This post is obviously not mine but that of Mashable.com and Peter Shankman. This was too good to pass up and not reblog, and now I share it with you, enjoy.
This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.
Peter Shankman is the founder of HARO and is generally regarded as one of the top social media consultants and marketing speakers working today. His clients include Saudi Aramco, NASA, The U.S. Government, Haworth, Disney, Foley Hoag LLP, American Express, and countless others. He blogs at shankman.com.
When I was a kid, we listened to songs about days of the week and clothing, and it was called Sesame Street, not “mainstream entertainment.”
Welcome to the age of mediocrity, where anyone with a computer, a video camera, and a few thousand dollars for production can be considered the next big thing.
But as sad as that is, what does it say about us as a society?
Analyzing “Friday,” it’s not so much that Rebecca Black can’t sing. She’s about on par with some other pop stars, and — let’s face it — they’re not remaking The Marriage of Figaro here. The problem is the mundane, almost soul crushing lyrics, recounting a day in the life of someone we care nothing about.
Essentially, Ms. Black has become the musical version of a bad Twitter user, offering very little substance and value, but still feeling the need to overshare.
Ms. Black’s story, as it’s been told, involves her parents giving her a produced single as a “gift,” and depending on who you ask, the rapid ascent of her YouTube video is due either to morbid curiosity, or media attention brought on by morbid curiosity. It’s certainly not brought on by talent.
We used to be a society of content eaters fed by a very small kitchen run by music labels, TV stations, and movie stars. With the advent of the Internet, Flip cameras, and yes, even Justin Bieber, the paradigm has shifted. It’s no longer a world where the talent wins. It’s not even a world where the beauty wins. It’s a world where anyone can post, and in many cases, the worse the performance, the better it does. Call it the “William Hung” Effect.
With the power to broadcast comes great responsibility. And when people don’t take responsibility, and create videos about days of the week, we can’t be shocked and scream about the downfall of society. We’ve taken a typical 13-year-old teenager and given her parents an enormous return on their paltry investment. We did this. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
So that begs the question: How does someone get there? How does a talentless nobody wind up with 43 million YouTube views in a few weeks?
Step one: Content. A catchy autotune, a baby laughing, a cat being tickled. It doesn’t matter.
Step two: Send it out as the latest OMG thing in the world. Get a few views a minute. Let it grow, unchecked, like a fungus.
Here’s an example. After fighting with someone for six months while training for an Ironman, I simply took our words and put them into an Extranormal movie. The result? Over 750,000 views in a week. It’s not hard. I did it for fun, and it cost me nothing.
Media? Well, the media plays a part, no doubt. Five thousand views in a minute does a story make. So one media outlet covers it — perhaps for how bad, boring, and just plain ordinary it is — and perpetuates the cycle by including a link to the offending video.
Does that make it our fault? Absolutely. We’re a society that likes destruction. We like Sheen. We like Lohan. We like Jerry Springer. We like Maury. We’ve embraced mediocrity because we need some level of proof that we’re better than that — that we’re not the worst things out there. We’re not, because there’s Rebecca Black, with Friday, Friday, Friday!
She’s not the problem. We are.
The worst part? Perhaps it’s not a problem at all. Perhaps, if we didn’t have the Rebecca Blacks of the world to complain about, we’d be an even unhappier society. Perhaps we need people like Rebecca Black to balance our worldview, to take away the sadness of what’s going on in the news, and to distract us from our own mundane lives.
Perhaps we invented Rebecca Black, and others like her, because we simply had no other choice.
All of these apps allow for “check-ins” to spots on a map via geo-location. From their you can earn badges, pins, titles for checking in to a certain place the most, and various other miscellaneous virtual prizes to gloat to your friends about. The difference between Hotpot and Yelp is that these two services not only allow a user to check in, but they also offer the ability for the user to rate a place they were just at, and review said place. Recently, Yelp has started testing “Yelp Deals" (1-Day sales coupons for its users), something which Hotptot is not doing (yet).
Hotpot is what happens when Google Places and Google Latitude get married and have offspring. Latitude is a check-in service that shows your Google friends and various other social network friends where you are. You can ping them and have them check-in too, if they are nearby, and it [Latitude] can also show you where your friends are at via Google Maps. Places is a consumer’s guide to all things local and near. It allows you to rate and/or review that restaurant you were just at. Your friends will then know which restaurants they should go to and which ones they should avoid. It’s better to find out what type of place you’re about to go to from your friends who have similar tastes then to accept a random 4-star rating of a stranger who didn’t leave a review. Places is not limited to just restaurants, you can also rate and/or review parks, coffee shops, retail stores, and etc. If you own an Android phone guess what, it is already installed. There is no need to go to the Android Market and download. And, surprise surprise, Latitude is already installed on there too. These two applications, Places and Latitude work hand in hand. For example, let’s say that you’re in a new city and you want to find a restaurant to get something to eat, fire up Places, select restaurants, look at all of the available options, read the reviews, choose a spot, go their and check in with Latitude so your friends can see your where, and finally, open Places back up, and fire up Hotpot and leave a rating and a review of said restaurant and you’re done.
“Hotpot is really going places: to a Google search box near you and around the world. In addition to this, Hotpot will be also available in 38 new languages as well that includes French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Korean among others. Hotpot also comes seamless integration with Google Maps as well most especially the Google Maps on Android.”
-From Google’s official blog, Hotpot project manager Lior Ron
Watch this video created by Google to see a brief overview of how Hotpot works:
Yelp may not have been the first online recommendation service available to people, but it was—and quite possibly still is—the best service available. The idea of Yelp is that it helps to promote local businesses by getting users to rate and review their experiences at these places. Yelp is centered around the community at large. A local business will register with Yelp and they can advertise if they so choose, and customers will do whatever it is that is offered at these places and rate and review them, and other “Yelpers” will then see this activity and decide whether or not they should venture out to these places themselves. If you have questions about any place listed in Yelp, one thing that you can do that you can’t with Hotpot, is have a conversation with the person who rated and reviewed a place. This type of interaction amongst Yelpers is (in my opinion) why Yelp got to be as big as they are today. About one year ago Yelp introduced check-ins. This is an incentives based type of offering. A Yelper will check-in to a business and—should the business be a willing participant—offer some type of reward for doing so. Even foursquare has a loyalty program for their “mayors”, this type of loyalty program is not yet available with Google Latitude or Hotpot—at least not to my knowledge, if they do have a program please let me know in the comments—but I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s not already in the works. For this loyalty program to work, a local business needs to register with Yelp—for free I might add—and setup advertising, converse with customers, review the trends within the community, and adjust their promotions and marketing accordingly.
With all of the choices available how do you pick one? I have been using everything mentioned above for quite some time now and it is difficult to say which one is the best. They all their strengths and they all have their weaknesses. With anything involving Google, you have a vast amount of information at your fingertips, all you have to do is enter a search query, hit enter, and a lot of information is returned to you. With Yelp, you signup, become a member of a large community that has the same ideas and thoughts as you, and the ratings and reviews appear to be more personal than Google.
A research paper published in ‘Infection disease modelling research progress’, this is the abstract:
Zombies are a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment and they are usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Consequently, we model a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies. We introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions. We then refine the model to introduce a latent period of zombification, whereby humans are infected, but not infectious, before becoming undead. We then modify the model to include the effects of possible quarantine or a cure. Finally, we examine the impact of regular, impulsive reductions in the number of zombies and derive conditions under which eradication can occur. We show that only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all. […]
Will this be enough to overcome facebook? With all of the follies surrounding facebook’s privacy concerns I think that this platform should be able draw some current facebook users away, especially those who are primarily concerned with privacy.
Then again, why would you post information about yourself that you wouldn’t tell anyone? Common sense for the win.
That reminds me, what ever happened to diaspora? Because this site was supposed to be the ultimate social site for privacy. Allowing you to control all content on your “node” as they so eloquently put it.
Not cool in my book. Twitter is fine just the way it is. Granted they don’t have a very good business model when it comes to monetization.
Promoted Tweets, seriously? Apparently, that’s all they have going for them at the moment.
I’m not going to get into the details of business models and how they are used to create a template (if you will) on how a company see’s itself in the short run and the long run. Instead, if you click [this] you can kill the “fail whale” and take your agression out on the rumored takeover.
In the spirit of recent twitter events surrounding stalking, I have decided to “check in” to some random places today via Google Latitude. I did so because, now you can see where I’ve been and make an assumption as to what I was doing at those weird places. It’s a little backwards I know, but it made for a fun filled Monday morning/early afternoon.
Today was just an experiment in sharing my movement in and around the city. If and when another twitter-or even facebook-event like today’s occurs again, I’ll be checkin’ in and letting you fine people of the internets know where I’m at.
Seeing these kinds of things every now and then makes me wish I could go back in time and meet my younger self and say, “hey dumbass, buy that fucking ‘HTML for Dummies’ book that is in your hands right now, trust me, I’m from the future”.
This morning on my way to work I noticed a car that had vanity plates that read “DRY BSMT”. As I got closer to his vehicle I noticed that something was amiss. He had a bunch of PVC piping sticking out of his window. It was raining and I laughed because of his vanity plates.
All of his paperwork was getting rained on—because I just happen to look inside as I was passing him—which made me laugh a little bit more because of the irony.
Basement Man: “We’re all done here sir, if you’ll just sign down at the bottom of the paper next to the “x”, I’ll be on my way, and you’ll be on your way to a dry basement”. Client: ”Basement fixer man, why are your papers all wet? Why should I trust that you’ve done a stellar job when you can’t even keep your own paperwork dry”?
It was “job security” for basement man until someone caught him in the act.
Given that conversation that played out in my head—which was funny while running through my head at the time—I now realize it’s not that funny.
He was also eating a honey bun while driving, rather, he was shoving it in his face.
Today in another—of many—classes that I have this semester, our teacher said “long tail keywords” ~62 times in ~15 minutes. And here I thought hearing “like” or “um” every other word in a sentence was bad.
Honestly though, I don’t think the prof stressed the importance of “long tail keywords” enough.
I just received an email from the campus police informing me of a shooting that occurred this morning just south of the main campus. In the email they made sure to mention that the two people they “swiftly caught” (<— added for dramatic effect) weren’t students at the university.
On a lighter note, the snow is finally starting to melt and I can see the grass again (sort of).