Thursday, January 27, 2011

Social Media & Rap Music: Airplanes

I love rap music.  You may or may not already know this about me. There was a time when I considered starting a new and comically inappropriate blog (white girl, black music)--but I never had the cajones...

Anyhow, months ago when the song Airplanes first came out, I had an idea.  Draw parallels between the music I love and the stuff I'm already doing.  The particular song, Airplanes, just made it so easy.

The song has this bit that really resonated with me as a social media marketer / practitioner:
Somebody take me back to the days
Before this was a job, before I got paid
Before it ever mattered what I had in my bank
Yeah back when I was tryin' to get into the subway
And back when I was rappin' for the hell of it
But now a days we rappin' to stay relevant

Replace rappin' with blogging, tweeting or whatever verb you use in conjunction with Facebook, and it totally sings social media.  Think about it:
Somebody take me back to the days... 
... back when I was [bloggin'] for the hell of it
but now a days we [bloggin'] to stay relevant

How often do you write a post or a tweet just so people don't forget that you exist?  There's so much talk about adding value just for the sake of staying in the conversation. Granted people have micro-attention spans, but this desire to stay constantly in front of people was not why we started in on social.

Do you remember when you'd write a blog post simply because the subject made you feel passionate? Because you wanted to share this crazy, silly amusing idea you had? Or because you actually believed that someone would relate to the experience you're having / had?

The song goes on about the politics of the rap game. Really, B.O.B. is talking about how you alter what you're doing or how you actually are when you know people are watching you.  He raps:
So can I get a wish to end the politics
And get back to the music that started this shit
As a marketer, I recognize that we have to put information out there, and it's good for it to be helpful.  But at a certain point, I find myself really fed up with all this talk about adding value and contributing to the conversation.  Here's my plea:

So can I get a wish to end the politics
And get back to the [content] that started this shit

It's idealistic, but I'd like to go back to people sharing stuff they actually care about.  And yes, even if they're getting paid to talk about something--how people make their money is of vital importance to how they live and support themselves.  @GaryVee has it right. If you're passionate, it'll always show through.

If you're not familiar with the song, you can watch the video here:   

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Remembering MLK in Quotes

Image from
When I first started dating my fella, I was nervous about introducing him to my family.  He's the first man of color I've dated, and up until this point my family had been very keyed into the idea of me dating and marrying a Jewish man--a southern black gentleman couldn't be further from their expectations (or at least their perceived expectations). So I asked a pal of mine who has been in an interracial relationship for years, "How did you handle introducing him to your family?"

I think about her response often. She told me that you can't control people's reactions (can you tell she's a yoga teacher?), and that all I could really do, and what would be most effective was to simply let him stand for himself.

So to celebrate the man that stood for peacefully breaking down boundaries or race, creed and all the expectations therein, I figure I ought to do the same.  MLK speaks best for himself.

Image from The Seattle Times

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. 

Image from Gawker
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Photo by BET
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. 

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lay of the Land

Image from Hljod.Huskona's Flickr stream. 
An amusing thing happens when you stare at a computer screen too long.  You go completely cross-eyed, ultimately, forgetting what you were looking for in the first place.  You see, you start out with the best of intentions, perhaps researching something for a client or a presentation you're working on.  A couple of links later you're reading an AP article on about human origins, intrigued but confused about how you got here and where you were actually going.

Our minds really like to be kept busy.  In addition to feeling all intellectual and worldly, reading about this trend or a cool find, it keeps the neurons firing, the mind buzzing around.

But even with the best of intentions--learning and growing--it's easy to lose sight of the original end-game.  It's easy enough to get lost in the great expanse of information, adrift in options and indecision. Distracted.

Can you see the forest through the trees? 
I have to admit, it can be a challenge.

Let's say you got to the full blown computer glaze over researching a presentation for work. The presentation is on deadline, you've got a manager to please.  But there's this really intriguing tangent you could look into for a few minutes, it might give you some interesting statistic for another project you've got going on... Ah, and you're blown.  What are you ever going to do?

If you're lucky, your work nourishes your mind. At minimal, at least ideally, it nourishes your bank account.

But that's only one patch of trees.  It's not the whole lay of the land.  The forest is so much bigger.

What's the end game?
Do you feel fulfilled?  Are you satisfied?  Are you happy?

Life gets in way of really seeing the whole scene.  What are you missing by watching a patch of trees?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Week in Between; The Week After

The Week in Between
Measured anticipation.

On Christmas, there's an air of excited expectation. Gifts galore. Family in town. Stuff to do. People to see.  On New Year's Eve, there's a decided plan for recreation.  A precise moment in time to take stock. A celebration of culmination.  The opportunity to start fresh.

The week in between is strange blend. The hustle bustle of Christmas gives way to a week of returns and penance for overindulgences.  Malls are jam packed, presents and cards still coming in, holiday guests are still lingering (special thanks to the "Great Blizzard of 2010")...  There's always plenty to do the week between Christmas and New Year's.  Somehow it feels both hectic and slow moving.  It's the eye of the storm.

The Week After
Resolved reflection.

A joyous celebration on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day is hangover.  We're reflecting on the previous year, planning for the new one.   Now, there's the optimism of a new beginning.  A renewed hope for tomorrow. Comfort that the past, 2010, is gone, done, finished, kaput.

Horay! Let's get started.  New diets.  New commitments.  Everything is new again.

Until next week.  When work will resettle.  The holiday will guests go home.  Things will return to normal.  What will make this year different?

For 2011 & Beyond
Measured resolve.

The trouble with traditional resolutions is that they tend to be huge, unachievable things, without a timeline or even an actionable plan.  Instead, this year, I resolve to change and grow on a different, more tangible timeline.   Instead of one big list of New Year's resolutions, I'm going for one single, realistic goal a week.  That's 52 smaller, bite-sized intentions.

This week?  
This is partially guided by the fact that I'm reading Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Body and partly because on the advice of gal pal Denise Costello of the Energized Body; this week, I'm going to really try to incorporate protein into every meal (and snack) that I eat.  If you know me, you know I have a love for all things carby and delicious, not necessarily nutritious, so this may be quite a feat.

What about you?  Are you looking at resolutions differently this year?  Share your ideas.