Sunday, September 26, 2010

Snooki Sighting

Before I drag this once fine blog down into the bowels of tabloid titillation, I want to make one thing clear: aside from a short term fascination with America's Top Model when my daughters were much, much younger, our family has never been a fan of reality television.

Some may find it hard to believe, but we've never watched one complete episode of Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, Extreme Home Makeover – even American Idol.

So imagine my dismay when my middle daughter, 16-year old Sophie, upon returning from a lunch date with friends at Johnny Rockets at the Short Hills Mall, excitedly reported a Snooki sighting.

Although I have never seen Jersey Shore, I have, much to my chagrin, seen Snooki. On the Web, in magazines, in the paper, on the news. Somehow, this no-talent celebrity bimbo has the media following her every move, brawl and arrest.

Now she has my daughter and friends following her at a mall.

"Are you sure it was Snooki?" I asked, thinking it probably wasn't even her. Celebrity sightings are pretty common at the Short Hills Mall. I'm fairly certain that Celine Dion was once ahead of me in line at the Verizon Store.

"It was definitely her," Sophie responded. "My friend follows her on Twitter. We checked Snooki's tweets and she said she was shopping at a mall in New Jersey!"

This brought up so many questions my head was spinning:

Why do people even follow a no-talent like Snooki on Twitter?

Why was this no-talent tweeting to her followers that she's at the mall?

Why was my daughter, who's an ardent vegan, at Johnny Rockets?

I'm so confused.

Maybe I should tweet Snooki for her infinite wisdom.


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not Religious, But Not Atone Deaf

I'm not the most observant Jew.

But for one day a year – Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement – even the least religious Jews find some semblance of religion.

Or at least, self-reflection.

Which is why I thought I'd use today to atone for some social media marketing transgressions over the past year. (Fiscal year 5770, for anyone counting):

• I didn't even try opening a Four Square account. Sorry, but it still just doesn't seem kosher to me

• I didn't use Twitter more than once or twice a week. ("You never call, you never Tweet...")

• I have not yet posted a picture to a Flickr account

• My FaceBook and LinkedIn accounts each seem to have reached critical mass. I think everyone I've ever known who wants to be listed on them is on them already. The additions now come in few and far between

But beyond that, 5770 was a very good year for us all at Extrovertic. A year of remarkable growth and change.

We look forward to even better things in 5771.


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Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Grand Old Party Masters New Media

Last month, a study showed that Senate Republicans are beating the pants off their Democratic colleagues in their use of social media.

John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass) are at the top of the list, followed by one Democrat, Al Franken of Minnesota, and John Conryn (R-Texas). 

And while the top spots are occupied by the GOP, with the exception of the former Stuart Smalley, the Democrats largely own the bottom. The lowest scores went to Senators Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

Surprisingly, in the "Age of Obama," John McCain is now considered a "Social Media Genius." 

But the fact that the Grand Old Party is mastering new media may explain another trend I've picked up on.

My father, a retiree in Boca Raton, and ardent Tea Party supporter, sends me -- and the hundreds of others fortunate enough to be on his mailing list -- at least one propaganda email a day. Sometimes two, three or more.

Most of these missives of misinformation are the equivalent of the proverbial Christmas fruitcake. A check at will show that the same email has been passed around for years, with different names plugged in to suit the times. "John Kerry" becomes "Hillary Clinton," etc.

Often their subject lines exploit the names of celebrities. ("What Robin Williams said about Obamacare!")

When confronted with the fact that the quote didn't actually come from Mr. Williams, my father will blurt something like, "Well, it's not about who said it, but what it says." To which I always respond, "But you wouldn't have sent it if you didn't think it actually came from Robin Williams."

These viral emails are coursing through the octogenarian circuit more furiously than Metamucil. 

They cover a wide array of topics such as Obama is a Muslim, Obama is a communist, Obama is an illegal alien, and Obama is getting ready to implement martial law.

And if it is on the Internet, these folks seem to think, it must be true.

Clearly the economy and many other factors have played a role in the Incredible Shrinking Obama Presidency. 

But a well-calculated, well-organized and probably well-funded social media campaign is picking up on the anger of the masses and amplifying it.


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