Sunday, April 28, 2013


Adam’s credentials were impressive.  A junior at Brandeis.   Fluent in French, Spanish and Hebrew.  His Italian, rapidly improving thanks to his spring semester at The University of Milan.  The distance was the reason for our interview being conducted via Skype. I had previously helped Adam’s sister land a job with one of my ad agencies and I was now helping him in his efforts to secure an internship with a translation company.    

“Is there anything else you need to know about me?” Adam asked as our video chat was coming to a close.  “Just one thing,” I said, ready to impart a painful lesson.  “In your Facebook status from 3 weeks ago, you mentioned that you defeated one Eric T in a tennis match and as a result, he was now gargling with your balls.  I’m just a tad curious. Is ball-gargling a pleasant experience or a painful one?  I would think it could be quite painful."

Adam’s youthful confidence quickly shattered into pathetic despair as his mouth opened but words eluded him.  “Here’s what I think you need do” I mercifully chimed in to break the embarrassing silence. “I think you need to grow up.  And if that doesn’t seem to be a realistic option at this stage of your life, I think the very least you should do is adjust the privacy settings on all your social media sites to keep your adventures between you and your friends.”  Adam’s hands were awkwardly covering his mouth to conceal the extent of his quivering. “And one more thing,” I added as he struggled to avoid further eye contact with me. “Call me on Tuesday.  I think I may have a company in mind for you.”      


Not so lucky is Rebecca Martinson, the Delta Gamma sorority member from The University of Maryland who has recently become the rage of the web thanks to her foul-mouthed email rant going viral.  Her correspondence attacks fellow Delta Gammas for essentially failing to properly “engage” during a recent social event with a brother fraternity.  It uses homophobic, racist and utterly foul language that would make most sailors blush.  It also threatens violence against those sorority members who don’t get their acts together.  

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for young Ms. Martinson as she has disproven P.T. Barnum’s adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  Dozens of pages now appear when you search Rebecca’s name on Google.  She has resigned her position at Delta Gamma where a national spokesperson announced, “We now consider this matter to be closed.”   Maybe for Delta Gamma, it is but the Internet has posted a virtual scarlet letter on Rebecca in the form of fiercely negative commentary and video parodies of her rude behavior.  Unless she does something radical like change her identity, I would say her future prospects appear to be quite dim.  (On a side note, when you finish reading this blog, Google her name along with actor Michael Shannon’s to get a glimpse of what her new found celebrity has resulted in).


This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending The Media Kitchen’s 6th Annual Digital Media Venture Capital Conference (gotta talk to them about shortening the name).  It’s an exciting day featuring some of the hottest marketing trends in the digital space as well as those technologies that are the driving forces behind tomorrow’s innovation.  
Are you aware that if you mention to your on-line community that you recently bought a pair of Ferragamo shoes, that the technology now exists to identify you several weeks later as you walk by a Soho boutique and target you via your mobile device with a special offer to buy a matching wallet?

As a marketer, I am blown away by the precision methods that are now available to target our best prospects at the best time.  As a consumer however, I have to admit to a serious case of the heebie-jeebies in knowing that a seemingly private post between friends is being used to follow me, identify me, and target me at a specific point in my day.  Granted, it’s only a discount offer for a wallet, but it only takes a little bit of imagination to figure out where this can all lead and how even George Orwell would be blown away by all that has transpired in recent years.


Three stories.  All tied together by a common theme.  What you choose to share on line, no matter how harmless or how vulgar now lives forever and can often come back to find you in ways that you never imagined possible.  The technology is mind-boggling and exciting.  I’m just thankful that it wasn’t around when I was a kid. 
Oh yeah, good luck, Rebecca.         


  1. What if we had it when we were kids......

    Keep blogging, my friend!

  2. Bam...I am ever thankful that they didn't have this when we were young. I think we were able to get into enough trouble without it. LB

  3. Well said. I couldn't agree more. glad u liked the conf :)