Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Facebook Killed the Blogging Post"

If you noticed yesterday, my poor blog received its first post in a long time. And when I say long, I mean very long as in, months upon months of nothing being added to the blog. To make matters worse, the blog only received one post in 2010.

Wow, one post. I was prolific in procrastination to all new heights. It wasn't that I didn't have news, which I will share in a few days, but it was simply because of one horrible little networking site and that is...wait for it...


Yep, the silence was simply because I was writing my updates in 400 characters or less. When something witty, or at times not so witty...okay, maybe there was a whole lot of not so witty, I simply slipped the little blurb into my facebook status and TA DA!! I had updated the world on what was happening with me. Riveting!

It was fast, simple and while it didn't give me the space to write the prose that I wanted to, it did give me the time to screw the pooch (figuratively of course). I could focus on my "writing" (if by writing, I mean answering emails, writing for clients, getting a cup of coffee, working on my freelance jobs, walking the dog, writing for clients, doing the laundry, tapping the phone idly before pressing talk to make sure there was a dial tone) and still let people know a few of my little thoughts in the day.

Once I got into the habit of making one or two posts on facebook, it became difficult to sit down and type out a whole post. It wasn't that I didn't have an idea for a post running through my head, it was just that I had summarized it on facebook.

And if I summarized it on facebook, should I really bore people with an elongated version of that summary. Oh, to do or not do, to paint the sky in shades of gray while an elf merrily skips by. Obviously, I chose to summarize and the blog went by the wayside.

In fact, it went so far to the wayside, that I almost decided I should try again, start a new blog and see where it would take me. But, I just couldn't give up the ghost and I decided it was time to start blogging again, that I would resurrect this blog that facebook had long ago killed and hopefully, I will get a few readers to come along.

So facebook killed my blogging posts in 2010 but hopefully in this new decade, I'll keep my summarizing to my blog.

Do you find that you blog less or more now that you can update with facebook or twitter?

P.S. In case you didn't catch it, the title should be sung to the tune "Video killed the radio star" by The Buggles

Saturday, January 8, 2011

End of the World or Greatest Marketing Ploy Ever?!

Today, as I was browsing through a few news stories, I came across an article on the magnetic shifting that is occurring at the "poles". It is a common thing that occurs and every few years, airports need to rename their runways to reflect the shift. Of course, the news article failed to say this until it was near the end of a 1500 word article and then it was in the "by the way" tongue in cheek style that seems to be common place in newspapers and in online news columns.
I barely raised an eyebrow at the fear mongering that I saw in the other 1400 words but I decided to scroll down and take in a few comments. The fever that had been sparked by this article was astonishing. Everyone was calling for the end of the world and this is a sure sign that it was near and really, the hype surrounding the end of the world has really interested me.

It isn't that I don't think there will be an end of the world. Everything starts and everything ends, but is it going to be when everyone is predicting it. In addition, how many times can the end of the world be wrongly predicted before people stop listening to the media coverage on this. (Think Chicken Little on this.)

Really, the whole debate made me wonder if the end of the world was nigh or if advertisers had finally tapped into the greatest marketing campaign ever. Suddenly, people are being told, "Live your life for today. You want that big screen television, charge it. The world is going to end on January 1st, just won't have to pay because we won't be here anyway."

Obviously, 2000 has come and gone and there was no Y2K. Airplanes did not fall from the sky and the man that purchased 20,000 cans of SPAM hopefully didn't have to eat them all.

It seems like the media has taken a liking to anything that could potentially spell the end of the world. They have even taken to quoting bible references to the end of the world and this has just fed the fervor surrounding it. It seems like the perfect marketing campaign and really, many people are living in the right now, getting everything they ever desired and watching their debt swell to uncontrollable proportions. In addition, the end of the world is big business. Movies bring in hundreds of millions of dollars when it is an end of the world scenario or the aftermath of that end. There are countless books describing the end of the world, and there are countless more describing how to survive it. Big business but the business that we rarely look at is surviving as a society.

My main thought is that no matter how many days are left on the planet, we are all going to end at one point, maybe it won't be in a mass extinction, but maybe it will be. Why are we allowing those last days to be filled with terror that is pushed by the media? Why are we focusing on the end and not on the journey to that end? Does it have to be filled with big screen televisions, fanaticism, and getting the most earthly possessions that we can amass?

What happened to the other message of just being a good person regardless of your religion, nationality, sex, or creed? I think that for me, if the end of the world does come, I would rather know that I brought happiness to someone than worry about the computer that I am typing on right now.

Okay, I went a little off topic and really, my main thought was simply, do you think the end is nigh or do you think marketers have found an excellent marketing ploy, whether it is to sell books, movies or a way of life that is all about the excesses?