Buzzfeed, All-Knowing Internet Oracle

Thank goodness for Buzzfeed, or I wouldn’t know what city I should live in, how smart I am, or what career I should have!

It seems like just, oh, 10 year ago that I was finding out Which PowerPuff Girl Are You? or Who’s Your Ideal Celebrity Boyfriend? on MySpace and LiveJournal. Funny how these quiz things are cyclical–we’re all our own favorite subjects.

Mantra: Don’t Be a Douche

My aim, simply, is to not be a douche. I love the quote “Do no harm, but take no shit” (I saw that on Pinterest, no doubt incorrectly attributed). If you’re thinking of leaving a mean-spirited comment on a brand’s Facebook page, realize that you’re not going to topple Walmart’s multi-billion dollar business with one angry rant. You’re probably just annoying someone much, much further down the chain (i.e. the community manager). Angry at telemarketers? Chances are, that wasn’t their first career choice, so cut them some slack. They’re just trying to pay their rent, just like the rest of us.

Buddha quote

Um, I think this was paraphrased.

I saw a woman at the grocery store the other day give the cashier a lot of grief because Los Angeles recently banned plastic bags, so you now have to either bring your own or pay ten cents for a paper one. Did the cashier have anything to do with this? Did she sit in on the city council meetings to lobby for that new law? No, she’s probably more inconvenienced by it than the customers are, because she has to deal with every self important idiot asking to “speak to the manager.” The cashier is just a regular person, who’s probably trying to feed her kids.

(Not to mention that the law is good for the environment–but I guess that’s not worth the mild inconvenience for some!)

So in short: don’t be a douche, but speak up for yourself if you’re on the receiving end of said douchery. It’s for the common good.

/end sermon.

Happy National Introverts Day!

I’m not sure why today is National Introverts Day, but I’m glad it is! It seems the interwebz has been bringing this much misunderstood personality type to light lately (see also: Resting Bitchface Syndrome).

When people aren’t sure what you’re thinking–a sure sign an introvert–they often fill in the blanks with whatever makes the most sense to them. And unfortunately SOME people are insecure jerks, so they assume that you’re rude, stuck up, or harshly judging them. But that’s (usually) not the case! Introverts just like thinking before they speak. (Actually, we prefer thinking to speaking, in general.) Some people see “different” as negative, and thus we get a bad rap.

But enough about the haters. Introverts can be even better equipped for lots of jobs, like social media. I know, anything with the word “social” doesn’t sound too introvert-y, but I think of “social media” as a bit of a misnomer anyway. It’s social in the sense that you’re connecting with others, but in a much more controlled medium than traditional face to face interactions. The digital veil allows us to carefully craft our image, whether it be for friends or potential customers. Both individuals and brands put a lot of forethought into communication on social media. Sounds a lot like how introverts operate, hmmm?

And on the internet, no one knows if you’re a dog or an introvert or 5 years old. The written word is where introverts can shine, because the playing field is leveled; those with clear, well-thought out comments have the advantage.

Plus introverts are great at listening and monitoring, and think carefully before speaking or posting, avoiding PR nightmares. And we love digging deeper and finding the “why” behind behavior, like why traffic is up this week, or why that post got ten times as many comments as the last. We’ve kind of been forced to think about this stuff for most of our lives, as we try to navigate a world of pushy extroverts and figure out how others, and ourselves, tick.

So give an introvert a hug today. Actually…maybe just send a nice email.

Pinterest, You Temptress

Today I got a startling email from Pinterest:

Pinterest-dress

I am simultaneously impressed at how SMART that feature is, and concerned what this might mean for my bank account. Automatic alerts to sale prices on stuff I ‘m already pinning after?? Be still my heart.

Well done Pinterest. You’re well on your way to becoming a formidable retail beast.

Check out our BUM!

My company is on Mashable! Check it out here.

With two bathrooms to 30+ people, we were hitting a Brady Bunch situation…which was made even more convenient by our sprawled out seating chart. So our clever devs engineered a Bathroom Usage Monitor, and BUM was born.

Mashable didn’t feature our video on their site, but it’s still worth watching. And I’m not just saying that because I make a cameo. (Okay maybe.)

BUM

Fine Tuning Social Media Consumption

Today Facebook announced the addition of the new subscribe button: a feature that allows users to get activity updates without actually being friends with someone. Users will also be able to choose which specific types of updates they will see.

It just points to how overwhelming social content has become–if you have more than a few hundred friends, it becomes difficult to keep up with your inner circle, because that girl you had one class with junior year posts updates about her cats’ eating habits every 17 minutes.

Facebook knows that users are getting frustrated with sifting through all this content on an all-or-nothing basis. While the new button only applies to personal profiles and not pages (ie brands and businesses), digital marketers need to take note that consumers are going to get used to being able to fine tune what kind of content is delivered to them. It’s just another reminder that it’s quality and definitely NOT quantity that people are looking for–multiple updates clogging Facebook feeds are more of a deterrent than a valuable branding tool.

After all, life imitates Facebook; what users get used to on the ubiquitous time waster, they will demand in the rest of their digital lives.

Who Cares About Comments?

According to AdAge’s Stat of the Day, 63% of readers are not enticed by the comments feature on news websites.

If you look at the age breakdown, it’s pretty clear that age is directly proportional to how much you want to read other people’s smartass comments on headlines like these (teehee).

Well, it makes sense–Gen-Y’ers are used to the hype becoming news itself. We’re just as interested in the reaction as we are to the actual story, and we’ve been conditioned to expect an online dialogue with every post.

Another possible theory: are we just that much more impressionable? Confidence, and often stubborness, is earned with age. We might be looking to others’ comments to validate our own views. After all, we now have unprecedented access to other peoples’ opinions from around the world, so we might be checking to see if our views align with others’ views.

That’s not to say that we can’t think for ourselves as a result–if anything, it’s encouraging to see that we value other peoples’ perspectives. Or maybe we’re just looking for some good punch lines.