Saturday, April 04, 2009

Social Media

This is all Meesha's fault. As are most things.

He went and got his yak-hair panties in a twist over a cyber-media event promoting the Fork & Screen in Olathe. I'm not linking to them for reasons that will become apparent later. Pay attention.

This is a new movie theatre where you can be distracted and annoyed by wait staff coming and going and talking while you and a bunch of people you don't know make lots of noise eating an over-priced dinner and watching an over-priced movie.

Imagine trying to watch a movie you really want to see during Thanksgiving dinner, except it's not Thanksgiving, you had to pay extra for the movie and extra for the food, and you don't know none of these motherfuckers.

That's what I imagine the Fork & Screen to be like.

Anyway, Meesha put a post up on his blog cynically wondering how many gullibly positive reviews published by bloggers were influenced by the free tickets and preferential, pre-opening treatment they received. This generated a bunch of comments and a vigorous debate ensued.

Then Shane Adams decided he needed to jump in with a post on his blog defending commercial manipulation of social media.

Here is what all this bullshit comes down to.

Somebody comes up with a cool "social media" app like Twitter, or Face Book, or MySpace and it takes off as the Next New Thing. It spreads. All of us techno-geek early adopters pick it up and run with it. It feels good because we are out in front of everyone else, doing our own thing and creating something new.

Then the Marketing Fucktards catch up to us. They see all of this free and open communication occurring. And, being Marketing Fucktards, their first thought is "How can we piggyback on this shit and manipulate it, without people knowing we are manipulating it, and use it to sell our useless crap to people for $19.95 (But wait! There's more!) so as to make the rich fuckers we work for even richer?"

Then they get defensive when the native inhabitants of this new environment call shenanigans on their intrusive abuse of the media.

One of the sweet things about Twitter is you choose who you want to follow. If you don't follow someone, you won't see whatever they tweet.

Which sounds GREAT, in theory. But it's not quite that simple. I'm sure you know about the Six Degrees of Separation theory.

"Six degrees of Separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. It was popularised by a play written by John Guare."

So, Acme Marketing's sole purpose in life is to spread viral advertising via Twitter. But I don't follow @acmemarketing so I won't be subject to their bullshit, right?

Oh no, my friends. Because other people DO follow @acmemarketing. And they have people who follow them. And those folks have people who follow THEM! So eventually, I get a "retweet" (a tweet beginning with RT where someone gets something they want to share, so they copy it and send it out to everyone who follows them).

But here's the thing.

I do not wish to be marketed to via a media that I pay for, nor do I wish to have my responses collected and quantified for the enrichment of others.

I have a plan for combating this. In a blatant marketing counter-strike, I call it The XO Plan.

If you are on Twitter and you get a tweet that contains unwanted marketing, advertising, polling or otherwise commercially manipulative information, stop following them.

If you are a blogger and you start receiving similar stuff in your Google Reader (are you not using Google Reader? Seriously? You really, really need to.), then delete that feed.

If you are on MySpace or Facebook...then do whatever the fuck MySpace and Facebook users do to block shit they don't want to get. I have no idea. I hate MySpace and Facebook.

You do what you like, but I am shutting these fuckers out of my cyberlife. I will be culling my blog feeds and twitter following links of anything that reeks of commercialism.

It's bad enough that marketers reach into my home via broadcast TV, cable TV (that I pay for), and even into the movie theatre (that I pay even more for) with their commercials.

Now they are reaching into my fucking pocket where I carry my cell phone with offers to sell me shit. My front pocket is uncomfortably close to my back pocket where I carry my wallet. I'm sure they are working on a way of infiltrating this market as well.

"We know that if you knew our product existed, you would want it! So we are going to just go ahead and take the money right out of your billfold and send you our product! It's not robbery! It's proactively e-fulfilling your anticipated needs via a minimally interactive interface. You're welcome! You're convenience is our highest priority!"

I will firewall my life from marketing, advertising and media manipulation to the greatest degree possible.

Go sell gullible somewhere else. I'm too busy tweeting inappropriate comments to librarians to fall for your marketing ploys.


Unknown said...

I'm a pretty pony.

kcmeesha said...

I have some recently worn yak-hair panties for sale. Tweet.Butt wait, there is more. What really surprised me was how everyone said they didn't feel obligated to write about it or write nice things about the visit. And that may be, but if no one wrote about it how many of similar events do you think would have happened in the future. And if they dissed the place how many would be re-invited next time. I may have overstated the weight of free tickets but I understated the role of feeling as a part of something new, exciting and exclusive. Also Shane and me smoked a virtual peace pipe so I went back to posting naked photos (check it out) and bitching about the weather.

FletcherDodge said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Mr. Obama, consider yourself 'unfollowed'

JustCara said...

As soon as I saw the words "Marketing Fucktards" I said "Yes, THAT is what these people should be called!" Can there be nothing left that is holy? Nothing like taking a nice, friendly app and just shitting all over it. Thanks, Corporate America.

Chimpotle said...

I implemented the XO plan earlier today. Pretty much any reference to social media gets an unfollow on Twitter. Really, if you actually mention the term "social media" in what you do, you are doing social media wrong.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

XO, you are verbose lately. There for a while you were so quiet I almost started to worry about you.

Well, anyhow, I'm not going to go to that theater unless someone else pays for it and the food is good (which I seriously doubt in both cases). I thought it was like the dinner theater where food is served before the play starts and at intermission so one can actually enjoy the play without interruption, but I guess not.

And as for all this marketing stuff, it must be Bush's fault

no twittering here

Anonymous said...

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Shane said...

Before you make a sweeping generalization, let it be known that I was on Twitter before you, I was blogging for a year and a half before you.

So I wasn't exactly "catching up." Get your facts straight. There are certainly others who were ahead of the game as well. I can understand your opinion and your frustration.

I don't think that I was defending the commercial manipulation of social media, but more the analysis of it. I'm also against sweeping generalizations. But Meesha and I (and you and I as well) can agree to disagree.