If all goes well, and I don’t freeze to death like an overly-bedazzled, extra-large Popsicle, I’m planning to go downtown* for the Chicago Auto Show. You’re probably scratching your head, possibly throwing things around your living room a la Jerry Springer to express your outrage, because that simply does not sound like something Your Aunt Becky would like to do. And that is where you would be wrong.

I’ve been going to the Chicago Auto Show since I was a wee lass. It’s a Sherrick Family Tradition, begun many years before Your Aunt Becky descended upon this world, smoking cigars and barking out orders (that is how, Pranksters, my mother describes me). Somewhere, I have pictures of me as a baby – carefully held by one of the models that the car companies used to have by the cars – a muppet with curls toddling around in my fancy dresses, a preteen, a sullen teenager with my earphones on, glaring at the camera, and even pictures of me as an adult.

Between school and squalling babies, I’ve been a little busy and I haven’t managed to go in a couple of years.

When Toyota invited me to the first-ever social media preview of the Auto Show, I was gobsmacked.

You’re probably thinking, “oh, well, you’re a BLOBBER, people INVITE YOU TO THINGS,” and you’d be totally wrong. I’m the WRONG KIND of blobber, Pranksters. The only people who like me are the Car People because they don’t give a shit if I swear and that is fine by me.

That is also a conversation I’d love to have another day because I’m totally interested in what you have to say about it. ANYWAY.

So, I’m nervous.

I love cars. You know that. I’ve worked with Ford before for the What Women Want Series over the summer. Cars = rad. I’m not nervous or bored or apprehensive about going to spend the afternoon looking at them.

I’m picturing a claymation non-celebrity Death Match between:

Social Media (blobbers, The Twitterers, Facebook, Tumblr)

versus

Traditional Media (Newspapers, Magazines, Television)

There’s sort of a war going on between them. The rise of self-publishing platforms (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter) has really really REALLY hurt traditional print media (also: the recording industry). They haven’t been able to figure out a way to keep up with the times and stay relevant when people can pop onto Twitter and watch news as it unfolds. How can they compete with that?

Twitter, is free. Blogging, well, it’s (mostly) free**. Advertisers aren’t paying the big bucks to advertise and that’s where traditional print media makes their money.

(advertisers should really pull their heads out of their asses and realize that ALL of our blogs are, indeed, a good place to advertise.)

Traditional media is grappling with ways to offer something that’s different and more lucrative than social media. Traditional media has been reluctant to change. Traditional media has also considered social media it’s bumbling redneck cousin.

Traditional media has a point.

The crux of social media is also it’s beauty: it’s unfiltered.

There are rarely teams of editors fact-checking blogs and Twitter accounts for accuracy. For many things, that’s great: it gives you that extra emotional connection to the writer that may otherwise be missing. But it also allows speculation, rumors and outright lies to be spread without consequence. Sure, a “troll***” might come along and say, “hey, that’s not true, yo,” but one deletable voice in a sea of thousands?

Not that it doesn’t happen in traditional media too, but at least there, the fall from grace is much more pronounced. A blogger can just close up shop and eventually, we forget they existed. Or we don’t and they serve as a warning: “don’t pull a xxx.”

So that means that if I can shake this migraine (I have a double ear infection, adding insult to my toothless injury) I’m nervous of the reception I’ll get. Should I just show up wearing my Shut Your Whore Mouth shirt and a crummy old pair of boxers with a pork rib hanging out of my mouth?

Also: in Claymation Death Match, will they capture my Super-Villain hair properly?

So, what do you think about it all?

*downtown = Chicago.

**I pay a bit for hosting services and a couple of servers because I run Mommy Wants Vodka, Mushroom Printing, We Know Awesome and Band Back Together.

***there are many who consider people who disagree with them “trolls.” Generally, I do not.

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19 thoughts on “The Auto Show: Social Versus Traditional Media

  1. If you get an ad on your website that people can click and it leads to you getting a new car, remember to ask if they can bedazzle it. And include a “Shut Your Whore Mouth” bumper sticker.

  2. You lost me at throwing things around my living room ala Jerry Springer in fits of rage. I started laughing so hard it made it hard to read. Because I have done that. Don’t get all judgey.
    And I think you would look fantastic in claymation there should be a death match between you and Zuckerberg just cause.

  3. Can I get a Shut Your Whore Mouth AND Not your bitch bumper stickers now? please? That would be fucking awesome! Especially when I actually show up for a PTA meeting! That would be even more awesome! I might even go then!!!!! I could send them to family for the holidays! I could give them to my bff’s world wide!

    It was the “with a pork rib hanging out of my mouth” that sent me into fits of giggles…I am sure my lovely cubeville neighbors think I am on crack or something now.

    Oh, you would definitely pwn Zuckerberg!!

  4. The pork rib hanging from you mouth was the kicker! I’m too excited for you! Wear what you want, do what you want…be who you are- that’s who we all love! And we don’t care what ‘they’ think!

  5. I hate the Auto Show…but I’d hate it less if I saw you there in your shirt and boxers being a blobber. Because I’m pretty sure that being a blobber involves cutting in line to sit in the cars, riding on the turntables, pants-ing the models, and yelling profanities at the traditional media reps. Don’t get your tooth fixed before you go!

  6. I live near Chicago, and it blows me away each year how many of my friends love going.

    Just wanted to let you know that my little fingers are about to fall off from all the clicking on your blogs I’m doing on the Bloggy awards each day.

  7. Was just telling my husband yesterday I didn’t understand why people go to this show. Seems like torture to go see new, shiny, cars with lots-o-gadgets and then have to go back to driving your own piece-o-shit. He disagreed with me, cuz he’s a giant pain in my ass like that.

    Definitely SHUT YOUR MOUTH WHORE. If only I could be sure that a certain flowbie-haircut-sportin acquaintance of mine was going to this show, and I could somehow finagle a chance meeting between you two, I would ask you to tell her to kindly Read Your Shirt.

    Check out my blog…I need vodka too…

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