Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photo of the Day

We bought these low-rider diapers at Baby Victoria's Secret. Almost purchased the baby diaper thong, butt resisted.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Being Authentic in Twitter and in Life

I've had this conversation before. I've compared social media to the local meat market bar scene. You know the place. The bar where you go to meet new people and potentially land a date. In the case of social media, it's places like Facebook, FourSquare, Twitter and more.

For this topic, I'll focus on Twitter. Seems appropriate because comparatively speaking, you have about 140 characters to sell your story in both the Twitter channel and the bar scene. Think about it. It's true.

Walk into a bar. Hoist yourself up on a stool and scream out the following, "Who is going home with me tonite?"
And likely, you will go home with a consenting adult after the evening plays out. Maybe not at that bar, maybe not without paying, but the fact is, there is an increased chance of you going home just because you so obviously threw your hat in the ring. With social media, same thing. By engaging in the very least, you are participating. By participating, you have a place at the table.

Woody Allen once said that 90% of life is just showing up.

I believe in that methodology. But I also believe it can get a hell of a lot better if you 1. are authentic and 2. have a plan.

Take Twitter (because it's easier to give social media advice than dating advice at this point) for example. How can you tell if a person is authentic on Twitter? How can you trust a brand? What does it take for you to not only follow people or brands, but also look forward to reading what they post? What does it take for you to ruin your Twitter reputation?

Here are a few things I have noticed are signs that you may be dealing with a good guy, afterall.

1. They post relevant, original content at least twice a day for 5 out of the 7 days.
2. They post original content roughly 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, they reTweet.
3. When they reTweet, they reTweet relevant content.
4. They follow relevant people.

Let's take a closer look and break this shit down. (Now we are going to talk about dating.)

1. They post relevant, original content at least twice a day for 5 out of 7 days. Which is another way of saying that they can carry on a conversation about interesting topics without being a douche. Furthermore, they can carry on interesting conversations without spouting one factoid or one celebrity quote after another. They actively engage in conversations that tell you a little about themselves and their passions, lifestyle, ambitions, insecurities, dreams and character. Imagine that. Meeting someone who is willing to show you a tiny piece of them in hopes you will want to see more. At a bar. From a brand. Good luck.

2. They post original content roughly 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, they reTweet. Don't get me wrong. I love the facts. I love good quotes. I love meeting people who are hooked into the trending topics and know more about Snooki or Rachel Zoe than I do. And I really love learning new things from other people. So what I am saying here is exactly the same thing Dr. Oz would likely prescribe; that a healthy balance is good.

3. When they reTweet, they reTweet relevant content. Again, it's important to note the the assumption that they are engaging regularly and robustly is a given. Otherwise, why show up at the party at all? (In social media, these are called lurkers. In real life, these are called stalkers.) So when they do throw in some non-original content in the conversation, it should really be relevant. In Twitter and in life, it's odd when people throw in randoms all the time. Every once in a while, it's awesome. But if you are that guy that continually whizzes a good tumbling group conversation to a halt because you are throwing in tidbits of non-value just to hear yourself talk, it's time to re-evaluate your content strategy. Errr, your method for winning the ladies. Ladies, it seems, do not like to be creeped out.

4. They follow relevant people. This one I can't stress enough. I really expect big things from this area of content curation in the near future. As people really start to appreciate Twitter as a place to get engaged (figuratively and literally) my prediction is that they will start to really examine the Twitter environment and everything that makes a person or a brand "Follow-worthy." What I mean here is that we all need to take a closer look at the details. Who do you follow? Why? Is there a strategy to where you get your info, who you follow, who you hook your name up to? Do you have specific lists of people you follow so you can organize your info consumption in an efficient manner or do you lump everyone into one category just for the sake of showing the world that you are indeed, "Follow-worthy?" We all want to be loved and adored, but Twitter is not the place to win a popularity poll. These are important questions to ask yourself and anyone you are interested in welcoming into your world because what we are really talking about here is intentions. If your intention is to play the field and collect names and numbers for your little black book (or blog) then likely you will collect followers (or phone numbers) like Pez (or bottlecaps). But if you are farther along in the maturation process, perhaps you will employ a strategy to how you meet and greet and perhaps even you will be more choosy when it comes to bringing someone special home to meet mom.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Dating is Way Too Fulfilling

Why dating is way too fulfilling is a lot like going to a buffet restaurant in Vegas when you are famished. Any way you slice it, the pie is set to disappoint.

Now, of course, I stop altogether at attributing this theory to something more than dating -- whatever that is -- so for now, let's suffice it to say that like...a Vegas.

Smoke and mirrors, baby, smoke and mirrors. I can say that because I've been to Las Vegas quite a few times. And I've at the buffet. Still, trust me when I say it. Dating sucks. So do buffets in Vegas.

Here is how I know; I have a friend (all good stories start with that doozie, don't they) who fell in love with the Tuesday night meatloaf. Problem was the meatloaf only appears on Tuesday night. So every other night she fuses over room temperature creamed corn, somehow-fried-yet-dry-and-limp chicken on the bone and mac and cheese without the pubic hair, please. And some Tuesday's meatloaf doesn't get served and instead my friend is left forging for her stainless steel squared dinner in full dismay. Add to that the fact that she fell in love with this meatloaf at approximately 2 a.m. after a perfect day in the sun, winnings in her pocket and 4 gin and tonics in her belly, and the picture slowly starts to become clear. The meatloaf, apparently, took my friend for an emotional ride up and down the peaks and valleys of ecstacy and remorse like no other. Meatloaf, that is.

So that's why I liken a Vegas buffet with dating. With love, really, but not really. Because as much as I remind my dear friend that her long lost love for this loaf of meat should remain a cherished memory in her head, the fact is that this loaflike heartache was mostly soy product and a whole helluva lot of crumby breadcrumbs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Did You Pay Full Price For THAT?!?!

Let's face it. No one pays full price for anything anymore. And why should we? It's the year of the deal of the day. We've got Groupon, Living Social, Buywithme, Homerun, Bloomspot, Daily Candy, salemail and more, more, more. All great destinations to save, save, save when it comes to buying, buying, buying.

And times are tough right now, so less people are buying and more people are looking; so that feeds the need to produce compelling offers targeted to specific potential buyers and those they would likely share their findings with. It's a competitive sport, really, and the winner is the person who goes home with the most in their shopping cart and the least on their credit card. And in the heat of the shopping hunt, we CERTAINLY don't want to pay full price.

But what happens when the sale price becomes the full price? Will consumers demand an even lower threshold or will brands start delivering a tiered selection of wares in order to withstand purchasing power pressure.

In my head, here is what I imagine...
"Don't want to pay $1200 for a pair of Jimmy Choo's? Try our discount line of shoes that only cost $400! Can't afford $400? Try our even lower priced shoes for $200? Can't afford $200? How about just one shoe?"

Seriously, how could you resist?

Well, I'll tell ya. A few reasons; just about any ole fool can afford a $400 pair of kicks; thus rendering the brand less than exclusive and not even worthy of my measly four bills. (I'm kidding, but you get my point.) Also, if I have grown accustomed to the quality that $400 brings, I will likely be dissapointed by the lack of it (percieved or real) as the price tag diminishes. Finally, if indeed the quality and the status get so marginalized that the design and the name is sacrificed, why bother investing in Jimmy Choo at ANY level? (I've seen some brands remove their branding because they hit such a literal low.) Indeed, these brands are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Unless, of course, quality really does not matter anymore nor does the overall consumer experience. If that's the case, it's a game changer in the contact sport of social shopping. If that's the case, then we really have other problems to think about,  I would guess, and the issue is no longer about paying full price, but paying in the first place.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Social Media Updates for Twitter, Facebook, More

Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the first tweet, Twitter is gearing up for the big T, or whatever it will forever be remembered in history books as the day people stopped being able to handle more than two sentences at a time. For that purpose, I'll use bullets to explain the momentous occasion;

• It took three years, two months and one day to get to the billionth tweet. Now there are a billion tweets a week.

• A year ago, people sent 50 million tweets a day. On March 11, 2011, the tally was 177 million.

• There were 456 tweets per second after Michael Jackson died in 2009. That record was broken on New Year’s Day this year with 6,939 tweets after midnight in Japan on New Year’s morning there.

• There were 572,000 new accounts created on March 12, 2011; there were 460,000 new accounts created daily, on average, in the past month.

• Mobile users increased 182% in the past year.

• Twitter has 400 employees today, compared to eight in January 2008.

Facebook stats are not nearly as sexy as Twitter. But then again, I'm a word type of girl and when I think "Facebook," I regularly conjur up images of taking it in the face by a heavy leather bound book. Contrastingly, when I think "Twitter," for some reason I think up butterflies and happy thoughts like skipping, running, or perhaps a cute little red ball quickly bouncing playfully down stairs made of marshmallow. All I'm saying is that Facebook's 600 million monthly users are serviced by a world total of 1,500 Facebook staffers, so I'm cutting the little f'ers some slack. Twitterers they may not be, but -WHACK - they are good at what they are good at.

Finally, think Quora is the only emerging influencer q&a site out there? (Hint; I kinda did.) Weeehellll...we would both be wrong. Here is a list of five emerging question and answer websites out there. Why would these sites be so interesting to marketers, social media mavens and consumers alike? Because if there is one thing we all care about, it's keeping up with the Joneses. These q&a sites not only allow up to outsmart our intellectual neighbors, but also allow us to identify who knows the most and who is the most credible. Pretty brilliant stuff in a world so full of dull.

You following me?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

International Women's Day celebration #IWD

Celebrities should not talk about politics. Politicians should not act like celebrities. And the rest of us are somewhere between Pawn Stars and J. Peterman.

Diversity is great. But I've got a problem with more people listening to Justin Bieber than Gloria Steinem when it comes to women's rights. Same thing when it comes to Huckabee blabbing about Portman's parenting decisions. I'm not saying people should just shut the hell up. I'm saying that @danieltosh said "Never miss a good chance to shut up," and he wasn't a complete moron for saying it.

And now Charlie Sheen has more than 2.4 million idiots, er, followers. Goodness gracious, what is the world coming to?

Next thing you know we will have Lady Gaga and her nearly 9 million "Monsters" being carried around in egg-like chambers, Tweeting from within.

Nah, that could never happen. That's like Sheen not on crack.