Pinterest is Going to Make Me Fat


Megan's Meanderings PinterestIf you haven’t heard of Pinterest yet, it’s the latest popular social network. It allows you to “pin” images and categorize them onto boards. It’s like 90% female at this point, and I don’t predict males rushing to join anytime soon.

As I use Pinterest more and more, I realize what it’s doing to me:

1. Making me fat—Pinterest is full of recipes. My “Nom Nom” board is by far my biggest. I’ve tried a couple recipes, but not too many. Even if I don’t make a recipe after looking at Pinterest, looking at Pinterest still makes me hungry and I eat something else.

B. Giving me puppy fever—Too many people post pictures of cute animals—especially puppies. I already want a puppy, and Pinterest is making it worse.

3. Making me depressed about how un-crafty I am—People post creative crafting projects on Pinterest. Ones they’ve completed or ones they want to try. I don’t even bother because I know A) I’ll never get the motivation to do the project and B) If I do, I’d fail.

D. Giving me ideas of lots of things to buy when I have the money—Pinterest is full of great products: time-savers, funny gifts, stuff for the home and more. I’ll have plenty of things to buy when I have the money to do so.

Pinterest is really new, and it will be interesting to see where it goes as it grows. But I’m sure no matter what, it’ll always be doing the four things I listed above. If you want to follow my boards, you can do so here.

Social Media Customer Service—An Anti-Example


I try to use this blog for funny things. Well, today I’m using it to rant…about something I find funny. Some of you won’t understand what any of this means (Mom, Grandma and Grandpa: I won’t be offended if you stop reading here), but people in marketing and advertising will.

Note: I used the Twitter “Embed Tweet” feature, so it duplicated tweets if they were responses. Ignore that. I prefer embedding rather than using screenshots.

Here it goes.

One of my Twitter acquaintances (don’t know her IRL) tweeted this:

Here’s how the company responded:

That made me go, “Say WHAAAAT!?” So I asked @Nichole_Kelly if that was real. I got this response from the company:

I don’t know what that means. And then @Nichole_Kelly Tweeted this:

Sir Mike at Solve360 then responded:

What? I seriously don’t know what that means. I think Mike is picking random mumbo jumbo and posting it. I guess that’s a social media strategy.

So I asked @Nichole_Kelly if she used @Solve360, and she said:

In other words, if @Solve360 would have handled the customer service situation differently, they could have had another customer. Instead, they lost her as a potential customer, and I’ll for sure never use them.

Mike of course responded with an incoherent babble…one that includes “lol”:

This is one of far too many examples of social media harming an organization because they use it wrong. Like I said, situations like this make me sad, but also make me realize how there will always be a need for my expertise as a social media strategist.

And if Solve360 and Norada are actually good at social media, they’ll find this post…and rectify it. Or maybe I’ll get a nonsense response from Mike. Who knows. But what I do know is that I don’t trust this FAQ on their website:

Solve360 Fail

P.S. I took screenshots of @Solve360’s tweets incase they remove them later. What happens on the Internet can never be erased.

UPDATED

A new response!

I’ll continue to keep you posted as he keeps digging a deeper hole.

UPDATED X2

After the long conversation on Facebook (read it here), I started to wonder if other people at the company knew what this guy was posting on Twitter. So I emailed the company. They email back…in support of the Twitter comments! Here are some excerpts from the response, as well as my commentary.

He said the conversation,was about self proclaimed social media expert(s) grandstanding.” I’ve never once claimed to be a social media expert. I’m a social media strategist. I don’t claim expertise. I admittedly learn every single day—usually from other people.

Maybe the word ‘fraud’ was a bit harsh, but with 140 characters you need to be quick to the point and you mentioned you were missing it.” In other words, they’re not sorry, and also don’t know how to craft concise tweet that gets their point across.

Your actions are not without consequence.” What?

I’d suggest that you stepped into the conversation in a big way.” I never actually addressed the company. I retweeted Nichole’s greasy wheel tweet that happened to mention the company. I didn’t insult them. I simply said, “Is this real?”

That behind us, we’d much rather be helping than ‘looking at our shoes’. First of all, punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. Secondly, again, what!? Looking at their shoes? Is that where the insults were coming from? Their shoes?

We’re willing to write this off a learning experience for both of us, offer an apology, return to our regular program of being nice, sticking our neck out, and trying to help people who touch us move mountains.  Touché? So generous of them to “write it off as a learning experience.” I know I learned what bad social media customer service looks like. It appears the company learned…umm…nothing. A few questions popped into my mind after this comment: 1) Who’s touching them? That’s creepy. B) I thought they were a CRM…what’s that have to do with mountains?

I want to respond to the email with all my heart. But I won’t, because I seriously don’t want to deal with them anymore. This was an interesting experience and I actually did learn a lot, but it needs to stop.

Next week, Nichole Kelly will be posting a blog post on a very popular blog. It’ll have more background and more of her experience (rather than that of a bystander). I’ll post a link to it in yet another update.

UPDATED X3

Jason Falls wrote about the debacle on Social Media Explorer, “Customer Service Isn’t An Act. It’s a Trait.

UPDATED X4

It appears @Solve360 is abandoning Twitter. Their new bio is, “Twitter’s ‘cool kids’ and spammers ruined a good thing. Catch us on LinkedIn where the grown-ups get work done.”

Not sure if I fall under the “Cool Kids” or “Spammers” category. I’m pretending the cool kids one unless I hear otherwise.

Adventures in Writing—The Series Comma


I write for a living. (Which is pretty awesome if you ask me.) So there are daily arguments—mostly civil—about grammar. Which tense should this be in? Did you just end that sentence in a preposition? Who, whom, which or that? These  conversations stir up nostalgia for dinners at home—arguments about whether it’s James’ or James’s (still unresolved) over a homemade meal of Pizza Hut.

Most questions can be answered with a quick look into our most favoritist book—the AP Stylebook. Sometimes I agree with it, sometimes I don’t (it took them until 2011 to change “Web site” to “website”). Even so, I abide by its many rules.

One of the first AP Style rules you learn, which is now being adopted by other styles, is not to use a series comma (aka serial comma, aka Oxford comma). I honestly don’t have an opinion either way—I use it because AP says so. My natural writing style has become to not use the series comma except in complex sentences. For example:

I want ice cream.

Oops. I got off track there. Let’s try that again.

Simple: I had French toast, an English muffin and a British accent for breakfast.

Complex: I had orange juice, hash browns, and a bacon and egg bagel for dessert.

The series comma is a point of heated discussion in the writing world. There are those devoted to the non-use of it, and there are those devoted to the use of it. The former tend to be communications folks; the latter academia.

While I’m a non-user, I still find the following images humorous (click them to view full-size). They make you stop and go, “Hmm…did JFK and Stalin really hang out with each other?”

Megan's Meanderings Series Comma

See what they did there?

Series Comma Eggs

And there?

I had to read each of these a few times before I understood. And while I don’t exactly agree that these are correctly depicted, I do find them laughable.

There will forever be stylistic disagreements in grammar. Until they’re all resolved, I’ll keep my AP Stylebook close.

#BarCampCV


BarCampCVI’m not easily motivated by external factors. I am an internally motivated person, and I pride myself on sitting straight-faced during motivational speakers and pump-up speeches.

But…we all break down. This weekend, I went to a kick-ass event (sorry Mom and Grandma for the language) called BarCamp Cedar Valley, and I accidentally found some motivation lying around–probably in the grapes.

BarCamp is an unstructured event where the attendees make the agenda. Anyone can talk about anything. We had three categories–entrepreneurs, techies and creative. I helped plan the event. And by plan, I mean I Tweeted and posted on Facebook about it. Oh, and wrote the sweet “What is BarCamp?” page on the website.

There were almost 100 creatives, techies and entrepreneurs from the Cedar Valley (and some from Des Moines or further) at the event. I spent all day talking to people who have eerily similar mindsets to myself. Scary.

I actually learned a lot from the presentations, and had a chance to reflect on what I love doing. I love being creative, I love writing and I love running social media campaigns (it was overjoying to watch all the #BarCampCV traffic). And as I’m involved in more websites at work (with my lovely sister Shannon), I realize how much I enjoy the challenge of developing effective, optimized websites and engaging social media campaigns.

I like collaborating on sitemaps; plotting wireframes; working with ultra-talented designers; writing engaging, optimized copy; and integrating social media. It’s fun. And I’m lucky that I get to do a lot of this at my job.

No promises that this spark of motivation means consistent blogging…I do have a life, you know. (By “life” I mean work, reading, watching TV and maybe a social engagement or two.) I just wanted to reflect on a sweet event that may have inspired the seemingly uninspirable.

Wacky Products


I work with an adjunct marketing professor who looooves showing her night class silly products. When she finds really good ones, she’s nice enough to share them with me.

Toilet paper not on a roll. Have you ever gotten to the end of the toilet paper roll and thought “Darn. I wish there wasn’t a cardboard roll here. That would make life so much easier.”? I know I haven’t. But apparently the product is not about convenience–it’s about the planet. Whatever.

Megan's Meanderings Toilet Paper Not on a Roll

Shoot A Brew. Or as I like to call it: Cooler Canon. This contraption takes tailgating laziness to a whole new level. In the video below, the people are still standing and walking…I see no reduction in effort, yet I see an increase in laziness. It defies the laws of common sense.

The Snuggie Sutra. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I’m not going to post a picture of it or a link to it because it’s much too inappropriate (I don’t generally even discuss inappropriate things on here, but this product is just too funny), but these days you can find anything with Google. (Disclaimer: This is NOT a product you should Google at work.)

All of these toys. Who let these products get through testing? Pictured below: My Cleaning Trolly, Breast-Feeding Doll, Oreo Barbie. Not pictured: Harry Potter Vibrating Broom, My Beautiful Mommy (a book about your mom’s boob job), homeless girl doll and more.

Cleaning Trolly Megan's Meanderings Breastfeeding Doll Megan's Meanderings Oreo Barbie Megan's Meanderings

Thanks Cindy Angel at IDM for the silly product leads. Do you know of any other really weird products? Post them in the comments.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to mention any of these products. No one sent me products to try and no one bribed me to write this post. I’ve never actually tried any of these products, I just think they’re silly and worthy of sharing.

This is the last Superb Owl post. I promise.


I’ve written several posts this week about Superb Owl commercials. Well, this is the last one. I promise. Unless you want more, then just let me know.

This one for HomeAway.com was pretty funny. Mostly because of the test baby.

And this commercial made me giggle…”You’re rack is unreal.” It doesn’t make me want to buy flowers, but it was pretty funny.

I forgot this commercial when I talked about the Doritos commercial. I was amused and disgusted at the same time. Awesome.

The GoDaddy.com commercial with Joan Rivers pissed me off so I’m not posting it.

I think that’s all I’m going to review. If you have specific commercials you want me to discuss, let me know.

What was your favorite?

Wait…Eminem is Still Alive?


Eminem did two commercials during this Superb Owl. This one for Brisk:

And this one for Chrysler, though it seemed like it was more for Detroit than for the car (and it was like two whole minutes):

And of course Diddy (or whatever his name is now) had to be in a Benz commercial:

And Ozzy and Bieber co-starred in a Best Buy commercial…”What’s a Bieber?”

Even the Black Eyed Peas did some endorsements. I’m not going to show those because the halftime show was so terrible that the BEP don’t deserve any more publicity.

Seriously. The halftime show was terrible. Worse I’ve ever seen–even worse than the 90-year-old Stones. I’m not going to post any clips from it because, well, I don’t want you to have to suffer through that.

There are still more reviews coming. If you have a commercial you really want me to review, let me know.