In this tweet, every word is spaced correctly, including words by the ampersand.  Previously, words surrounding the ampersand crushed it between them like a donut between two sumo wrestlers.  Also, every other punctuation is followed by a space, so the whole thing is readable.  A part of me wishes this didn’t happen, so I might not have to understand her personal brand of madness, but I’m happy she’s discovered the space bar.

Another observation:  All of the tweets on the account are now listed as being posted from the web, where as in my previous post you can see it was originally posted from Twitterberry.  While I can believe that Sarah Palin could tweet from a computer or her Blackberry, I’m betting Rupert Murdoch wouldn’t like her going rogue (Editor’s Note: I couldn’t help myself.)

Finally, and this is the reason I know Sarah Palin isn’t tweeting anymore and someone else is, is there’s a semicolon.  NOBODY uses a semicolon on Twitter!  It sticks out like a sore copywriter’s thumb.

I’m onto you Palin, or whomever is adjusting your Tweets to whatever is coming across their Google Alerts.  You can tweet, but your can’t hide from The Anti-Social Media.

Comments Off
I’m betting Mashable is trying to hire someone with…

I’m betting Mashable is trying to hire someone with…

I’m betting Mashable is trying to hire someone with experience to help clean up their mess of a Social Media Guide.

Comments Off

You don’t have to talk with people.

Engaging in a conversation takes work.  In real life, it’s a constant processing of thousands of sensory cues into one coherent message.  Online, you’re lucky if you get a conversation of more than two paragraphs of coherent text without misleading typos and grammatical errors.

Social Media is about carrying on a conversation in the online forum.  That’s what makes it social.  People talk.  Make sense?

While this can be fun, but sometimes you just want to get all the information you there.  No questions, just spit it all out.  Screw the @ replies, and the Facebook comments, just say it once.  How do you do it?

You announce.  You proclaim.  You declare.

Give the people something to talk about, and let your message go.  You don’t have to deal with the stress of knowing what’s happening to it. You don’t need to worry about the aftershocks.  Once you give the spark, you let the wildfire burn.

It’s not easy to let things go, to see them distort and allow them twist into freakish rumors that don’t resemble what you said.  But if you say it clearly enough the first time, you can just let them all talk about you without any worries.

Then they will see who’s the master of social media.

Comments Off