Category Archives: Facebook

First Oregon Acting Workshop: Improvisation at The Red Octopus Theater Co.

Now that Rene and I are a little more settled into our new city I’m starting to do workshops, classes and coaching again. The first workshop will be held August 5th at noon in Newport, Oregon. It is an adorable resort town with a thriving theater scene.

Details can be found on the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE and just in case you don’t use Facebook here are the basics down below:

Those of all skill levels are invited to come experience the crazy, creative world of “Improv” in this fun-filled workshop, led by television’s Curtis Andersen.

The event will include a broad range of topics, exercises, and games, including (but not limited to): building trust, warm-up games, how to listen, building a scene, ending a scene, comedy improv vs. dramatic improv, and more.

Curtis Andersen spent the last decade as a member of the nationally-acclaimed improv troupe Improv Shmimprov, performing live improvisational comedy on Friday and Saturday nights. He also conducts a seminar titled Think Fast, which trains business professionals to use improvisational techniques to increase their performance and solve problems creatively.

Andersen has guest starred on many television shows, including That 70’s Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Party of Five, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Veronica Mars, The Gilmore Girls, and Feud: Bette & Joan. He has had recurring roles on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, 7th Heaven, and is often recognized as Gordie from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

In addition to his television work, Andersen can also be seen in many films, including The Rules of Attraction, and Michael Bay’s Oscar-winning film, Pearl Harbor.

Red Octopus Theatre Company is excited to welcome Andersen to Newport. For over a decade he has helped artists do the work that has lead them to network television shows and major feature films – in the form of private coaching, or in his role as head of faculty at the McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts.

This event is appropriate for those aged 13 and up, and is free (however, there is a $5 suggested donation.) The Newport Performing Arts Center is located at 777 W Olive Street in Newport, Oregon.

The Red Octopus Theater  runs workshops all the time and if you’d like more information on them please visit their Facebook page HERE.

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Filed under education, Facebook

Day 249 Operation: Television’s Curtis Andersen East of Jesus Shoot Update


It’s Day 249 and we are still on location shooting East of Jesus in Oregon. I always have high hopes about my abilities to post and generally “social media” when I do things like this. In my head I know I only have one job to focus on and so naturally that means that I’ll have all kinds of extra time to be able to commit to maintaining everything else that I like to do like this site, my Twitter feed, and my Facebook page, but that’s never how it turns out. Regardless of what may be perpetuated by conventional wisdom it takes a lot of work to make a film at any level. It’s a lot of hard work in a very short amount of time. You are dominated by factors that you cannot control, like the weather and unexpected technical problems, and even in the best case scenarios getting it done right means being focused and and dedicated. Distractions like this site, my Twitter feed, and my Facebook page all start to feel pretty small when you have a whole set of people relying on the ability to be on set, memorized, and good. I’m not very good at doing both jobs. Rene really has a better handle on that. Sometimes I think I should just make her the Andersen Family documentarian and photographer. We still have some shooting to do, but we got an unexpected day off today due to rain so I forced myself to catch up on all my stuff – hence this post.

Below are some select images from the shoot and an exclusive video of Rene from the beautiful Oregon Coast when we hiked up the side of the sand hill. Enjoy! And if you like these then you can see even more over at my Facebook page.

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Filed under behind the scenes, blatant plug, career, Facebook, filmmaking, making movies, Operation: Television's Curtis Andersen, YouTube

Actor 101 – Marketing: 5 Best Practices


Actor 101 Logo

Back when I first started Actor 101 I posted an article about basic marketing for the actor. In fact it was called…

The Actor and Marketing

It is really basic, truly a 101 as far as marketing goes. If you are just getting started with how to market yourself in the entertainment industry I highly suggest giving that post a look before you continue with this post.

I was a guest speaker at a friends acting class the other night and we did a short Q&A about the changes in the industry and ways that an actor, especially a new actor, can market themselves. The conversation started with social media, websites, and online presence in general. Everybody had the accounts they need, but when it came to content it was all blank stares and mouths agape. That was a pretty big clue that it might be a good idea to cover some best practices specific to the new actor. The things I talk about in this article are best practices, which is to say that, all things being equal, these are things everyone should be doing. That being said all things are not equal so use what works for you.

  • Don’t Post Just To Post: Let’s start with a biggie – NO POST SPAM! Some people, especially when they are starting out, will post non-stop to their social media. This is how we get things like pictures of food and the “I’m bored, talk to me” posts. These posts are the kinds of things that get made fun of and do not help your social media presence at all. As an actor or other creative storyteller your goal is to connect with an audience through the telling of a story and a good story has a point which is why it’s worth telling. That’s how you should think of your marketing posts, they need to have a point. It could be as on the nose as “I have a new video up!” or as open as “Does anyone ever feel like Meisner technique makes them feel too vulnerable?” but it should be relevant and poignant to your intended audience. So if you go a day or two or a week without posting anything don’t panic. Likewise if you have a bunch to say that’s OK too, but you may want to consider scheduling some of those posts to spread the wealth.
  • Let Technology Help You: While I’m thinking about scheduling, there is some great technology out there to help you schedule where and what you posts to different social media sites. While most social networks have good cross posting abilities, you may not want to same message going out across all of your platforms. What you post to your private Facebook page may be very different than what you post on your LinkedIn page. Here are two solutions that I like. I have no affiliation with either of these companies, they just happen to be solutions I have used and like and they work well for entertainment professionals. Remember that regular posting helps build an audience.
    • Hootsuite: This is a personal favorite and the solution that I use daily. While they really push the idea of signing up for their paid services, most folks doing DIY social marketing will only need their free service. It allows you to set-up for five social networks and those can be changed at any time. My favorite part about Hootsuite is that you can either schedule your posts manually or allow it to auto schedule. I use the auto schedule option the most and it has increased my audience engagement dramatically. They also have a web extension call Hootlet that allows you to broadcast web content across your networks as you find it with the click of a button. They’ve recently added a YouTube feature that, admittedly, I haven’t played with yet but that addition is another reason why my gut instinct is to recommend this platform. There is also an easy to use smart phone/tablet app.
    • Buffer: I was first introduced to Buffer three years ago when a director at a touring show company we were working with showed it to me. The service has changed a bit since then and for the better. Buffer operates primarily as a web browser extension and app. With it you write a bunch of posts in advance and let the system space them out at appropriate times or time you select. Like Hootsuite they are looking for users to sign up for their paid service (their’s has the fun name “The Awesome Plan”) but their individual plan is still available. It covers Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,, and Google+. It is a bit more structured about what social networks you can add and how many of each, but since most people only have one of each network I doubt you’ll miss any functionality.
  • Share Your Personality: The mechanics of regular posting are fundamental, but just like we want our posts to have a point they should also share your personality with your audience. Social media is an electronic medium, but people don’t want to read posts from robots, they still prefer to talk to people (even if that means that sometimes there’s a computer screen between them). Identity is important, I mean you’re an actor after all, and if you’re using your social media to market yourself then you need people to get to know you. Define and refine your online voice. Unlike the financial advisors I speak to during the day, actors are allowed to have opinions no matter how unpopular. To be clear: this does not give you carte blanche to be an asshole but don’t be afraid to state your opinion. Did you recently discovered a film that you think people should see? Talk about it and why you liked it. Are you excited about The Razzie Awards? Name your picks! That being said, remember performer rule #1 – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! You want them to enjoy your posts and follow you, not turn on you. Ideally you’ll engage with a community that will interact with you which will increase your reach online and the farther you reach the better you’re doing.
  • Interact: Just like you want to have people engaged with your posts, other people want you to engage with their posts too. Social media is “social” by definition and the only way a community works is if people participate. If you are a performer marketing yourself on social media then participation in the community is a requirement. Think of it as joining in the conversation at a party – it’s just that this party is, literally, hundreds of millions of active people large all the time and everyone has something to say. Remember the first rule, though, NO POST SPAM! Don’t interact with a post unless you have something to contribute. Always go for quality over quantity when it comes to engagement. Going back to our party metaphor, no one wants to be the guy that clears the area around the punch bowl with his bad Christopher Walken impression. If you’re going to say something make sure it’s worth saying.
  • Make Sure Your Posts Benefit You: As an actor in this town, with all the changes that are happening to the business and with all of the competition, your primary goal is to use all of the tools at your disposal to benefit yourself. The goal of all the bullet points above are to get people to pay attention to what you have to say and, ideally, help you build a brand that might get your signal recognized above the noise. That means that you need to always remember the basics we discussed – know your audience, be relevant to your audience,  and be conscience of how you are perceived in your chosen community.

Do you have thoughts on this list? Feel like I missed something? Let me know in the comments – engage in my community ;).

See you next time!

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Filed under actor 101, education, Facebook, marketing, teaching, Uncategorized

The Actor and Marketing

So you’ve got your agent and you’ve got the perfect headshots and whenever you’re in class your coaches and classmates are consistently amazed at your abilities and choices…

…but you’re still not working.

So what’s wrong? What can you do to help fix it?

Well, unless you make friends with George Clooney or Joss Whedon you’re going to have to market yourself. Having talent is great, but talent on its own is useless if no one knows about it.

So what can you do to market yourself?

There is no single “right” answer to this and solutions will vary based on type and current level of visibility, so today I’m going to focus on 3 things that can help you no matter what level you’re at that are simple and easy to maintain.

  1. Facebook Fan Page – I know. It’s so simple, right? You’re on Facebook and so are your friends and you’re probably getting a few requests a day from other people wanting you to “like” this or go to some event? But then there are all those articles talking about how Facebook is becoming irrelevant and how to deactivate your profile and blah, blah, blah. Here’s the fact of the matter: Whatever the media journalists say, Facebook still has over 500 million users and your friends, even though they may complain about it, still use it. And so do their friends and their friends and their friends – except for that one hipster dude who gave up social media in favor of posting flyers. A fan page is an easy way to update large numbers of people about all things related to your career. Fan pages serve the purpose that a web page used to serve, and it’s free to set up and easier to maintain. You can post videos, links and send event invitations to premieres or to your one-person version of Cyrano de Bergerac. If actively maintained this can help create rapport and a “personal” relationship with your fan base. Remember: the internet is forever! Post only what you want the world to see!
    1. Pros: Easy updates that can be automated by sites like Hoot Suite to your fan base. Large user base. Ability to advertise at a low cost point.
    2. Cons: You have to build your base, which means sending request to friends, family & anyone with an active account. It’s no good to send updates to your dog and your mom, they already know what you’re doing. Facebook’s new ad policy – you can still set-up and post for free, but they try and get you to pay for access to your full base. Personally I haven’t seen the need to pay for ad space, I advocate only spending when you have to, but this will be a personal decision based on how much reach you want to achieve.
  2. Twitter – I can already hear some of you, “I don’t get Twitter.” “How do you use it?” “I have Instagram, can’t I just use that?” I want you to know that I hear you and I understand you, but you also need to look at the business that you’re working yourself into. We sell ourselves as a personal brand. Our look and our personalities are the things that get us noticed, and getting noticed is what can lead to work. Who is Tom Hanks? He’s the nicest guy in Hollywood. How do we know that? Well, really we don’t, but we assume it’s true from interviews that we’ve seen and how he interacts with his fan base. For the unknown actor Twitter can be a wonderful way to demonstrate your personality and that makes it a wonderful resource. It has broad spectrum appeal, it requires very little to start up and maintain and it forces you to speak in small phrases that can capture your personality “essence” (and I apologize profusely for using that word). Go look at a few Twitter profiles. The ones with followers have a clear point of view and are, unmistakably, the voices of the author.  Check these out: Rainn Wilson, Joel McHaleElizabeth Banks. And these aren’t even the most popular on Twitter! Like a fan page, you still have to build a following, but Tweeps (is that what we can call them?) are, in my experience, far more willing to take a chance on someone.
    1. Pros: Easy start up. Can be linked to Facebook and to other social media platforms. Supports photos and now videos with Vine. Community that is open to new members. Easy to do, can be posted from a smart phone or even a “dumb” phone.
    2. Cons: Must build your following. Easy to post means easy mistakes for the impulsive poster. 
  3. YouTube Channel – This is different than just posting things to YouTube (although that can be a good start). Supporting a YouTube channel requires a little more effort than the other two, but as an actor trying to start out nothing can be more beneficial. The catch 22 of professional acting is that no one will hire you unless they know what you can do, but no one can know what you can do unless you’re working. YouTube offers you a great way to get around this problem. On your channel you can post your work, whether it’s your improv performance or a sketch you and your friends make. Shoot it, edit it if you can, and post it. In the modern electronic world there are so many ways to shoot and edit video (you can do all of the above on most smart phones now a days pretty easily) that there’s no excuse for your work to be hidden from the world. Also, for those of you with credits and some video of your stuff, YouTube is the place to put your reel. Vocabulary Check – Actor’s Reel: A short video (under 5 mins, probably shorter) featuring bits of your work from television shows, films or commercials. The nice thing about YouTube is that you can usually convince your friends to watch your videos and get the views started. It’s even better if you put up something that’s good that they’ll want to share. Also, these videos can be passed around on your Twitter and Facebook page and help broaden your reach! It’s all interconnected!
    1. Pros: Easy to start. Views can come from family and friends who will help build your audience. Technology makes it easy to create content.
    2. Cons: YOU MUST HAVE CONTENT! A YouTube page with no videos isn’t going to help you much.
That’s a good start. Once you’ve started working with these resources you can branch out. Branding yourself is important, but remember it takes time and dedication. Most “overnight sensations” spent years building up to what they’ve become. Be patient and be consistent, these are the keys to building a brand.
What ways do you market yourself or interact with your friends? Let me know in the comments. 
Also, if you have any questions you can write those too.
See you next time!


Filed under actor 101, actor stuff, blatant plug, Facebook, marketing, social networking, twitter, YouTube

Your Personal Brand Part 3

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc… All social networks designed to let you stay in constant connection with your family, friends, fans, co-workers, bosses, strangers and Tila Tequila.  We’ve come a long way from BBS’s and email addresses and how you represent yourself online is clearly visible to the whole world.

You’ve all heard the stories about the girl who blabbed about how much she hated her boss on Facebook, her boss, who was her Facebook “friend”, saw the update and fired her.  I believe the story originated in England, but there are many times that the news has reported that it has happened.  Or what about my friends who are “friends” with co-workers online and see drunken parties that these “friends” attend only to have those “friends” call in sick the next day.  We willingly surrender a degree of privacy every time we log on and, as those examples clearly illustrate, it is easy to forget who our friends are.

I remember my first social network, Friendster.  I joined because I was invited by my dear friend Jeff Garvin to help stay connected.  I remember the first comments page, which were treated more like compliment boxes, and photos and when I first saw a page that wasn’t a real person – in fact it was a muppet style monster.  The owner of the page updated in the voice of the monster and it was a generally funny page, but it was just the beginning of what MySpace made into an art, poser pages!  Pages made as characters so people could pretend to be the people they always wanted to be.  I was not immune to this.  I had, still have, my personal MySpace page, but I have created my share of character pages – sometimes to promote a movie but other times just for fun.  The anonymity level was determined by how honest you wanted to be and how you wanted to be seen.

Facebook has changed this, to a degree.  It is intrinsically designed to be a page representing the “real” you, but privacy settings and personal editing still control how you are precieved.   Oddly there are lots of folks that seem to forget this.  In an era where your employers, or potential employers, can do a Google search and see all of your drunken exploits or your family can see where you really spend the weekends you were supposed to be visiting grandma it is amazing to me that people aren’t more careful.  To know you is to love you and now people can totally get to know you without ever having to meet you!

When you are in the entertainment industry this can be a great tool.  Here’s a little secret, I will “friend” anyone who asks on MySpace and, to a more limited degree, Facebook.  It’s in my best interest to be able to connect with as many people as possible, especially if they like me enough to help support my projects.  A lot of work goes into maintaining my online identity – and frankly I could be doing more.  My pages?  All maintained so you, the public, know what I’m doing.  This blog?  Designed to communicate and report about things I think are interesting or cool.  I don’t talk about everything, you don’t need to know about funerals I attend or about all of my political leanings, but the ones that are really important to me I mention and endorse/rebut.  I’m certainly not purposely posting embarrassing pictures, although there are a few floating around out there and, though I’m not a fan of censorship, I don’t “drunk tweet” or “drunk update” anymore.  There were a couple months right after the divorce where that happened, but… ugh, more trouble than it was worth.

I can’t stand on a pulpit and claim that I have all of this “online stuff” figured out.  Like I mentioned, there’s more I could do to maintain my online presence.  My personal webpage is a complete disaster and I still haven’t figured out why FriendFeed stopped playing nicely with Twitter and Facebook so that those sites were notified and then broadcast-ed that a new blog post was ready, but I’m not famous enough for people to care… yet.  In the end I still need to protect and portray my online persona in a way that lets people see what is appropriate while still letting me connect in an honest way.

So what am I getting at after three posts?  Self examination.  Take a look at what you have online.  Think about what you’re posting.  You twenty-somethings  who post all the drunken madness, don’t forget that those pictures are online until the servers die – and they don’t do that a lot.  Even if you “clean up” your page who knows what your friends still have up – or worse, your enemies.  And business folks, don’t fear the social networking!  It provides you with an unprecedented way to connect with your customers and, as Pepsi is proving with their bold move to exclusive online advertising, it appears to be the wave of the future.  Use the things you are comfortable with.  Not everybody is meant for Twitter.  MySpace is great for media, not so much for selling mattresses and the whole world is on Facebook.  The opportunities are plentiful, but, as with anything worth doing, there is a certain amount of risk to the unwary.  Responsibility doesn’t end when you log-in and the internet isn’t near as anonymous  as it used to be.  We’re used to portraying our “personal brand” in person, but now that extends to the virtual world.  Be aware of what you’re putting out there and I’ll see you – or at least the “you” you let me see – out there on the interwebs.

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under art, Facebook, fad, filmmaking, friends, making movies, social commentary, social networking

Your Personal Brand Part 2

Branding as a concept is hardly new.  Any student of business or advertising can tell you that your brand name and brand recognition are extraordinarily important.  The brand name tells the consumer what to expect and, for better or for worse, the level of trust they will place in a product.  There’s a reason why billions and billions of dollars are spent every year making sure that you know that Coke is the Real Thing or that Frosted Flakes are GRRRRRRRREAT!  Johnson & Johnson?  They’re the family company and I’ve heard that Snickers really satifies your hunger.  The name is the product and the product is the name.

Have you heard of the Mars Bar?  It’s a candy bar.  They have a version in the UK, but the kind I’m talking about is the all American Mars Bar, milk chocolate, nougat, almonds and caramel.  Man I love those!  They’ve been my favorite candy bar for a long time.  I don’t even buy them that often because I will eat all that I see until they are gone.  This is a really good candy bar, but sales were down.  In fact the Mars company, the company for which this candy bar is named after, knew that they had to do something.  It’s a good candy bar, it’s a flagship candy bar so how do you raise sales?  They decided to re-brand this candy bar.  See the Mars company also sells a candy bar that you may have heard of, the Snickers Bar.  The Snickers Bar is one of the top selling candy bars of all time.  One act plays have been written about the Snickers Bar.  Say Snickers in a room full of 6-11 year olds and you will be attacked until you produce the candy.  Thus the ever so tasty Mars Bar was re-named – re-branded – Snickers Almond.  The company took the trust and name recognition of the Snickers Bar – the candy that out sells their own flagship bar – and used that to help boost sales.

It worked.

Most people don’t know the history of Snickers Almond.  I know that a few folks thought that it was a new candy bar when they first got one.  I knew it wasn’t and it was a bit disappointing that this great candy bar that everyone was now enjoying could have been enjoyed just as much but not as many people would give it a chance because of its name, its brand.

But what does all of this mean for people?  What does it have to do with email and social networking?  Quite a bit actually.  Whether you like it or not if you are online you are advertising yourself.

Think about it.

It doesn’t matter if you only have an email address and nothing else, anything you have online represents you to those that might find you on the web – and that could be anyone on Earth.

So what do we, the older generation do?  I feel like we are a bit behind the curve with execution, but ahead of the curve when it comes to content and expression.  Any teenager can tweet right to their Facebook and then post a video about it on YouTube all from their phone.  I need to use my Blackberry to do all those things and, with the exception of  Twitter, really can’t get it done right unless I’m sitting in front of a full fledged computer.  I’m just not culturally accustomed to it.  And from my experience I’m about middle of the road for my age group.  I have some friends that are as savvy as a 13 year old, and some whose grandparents are better online.  Although we may not be able to do as much as the kids, what we can do is take advantage of what we do… do.  My friend Mark is an artist.  He does fine art.  He is looking to branch out and wants to do so online.  He has a website and a Facebook but he wants to try Twitter and see if MySpace can do anything for him.  I know a PR firm who only operates in social media and does a great business advertising their clients only online.  PepsiCo has decided to not advertise on the Super Bowl this year because they are moving to a mostly online advertising model.  Interactive social media is becoming more and more important all the time and even the big companies can’t deny it, which brings me back to the title topic, your brand.

Because being online is now almost a requirement how you allow yourself to be seen is more important than ever…

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Filed under art, Facebook, fad, filmmaking, friends, making movies, social commentary, social networking

Your Personal Brand: Part 1

Hi!  I want to give this next series of blogs a bit of a forward because this is a long blog, or at least it was before I decided to chop it into a few bits.  The idea of a personal brand isn’t new but it has come up a lot lately and so I thought it might be a good idea to really explore the idea.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t really kept up with my blog and this entry is part of the reason why.  I’m really hoping and looking forward to the discussions that this subject might spawn.  Enjoy!

I was talking with Rene recently about people, how the mob mentality works and the effect of social media.and then the subject raised again at a friend’s birthday party.  We were talking about social networking and social media and how it has effected our lives and business.  The conversation took an interesting turn when we discussed our ages.  All of us are in our 30’s-40’s, we’re the last generation of people who grew up without the internet in our homes.  For us we’re learning the internet as a tool,  not as a “given”.  We did research for papers when we first found the internet, now you can make friends and can instantly give opinions on just about anything.  Privacy is now marginalized.  People younger than I am don’t necessarily consider privacy the same way as people my age or older do.  It’s a rapidly changing world and the technology isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, but what does that mean for me and people like me?  What does it mean for the younger set and all the children who are being born and growing up in a world that they partially inhabit online?

I’m gonna’ roll back the clock here – to 3rd grade, Mrs. Guazzo’s class and our first trip to the computer lab.  This was 1986 and my family didn’t have a personal computer.  In fact none of my friends at the time had a personal computer, that I remember, except for Tommy Pollard and the only thing we knew how to do on it was play “California Games” which was a collection of beach themed sports, surfing, skate boarding, etc., other than that my trip to the computer lab was the only real encounter I had had with a computer.  I remember hearing my classmates getting excited, “Can we play Oregon Trail?” and murmuring about other things that they had apparently already seen.  There was no Oregon Trail that day, or any day after actually.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the only kid that never actually saw or played the game Oregon Trail and now you can download a pretty advanced version of it to play on your cell phone, but I digress…
We walked into the computer lab, a class room that had tables covered in computers instead of desks, and we were sat in front of our own Apple IIe’s.  Kind of neat, actually, considering that now that classroom must be an actual classroom now and I doubt that class sizes are small enough that each student would get a computer.  Although I remember, even then, times when we had to share two to a computer, but that’s not important right now.  What we did in computer class was practice our computer skills, this included typing (a skill I still haven’t mastered or taken the time to re-learn – although I do type around 60-75 words a minute even with my hunt ‘n peck), turtle shuttle (a game where the “turtle,” the arrow that is on your screen RIGHT NOW, was moved around the screen by typing commands  about how many degrees to rotate and then a numerical value that would equal a certain distance across the screen.  There were maze transparencies that they would tape in front of the screen that we were supposed to navigate.  A line coming out from behind the turtle would show your path and keep you honest.  I really liked that game.  There was also a game where you drove a car and had to run a certain number of errands for your aunt before you ran out of gas.  I liked that game too, but remember thinking how much gas the car we “drove” must have used because you really couldn’t get very far, maybe three blocks, before you needed to refuel.   Not very “green,” but it was the 80’s and we only cared about saving the whales back then – they even made a Star Trek movie about it!

I remember the first Macintosh computers coming to homes.  I remember BBS’s and when my friend Scott came home with a 14.4 bod modem that cost him hundreds of dollars!  I remember when America Online was THE way to get on the internet and how they used to charge you by the hour.  Chat rooms and ICQ.  The beginning of online gaming and when email started to overtake snail mail – and it’s when email became so prevalent that only the smartest of people began to realize what it really meant to have an email address.  That email address was your online persona.  It represented you in the digital world and to those of us that were too young or too shortsighted to see the future it seemed like a fun new fad and not the necessary business tool that it has become.  We had fun monikers, like my first AOL account name chickenshackkid which was the only name I could come up with that wasn’t already taken.  They were alter egos, things that we wanted to be or thought of ourselves in an alternate life.  Mine was the name of a character I had played a few years before I got my address.  I chose it because I wanted the world to know, even if it was in a very obscure way, that I was a working actor – no matter the caliber of the role.  I remember screen names and email addresses like naughtyprincess, cubsfan238, or eric51 all names that identified the owner by how they wanted to be known in the digital world – but many of these names weren’t thought out enough to carry into the “real” world.  And then came the DOTCOM boom and suddenly if you had a business you were trying to figure out how to take it online…


Filed under art, Facebook, fad, filmmaking, friends, making movies, social commentary, social networking

Uh Oh.

CNN just posted the “12 Most Annoying Facebookers”. Some of these sounded a bit too familiar. Look upon yourself! Are you, like me, guilty of at least ONE of these actions?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!!!?!?!!?!!?!?!!?!?!!? *Evil LOL’z

Here are 12 of the most annoying types of Facebook users:

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. “I’m waking up.” “I had Wheaties for breakfast.” “I’m bored at work.” “I’m stuck in traffic.” You’re kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn’t mean we all want to know when you’re waiting for the bus.

The Self-Promoter. OK, so we’ve probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.

The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies — you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway — might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 “friends?” Unless you’re George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That’s just showing off.

The Town Crier. “Michael Jackson is dead!!!” You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.

The TMIer. “Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids.” Boundaries of privacy and decorum don’t seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.

The Bad Grammarian. “So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe”. Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.

The Sympathy-Baiter. “Barbara is feeling sad today.” “Man, am I glad that’s over.” “Jim could really use some good news about now.” Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks — baited with vague tales of woe — in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.

The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you’ll be talking to them and they’ll mention something you posted, so you know they’re on your page, hiding in the shadows. It’s just a little creepy.

The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn’t complain about. “Carl isn’t really that impressed with idiots who don’t realize how idiotic they are.” [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.

The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone’s posted a photo of you from last weekend’s party — a photo you didn’t authorize and haven’t even seen? You’d really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.

The Obscurist. “If not now then when?” “You’ll see…” “Grist for the mill.” “John is, small world.” “Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not.” [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you’re not being mysterious — just nonsensical.

The Chronic Inviter. “Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which ‘Star Trek’ character are you? Here are the ‘Top 5 cars I have personally owned.’ Here are ’25 Things About Me.’ Here’s a drink. What drink are you? We’re related! I took the ‘What President Are You?’ quiz and found out I’m Millard Fillmore! What president are you?”

I took out all the other commentary from the article because I didn’t care. It’s a slurry puff piece, but the “types” listed here – I know all these folks on FB, and you do too! And I can admit to being at least a few of them, and you probably can too! Now watch as you spend the rest of the day fitting all of your friends into one of these twelve arch-types!

See you tomorrow!

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