Bons mots

Slips of my tongue

Musings

Forgive me. It’s been two months since my last post. My mental energies have been devoted to school, school, school. Now that the worst is over, I can return to my musings.

Here are some from the past few weeks:

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I attended an IABC seminar a few weeks ago (All-Star Social Media). Shel Holtz gave a great presentation on the communicator’s leadership role in integrating social media tools into their communications plans.

I spoke to a former colleague afterwards who remains unconvinced about social media. And he’s not alone. There are a few holdouts in my class, my family. And these are the very same people who have Facebook accounts. The irony alone kills me.

I’ve been privy to both sides of the argument. On the one end, you have the “social media as a fad” faction; on the other lies the rabid social media juggernaut. I plant myself somewhere in the middle, and here’s why:

Social media is not for everybody. Communicators should not jump in and acquire social media tools without some intelligence-gathering beforehand. Find out how your audience likes to receive your news. A publicly traded company may have a more conservative audience in their investors and should keep to the tried-and-true methods of communication (eg. newswire, mailings, e-mail distribution). There are also regulations surrounding the dissemination of material news; there must be some level of control so it is best to tread wisely in this area.

Use the force wisely. The road to social media is littered with companies who have attempted to reach out to their audiences using social media and failed miserably. (I’m looking at you, Wal-Mart.) It’s akin to a middle-aged man dancing in a nightclub filled with twenty-somethings and trying to look cool. (I’ve seen this; it’s funny and sad at the same time.) You have to know the rules before you enter the blogosphere; it’s already filled with detritus of johnnies-come-lately who jumped on the bandwagon then quickly jumped off once they realized that a) they don’t really have anything to say or b) it takes a long-term commitment to keep a blog. (My colleague, Mike, calls this Noodle Code – blogs with no planning or direction.)

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I saw this article on “wedding wikis” on Wall Street Journal’s website (www.wsj.com). It works like this: a couple are planning their wedding, a very personal event to celebrate their union as man and wife. They create an online polling site where they ask their prospective guests to help them decide on such mundane matters as, “Should I wear my hair up or down?” (if the groom-to-be is asking this, then it wouldn’t really be mundane, would it?) or “What song should we have our first dance to?”

Have we become that connected to each other that we must share every minute detail of our lives with each other? It is socially acceptable to ask your guests to help plan YOUR wedding? I’m already paying for the priviledge of attending, is that not enough?

As a singleton, weddings are not my favourite events to attend. I mostly go for the food and try to avoid catching the bouquet. (It’s simple – stand at the back, don’t put your hands up and steer clear of the rabid bridesmaids who will gladly wrestle each other for a few gladiolas and roses.) The one joy I get is to see how bad or great a wedding can be. I want to be surprised, so that I can regale my co-workers or classmates with funny stories (e.g. my aunts dancing to Strokin’; the flower girl lifting her dress up over her head during the ceremony). Spontaneity is the key to life and having everybody in on the fun is, well, not fun.

Again, you also have to do your research – how many of your guests are social media savvy? Is it going to come down to a few deciding on behalf of many? And is this a matter of the couple really trying to tailor their event for the pleasure of their guests? Or is it just an attention-getting manouver for a Bridezilla? As the author of the piece suggests, the true nature behind a wedding wiki is how faithful the couple will be to the choices of their guests. If polling results favour an erotic wedding cake, I wonder how many brides would honour that. If I set up a wiki for my wedding, I know I would.

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A previous post was devoted to Tina Fey. I am a Fey-natic and looked forward to her movie, Baby Mama. I saw it and was disappointed.

Have you ever walked out of a movie and rewrote the ending in your head? And was the rewrite much better than the drek on the screen? I walked out of the theatre dejected. Tina, I thought, how could you do this to me? The movie ended up another paean to domesticity. Literally. The last scene heading into the credits is littered with babies and families. What happened to the single woman who wanted a baby on her own terms?

I will forgive her, however – she didn’t write the movie, just starred in it. I will wipe this movie from my memory by watching back-to-back episodes of 30 Rock and old episodes of SNL.

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May 14, 2008 - Posted by | Learning | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Bonnie, you made me laugh in your description of the bouquet toss. I find the tradition degrading and outdated. Last summer I had the pleasure of being a bridesmaid for the first time and when it came to that part of the evening I didn’t want to participate in the toss but didn’t want to come across as being a ‘party-pooper.’ So I stood among the ladies who really, really wanted to catch that bouquet while I just thought about the next drink I would get at the bar.

    But this wedding wikis thing is interesting. I see how it could be used as a fun way to include the guests in some decisions like main course or drinks. I think weddings are overrated and most brides are psycho (my sociology background tells me because women are socialized to be that way from day one) so they would likely ignore the results because they know best. If I ever get married I would probably use something like that.

    Comment by thatsroger | May 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Ah, and don’t forget the garter fling. I find it odd that the groom doesn’t take offense when someone grabs the garter (that was situated around the bride’s upper thigh a mere moment ago), waves it in the air (like he just don’t care) and puts it between his teeth, or around his head. Somehow, find it disrespectful.

    Comment by bonsmots | May 23, 2008 | Reply


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