I recently got an e-mail from John Squires, the senior manager of media relations for New Video. It was just a quick note to tell me that he’s leaving the company to start his own business.
Good for you, John.
Good for you.
It came as a bit of a surprise, though. I’d heard from John a few days earlier, and he never mentioned his move. All he talked about was the fact that New Video had just struck a deal to distribute the Tribeca Film home video titles. He seemed pretty excited about the first two films to be released. One is The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, “a provocative portrait of Boone County.” The other is The Infidel, a comedy about a Muslim who “learns he was adopted ― and that his birth mother was Jewish!”
John is just one of many people I’ve never met, and with whom I have possibly never even exchanged an e-mail, who nevertheless keep in touch to give me information that I just might want to write about.
And in the past I consumed all this information with gratitude. Over the years I’ve written on advertising, marketing, virtual reality for businesses, Celtic culture, and to a lesser degree, movies and books.
During this time I’ve made casual contacts with — well, I don’t even know how many people. But a lot.
There’s Darcy Heusel, for instance, the director of marketing and acquisitions for Screen Media Films. His most recent e-mail was a polite enquiry making sure I’d received my DVD of City of Your Final Destination, starring Anthony Hopkins, and Laura Linney.
I haven’t, but only because I didn’t take up his earlier offer of a free review copy. I love getting free DVDs, CDs, and tickets to movies, concerts, and plays, but only if I’m actually going to review them in a public forum. With daily readership of a dozen regulars, and 30 or 40 visitors who drop by while searching for “baseball nursery,” “avril lavigne 2010 hair,” or “mary louise parker bathtub scene,” I don’t consider this blog to be a particularly public forum.
Plus, City of Your Final Destination is one of those Ivory Merchant films, and I have no desire to claw my eyes out in agony.
But even if I’m not going to use the information, I still kind of enjoy keeping up on the latest news from my old stomping grounds.
I don’t get as many offers to review books as I used to, but Bre Whalen of Wilks Communication recently dropped me a line to see if I’d like to review The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Crystals. This fascinating publication, whose title I totally didn’t make up, promises to explain “crystal energy and the power of crystals,” “preparation for use including cleaning, charging, and activating crystals for protection and self-development,” and even “crystal selection by chakra color, form, and function.”
The author, Karen Ryan, is a Toronto Crystal Energy Therapist, Spiritual Aromatherapist, Reiki Master of the Usui System of Natural Healing and Gendai Reiki Shihan (Teacher of Modern Reiki), Crystal Reiki Master, Radionics Therapist, and Spiritual Teacher.
She has also “given tours of the extensive Gem and Minerals collections at the Royal Ontario Museum.”
Almost I’m tempted.
On occasion I’ll take advantage of something — generally online conferences or webinars. In fact, I just received word from Social Media Marketing that they’ll be holding a webinar next Thursday, August 19. It’s to be hosted by Dan Zarrella, a “viral marketing scientist.”
I’m seriously thinking of attending. I absolutely love the “new marketing” gurus. It’s endless fun to to see just how many meaningless phrases some of them can pack into a single sentence.
Anyway, why bring all this up? To show off my list of contacts in various industries? Hardly. All it takes is signing up to newsletters or writing a brief query to some e-mail address and you become their friend forever. (Or at least until they start up their own company, like John Squires.)
No, it’s because of the World Advertising Research Centre, or WARC, which recently sent me news that according to the social media consulting agency Booz & Co., “social apponomics” will revolutionise online retail.
And I totally didn’t make up either the company’s name or the term “social apponomics.”
Anyway, news like that may not sound like much to sane people, but for me it’s an opportunity to do what I love: satirise social media. I feel much the way I imagine the lovely and talented Tina Fey would feel were she to hear that Sara Palin was running for president.
I mean, just look at the material I’d have:
“The main value drivers for e-commerce are shifting from the direct monetisation of online traffic to customer life-cycle management.”
“Web 2.0 transitioning allows for long-tail ad delivery through undefined tag clouds.”
“Community-based marketing is driven by keen insight, drawn not just from surveys and studies of customers, but from analysis of how they engage with products and services online.”
The problem is, I no longer have an audience for it. Not that I couldn’t post it here, but for those outside the industry I can’t imagine it would be much fun.
Of all the things I miss writing about, advertising is my Scarecrow: the one I think I miss the most.
So I’m going to have some fun with it here by means of a poll. You see, while I didn’t make up “Booz & Co.” nor “social apponomics,” I did make up one of the quotes.
Take a moment, read them through below, and cast your vote on which one you think I faked. I’ll leave this post up for a few days, then come back and tell the truth.
Part Two: Will the Real Fake Quote Please Stand Up?