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Alt-Rogue takes on Alt-Right

January 26th, 2017 No comments

We certainly live in interesting times. For social media, the use and misuse of a single communications channel may have just changed the course of the free world. Which makes for even more interesting times.

I don’t know about you, but I could use a little less excitement.

In the recent 2016 U.S. election of Donald Trump, a concerted and strategic social media arsenal was unleashed, one that the Democrats seem to have been wholly unprepared for.

How is that? While we (yes I’m one) were busy laughing at people who watch Fox News, a “network” whose news stories and celebrity-talking-heads have been debunked time and time again, the last laugh was on us.

“Fake News” became facts, and fears became fuel, and fools became leaders.

The new white house itself is proud of its reliance on “alternative facts,” which — although Twitter has had a ball with the notion — is scary as shit.

Many of us original bloggers (Y2K here) remember when Ev Williams started Blogger and began self-publishing around that time. When Ev started Twitter, I don’t think any one of us ever saw the future: A POTUS spreading fallacies and threats and rumors, and then drawing dangerous lines in the sand with enemies and allies alike, all in 140 characters or less.

How did a medium that once was, if anything, super honest and highly personal — with early bloggers and twitter users making themselves vulnerable and human in sharing from the gut — become a channel for hate, hyperbole and falsehoods?

The medium isn’t the message, folks. The messengers are.

In this case, the alt-right’s Bannon and company ran a brilliantly strategic social media campaign, complete with a literal paid island of young people manufacturing a digital arsenal of fake new stories that made them rich, along with paid trolls posted at every corner of every comment section that mattered.

Bannon thought of that. We didn’t.

Because at our core, liberals and progressives believe that no one would believe it, that people are intelligent enough to distinguish hyperbole and alternate facts from truth, and that in the end, we should believe the best about our fellow man, and that love should trump hate.

Boy were we wrong. DEAD wrong.

So, how should we take back social media? Can we? What would it take? Do we have to fight “fire with fire,” as Trump said last week about national security?

While I’m glad we are building an army of comedians like Alec Baldwin and the SNL cast, who is building our army of truth-tellers that can deprogram and sway a public that has already been captured by an army of trolls?

One sign of hope this week: the ALT-rogue twitter movement

When the National Parks twitter users were silenced by federal order, some brave rangers went rogue and launched their own “AltUSNatParkService” handle. Scientists (@ScienceMarchDC) who have been directed to run all findings through the new administration before publishing them have followed suit with a planned march on Washington and bevy of rogue twitter handles of their own.

Suddenly the Alt-ROGUE movement is rising up against the Alt-Right movement.

This week – I see it as our best hope.

But we’ll need more. A lot more.

Categories: grieving, So-So Media, The Man Tags:

As time to forgetfulness decreases …

May 7th, 2013 6 comments

…Time to remembering is on us.

Mobile blogging. I thought I was doing it ten years ago on my first edition sidekick phone, but looking back, that was anything but mobile blogging. That was when most of my thinking was done stationary. On the couch. At a desk. At a hotel. In the park. Sometimes in my agency cubical.

The intermittent moments were used to travel, navigate, and live life. Productive thought stopped in between those stationary destinations, where thinking was made concrete.

Then the evolution began.

15 years ago, telecommuting moms were the renegades. Even the breast pumping, work-attending moms hated us. But now they know we were on to something. We learned how to think and work within the white space. To create in the interim. To produce in motion.

12 years ago, bloggers put training wheels on and started living and relating and creating in the in-between. In between coffee breaks. In between commutes. In between relationships. In between sleep and wake.

We shaped this new hyperspace of ubiquitous thought. Some of us are still here. Too many friends are gone. For the here and the gone I am going to try. Try to fire up the ambient observations not just about social — that’s not what counts — but because of social.

Who knew WordPress had a blogging app anyway.

Categories: grieving, meta, So-So Media Tags:

losing a social media guru before social media had a name – goodbye Michael O’Connor Clarke

October 14th, 2012 No comments

I’ve been thinking about you all day, Michael all day.

I even went to mass because I felt, well, if it could add in any tiny way to the comfort being sent to Leona from all parts of the globe, then I should do it.

Michael, I went for you too. You see, you would be one of the few who could get me in the doors. Can you see me? Standing outside, wondering, having never been to this church, hardly to any church in recent memory, would the side doors lead me awkwardly into the midst of communion lines? Then what would I do? Stick out my hand and say “Amen”? Michael sent me?

It took me a minute to make my way in. Would I remember the responses? Did you know some of them have CHANGED? Yes, for real. They don’t say “It is right to give Him thanks and praise” anymore – at least not at this church; they say something else, I think, “It is right and just”?

Today I didn’t feel like it was right or just. I felt like nothing made sense.

But in that not-making-sense-ness, I felt you poking my shoulder, poke poke, as I stood in the back. You  tried to get me to laugh. I couldn’t help it. I did smile.

I didn’t make it to the end, but I did stay through the part where all 200 of us prayed for those family and friends who had died. And so I prayed for you. And I stayed for the “peace be with you” part, and shook some people’s hands for you and Leona.

If only you would have stopped nudging me so I could have stopped giggling.

me and my blog brother:

remembering michael o’connor clarke

some of my favs from michael…

I hope that Michael’s  blogs are preserved – so many great ideas, so much he contributed.




Categories: grieving, PR, The thing about writing Tags:

The Crazy Thing Is…

January 14th, 2012 No comments

Pretty much all of it.

Categories: grieving, Humor Tags: