Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Internet Brings Me My Little Ponies

I wrote an entry a while back about the new style of interpersonal communication with new media - namely, the lack of personal communication. Frankly, texting, e-mailing, and surfing the net on a PDA during a conversation with someone is a huge pet peeve. I know the academic/business world is wired - I mean, I'm pretty dialed-in, too.

However, there are moments when I see the beauty in the Internet: the series of tubes that connects people.

I have never been to Texas, but in today's mail I received a package from Dava in Waco, Texas. I've never meet Dava and have no idea what she looks like or how she even sounds. But I know of her work - Kimono's Townhouse. I read her updates every week and laugh in a fairly unattractive manner because, well, it's geek humor with My Little Ponies and that makes me very, very happy.

As a direct result of the Internet and its ability to draw people of similar humors together, I received a box from Texas. A very fun box from Texas.

Clockwise from the upper left: A plastic Easter egg, a mini box of nerds, a mini boom box prop from the comic, and a miniature My Little Pony sticker.

This is why I love what the Internet can do - from forums to customer reviews to social media. No, not the free stuff (although, there is quite a bit of it). It connects different people from different places with different lives and puts them on the same platform. The entire concept was once via pen pals and hand held radios, but now it's grown to a tremendous audience of potential acquaintances.

To me, that's pretty cool - even if welcomes people texting in the middle of a conversation.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Internet - a seductive medium of technological wiles and candy

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click. ~Author Unknown

Some days...well, some days I don't get it.

Like many of my contemporaries, I grew up on the Internet. I remember tagging along with my mother to her college computer lab and getting to use Web Crawler to find games. I remember the day we got a Dell computer with dial-up to go in Netscape - so high-tech. I remember when I started my first blog in the 9th grade.

I grew up on the Internet. But now, I'm on it. I'm one with the Internet - plugged into the Matrix, so to speak. I'm e-mailing, Facebooking, tweeting, blogging, uploading, downloading, doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around. Apparently, that's what it's all about.

With this degree of connectivity this is what I fail to understand: When sitting next to me in a cafe, how is it useful to Facebook me on your Crackberry to get me to look at a viral video on YouTube that someone Tweeted you?

Interpersonal communication is changing. Or maybe it's just etiquette.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sharing Trial and Error

As a soon-to-be graduate, my experiences - from work to school to life - tend to fall into the category of Trial and Error (and yes, this category does indeed garner capitalization). I'm a planner from way back, but there's only so much lists, labels, and scheduling can get you before you actually have to do what you're planning. I know, that's a shocker.

My current exploration into Trial and Error land deals with client work. From PSAs and promo videos to brochures to news release, clients make everything real - and hard. I have no problem relaying that I've made some mistakes...okay, many how I've worked my clients. So, allow me to share what little wisdom I've gained so you can look 10 times smarter than the average, pre-graduated bear.

  1. Patience is not just a virtue - it is a necessity. You may have an idea of what you want to do, but your client cannot see through your eyes. Explain everything in a manner that makes sense - JARGON= no. Plus, with patience comes...
  2. Listening skills. Listen and learn, ladies and gents. You are not an Egyptian deity (unless you are, in which case, wow!) - omnipotence is not a skill you have in your toolbox.
  3. Communication: Let it be constant! I'm talking weekly updates, people. And if they're not reciprocating, ask why! Is it the medium of communication? The time of the week/day you communicate? The fact that you use emoticons after every sentence? :(
  4. Rates. Yes, the most uncomfortable thing ever, but you have to put your rate on the table in the beginning. In writing. You don't want to feel jilted and they don't want to feel sideswiped. Let financial transparency reign!
  5. Time lines - have them. Start and end dates (even if they fluctuate later). Period.
  6. Smile and breathe. Smiling helps everything - your mood, their mood, the Ozone layer... Okay, so I can't attest to the last item. Breathing helps you stay alive. Better moods and existence are key to happy projects.
That's my list for now. I have little doubt that there is more to come. Trial and Error is quite an interesting place to be. I only hope that it decides to change it's name to Trial and Success sooner than later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The lastest Case Study:

Some days, the sight of missed PR opportunities makes me cringe.

And others, it makes me drool.

Today is a drooling kind of day, ladies and gentlemen.

It began simply enough: Shower. Breakfast (...or an apple followed by a mint as I ran out the door). Classes. RSS Feeds. Ah, the Feeds, specifically Tammy Pierce's Blog. And then as many blogs, articles, Tweets, and comments as I could get my hands on.

May I present AmazonFail 2009? Welcome to AmazonFail, where Amazon removes GLBT literature from sales rankings and search results claiming it to be "adult content" while keeping sex toys listed in the search bar. It's a new "glitch," according Amazon reps. Of course, this removal started in February, but sure, it's a brand-spankin' new "glitch."

The funny thing? At this point, it doesn't matter if it really is a glitch that removed this content - the Internet has taken this and run with it. This is Word of Mouth at it's Web 2.0 best - Blogosphere, Twitter, FB, Cafepress.

And Amazon's response?


The statement sent to inquiring news media, as linked to above. Nothing on it's homepage. Nothing in the media room online. No responses to social media. Just the original "glitch" quote to throw around until it gets limp and tired.

All I have to say: Crisis PR. You're doing it wrong.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Marketing: An Understanding

With graduation approaching at a devilishly quick pace, I've been thinking a lot about my future employment.

"What shall I do?" I ask myself.
"Something that will make you happy," I reply.
"...that's not a very helpful answer, Self," I say.
"Hey, I'm not Buddha, okay. Deal," I retort.

Clearly, my internal ramblings don't get me very far.

However, this topic has forced me to evaluate whether or not what my preferred field is actually what I think it is.

(BTW, thankfully, it is. At least, from what I've gathered.) Through my research I've stumbled upon the typical, "Understanding Marketing" analogies, AKA advertising is a sign about the circus.

I knew the Circus analogy. I did not hear the dating one:

"Understanding Marketing:

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them and say, "I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a fabulous girl/guy. You have one of your friends approach them, point at you and say, "She’s/He’s fantastic in bed."

That’s Advertising.

You see a fabulous girl/guy at a party. You approach them to get their telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. You get up, straighten your clothes, walk up and pour them a drink. You open the door, pick up their bag after it drops, offer them a ride, and then say, "By the way, I’m fantastic in bed."

That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a fabulous girl/guy. They walk up to you and say, "I hear you’re fantastic in bed."

That’s Brand Recognition." (Glomped from Jokes-O-Matic)

Use this for college students and all marketing questions will be solved. And put into practice outside the classroom...