If you’re an author, or a publisher, or if you work in the entertainment field, getting your social media accounts Verified — or “socially proofed” for a condescending spin on a ridiculous social media marketing term — is important because Verification gives you status on the social networks and it provides you private avenues of access that regular accounts do not accord.
Any tragic world event is an opportunity to convey meaning for profit — personally, politically, fiscally or morally — and the instant rise of the “Peace for Paris” logo designed by Jean Jullien “one minute” after the tragedy, and then immediately posting the image to Facebook and Twitter, begs a larger human question of “selfieness” and cynicism: Is an Artist trying to give hope against trafficking in evil, or is it all a rather cunning ploy to “make the meme” for a tragedy by propagating self-interest-as-a-logo over the perils of human interest?
Memory is an acute thing. It can baptize you, take you over, reflect on where you’ve been and, in some extreme cases, incapacitate you. Memory can also warm, warn and welcome you — and this story is a matter of the latter in the name of one my earliest mentors and influencers, Rick Alloway. Yes is hard. No is easy. Rick Alloway was always a Yes Man in the most honorific possible way.
Rick gave me my start in radio at KFOR 1240 and KFRX 103 in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was 13-years-old, and he helped correct me, win me and convince me in every single way of the world. He was never harsh or cruel or condescending — even when you earned such treatment. His greatest talent was simply listening and being infinitely patient. In the radio advert below, Rick is in the front row wearing a mustache and I’m right next to him sporting the sun-sensitive hipster glasses.
Yesterday, I posted what I thought was an innocuous Twitter update asking if we’ve gone too far with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because now it is more about famous people getting wet than actually raising ongoing, substantial, awareness for the disease. Sure, we remember people doing stupid things for a video camera, but aren’t there more dangerous things going on in the world that more demand our rapt attention like, say Ferguson, Missouri and beheading Americans?
In what has to be one of the oddest, and least nimble — but purposeful Public Policy gaffes and pre-planned Public Relations stumbles — Twitter have doubled down on the bifurcation of their service into 103,000 Verified accounts vs. 271,000,000 active, monthly, non-Verified know-nothings:
And today we’re beginning to roll out two new features to verified users on the Twitter mobile apps: alerts when another verified user follows them on both the Android and iPhone apps and the option to view their verified followers from their own profile on Twitter for iOS only. We hope these two features will help verified users easily connect with each other so we can continue to deliver those only-on-Twitter conversations to users.
The more time I spend on Twitter, the more confounded and confused I become as to the service’s purpose and merits. Is it a news reporting device? Is it a celebrity PR machine? Is it your television? Twitter can try to be all things to all people, but Twitter does have a serious people problem — a user problem, really — where new users initially sign up and engage the service, and then abandon the nest in flocks, and that’s a bad and dangerous precedent for any social media mingling service.
Yesterday, I posted an image Janna took over the weekend to my social media circles, and I was surprised to read this morning how concerned some were over what I thought was a joyous image of young Black females in the urban core being involved in a connected electronic Age. The action was happening on LinkedIn, and here is that discussion — I don’t know if you can read it by default, or if you have to be linked to me first or not — and here is the image that started it all: