Archive for “February, 2009”

SMG Sponsoring SxSW Launch Party

SMG is all about bringing beverages to the people! This year we’re very proud to announce that we’re sponsoring the official launch party at SxSWi – the Mix at Six.

For those of you unfamiliar with SxSWi, it is one of the premier social technology conferences, and an event many of us in “the space” look forward to every year:

SXSW Interactive’s focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. Twitter launched at SXSW Interactive in 2007.

In my opinion, the only other event that comes close to SxSWi’s creative energy and excitement is Toronto’s Mesh Conference – an event at which we are also sponsoring the official party (and at which one of our clients, Scott Monty, is keynoting).

Hope to see you there, and drinks are on us!

This is the funniest video I've ever seen. Will David agree when he's 18?

This video of a seven-year-old boy, whacked out on pain medication, was posted last week by the boy’s father on YouTube (and other sites) and has since been viewed by almost 10-million people (I probably account for 15 to 20 of those views, it still makes me giggle). It’s also been re-broadcast on Fox News during Greta Van Sustern’s “Last Call” segment.

It’s totally hilarious. And it’s also made “David at the Dentist” a household phrase. The question is, when David is 18 (or at school on Monday) will he think it’s quite as funny? (Star Wars Kid, anyone?)

I’m sure that David’s father in no way intended for his son to become Internet famous (though he did presumably permit the clip to be aired on Fox News), but now he is, and there’s no going back.

So here’s the question – what about David’s right to privacy? If you had children, should you think twice about posting cute videos of them to YouTube, concerned that they might “go viral”? Or is Internet fame so fleeting that in six months no one will remember, so it doesn’t matter?

This title's just six words long.

This past Wednesday I was spoke to a PR class at my alma mater, Niagara College. I love school. Honestly, if I won the lottery, I would (eventually) end up back in learning the craziest things in different places all around the world. But, I digress.

Teaching is always a wonderful experience, if you love the subject you are talking about and you have a good audience. I, of course, spoke about the two things I know professionally: social media and PR. I had a blast, sharing some of the wonderful examples of how amazing social media is (both online and offline). The picture inset is the thoughtful thank you gift they gave me.

Of course, as I was driving home, I thought of a whole bunch of other stuff I wish I had time to share with them; I probably could have talked for days. But it wasn’t until today, while using Twitter, that I saw another glaring comparison to a class assignment from when I was studying public relations.

I think it’s safe to say that Twitter is one of the fastest growing communities out there. And, most people agree, one of the greatest features of Twitter is that you can’t write anything that’s over 140 characters long. I believe its popularity is largely due to that fact – people don’t have the time (or patience) to sit and read (or write) long articles anymore. In essence, these short little updates provide convenience for users.

However, it is quite a skill to be able to communicate effectively within that limitation.

Which brings me to my class assignment from 3 years ago. We had to rewrite book and movie reviews to be six words long, exactly six words long. It was a tough task, as we were docked marks for ‘filler’ words (mostly adjectives).

Shortly after that assignment, a Wired article (one of the most memorable to me) was published where they asked various authors to write a story in just six words. Wired wrote that Hemingway‘s best work was a story that was just that length (For sale: baby shoes, never worn.) Had I not done that assignment, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the article as much.

And perhaps I wouldn’t have appreciated Twitter that much either. I wonder if people who use it frequently have learned to be more concise in their regular, daily communications. Perhaps people who enjoy Twitter are already concise communicators. Perhaps being concise isn’t the main point at all; instead, it’s making sure that we are communicating effectively by using each word to its fullest potential.

Hat tip to Mrs. Geddie, former instructor, for being way ahead of the curve.