Thursday, July 26, 2012

Facebook Promoting: OK or Self Whoreing?

“Hey there look at me! I’m great! I’m eating cheese!” - This is basically the gist of Facebook. People giving virtual updates of their lives making us all feel more connected. But what once started out as a simple and addictive social network site has now also blossomed into a promotional weapon.

Success at social media has almost become a requirement for the success of your business and/or projects. I’m no business jockey but I’m pretty sure these graphs I found on the internet are demonstrating this:

Ah yes percentages. Percentages are very important.

The arrow is going upwards. Upward arrows are the most desired of all the arrows.

Umm... not sure about this one.

Every company and product now seems to have a Facebook page and more and more people are now using it for promoting their own personal businesses and/or projects. Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook. I like seeing what friends and family are up to and I like “liking” stuff. But I also am concerned about it turning into a constant feed of people promoting things.

So Pat, what are your thoughts on people promoting stuff on Facebook? Is it OK or is it incredibly obnoxious? Oh and by the way, dearest readers, if you haven’t already, we would love it if you went over and checked out our PCPPP Facebook page and “like” us. Here’s a link!

Pat:  I don’t know. I really only use Facebook the way I used the phone from ages 10-14--to prank people. It doesn’t work to do the whole “Hey, did you know your refrigerator is running?” routine, but it IS really fun to send incredibly verbally threatening messages to complete strangers. Then I message them back after a few days and say, “Nah, I was just fucking with you...want to send me a friend request? LOL!”

Are you suggesting that I could do that for money?

Christian: *Sigh* No. And I wish you would stop sending me those friend requests.

I want to know where the fine line between promoting yourself a reasonable amount and promoting yourself way too much on Facebook lies. Speaking of Facebook, we have a Facebook page which you can find right here. You should head over there and “like” our page. It will change your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Or not at all. Definitely one or the other.

Pat: I think you might have just found that line.

I think that line might also lie somewhere between the following two completely fictitious posts:

“Whew...just ran four miles at a PR setting pace. Felt GREAT! Can’t wait to do it again!”

-- or --

“Whew...just ran four miles at a PR setting pace. Felt GREAT! Can’t wait to take a shower...wanna’ join me?”

Clear it up for you?

Christian: I wasn’t so much thinking along the lines of trying to get people to shower with you. I was more thinking along the lines of people that use facebook to promote their own small business or the crafts they are selling or promoting shows that their bands are playing or promoting their blog’s facebook page like the one we have here that people can go to and “like”.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problems with these people. I see Facebook as one big promotion of oneself. Whether you’re promoting your new craft business or letting us know the turkey on your sandwich is too dry, I don’t really see a difference.

But I will admit I do get self concious when promoting something of my own. Like our blog, whose facebook page can be found here, here, here, and here. Or here. And is available for “liking”. I find that I look at facebook a lot but don’t really update my status much except to promote PCPPP even though it has it’s own facebook page here or here.

Part of me feels guilty that often my only communication with my facebook “friends” is just me posting a link to a new post of ours. However if they had just went to our facebook page here and “liked” it, I wouldn’t need to use my personal account to inform them of new posts so maybe they are to blame here. What do you think?

Pat:  Christian, I need help. I now have 12 tabs open on my internet because of all of the underlined things that you mentioned. Can you help me tidy things up before I answer your question. It’s really distracting.

Hey...wait! All of the eleven tabs that just opened all say the same thing. They all show that pegacorn thing from our blog on Facebook. Goddamnit...what the fuck did you do to my computer?

Christian: Sounds like you are having a great time! Right Pat? Something you would recommend every else doing too right? Right. Here’s a link.

So yes there is definitely a thing as too much promoting. But we promise you, our dearest cherished readers, that you won’t regret “liking” our facebook page which you can do here. We don’t even come close to overdoing it with the promotional thing and we periodically give away chances to win free compliments via trivia, which has been hugely popular with the two or three people that have won.

Even if you are one of the many that find our blog after searching for “sexy pictures of Mary Lou Retton” or “nicely cut grass” we recommend liking our facebook page. Granted you must be very disappointed with what you have found here but maybe the silver lining is that you end up “liking” a really great facebook page. Or at least end up making us happy. And really that’s what Mary Lou would want most.

And even if you are one of those sickos that keep finding our blog by searching for “cat on rabbit action” we also recommend liking our facebook page. Just please don’t ever post anything on there.

And while everyone is at it you should all probably follow us on twitter here and do the whole google friend connect thing by clicking on that “Join this site” button off to the right. Again, we highly recommend it.

For those of you that have already “Joined this site” or at least think you have, it should be noted that we were recently informed by the lovely and very funny Robyn from Hallow Tree Ventures that our google friend connect thing hasn’t been consistently working in the past. Apparently it acted as if you had joined but you really hadn’t. Therefore if you think you have done this already or think you have never done it, you should do it again now. We suggest you keep doing it until you see your little icon show up amongst the others. We recommend continuous trying until success or until three days have transpired. Thank you.

Here’s a link to our facebook page.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Am the Politest, Damnit!

There’s a stereotype floated every now and then about us Oregonians that I, for one, am proud of--we’re polite. We look out for each other, and make sure that we’re all doing okay.

And while I admire and strive to embody such a trait, I can’t help but be annoyed sometimes at our tendency to out-polite one another. Such situations--for example, a car waiting for a pedestrian, who doesn’t want to cross the street, to make way from one side of the road to the other--result in a hostility unlike any other. I actually had a guy start with a smile as he slowed his car down for me, and when I motioned for him to cross the road, his face soured and pinched and he sped off with a “Fuck you and just cross the goddamned road!”

My politeness felt betrayed.

That kind of stuff ever happen to you, Christian?

Christian: I wasn’t aware Oregonians had a reputation for being polite. That sounds like a rumor started by a bunch of sissies.

However, I have experienced the whole coming-to-a-four-way-stop-and-trying-to-let-the-other-car-go-first fiasco which is a plague on our city*.

In fact I think the show Portlandia** did a skit about it. I remember while watching it thinking that maybe people living outside of Portland**** might find this funny but to me it was like watching a documentary.

Yes I have found myself in that type of situation many times - where I motion to the other person to go first, they then motion back to me to go, I motion back “no you go”, and then someone is outraged.

I eventually came up with the solution to immediately go the second someone motions me to. Even if I was the first to motion them to go. I usually also yell out my window “IN YOUR FACE SUCKER!!!” as I drive through the intersection so I’m not sure where this polite Oregonians rumor came from.

But even this strategy isn’t full proof. I’ve been in a situation where the other person gets to the stop before me but then waits as I come to a stop. I eventually have to motion them to go but they just sit there for a few seconds. So I start going forward but of course the second I start moving they start going forward too so we both stop. We then repeat the entire process.

To remedy this scenario I typically apply the rule that if you do NOT take me up on my offer to go, within a second, then I’m going. There will be no polite second or third motions of “no, really you go, I insist” coming from me. However I will be shouting “IN YOUR FACE LOSER!!!” as I drive by.

Pat:   I didn’t know that was you. Nor did I know our paths had crossed. Hmm.

Well...what you describe sounds exactly like what I WANT to do, but I think I am a tried and true Oregon “sissy”, as you say, and I just can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe we’re not polite...maybe we’re just passive aggressive. Come to think of it, I’ve never been really good about telling people that I can’t stand them. I usually just stifle my resentment and then throw an egg at their house in the middle of the night.

Christian:  But remember Pat, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the group that is calling the kettle black from within a glass house.

And second, why are you walking around? Couldn’t you get to where you were going in a car? Maybe you are more to blame here than I first thought.

It’s hard to be assertive with somebody when they are driving and you are a pedestrian. And to be honest, you shouldn’t be assertive in that situation. They are in a 4000 pound steel machine while you are only in your clothes. I’m guessing in a lot of khaki. You need to be the one that is careful.  

At this point I would like to mention that another thing I can’t stand are pedestrians.

Sure there are plenty out there that obey all traffic laws and only cross the street at crosswalks and are good people etc, but similarly to bicyclists, I deeply hate them all.

I don’t know how many times I see idiots jaywalking across a busy street with their eyes solely focused on their cell phone, just assuming all drivers will see them and stop. Or those morons that hold up traffic on a busy street as they slowly jaywalk across it. And nine times out of ten they are only about 20 feet from a stoplight where there is a crosswalk they should be using.

You’re not one of these imbeciles are you Pat?

Pat:  Cars made of steel? What decade are you living in, man?

What’s a cell phone? I don’t think I’m the imbecile you’re talking about.

Christian: Are cars not made of steel anymore? Or are you having one of your old-timey flashbacks again? Fine. To make it easier for you how about this - I don’t want to hit you with my horse drawn buggy while you’re winding your mechanical water clock. It would be a major inconvenience for us all. Including the horse.

* We live in Portland, dearest cherished readers.

** Portlandia is a pseudo-skit comedy show on IFC that is filmed and takes place in our city***.

*** We live in Portland, dearest cherished readers.

**** The city we live in, cherished dearest readers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jesus Science Can't You Get Anything Right

As an adult, I’m a firm believer in always continuing your education. That’s why I pay very close attention to the books I read my three year old. There’s a lot to learn from those books. For example, according to the history book: “Oh, Say Can You Say Di-no-Saur?” written by Dr. Seuss - whose PHD appears to be untraceable, but we’ll still trust him - the famous dinosaur, Brontosaurus never actually existed!

It turns out that the Brontosaurus bones they “discovered” were actually bones from a dinosaur that had already been discovered years earlier named Apatosaurus. Apparently there was also some mix up with the heads so they actually had the look of the Brontosaurus wrong too. And it was on a US Stamp at one time. Way to go scientists.

In addition to having to update all of the paleontology books, they’re also going to have to re-edit all the Flintstone episodes to ensure they stay historically accurate.

With all those references to Brontosaurus burgers, The Flintstones is
now going to look like a historical joke.

And that’s not the only blunder these science types have made. Let us not forget about how our once beloved planet Pluto is not longer actually a planet, thanks to science trying to cover up its mistakes.

My question is; do we trust scientists too much? Sure, right now it’s only incorrect dinosaurs discoveries and planet classifications but what else have they got wrong? Maybe Stephen Hawking can talk. Maybe scotch in large quantities is actually good for you. Who's to say scientists didn’t get those things wrong too?

What do you think Pat?

(P.S. Another fun fact I learned from my son’s book is that paleontologists have found dinosaur bones in Antarctica which means dinosaurs even lived in the extreme weathers of the Antarctic. Man, those guys could survive anything!)

Pat: Sorry...I’m confused by the title. Is Jesus Science someone I should know about? Is one of those right wing evangelical organizations trying to sneak its way into kids’ literature again by saying that dinosaurs lived 7,000 years ago (and are still alive and well on top of Mount Ararat in Turkey, along with all of the other creatures from Noah’s Ark)?

Oh, wait...are you just having trouble with commas again? Now I get it.

Yeah, science can be a little wonky, but at least its stories are more believable than some of those religious tales. Did you know that the Hindu god Ganesha (you know, that normal fella with the head of an elephant) is the son of Shiva, but that he and Shiva ARE THE SAME AGE?!?! Explain THAT one to your kiddo.

I just heard today, too, that the whole thing about some particle in Switzerland that moved faster than the speed of light was really just a glitch in the cables. Whew!  Looks like we don’t have to reconfigure the known universe all over again after all!

Christian: I once thought I had accelerated a particle faster than the speed of light too but it turned out I just had the clock set wrong on my microwave. However the popcorn was delicious.

So are you saying we do trust science too much? Or not? Like always, you seem to be ignoring my question so that you can talk about elephant people.

Pat:  I once thought I had accelerated a particle faster than the speed of light, but it turns out it was just some yogurt that had turned. It passed soon enough.

What was your question?

Christian: YOU KNOW WHAT THE QUESTION IS! Why are you avoiding it? Is there some traumatic event that occurred in your childhood that involved science? Did science reject you in some way during your informative years? Or perhaps one of your parents had an affair with science? What happened? You can tell me. It’s just between you and me and the internet. Did science touch you in your special area?

Pat:  Okay, I gotcha’. But you know what I just found out? The Flintstones were modelled after the Honeymooners. Who knew? Crazy, huh!

Christian: I think that’s pretty common knowledge, Pat. You never noticed that Barney Rubble’s voice sounded a lot like Ed Norton’s?

Anyways, I don’t know what science did to you but since you are unwilling to answer the question I guess I’ll have to:

Do we trust science too much?


Science has given us heated swimming pools and tacos wrapped in gorditas. Without it we would be lost. Literally, because it also gave us GPS. Sure it may get somethings wrong every now and then, but who doesn’t make the occasional mistake? I for one accidentally stole a bunch of liquor from the liquor store earlier today, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to drink it.

What I’m saying is, science has given us a lot so we need to take the good with the bad even if the bad involves touching you inappropriately.