May 16, 2011

What Twitter Taught Me about Me

Earlier this year I decided to run a little personal experiment.

The question: What would I be like if no one knew who I was?
The answer: Myself

I opened the Twitter account @Perceiving to see what I would do with the freedom of anonymity. To summarize, I said things that I would otherwise be too self-conscious to share on my actual twitter feed, @nickwritenow. I also found that I was more open to following people from different backgrounds. However, I did continuously find my way into following many of the same people.

Still, I had a more open mind. I became more willing to hear what people had to say. Their points of view were so much different than I was used to. Plus, I felt I could reply my honest opinion without feeling personally at risk. Cowardly I admit, but interesting to see myself in this light.

Within the first 26 days I had more followers with @Perceiving than I had in the first 2 years with @nickwritenow. I know this isn’t the end all be all of measuring Twitter aptitude, but it gave me an idea of how effective I was being.

@nickwritenow (2 years)
Followers—337     Following—295     Retweets—1       @mentions—96

@Perceiving (26 days)
Followers—384     Following—398     Retweets—12     @mentions—88

My plan was to run both accounts for 6 months to see which one would win out. What would I learn, if anything, in 6 months that could make me more effectively active on Twitter? Well, it was clear within the first month that @Perceiving was my more dominant persona. However, just a couple weeks later I saw a huge change—I began applying my @Perceiving attitude towards @nickwritenow, and my new Twitter account quickly fell by the wayside. Thus, 6 months became 3 months because I saw in me what I wanted to see much quicker than I anticipated.

@nickwritenow (2.5 years)
Followers—656     Following—588     Retweets—5       @mentions—148

@Perceiving (3 months)
Followers—531     Following—572     Retweets—14     @mentions—126

My followers nearly doubled in the course of 2 months, as did those I followed. 5 retweets is still pretty sad, but compared to just 1 after 2 years? Besides, that’s only counting those who retweeted through the new retweet button. I have received many more through traditional retweets. @Perceiving still wins in this category though, but sometimes I feel people are more apt to retweet someone they don’t know, as though they think that person somehow knows more—something I’ve noticed in the corporate world as well. @mentions rose at a steady pace for both—due in part, I think, to my participation in more conversations.

So the question lingers—am I more personable, relatable, and entertaining because I’m less reserved, or are the people I am now connected to more apt to participate, have a conversation, and retweet? The answer—yes. My alter ego taught me that I can be more myself and not reserve my tweets to just news or others’ reports, but to create my own news more often, comment more, open myself up more, and be more willing to hear those who may be outside my industry and geographic area. It has helped me get more people to read my work and has taught me that maybe I’m more interesting than I give myself credit for.

I understand that none of this is scientific by any means, but for me it has opened my eyes. Mainly, I learned a lot about myself. I’m more interesting when I’m open and less reserved—a lesson I’m sure many people already learned about themselves, but as a lifelong wallflower it has opened my eyes to the true me, and I’m a right-old, opinionated, son-of-a-bitch when I want to be.

May 10, 2011

OMG, Grandma!!

Modern Family's Sarah Hyland is just trying to slurp up some spaghetti in this Olive Garden commercial, you know, the way people often do. But notice Sarah’s awkward, embarrassed laugh in the shot just after the slurp as Grandma leans in to whisper something perhaps a wee bit inappropriate. What are you insinuating, Grandma?

Too bad they didn't have the budget to get Betty White. Would have been squisito.

May 5, 2011

Charmin is a Bear's Viagra

If this commercial has taught me anything, it’s that Charmin is a bear’s Viagra.

What is it about Charmin that gets a bear going? Seriously? The only thing I can think of is that Mrs. Bear loves the steamer. Well, I guess that’s what Charmin means by enjoy the go.

May 3, 2011

You Want Me to Touch What?!

ING’s new “Touch the Ball” campaign isn’t all that subtle in its inappropriate messages. However, even a tagline like “Touch the ball” can become even more homoerotic when you add hydrangeas, visibly hard nipples, and a guy on his knees. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And this interviewee screams “I’m a little less than detail oriented” when he admits he’s not good with money as his flushing-toilet phone goes off in an interview. But no fear, the interviewer gives us good reason to call the sexual harassment trainer back in.

Jun 21, 2010

Screw 'em. Do What You Want.

Working in advertising and marketing can lead a copywriter or designer to utter self-destruction. Just think how many bosses you have as a creative—ACD, Creative Director, maybe an Executive Creative Director, those AEs that think they’re your boss, the client, the client’s boss, the client’s boss’ boss.

By the time the amazing concept you conceived and drew blood for hits the target, you can’t stand the sight of it anymore. All the life has been choked out of it. All the ideas that kept you sane have been so distorted you’re one psychotic laugh away from a straightjacket.

So, how do you maintain your sanity? Create for yourself. It doesn’t happen very often, but if you and your partner in creation can find some time among the floods of work, revisions, and mind changes, create an ad for yourself. Write what you want. Design it the way you would if it were entirely up to you. Then, pass it around. Who knows, it may get picked up. Or, it may get shot down. Either way, it’s something you’ll be proud of, and something you might even put in your book. At the very least, the fun of creating something you’re truly excited about will remind you why you love what you do.

After three months of direction changes, here’s what my designer and I did…our sanity isn’t absolute, but it’s at least balanced.