Advertising, music, thoughts

In medias res please

In medias res is one of my favorite narrative ideas. Who wants to start at the beginning of things? I want to come in seconds before things get really interesting. Say, like this…

There’s so many things I like about this, it’s hard to know where to start.

I could say a lot about it, but let me just mention a few things. The music. You can listen to this piece (without watching, although I don’t recommend it) and get the whole story. It’s amazing. I love the low point of the narrative (yodeling, trailer park, mud) and the emotional highs and lows that run throughout. It’s the longest and most engaging three minutes I’ve spent on digital media in a while (and I know it’s not new, but I keep going back to it). It articulates how each moment creates a different future, and is therefore everything. Just the current moment. It’s moving, it’s exciting, it’s life and death.

Also, it showcases the intersections of culture, media with celebrity and fan beautifully. And I think the placement of the product is brilliant. When you really get a long look at the shoe, you can feel it in your chest.

I can’t seem to get enough of this. I watch it repeatedly. Every time I do, I notice another tiny, careful, interesting detail that feeds the whole.

Plus, it starts in the middle and ends at the beginning.

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Advertising, Uncategorized

John Mayer rocks

Some weeks ago, I posted a link to John Mayer’s blog.  You may or may not have bothered to check it out. Now, I don’t know if John is actually writing that blog, posting all those links or if it’s just someone on the JM team, and frankly, I don’t care, because I feel like it’s John and thus, am enamored.

I should say, I’m not much into celebrities.  I’m not; I rarely read People or check out TMZ.  I especially don’t dig famous people who have little to no talent or accomplishment.  However, JM is not among them.

What happened is, I caught five minutes of JM preforming on the Grammys.

From there, I got myself Continuum, his excellent CD, which I’m now addicted to.  

Now I’ve got his blog in my Reader, and I check it, often.

Here’s what I love about it.  I love seeing what he’s looking at, thinking, finding funny, buying, doing.  I had an idea for a website like this a while back.  Create some characters people connect with and then have those “people” connect viewers with products they like or use.  Just a few key things.  It works even better with “characters” already created, like JM, even though I’m not going to be able to buy the Rolex.  I noticed the people at NBC are doing with one of their TV shows.  It’s effective.

But my favorite thing about JM is that he has a sense of humor, especially about himself.  He also seems like he’s having a really good time, making him highly enjoyable to watch, listen to, and read.

Check him out, he’s worth it.

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They aren’t W & K for nothin’

I just received a large, thick book from W & K with the word April on back and Fools on the front.

It is filled with pictures of tragically hip, tragically fabulous, tragically creative- seeming, tragically cool pictures, ideas and thoughts coughed up by W & K employees around the world.

My first thought was, what a waste of paper, but no, there is a bookmark stating, “…Green Process…saved 150 grown trees…” etc. etc. I am shamed in my uncomplimentary thinking of this them.

I got said book as a gift? rejection letter? promotion tool? in response to an employment experiment I participated in with W & K where I was not hired. I was not even being considered for hire by them several months ago, but I can say that the book sparked an intense longing to work at a place that could so brilliantly spark an intense longing for something–man, what an excellent marketing tool. You guys are preaching to the converted, baby!

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What does it mean to be in a community, now.

As I think about a way to communicate to future users, in the most specific and exciting way, what Fluther.com really is, I’ve started to consider what it means to be part of a community. Every site has a “community” now, where you can “connect” to fellow site surfers. But community, as it rapidly diminishes from real life, means people who live/work/play together. People who share similar values and who look out for each. Communities police the community, and bad behavior is usually caught and addressed. People in communities are held accountable for their actions by other members. Communities protect their own, and in doing so the community at large. They seek, like everything in nature, to survive and that means making sure that people act in a way that doesn’t destroy the trust and foundation upon which the community is built.

Here’s a version (see the movie Moonstruck for visual representation). If cousin Joe stands up neighbor Sally for their date, everyone at church next Sunday is going to be talking about it, and cousin Joe is going to hear about it later, if not from Sally’s uncle Chuck, then from the butcher. Joe knows when he asks Sally out, he’s going to have to show up or be held accountable. This knowledge extends to his actions on the date to some extent as well. The community is looking out for Sally, and in a way, for Joe, and ultimately the community is protecting and encouraging the arrival of little Joe’s and Sally’s and thereby the propagation of the entire community.

Now consider this version.

Joe searches from a bank of ten thousand women (where many pictures are not entirely representative). Joe likes Sally’s picture and reads her profile. Joe pokes/nudges/winks at Sally. Sally reads Joe’s profile. She pokes/nudges/winks back. Joe contacts her. They chat online, or send a few emails. They talk words via voice or text by cell phone. They plan to meet a week later. By that time, Joe has met June, had cybersex with her and forgotten all about his date with Sally. He doesn’t show, or call, or email, or respond in any way. After one or two attempts, Sally moves on. For Joe the incident is so long forgotten, it is likely Sally will never cross his mind in any way ever again. It is never mentioned to him by anyone. He doesn’t even have to delete her profile from his list because it drops so far to the bottom it is never seen again.

So, how good an online dating “community” are we working with here? Does that even fit the definition of a community?

How do we fashion a community online that adheres to what we mean when we say (or used to say) community? When, we, at Fluther say community, we mean, a group of people who are serving the interests, in action and behavior of the group and in doing so, their own individual interests as well.

I am seeking to represent this kind of old-fashioned community thriving online in a word, and I’m not sure that “community” will work. And I believe the word matters.