Tag Archives: social media

Our Post-Vanity World

Do I want to be a pinup model? That’s what some random stranger asked me a few months ago. He stopped me on a campus sidewalk, not far from my office. At first I thought he was a student. Maybe he was: youngish, early twenties, wandering around as if lost. The guy introduced himself as a photographer-slash-artist who was looking for models. “No thanks,” I said and fondled my phone in my pocket, pretending to amble away. Instead, I ducked behind a pillar and watched him until he left. You never know about some people. Maybe he was a serial killer.

From the safety of my office, I tweeted some joke about it being the upteenth time some creep had asked me to pose for them. I mean, if he was a killer then this might be my last chance to go viral on the Internet. That’s me, master of the humble brag. I’m humble bragging right now, in fact.

Continue reading

Advertisements

How (Not) to Market

Kellyanne Conway can teach us something about promotion. Yeah, it’s nuts. Watching her try to plug Ivanka’s awful clothes last week made my skin crawl. It wasn’t just unethical. It was so far off the mark, and pathetic, that the show hosts were cringing. They tried to stop her. They warned her. Yet, she persisted.

Funny how many writers and artists have tried the same move. A few years ago, I watched a friend of mine on the local news. He was talking about his first novel. Great for him. It was a nice chat, but then he did something stupid as hell. He tried to guilt the co-hosts into buying his book on air. They asked how his book was doing, and he said, “Well I’m hoping to sell you two and the camera man one each right after the show.” Automatic facepalm. I had to take a shower on his behalf. And I had just taken one. That’s how bad it went over.

A few weeks later, a bunch of friends and I were getting drunk at a bar. A book festival was in town. Instant excuse to behave badly. Authors came and went. They told funny stories. They flirted. They gave advice. Midway through our happy hour, someone we didn’t like showed up. She talked about her writing for several minutes, killed the conversation, and then passed around bookmarks. Everyone just nodded politely. When she left, we threw them away.

Continue reading