Tag Archives: social media

Just Keep Sharking

No lengthy and overly verbose intro today, so let’s just dive right into it.

Say what you will about sharks...because they can't understand English.

Say what you will about sharks…because they can’t understand English.

Shark week was last week and while I don’t have a lot of thoughts or feelings on that in particular, something I’m always reminded of when I think about sharks is that in order for sharks to live, they must literally always be moving. Ever forward. Up up, down down, left, right, left, right, B A, select, start — a shark cannot survive without constantly being in motion. As humans, this is probably the most important shark trait we could adopt (next to constantly growing new rows of teeth). I’m not the first to make this analogy, nor is it wildly profound, but it’s one of those things that’s important enough to restate from time to time.
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Know Thyselfie

Somewhere during my career as a writer (if, indeed, having a couple of blogs and a few minor published works can actually be considered a “career”), I missed the part where you learn to write posts or columns or anything under 500 words. Brevity, concision, or succinctness — whatever it is, I don’t have it…heck even at the beginning of this sentence I used three fancy words where one normal word probably would’ve sufficed. I think the two reasons for this are that 1) I really only write things that I am passionate about, and am therefore more likely to have lengthy, thought-out opinions on; and 2) I am constantly anxious about being misinterpreted in my writings —especially on the internet — so I go out of my way to add clarity even if it means being superfluously descriptive.

But I digress.

So anyway what’s the deal with the selfie? Is there anything more simultaneously loved and loathed than the selfie?

Kylie-Jenner-Selfie-Swag-Twitter-Winners-43

classic selfie example

 

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What Does The E Stand for Anyway?

This may come as a shock to you, but when I go to the grocery store, I’m going for milk. Maybe some cereal and the occasional can of soup (I know, I’m not much of a chef), but you get the idea: groceries. When I go in to an electronics store, I’m going to try out the latest gadget or gizmo that I can’t afford, or buy the game that everybody else got six months ago. The point is that I don’t go to an electronics store to buy milk, and I don’t go to a grocery store to buy HD televisions.

Which is why I get so frustrated with the way that ESPN tweets (watch as I turn that non-sequitur into just a sequitur with the power of…writing!). I am a sports fan — I might not look it, but I am — and so when I go to social media for sports updates, that’s what I want. Sports updates. News, trade rumors, the latest scores, facts, historical notes, interesting stats — that’s what I want from my sports social media. To the best of my knowledge, I’m in the majority with this sort of thinking. Now, generally, organizations are self-aware enough to realize that this is what their audience is looking for, and they happily deliver. A sort of unspoken social contract of “you give me the info I want and I’ll give you my attention”. Attention is a valuable commodity (arguably the most valuable commodity of our day), and so organizations are usually careful to abuse or waste this sort of thing. For instance when I follow Variety for entertainment news, that’s what they give me: new trailers, insider industry info, contract upheavals, castings, awards coverage, etc. They provide the facts and current info as is, without needless speculation or silly half-witticisms. Unfortunately with the ESPN twitter account, this is only true part of the time.

Some of the time, I get exactly what I want from ESPN’s social media: headlines, scores, trades. But then some of the time I get this ridiculous, half-editorialized faux commentary that reads like my little sister’s tweets (no offense, Alissa). My sister is allowed to tweet like a college-age girl because she is one. The worldwide leader in sports is not. If I wanted to follow someone’s opinions or half-baked witticisms on sports, I’d follow sports writers or anchors that I like. When I roll my eyes at a sports tweet, I want it to because The Cavs lost or The Bengals made a terrible draft pick, not because whoever runs the ESPN twitter is trying to be clever.

Disclaimer: Of course, I understand that I can unfollow at any time, and ultimately I bring all this on myself, but it’s almost July 4th and nothing is more American than complaining about something asinine that you have total control to stop/avoid at any moment. Also, please bear in mind that we are fully in the uncharted depths of the pet peeve zone, so I understand if this seems arbitrary or irrelevant to you. Just chalk it up to one of those things I needed to get off my chest.

With that in mind, I present:

Just the Facts, Ma’am: ESPN and Sports Journalism 101.

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Ok so let’s kick off the rant strong: I hate it whenever ESPN talks like it’s our own voice. I am my own person, I don’t need the twitter account of a sports website to try and speak for me. Specifically I don’t need it to imply that I’ve ever gotten up and intentionally watched tennis. Secondably, the NBA made tens of billions of dollars off of me and “Basketball Fans Everywhere” this year, so I think that’s thanks enough. Good rule here, just don’t put words in my mouth. There are plenty there already.

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The Advent of @ocdustino: A History

the face of @ocdustino...look how pretty he is when he's not talking.

the face of @ocdustino…look how pretty he is when he’s not talking.

People  almost never  always ask me about my preferred social media handle — which is @ocdustino for those of you who neglected to read the title of this post — where it came from, what it means, why I have it tattooed on my left ass cheek, etc. And with it being my twitterversary week (yes, that’s a thing; no, I’m not dating anyone. I fail to see the connection) it seemed like a good time to explore the legend of @ocdustino. Buckle in, cadets, you’re in for the sort of history lesson they don’t give you in school. Except maybe homeschool if I homeschool my future kids and I’m really hungover/scrambling for some filler topics that day.

The year was 1867, I was a freshman in college, and the lightbulb had just recently been invented, which meant that we could use our computers indoors, any time of the day or night! This quickly led to the invention of something called AOL Instant Messenger (or AIM for short, because you know if your acronym needs an acronym, you’re doing it right). AIM was primarily invented as a means for people to post their favorite Brand New/Something Corporate lyrics or disparaging passive-aggressive comments about their boy/girlfriend, but quickly evolved into a sort of instant messaging service that was kind of like a two-person internet chatroom, but somehow not as creepy as an actual internet chatroom. Meeting and then getting captured/raped/killed by strangers from the internet wasn’t a thing at the time (craigslist hadn’t been invented yet), but because superheroes/secret identities were still really popular (our Batman was Michael Keaton — ha! Can you believe that? Michael Keaton!) everyone used pseudonyms (known as “screen names”) to effectively hide their true identities from strangers, while also expressing their interests to those same strangers. Screen names like “CheerKick44”, “Platypussy02”, “ExtraExtraSloppy”, “GoldfishDanzer”, “Star19Catcher”, “DivaQueen02” were the norm (fun fact: I only made two of those up). Pretty rad nicknames right? Your screen name said a lot about who you were, and you wanted it to be cool, concise, and clever. With some numbers at the end like the year you graduated or your jersey number from high school athletics because someone probably already had the version of the screen name you wanted that didn’t have numbers.

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Vine Time!

Social networks are like a box of chocolates: I don’t have a second part for that analogy because I haven’t eaten yet and I can’t think clearly on an empty stomach.

Vine is the latest offering in social media, and follows all the traditional steps of major social networks: simple design, decent funding, and early adoption by Mark Hoppus. The basic idea is that by using your smartphone’s camera, you create 4-6 second videos that you then share with the other 19 people who are on Vine. It’s like instagram but for videos, much in the same way instagram was like twitter but for pictures and twitter was like facebook but without everyone getting engaged all the damn time. Everyone wants to have the hot new social media service, but does Vine have what it takes to be the next big thing — or at least avoid the same fate as Path? I have no idea, but here’s a few things I noticed after a couple weeks of usage.

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 12.08.33 PM

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