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