As a writer for Comedy Central’s digital department I’ve had the opportunity to research, create content, and ultimately be a part of some amazing projects. Here are some screengrabs of the Mobi-award winning CC: Standup app. Pictured above is the search feature, a component that I wrote and researched comedian associations for. Below, is a shot of the very talented Louis C.K. in action. There are hundreds of comedians to check out, and it’s the perfect companion for a rainy afternoon.
This week, arch conservative billionaires the Koch brothers purchased several promoted hashtag topics and set them to trend worldwide for a period of 3 days. In purchasing the hashtags, which allegedly cost 120k each, the Americans for Prosperity super pac attempted to drive internet conversation away from the Democrats and create a negative dialogue.
Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of how twitter works, or who has bothered to learn from the mistakes of McDonalds and Disney knows that this is a failed strategy. Enter the phenomenon known as the #bashtag.
Simply put, the #bashtag is a situation that exists when a hashtag is purchased and the conversation is allowed to evolve organically. Unlike mediums in the past, such as television- where a message could be transmitted free of “participatory interference”, twitter is built on the premise of instantaneous interaction. For better or for worse, once you hit send, you no longer have control of your own message. Obviously, more savvy media strategists know this, and can counter a #bashtag situation.
Some of the more common ways of subverting a #bashtag scenario are leveraging a conversation off of existing properties with an audience, or using surrogates to inflate your message with “top tweets.” Why pay for a promoted hashtag when you can use properties with a built in following to tweet for you?
If you’re not sold on the idea of relying on surrogates you can try a different approach. Many companies are now using a “sponsored tweet” to increase visibility for a message they wish to promote. In paying for a sponsored tweet, you’ve transmitted the message YOU want, and aren’t reliant on the world to take matters into their own hands.
The biggest lesson here is that unlike newspapers and television, the internet is instantaneous, dynamic and beyond the scope of planning and control. If you want to put your message out there, you can’t just put it out and walk away, or you will become a #bashtag.
Writing for yourself is liberating. I’ve spent years writing for others- be it professors, producers, and editors. But there is absolutely nothing like opening up a blank Word document and letting fly, knowing that nobody is peering over your shoulder, and there is no “voice” you need to submit to- no rules. People often say that if you do what you love, you never have to spend a day in your life working. I experience that joy every time I open up one of my blogs, or even just a page in a private journal and scrawl away.
I believe writing the occasional piece for yourself- without any expectation or hope of profit is the greatest way to not only keep the skill set sharp, but to allow yourself to reconnect with the emotional state that produces good writing. In order to build strong connections through writing, you need to constantly be tapping into the place within yourself that feels strong emotions. Joy in your own personal writing strengthens your ability to write for others, and in turn motivates you to generate better content all around.
Writing is about tapping into an emotion or truth and explaining it in a way that resonates with a broad scope of people. If one writes about something they find interesting, compelling, or feels emotional about, chances are this will translate to others. A viral video isn’t viral because a room full of marketing executives check off a list of parameters and roll tape- a video GOES viral because it expresses a truth that an audience immediately feels compelled to share. Writing is exactly the same way.
Hello there. Thanks for stopping by. The purpose of this site is to provide a cohesive repository of my creative assets. While the majority of this work is entertainment based, that is not the ultimate goal of this collection. Solid writing and strong ideas drive content in entertainment, marketing, social media and beyond. The objective of a good writer is to present something that is clear, thoughtful, concise and relatable- no matter what form it may take. This website is a vessel for exploring good creative ideas of all forms…and if you happen to smile once or twice, you’re welcome.