I’ll take it.
The era of “big data” is quickly becoming the era of “big bullshit” — bullshit on a grander scale than ever before. We’ve always had ability to bullshit with words. Now we have the ability to bullshit with math. We’ve always had bullshit artists. Now we have bullshit scientists.
The Ad Contrarian
#parakeet #somerville #george
The energy of the advertising industry is coming from small shops in odd places that can’t afford to hire the rock stars. They create a culture around a vision instead of focusing on profits and margin.
The Agency Talent Problem is Really a Culture Issue - Digiday
The above listing came in my daily MLS property email. I absolutely love typos like this.
Talented writing makes things happen in the reader’s mind — vividly, forcefully — that good writing, which stops with clarity and logic, doesn’t.
Good Writing vs Talented Writing
This is what I’m talking about.
The use of “We” and the winky-emoticon.
A Return To (Actual) Social Media Humanity
Pick a brand. Any brand.
Now go to their Facebook page or Twitter feed and what do you see?
Maybe a car that’s rooting for a football team? Perhaps it’s a box of cereal that wants to know how your weekend was? Or it could be a stick of deodorant that’s curious to know what you thought of the Breaking Bad finale.
And it’s all fucking awkward.
Every last post.
Because we as marketers have somehow lost our way. We’ve somehow gotten comfortable with a set of social media “best practices” and “standards” that are as phony as they are foolish.
We’ve somehow bought into this silly idea that brands in social spaces, should act like people. That the key to success in social media is to “humanize” your brand, and it give it “a voice”.
And as a result, that’s what every ding-dong community manager and stuffed-shirt social media “expert” is doing.
They’re just clumsily attempting to animate brands like some fumble-thumbed puppeteers at the worst community theater puppet show you’ve ever seen.
Hence the awkwardness in a cup of coffee becoming sentient and asking you what you think of this weather, on Facebook.
Seriously. I barely want to talk to my human friends about the weather, let alone a faceless corporation.
But social media pros have been selling this bullshit approach for so long, that I think they’ve started to believe it themselves. Or maybe they legitimately don’t know any better. It’s hard to tell.
Either way, it’s time to stop the nonsense.
It’s time to stop writing tone guidelines, and internally coaching your community managers on how to make your ketchup or snow-tires or dog biscuits sound “approachable”, “quirky”, and “fun-loving”.
It’s time to stop hiding behind logos and stock photos, content calendars and platitudes.
It’s time to hire the right social media brand stewards, and then trust, empower, and elevate them to roles of front-facing prominence.
It’s time to stop saying “human” and start being human.
Because if you’re not prepared to put a face (an actual face) and name (an actual name) alongside your brand in social media, perhaps you shouldn’t be there at all.
Bumped into the Mayor. (at Innovation District)
Startup Agency Life
Roles played this week (and it’s only Tuesday):
- Creative Director
- Account Director
- Project Manager
- New Business Hunter
- Public Relations
And it’s awesome.
When semi-automated enterprise social media just misses the mark.
The familiar is always going to research better than the truly novel. And research was the new god. The trick to being truly creative, I’ve always maintained, is to be completely unselfconscious. To resist the urge to self-censor. To not-give-a-shit what anybody thinks. That’s why children are so good at it. And why people with Volkswagens, and mortgages, Personal Equity Plans and matching Lois Vutton luggage are not.
A short lesson in perspective
When I was in Chelsea recently, my grandfather (who’s 91) gave me a bunch of old photos. A sampling above.
The top photo is actually of my grandfather in the Oliver Wendell Holmes school band, in Dorchester. This must be in the early 1930’s. He’s at the top right middle, with his head right aligned with the edge of the door.
The next photo down is an awesome extended family portrait of what I believe is my late grandmother’s family. Don’t have a date on this, but I’d guess maybe late 30’s.
Next is an incredible picture of my great great grandmother Sadie and her brother Israel. I think this is someplace between 1900 and 1910.
Below that, dated in 1944 are some of the stars of the above family portrait, in a more casual setting.
And at the bottom, is my great grandmother Ethel (on my dad’s side) and her brother Abraham.
If you like this sort of thing, I scanned in a ton more a few years back. Mostly stuff from the 50’s and early 60’s taken in and around Chelsea, Massachusetts.