The Great Write-Off of ’09: Losing a Friend

Ok folks, we’re going to start this competition off with a bit of a depressing topic but one that’s been on my mind lately.

Seeing a friendship end is never easy nor fun. And while it may be the best thing for all parties involved, it can still hurt quite a bit. A lot of people don’t like the idea that their friends may one day leave their lives as quickly as they entered but it does happen from time to time, sadly.

Just like relationships, some friendships have expiration dates. And just like relationships, friendships that once seemed so strong can fade to a shell of its former bond. I know a lot of people approach friendships with a different mindset than relationships, but I do think there’s more in common with these two than most realize.

When a friendship is over, many feel a sense of loss, an emptiness, where that former bond used to be. There are inside jokes no one else will get, memories that cannot be shared with others, interests that interest no one else. In short, there were reasons that person was your friend.

But sometimes these reasons don’t justify the negatives that manifest from years of small slights and miscommunications.

Recently, I witnessed a close friend of mine see a friendship she’s had for two decades end. It was a friendship that had been rocky in recent times but I know she’s still very upset it’s over. This is someone that has been there through it all – play dates in elementary school, the awkwardness of high school, first loves, first heartbreaks. This friend had been there and seen it all first-hand. And when someone that knows such a large portion of your personal history leaves, it can be really tough. Suddenly you find yourself having to explain events and names to other friends who don’t know who or what you mean. It can leave a profound gap in your social circle.

Yet… Some friendships are not meant to be long-term friendships. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses loose and move on. These are the friendships that have become toxic, have started to see the bad outweigh the good, that are draining on your energy and emotional well-being.

In recent years, I’ve gotten better at letting these friendships go. However, I still find it incredibly hard. I’m the kind of person who likes to hold onto the people I care very much for. Despite negatives in the friendships. But I’ve realized my time is finite and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of people who care about me, who make me feel like I’m a good person, and who put just as much effort into our friendships as I do. Those are the friendships I need to concentrate on, they’re the ones that return a positive influence in my life, these are the people who make me happy.

So while I’m sad for my friend, sad because I see her going through the pain of losing a friend, I know that in a while she’ll feel a weight lifted, as she realizes that her toxic friendship is no longer hurting her. And she’ll move on, build new friendships and strengthen the ones she has, but will always remember the good times of a friendship that meant a lot to her.

And who knows? Perhaps someday they will find their way back to each other and start anew, with a clean slate and a healthier state of mind. That’s the best part: the hope of renewal, revival, resurgence of a lost friend.


I’m just going to go ahead and apologize now for that uber-flowery ending but I couldn’t help it. It was begging to be written

Announcing: The Great Write-Off of 2009

OK, so in an effort to write more on this blog, I proposed a blog post challenge to Dan Hocking, of DanHocking.com fame. He accepted my challenge (the poor sucker, doesn’t know what he’s in for) and as of tomorrow, we’ll be starting “The Great Write-Off of 2009.”

THE RULES:

1. We will post every other day, alternating days between each of us.
2. We MUST post on our day – nothing past midnight EST or it counts as being late.
3. Posts can be about anything or anything. A funny story, an observation, personal information, etc. However, there must be SOME content to it. Can’t just put up a picture of something and call it a day. (Unless…)
4. Unless… you made the picture. Video, audio, visual, text – any and all is an accepted format.
5. Days missed or late posts will result in punishments (see more below).
6. On our “off” days, we will link to the our competitor’s post (if it’s up within a reasonable amount of time).
7. Spamming friends, twitter accounts, facebooks with links to the posts is more than encouraged.

PUNISHMENT
1. It is up to the punishee to pick their final punishment.
2. Punishment options can be picked from either the punisher’s suggestions, or if any commenters have suggestions.
3. Must be blog-related (i.e. will be in post form, though can be any of the aforementioned acceptable formats) and please, nothing too illegal, TMI or dirty. We are “professionals” here, after all.
4. Punishment must be done within 48 hours of missing a deadline.

STARTING
Tomorrow, June 9, 2009 with yours truly!

ENDING

Tuesday, July 9, 200. The day of freedom. The day I celebrate my momentous victory. The day I will allow myself to run out of ideas.

Let the write-off begin! (Well, tomorrow.)

Today’s Big Viral Video

I saw the following video pop up on my Twitter feed this afternoon at 1pm on the Leo Burnett Twitter account, with the tweet, “#culturalfuel Vendor-Client relationship in real life situations: Just found this on FB. No comment..”

I watched this video, laughed and marveled at how true it rang and then re-tweeted it on my account.

Since then I’ve seen it pop up at least 4 times on other accounts I follow on Twitter and on advertising blogs, such as AdJoke.

As of 5.47pm, this video has been viewed over 2,500 times and my guess is the majority of them were today. Already it’s received well over 63 comments – a much higher view/comment ratio than one would normally find on a YouTube video. It’s also been favourited 524 times, so clearly the video is clearly hitting a nerve in the ad industry.

Comments include things such as, “This made my stomach hurt. I have had this same type conversation three times this week alone” (shawngoesgreen) and “Five stars isn’t enough” (jforrest55).

This video was added to YouTube 5 days ago on an account that was made 6 days ago. Sounds like someone’s trying – and succeeding – in making this thing viral. Should be interesting to see what the numbers are like in a few days. I’m also curious to see whether “Mr Bennett” really did see this thing on Facebook or whether it was actually created by Leo Burnett itself.

Top 5 Reasons I love Twitter

I’m sure there a million posts on why people love Twitter. So I’m just making sure I add in my $0.02 and make it a million and one. These are my reasons for loving Twitter:

ONE. Free stuff.

Twitter is great for giveaways. Just today, I was quick enough to reply to this challenge that I’ve won a cooler from Canadian Tire:

cantire

Thanks, Canadian Tire!

TWO. Laughing at funny things friends write.

I love my friends, both on Twitter and off Twitter. I have some close ‘real-life’ friends that tend to crack me up with their random and insane updates and I’m glad they’re using Twitter so I can get a good daily dose of laughter:

maggie

Apologies for the language. Debated whether or not to include but it was just too random to not.

THREE. Learning about promotions and sales from companies I like.

One of my favourite reasons I like Twitter is that I can get updates from companies or services I have an interest in. I follow enough blogs that I don’t really want to necessarily add a corporate blog to my long list of blogs on Google Reader. Usually this is because I’m not terribly interested in new updates to the site, or company changes, but simply the sales and promotions. I find companies use Twitter to just push the sales and promotions, like this:

cameesa

Because of this Tweet, I ended up purchasing a shirt from Cameesa. Just got it today! Thanks Cameesa for letting me know about the sale!

FOUR. Sharing and learning from great people in the industry.

Probably one of my favourite parts of Twitter is learning from people I find to be absolutely brilliant in advertising, marketing, digital and social media. I’m such a new player to this game, any and all information I can soak up, I will. So Twitter allows me to really take a seat in the back and watch the show. There are many really great minds on Twitter and I love following them all, such as this guy, Bud Caddel who works at Undercurrent in NYC:

bud

The added benefit of listening and learning is that I am slowly building up my confidence with regards to my own opinions. I can own them more effectively when I see that there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong opinion to have on any given topic. There are many individuals in this industry that don’t necessarily agree on everything but this leads to discussion, which inevitably improves our thinking on certain processes.

FIVE. Funny links that users feel compelled to share and I’m thankful they do.

The internet is a strange and wonderful place and I welcome links sent to me over Facebook, messenger services or Twitter. Twitter, however, allows you to spam everyone on your friends list with funny and/or awesome links such as this one from Jessica:

bambi

I’m pretty sure my life would have been incomplete without that link. Just sayin’.

Bonus Love:

SIX. A Tweet from space.

Twitter doesn’t get any cooler than this!

space

So those are my Top 5 Reasons I Love Twitter (Really Six). There are many, many more reasons but these are definitely some of the main reasons.

What do you think? Can you name any additional reasons to love Twitter? Or perhaps reasons why you dislike Twitter? Feel free to share in the comments!

Bejeweled – Or How an App Stole My Heart

Ok, so lately I’ve had a major crush. HUGE. I can’t stop thinking about this crush. When I close my eyes, I see my crush. I can’t help it. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thought on my mind as I drift to sleep.

I – what? A boy?! Ha. Hahaha. No, no, dear friends. I’m clearly talking about only the best game ever out there on Facebook: Pop Cap’s BEJWEWLED BLITZ!

So I’ve played a lot. Obssesively, one might say. I have the 2nd highest score of my “friends group” in this application and I’ve been trying my hardest to beat silly Katie for aaaaages now. I’m not going to even try to count how many hours I’ve spent looking at this application. But I will say: it’s a lot. And I’ve been wondering: What is Bejweled doing with all these minutes?

I think these are lost minutes. Sure, I know now that Pop Cap is the creator. That’s been drilled into my head by the opening credits. But beyond that, what are they doing to gain an advantage over other applications? Eventually, I fear, I will lose interest. And then I will drift away. And what is Pop Cap left with? An ex-user who used their application for free for many hours and then walked away. What did Pop Cap benefit from that?

There is a small link to Bejeweled 2 at the bottom of the end credits. Is this what their aim is? To get users to buy Bejeweled 2 $19.99? Becaue unless you visit the site, I had no idea the software was even for sale. I think they should really ramp up that marketing message because unless you accidentally clicked on the link (which I’ve done, many times, and then immediately closed the window without even looking at the content), how will you know about this?

On the other hand, I do like what they’re doing here:

bejeweled

See at the bottom there? The more you and your friends play, the better prizes you could possibly win? Every week, the game starts anew. I like this for three reasons:

  1. I like free things. A lot.
  2. It makes me want to invite as many friends as possible so the chances of winning the better prizes is larger.
  3. It appeals to my competitive streak to see my progress right there. If I only play 600,000 points worth of games in the next 4 days, I could win a laptop! Holy smokes, right?!

And so when I log in today to play the ever-addicting game, I see this:

bejeweled2

Eeee! I can’t wait! I want way more awesome. I want to go to that place. (As Liz Lemon would say.)

I’ll let you know if the way more awesome Bejeweled Blitz is an improvement over the current one. And if they do anything useful with all those minutes I’m throwing their way.

So what do you think? Any applications on Facebook that are doing some things right? Or maybe some that are wasting away good opportunities? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

It’s All In the Details

I know this is a little thing, but it’s the little things like this that drive me up the wall.

Recently I was on the MTV.ca site enjoying some free TV programming thanks to The Hills Aftershow Show (I never claimed to have good taste in TV!) when I noticed this banner ad above me. And not for the right reasons:

Something is wrong!

Something is wrong!

Can you see it? Just me? It says: Missed an episode? Click Here to Watch NOW.

If you’re going to go for leading caps, why isn’t episode capitalized?! And just for the record, I hate leading caps. They look ugly and unnatural. If you’re going to talk to a consumer, talk to them with regular punctuation, as if you’re talking at the same level. Leading caps makes me feel like this advertiser is talking down to me. Let’s have a regular conversation, with regular punctuation, shall we?

It’s small, yes, but I disliked it enough to blog about it! Take that, CTV.