Archive | March, 2011
Fuck You - The Anti-Social Media

F*#$ You Friday! Facebook Comments Button

Fuck You - The Anti-Social MediaSometime this week Facebook decided the submit button on comments in the news feed was too much and they eliminated it. Now, striking the enter key is enough and will submit a comment.

What the f#$& Facebook?!

Some of you will read this and say, “Jay, why are you such a stickler for tiny details that some people don’t care about?”

That’s because I care about them. Hitting the enter key is faster, sure, but I make lots of typos. Stopping and using the mouse is one way I break my thought patterns and stop to look for typos. I don’t like to look like an idiot. That’s not part of my personal brand.

Also, is Facebook really saving anything by not having the submit button? Are those extra 20 pixels really worth it?

Did they even test this feature with average people? If so, I want to know their feedback. I want to see see the transcripts of people saying, “Finally! I can see the first line of another item while I’m commenting on  something else on my news feed!” And I want to see how frustrated people were with the old button. I imagine them saying, “Ugh! I hate this button! It makes me have to scroll, down, which I was going to do anyways! Why is Facebook so hard?!

Who am I kidding? This is the internet, and the haters were probably saying, “The comment button sux LOL.

So fuck you Facebook. I was going to scroll down anyways. The savings here are minimal and pointless and just frustrate users.

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Can You Read - The Anti-Social Media

Reading Between the Lines

Can You Read - The Anti-Social MediaI’m a terrible reader.

When I was young, they tested me for being gifted and talented. It turned out I can solve mathematical problems like nobody’s business. But, if you asked me to look for meaning beyond the face value of the words set down in front of me, I fail miserably.

That’s why it never surprises me when people take things out of context online.

It’s easy to humanize someone talking in front of you. You see their face and hear the words coming from their lips. Their tone rises and falls, and they gesture with their words. It’s easier to figure out what they intended, because it’s right there in front of you, and if you’re still not getting it, you can be a moron and ask them.

Humanizing an avatar is much harder. You can’t tell how much suffering happens to a face that’s always smiling. You can ask someone to explain, but your explanation comes from more words.  Reading between the lines becomes a chore.

Unfortunately, we’re bombarded with too much information to make that effort. Reading online is a chore, not a pleasure. Where before we had to think deeply about what the author meant because we couldn’t reach them, we can now take thirty seconds and reach out to the author.

Is the answer to think harder? To write better? To just ask the author? A combination  I don’t know.

The only thing I know is there is always a human behind the words, and that human has more of story to tell than what little they blogged.

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A world without blogging - The Anti-Social Media

A day without blogging

I haven’t taken a weekday off blogging since January.

I’m changing that today. I need a day where I don’t have to worry about writing a long crazy blog post.

A world without blogging - The Anti-Social Media

See you all tomorrow!

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Fuck You - The Anti-Social Media

Is there a place for Swearing in Social Media?

Fuck You - The Anti-Social MediaAt this rate, I’m going to call this week the Chrysler week, because everything I keep writing is somehow related to that terrible company.

Anyways, I read Gini Deitrich’s take on the Chrysler tweet that won’t die. I appreciated her insights as an agency owner, and as I was reading the comments, I was floored at Gini’s comment, “I think it’s wholeheartedly inappropriate to swear online.”

What the f-bomb? What internet do you live on Gini?

I’m so sick of the cult of damned personal branding and professionalism. They want to be big-f#$*%n’ brother. They proclaim that you can’t have one “damn” online because any little shit who ever looks you up will grab you by the balls and cast your scrawny ass into the hell for typing one curse word. Every nasty word you’ve ever used as a writer or blogger will come back to bite you in the ass, so you better hope you wiped your ass clean and there isn’t any toilet paper left clinging on.

I know that brands and companies shouldn’t be swearing. That’s just asking for trouble. But people are different.

People swear in the real world, and they swear a lot. Many people let out a “shit” or a “damn” or bless my heart, a “fuck.” And people curse online all the time. Knowing how and when to use each of your words is what makes someone a great communicator. Would you manipulate a myriad of utterances, or would you use a bunch of words? Great ideas are not always expressed in ten-cent words but four-letter ones.

Great writers know how to use their language to write for multiple audiences. Audiences who use words like “damn” and “fuck” and audiences who confabulate. It’s all a matter of choice and timing. Do we all make great choices? Of course not. Knowing which crappy word to use and when to use the damned word is what separates the great writer from the mediocre.

What do you think? Is swearing online best left to faceless trolls? Does it have a place in our online dialogue, or are personal brands too precious?

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You're Doing it Wrong - The Anti-Social Media

Chrysler, Storytelling, and Social Media Responses

You're Doing it Wrong - The Anti-Social MediaEverything you share on social media, whether that content is your own or produced by someone else, tells your story.

Last week was very busy for me with my professional events, and at every single one of them my peers and colleagues spoke about Chrysler. I haven’t heard anyone talk about Chrysler this much in my entire lifetime. This even includes after the auto-bailouts and listening to Love Shack on repeat for hours.

So, either something is very right or very wrong.  I’d take a bet towards wrong because people love talking about disaster more than positive things.

So cut to Saturday night around 9:20, when I saw a friend retweet this message from Chrysler:

Chrysler - Somebody got it right

I, feeling particularly anti-social media that night, replied.

TheAntiMedia - @Chrysler Somebody took your side. Big f*#%in’ deal.

Within a few minutes, I surprisingly got this reply.

Chrysler - @TheAntiMedia You missed the point. She’s not taking our side. She’s reporting the greater context. One f-bomb didn’t take down an agency.

I was amazed that I actually got a reply out of Chrysler at 9:30 pm on a Saturday. What were they doing, trying to tell their story to the world on a Saturday night when most normal people are only using Twitter to announce how much fun they’re having? Were they just asking for trouble from punks like me?

Looking back at this brief exchange, it seems surreal. I understand Chyrsler monitoring Twitter 24/7 right now because of the incident, but I don’t buy the response I got. They wouldn’t have shared that story from Forbes if it didn’t support the story they want to tell. I still don’t get why they responded to a user with a name The Anti-Media and whose avatar is a cartoon. That’s just feeding the troll.

Still, the story Chrysler is telling is focused on defense. It bears witness to their story alone, a story of a mistake, someone getting fired, and an agency losing its contract. There is nothing positive for people to take away or to make them feel like Chrysler has learned from its mistake.

We all have many stories to tell. The trouble is choosing the right one to tell, the  right time to tell it,  and the right way to share it.

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Group Texting - The Anti-Social Media

F*#k You Friday! Group Texting Apps

Group Texting - The Anti-Social MediaWhat the f#*k is up with group texting apps? I don’t get the appeal of apps such as, Fast Society, and Facebook Beluga. My phone can already text multiple people competently, and I have an unlimited texting plan because this is 2011 and people text more than they talk.

There’s an app for this already. It’s called “Text Messaging.” It works with every cell phone built since the 1980′s.

Why do we need three competitors in this space? What is the improvement with this service? Can’t we come up with more innovative and useful social messaging apps?

Fuck you group texting apps. You’re overrated lines of code nobody needed.

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Learn How F*****n' to Tweet - The Anti-Social Media

Recovering From Mistakes on Twitter

Learn How F*****n' to Tweet - The Anti-Social MediaOne of my favorite stories of last month was the Red Cross’ reaction to a mistake tweeted by one of the people with access to their account. The person accidentally tweeted about getting excited about finding an extra case of beer, which naturally, looked weird and crazy coming frm the official Red Cross account.

The Red Cross handled the mistake flawlessly. They removed the tweet, updated that they “took the keys away,” and told everyone to calm down because it’s just a tweet and not a real disaster, a scenario they deal with every single day. Dogfish Head Beer, the brewing company that was tweeted about from the Red Cross account, even started a beer for blood program.

The outcome: The Red Cross looks human. Dogfish Head Beer raises their profile and Red Crosses through social good. Everyone comes out of the mistake feeling better than before hand, and the story is much more memorable because of the awesome outcome.

Compare that with Chrysler.

Yesterday, an employee at the new media firm Chrysler uses to run their @ChryslerAutos twitter account was fired for dropping the f-bomb. The offending tweet read:

“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.”

Yeah, definitely not a nice tweet, and not as easy to write off like in the Red Cross example. Still, this whole incident leaves me with a lot of questions about how this could have turned into a more positive experience. What if Chrysler then partnered with driving schools in Detroit to provide a bunch of driving tips in tweets and videos? What if they made a bunch of tips to learn how to “f—-n drive?”

I get Chrysler is trying to save face by having that employee fired, but I think they could have saved face and turned the whole incident into something positive. Maybe I’m naive with this thinking, but we all make mistakes. It’s how we recover from them that we are judged.

What do you think? Was the firing overkill? Was there a way to turn this around for a positive experience? I want to know what you think in the fucking comments.

Update: Chrysler posted on their blog with some nonsense about how they were sensitive about the tweets context in their overall positioning and brand campaign about rebuilding Detroit. Again, instead of playing the insulted and sensitive card, they could do something to show how awesome the drivers in Detroit are compared to the rest of the US. There are so many ways to have turned this into a positive it makes my head spin how poorly a job Chrysler did.

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Movies on Facebook - The Anti-Social Media

Watching Movies on Facebook is for Chumps

Movies on Facebook - The Anti-Social MediaWarner Bros. announced that it will beging to allow users to rent movies for streaming on Facebook. They’ll start with The Dark Knight, because it is the most perfect movie ever, and then add more.

This is the dumbest idea ever.

First of all, given the choice between a TV and a computer screen, who wants to watch a movie on their computer screen? I don’t know about you, but my laptop screen is 15″ across, and my TV is somewhere around 30″ across. TV wins right there. God help the person with a 9″ or 10″ netbook. Also, I don’t have anywhere comfortable to rest my lazy butt when watching something on my laptop. My couch however, is perfectly positioned for maximum viewing comfort.

Secondly, why would I want to deal with all the crap on Facebook while I’m watching a movie for two hours? There’s nothing like watching a movie while getting notifications, chat messages, and everything else that happens from keeping Facebook open for two hours.

Finally, who the hell goes on Facebook to watch movies? Sure I might watch a video shared by a friend, but typically those are hilarious two minutes clips made by someone else. There is nothing social about watching a movie compressed onto your computer screen and streaming through Facebook. It’s just watching a movie, but you’re paying for it a different way.

Who does Warner Bros. expect to pay $3 to rent a movie for 48 hours to watch on their computer? You can stream thousands of movies from Netflix for $8 a month, and you can rent the same movie from Redbox for $2. This is an obvious attempt to earn more money from direct sales, but without offering anything of value to the consumer except to watch the movie in a crappy, compressed video format on a smaller screen.

Would you watch a movie on Facebook? Would you pay $3 to do so? Would you not be annoyed by the constant notifications and chat messages? I want to know what kind of sucker person actually wanted this crap.

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