Twerking For The Win

Not even a week removed, I’d like to be among the few to congratulate MTV on another VMAs that went exactly as planned. Solid performances, pre-show buzz (NSYNC reunion say what?), but most of all, not even a week removed, everyone is still talking about it.

It may have been the better part of two decades since they’ve played an actual music video, but whether or not you are willing to admit it, MTV still knows exactly what you thrive on.  They do research, hire professionals. They’re good, they’re very good.

For…ever, MTV has subscribed to the theory that America loves controversy, mainly because we do. When it comes to music awards shows, it’s tough to establish an annual tradition that will bring the viewers back year after year.  At the top sits the Grammys, the unheralded standard of music awards shows. The trophy that any artist will proudly position atop their mantel because they know what it means to receive one.  Out of every single one of your peers, a panel of professionals chose YOU and YOUR WORK as the best that year. The Grammys are undebatable. Any other awards show starts to falter down the scale of credibility. The Teen Choice Awards were awesome, then you got a locker and five minutes to get to class and this became too much.  The country music awards shows are nice, but there’s 37 of them so they kinda drown each other out.  Keeping this in mind, there’s only one way MTV can keep the top of the conversation on the water cooler (Twitter) with the VMA’s: Controversy.

MTV has done so for years.  Kanye & Taylor Swift, Bruno t-bagging Eminem, Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy and then panning the camera to Jay-Z chilling stage-side with some guy that turned out to be Lady Gaga. Speaking of Gaga…meat dress…all I gotta say.

Oh yeah, and lest we forget MTV gave us Jersey Shore.

This kind of stuff would NEVER fly at the Grammys. One would be banned for life. MTV not only allows this, they embrace it. They want you to be shocked, outraged, offended even. It’s the philosophy of ‘any press is good press’, it’s why the Kardashians are relevant, it’s why we watch.

Especially in the social media generation, where we’re way more likely to complain than compliment. 10.1 Million tuned in for the show, up from last year and a decent number. However, the true victory comes in the social media buzz. Everyone, both online and on-site, were stoked for the possibility that NSYNC were reuniting (don’t kid yourself, yes you were). Although Timberlake didn’t disappoint in ANY way, by far the best performance of the show. Impressive, but it didn’t set the record 360,000 tweets per second, beating Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance. That would be Miley’s…performance… Like the Sean Connery card in Apples To Apples, controversy trumps all.

Five days removed, Twitter’s still abuzz, meme’s are getting created at record pace and conservative groups have absolutely had it and are letting us all know.  It’s what we in the media are trained to look for and talk about, in turn creating a table of debate for you to go at on your Facebook page. Miley’s performance may not define her career forever, but it will definitely be a staple for years to come.

So to the Operations Manager at MTV, I once again congratulate you on getting exactly what you wanted.  Again you have the captured the buzz, the press and the general public for a solid week in a way no other awards show can. Many will throw their stones and spit their venom at you, saying you are ruining the values of American society, but you know as well as I do that you are just working the system we have in place to your advantage. I know right, what did they expect? See you next year!



The Homeless Chronicles

I don’t mean to be misleading with the title of this post. Before we go any further I should clarify that I have a home, I just can’t get there right now. Due to some unfortunate circumstances that took place a few days ago I’ve been forced to play my hand at testing how strong the friendships I’ve made really are. In fact, that’s truly what this story is about: friendship, more so how blessed I am to have the friends that I do, both old and new (you like that?). That, and the unforeseen circumstances thrown in as well, make for a pretty decent story.

I should reiterate too that I moved to Kansas City for a reason. That reason being, among other things, I had outgrown my current situation and needed a place that could keep up with my constantly restless state of being. In the five short months I’ve been up here I can say this city has done that…a little too well. This could be credited to where I chose to live: The Power & Light District, located in downtown KC and the epicenter for almost anything entertainment related that comes across the Heartland. My mother found it hard to believe me when I said I’ve actually been to more concerts since I’ve been up here than almost my entire career in radio. Completely true, or at least close. Either way, the fun never stops, even when you’re ready to at 11:30pm when you have to work the next day. That in mind, let’s begin.

It was last Friday night and I was fresh off not only a work day that included assuring the KC metro that their much beloved and hyped new Boulevard beer ‘Pop Up Session IPA’ would be on the shelf for the weekend (Really an amazing drink, if you’ve not tried it yet I recommend it), but also a Billy Currington concert and Brian Davis PBR Big Sky after party the night before. I wasn’t looking to live it up necessarily that night, so when I found that my friends were of a similar mindset, we began to look for something ‘chill’* to do. I say ‘chill’* because when you live in the liveliest district in KC, ‘chill’* isn’t what most would consider ‘chill’. 

We set out to do some bowling at the Z Strike, figuring it wouldn’t be that packed since Bruno Mars and Ellie Goulding were performing at Sprint across the street, Corey Smith was at the Crossroads two blocks away (still kicking myself for not going), and Matt Nathanson was putting on a free show on the stage below the alley in a couple of hours. We were right it wasn’t that busy and the bowling was fun. It also helped that my college friend Andrew was working the bar and volunteered to be our server. Let me put it this way: if you’re ever jones’ing for some pizza and few frames, go see this guy. Just don’t feed him, then he won’t leave you alone.

*ALSO, note to my fellow Panther Alums: he does NOT honor the Drury Discount, which is a thing and shame on him for not knowing about it.

Afterwords we went out on the patio to catch the Nathanson show in full swing. Around the time he was winding down, so was my friend Steph, who had to be in St. Louis at 11am the next morning. She started to say her goodbyes, trying to get out of there before the Bruno Mars crowd started to flood in. I was fine with this until she reminded me that she left her things up in my loft, meaning I had to travel with her to get them. It took all of two seconds and half an evil smile to realize she had planned that so she didn’t have to walk alone. 

As we approach the loft complexes we start to see caution tape, then a crowd, then my lobby doors completely open with a bit of smoke escaping and the sound of a power hose going to town inside. I ask the nearest person what happened, this was the conversation:

Witness: “There was a fire”
Me: “Ok, I live here, sooooo”
Witness: “What floor?”
Me: “11th”
Witness: “Oh honey, you’re fine then! It was an electrical fire on the 2nd floor. Everything from the third down has some smoke damage, 2nd down has some water damage. The rest of the building smells, but ain’t a thing wrong.”
Me: “Awesome, can I go in?”
Witness: “Yeah, but the power’s out, you’re gonna have to take the stairs. And watch your step, it’s soaked!”

We took the 11 flights of stairs, which proved my insistence on doing so at least once a day to help train for this impending marathon I’ve insanely committed to wasn’t going to go unrewarded. I scaled each step with ease. Steph, on the other hand, did not. This presented a problem for her because she hates stairs, but also a problem for me because she had the only source of light in an otherwise pitch black stairwell. Once we reached the 11th floor (after a breathing break…Steph…) We stayed in the loft, illuminated perfectly thanks to the open windows welcoming the city lights, we stayed long enough to grab her things and determine it wasn’t a good idea for anyone to stay here especially with the power completely out and no determined cause for the fire. She said she would stay awake and be ready should I choose to come stay with her. This also meant I needed to go and get Ryan back at Power & Light, whom at this point was most certainly in no condition to drive.

I walked back down to P&L, now filling up with Bruno Mars buzz and the typical crowd (Imagine the Jersey Shore with everyone dancing to ‘Get Lucky’) Quite a fun scene. I go up on the Z Strike patio, and find Ryan with Andrew and some other college friends, ready to go. Not go as in leave, but the other go. Again, think Jersey Shore. Andrew, who agreed to return home to STL the next day and catch a ride with Steph the next morning at 8am in order to so, leaves for Johnny’s Tavern and the rest of the DU crowd. It’s important to note this, because it’s the moment I said “He’s not going to make it”. Ryan asks when I’m ready to leave, with a water in my hand and a defeated look on my face due to my current living situation, I say ‘whenever’. He agrees to finish his drink, pay his tab and depart. 

When he leaves for the bar, another figure approaches to my right. A new figure, and not a bad one. Guys, I’d say about an 8. Ladies, I’d say she has a decent ‘personality’. The conversation goes as follows:

8: “Good concert, right?”
Me: “Yeah, it wasn’t bad at all! Dude can still rock it”
8: “…You don’t seem like you’re having a good time”
Me: “Well, I just found out my apartment complex caught fire”
8: “OMG! Are you ok?”
Me: “…Yeah I’m clearly ok”
8: “Well, do you have a place to stay?”
Me (catching on): “…Yeah, I’ve got a place to crash for the night”
8: “Are you sure?”

Again, to put us all the same page, this is Power & Light, thus this conversation isn’t that uncommon. Tonight, I just wasn’t in the mood, no pun intended. I’m not one to dismiss what could potentially be an awesomely awkward moment though, so in what is perhaps my best Bond move to date I pull the following: I take a drink of my water, set it on the balcony, turn to her, tilt my head sideways and look directly into her eagerly flirtatious brown eyes and say “yeeeah…(shake head and smile) too easy”, then walk away. I don’t know how she reacted, because at that point I’m walking away like Wahlberg in ‘Shooter’.

I find Ryan at the bar and we depart for my loft just one last time, so I can go up and get the things I need for the night. At this point, I was extremely thankful for the encouraging comments on Facebook I was receiving after posting the situation. Between that, the texts and tweets, I knew I would always have a place to go. However, when I’m using my phone as a flashlight to get up my pitch black staircase and the result of all these text alerts is my battery dying, the situation (again no pun intended) can turn bleak quickly. I was fumbling up the dark stairwell, feeling the walls like it was braille for the placard that read ’11’. Finally doing so, I walked back down, treaded through the ankle deep water in the back of the building, got to my car, and for the second time that night, didn’t look back.

I had to work the next day, so I had plenty to distract me until 4pm, when I arrived back at the building to find to electrical maintenance trucks in the back, several generators going, and a Red Cross emergency vehicle double parked on Grand with several of my neighbors talking outside. I find the closest officer and ask what the situation is, to this response:

Officer: “It’s not looking too good”
Me: “I live here, can you elaborate further?”
Officer: “Oh yes, sorry. I don’t want to scare you, but they’re saying it could be up to 30 days.” 
Me: “(jaw drops) how is that possible?”
Officer: “I was the main frame or something that blew, it could result in a whole re-wiring.”
Me: “Can I go in?”
Officer: “Yes, but we have orders to shut the building down at 8pm. Get what you need for as many days as you can.”

I continue to make my way up the 11 flights, this time with glow sticks to light my path. I grab the things I need, in addition to the trash that I don’t want to smell up the loft, even though it certainly doesn’t hold a candle (I’m all puns tonight!) to the smell outside the room, and head to my car. I come back to help those with lots of things and/or struggling to master the stairs and stay as long as the police let me to help my neighbors. It was a good thing this happened on a Friday night, because that meant none of us were there at the time. Zero injuries, but a lot of frustration.

I’ve been in touch with some of my neighbors. Four days after the incident, we all seem to know about the same thing, which is nothing new. Could be seven days, could be more. What I could not be happier about though, is that my worries are thankfully minimized due to the core around here I call my friends. I realize my move 5 months ago was certainly categorized as a ‘risk’; I gave up the world in Springfield, with nothing but potential and a city of friends, to pursue something I would always regret if I didn’t. I’ve always opened my doors to those wishing to come in, not for karma or worse, a bank of favors to certainly cash in on down the road, but because that’s how I was raised. I can’t begin to state how fortunate I am to have surrounded myself with friends up here, both old and new, that are willing to do the exact same thing for me. Whether it’s talking Crayola colors with my cousin’s daughter while staying at they’re house, or re-watching The Office while talking about the college days at a friends house, not a beat is missed.

That’s why I don’t want any pity or “I’m so sorry”. I’m doing just fine, and honestly? I want this*. Not to say I wanted my building to burn, that statement would certainly raise some eyebrows and probably bring KC’s Finest to my door for a couple questions…whenever I have a door again that is. What I mean by that is this:

I didn’t move up to Kansas City to go through the routine. Go to work. Go home. Go out. Find someone. Make Friends. Go to work. Pray for a Promotion. Same. Old. Boring. Garbage. Not for me. 

I want a How I Met Your Mother story, the kind of story that can last 10+ seasons without anyone saying ‘GAH! Just get to the point!’ (which you may or may not be feeling, but since you’ve gotten this far voluntarily you’re just as much to blame). This story, like so many more before it, I hope to tell years from now to those that don’t have to pretend to care. 

This may not be the most convenient path, but the paths worth taking seldom are. I’m living, and I’m still loving every minute of it. That’s in so much part thanks to my friends, each and every one of you. You’ve stood by me through every random decision or ‘out of the blue’ move I’ve ever made, a long list I know.  I may currently and for the short term be in a position that could be classified as ‘homeless’, but as I stated in the very beginning. It’s because of you that I am anything but.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s past my temporary roommate’s bedtime and I must abide by the rules of this house. 

*Secretly counting down the days until I can move out.

Update From Cardinal Nation: Kansas City Chapter

Two months. Two entire months. That’s how long it’s been since I decided to take my (debatable) talents to the northland of MO. Kansas City: Home of good culture, great BBQ and a passionate community.  60 days has seperated me from all that I had previously known; cashew chicken, two lane highways and a walmart on every corner. I’ve gone from the expectation of being an entertainer every time there’s a mic around to being an expert every time there’s a frosty mug around. I’ve also been away from my favorite fanbase in the entire world: Cardinal Nation. Baseball’s best fans, backed up by reverence to a winning tradition, passion for the team that gets them there and a loyalty that is the envy of most other teams. Instead I’ve found myself stuck in the middle of another fanbase, that of the Kansas City Royals.

It’s not been easy  repping Cardinal Red in a sea of Royal Blue, especially given the history between these two teams.  You can’t wear a Cards cap in downtown KC longer than five minutes without someone yelling ‘1985!’. It’s the automatic go-to for any Royals fan and why shouldn’t it be? In 1985 the Cards had a 3-1 series lead with chance to finish the Series at home, but Royals pitcher Jackson showed up, whereas Forsch didn’t the first couple of innings, forcing the series back to KC and the infamous Game 6, where The Call was made. Honestly, this is all most Royals fans remember about that Series. Clark tossed the ball to Worrell, but 1B ump and crew chief Don Denkinger supposedly had his view ‘blocked’ and missed what was clearly an out, calling Orta safe. The Cards weren’t the same after and the Royals went on to own Game 7 and the Series. It was so controversial it is rumored to still haunt then Cards manager Whitey Herzog to this day. (Whitey, you won one in ’82, don’t let this get to you!) Royals fans refuse to let Cardinals fans forget this. I understand why…and I respect that.

Of course, it’s not been that hard to rep Cardinal Red either. See, after that Series, these two teams went in polar opposite directions. The Cards have been to three Series since, winning two and are consistently one of the most (if not THE most) successful franchises in baseball, continuing it’s long and storied tradition of such. The Royals have become a joke, even to Cubs fans at times. It’s gotten so bad that the two major stories surrounding the Royals have been their ridiculous home-losing streak and the hiring of George Brett as Hitting Coach (desperation attempt to settle the increasingly bitter fans after a decent start to the season).

KC and STL both recently hosted the most recent chapter in the I-70 Rivalry, the Cards taking 3 out of 4 quite dominantly, including the two at Kauffman which contributed to that huge Royals losing streak.  I was at both games, decked out in as many Cards accessories as security would allow me to walk in with.  Being at both games it was easy to see Cardinal Nation was contagious: the entire stadium was drenched in red. Each person I sat next to had a Molina, Wainwright or Holliday jersey. Even Pujols had some repping. Years of losing has undoubtedly contributed to the mass of allegiances to other teams, which assuredly makes the few true Royal Blue even more bitter.

I’ve learned that when Royals fans yell at you “1985!”, they don’t like it when you respond “2011! 2006! 1982! 1967! 1964! I got more, I can go on!”

They’re also not particularly fond of “1985? I wasn’t even born then, but I have seen two since I’ve been here!”

Royals fans don’t like being reminded of the present, so they’re not huge on you yelling back “2013!” (this also works for any of the last 28 years really).

Also, if you really want to throw in a multi-team stab, they don’t like it when you yell back “Robinson Cano!”

OR, if you wanna go multi-sport, you can say “Hey, they’re still scoring more than the Chiefs…barely” (They REALLY hate that)

Truth be told KC, I’m pulling for you. I know what a World Series can do for an economy, and it’s not that you’re hurting in that dept (in fact, you’re putting STL to shame) but a strong playoff push could do this town and it’s fans some good. Honestly, I want you to make it, please. Get to the World Series so we can finally annihilate you and you can finally shut up about something that happened 28 years ago. GO CARDS!

The Death of The Legend

Where I grew up, we had this huge drainage ditch. Honestly, it rarely worked, our street flooded every time it rained, but back when it was hard to gauge depth and distance because you were a child and didn’t know any better, it was a huge ditch. The neighborhood kids and I would spend countless school nights trying to figure out how to jump it with our bikes. Many tried…none succeeded.

Except one. His name was Blake and he lived around the block. He got a new bike for his birthday and brought it out for Show and Tell. We were out at the ditch attempting the impossible again. Something in the air seemed different that night, when Blake took the turn, picked up speed and steadied his handle bars. It may have been luck, it may have been the bike…but it happened. Blake cleared the ditch, and was the talk of the town the next day and for years to come.

I grew up in a time when daydreams were cluttered with stories of the Paul Bunyans and the Pecos Bills of the world. The kind of folklore that you just can’t believe, but the only confirmation you needed was more than one person saying “that’s what I heard”.  Even if it weren’t remotely close to fact, it still grew to such a tale that it started to seem true.  That’s what legends are made of. I never saw Babe Ruth play, but the stories about his childhood are astounding. Even in the modern day with guys like Albert Pujols. You can’t go 3 miles in Independence without somebody talking about his accomplishments in Youth League ball games.

“You know that ball field in Excelsior? Yeah, I was there when Pujols jacked not one, but two dingers into the forrest past left the SAME INNING. 500 feet easy.”

It’s the awe-struck feeling one gets when they hear that, mixed with the comprehension of how incredibly improbable that feat truly is that makes legendary stories legendary. Entire movies have been made from that feeling (Sandlot, anyone?). Sadly, I feel as if they will soon cease to exist.

I was watching the 30 for 30 documentary the other day on Bo Jackson. The world’s greatest athlete who had his career stripped from him way too early. The beginning of the film touches on all the childhood stories about him: dunking a stick in 8th grade, throwing rocks with both hands for hours on end never getting tired, doing backflips effortlessly…in water. The only footage we have of Bo come from the few years he spent playing in the MLB and NFL. The rest…you just gotta take their word for it.

Sadly, I don’t think this will happen anymore. The Gen X-er’s and all who follow have grown accustomed to stats that back themselves up with evidence that can be found in multiple locations online. “Just Google it” has replaced “that’s what I heard” as the standard for credibility. While having this option has been a blessing in many ways, it’s the Achille’s Heel of legendary stories. I have a tough time believing that kids in the future will listen to their parents tell tales of how John Henry beat a machine and built an entire railroad system on his own, then jumping on their phones to find out if this really happened through a YouTube search. When every fact has been held in check since we’ve all had access to the internet, the term ‘legend’ has slowly started to lose it’s meaning.

I hope we don’t reach that point. What’s the point of legendary tales if not to inspire us to achieve the impossible? “Don’t give up! Johnny Appleseed never gave up when he set out to plant Apple Trees all over the country. If he hadn’t, we never would’ve been able to have that pie tonight!”

That neighborhood from my childhood has disappeared, forever in the hands of city planners trying to find ways to minimize flood zones, but that ditch is still there. To this day, there’s only been one person to successfully jump it. No videos, no podcasts, no official record on hand to document. It’s just what I heard.

Full Speed Ahead

There is a thirst that exists deep within. A constant sense that never seems to be desired. I look around and a see people, acquaintances, strangers…people that have that thirst, but have given up in finding that moment when the thirst is quenched. Whether it’s a false sense of satisfaction or the numbing feeling that happens when you admit defeat, I don’t want to associate myself with that crowd.

A while back (too long ago, I know I know…I need to blog more) I announced I’m switching direction. I’m moving away from the only area I’ve called home and stepping out of the comfort zone of the family industry.  I’m taking everything I’ve accomplished in that career field and leaving almost all of it behind. All the upside, all the potential, used as memories made and lessons learned in pursuit of a bigger dream.

I guess I should make this clear: I regret nothing. My years in media were some of the most amazing and maturing of my life. I’d done things most only get to dream of. This isn’t something that I take for granted, every opportunity seized was one I’ve gladly accepted and have been proud to. That being said, this opportunity was no different.

I was sick of always having a conversation with someone and that person telling me “man, you can do anything”. Couple that with the fact that since college I’ve always wanted to prove myself and earn success in a larger format, it was just the perfect storm for asking “then why am I not doing it?”

As I sit here in my new home nestled in the heart of downtown Kansas City, typing before a massive skyline and rain slightly tapping on the windows, I’m preparing for another day of learning at my new gig. I’ve shifted from media sales and production to alcoholic beverage sales and distribution. I’ve found there are quite a few differences, but the similarities are equally as present and help to gather a sense of confidence that I’m catching on quick. My managers have also assured me that this is the case, and the ladder may start moving quickly. My new manager loves me for my work ethic, saying the other day he’s excited to see what happens in the next couple of months, of course right before handing me a new Mexican craft he had been working on with plans for it to hit shelves next week.  From the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met to the experiences I’m having and the people I’m meeting.  Yes, as I type, I couldn’t be happier.

That’s not to say I’ve satisfied this thirst that exists. Truth be told I hope I never do. As long as I’m thirsty you can bet the bank I’ll possess and drive that is unmatched, and determination that demands to reach the next level in life.  Every moment, every risk, every opportunity in life has led to this. My fuel is that same component that makes me thirsty.

I’ve had a few quotes weighing heavy on me as of late. Obviously, the Zuckerberg quote is still a big one. But recently I read a Facebook post from Kobe Bryant shortly after his injury: “If you ever see me in a fight with a bear, pray for the bear”. Truly speaks volumes to his determination and focus on getting to the next level.

You’re also going to notice some changes to this blog. It’s going to be slightly less niche and way more personal. I want this blog to emulate every emotion I’m feeling and every bit of knowledge and personality I’ve picked up along this journey through life. Hopefully a bit more consistent in posting as well…

I can’t thank my faith, family and friends enough for the support and love I’ve received in my life. It truly brings me to tears and I’m so excited that each of you have impacted me in the way that you have. I can only hope to return the favor in your own journey.

The résumé is growing: Landscaping artist, driving range manager, golf club mechanic, pharmacy technician, photo lab scientist, professional photographer, tour guide, social media manager and consultant, on-air talent, night club dj, award winning commercial artist, public address announcer, emcee, successful account executive, retail specialist. Most importantly, I’m not done yet.

Turning The Page

This week has been, to say the very least, a roller coaster.  The kind of emotional strain you tell yourself to prepare for, and do the very best to do so, but no matter how focused you are, it’s going to hit you like a brick wall when it comes.

It’s never easy to take something that’s on the up-and-up, and drop it to pursue something else. Yet at the same time there are dreams that we conjure up in our minds in which we make a promise to ourselves that we will pursue. It has long been my fear that I may slip so far into what I am doing that I may never make good on that promise and pursue that dream.

So effective last Thursday, I’ve given my two week’s notice to accept a position with Central States Beverage Company in Kansas City, MO. I’m 24. I’m single. It’s a position where nothing is holding me back. I’m unique in that money does not motivate me, I am instead fueled with a thirst for success and respect. For years I’ve felt the only way to get that which I desire is to see what I can do in a larger population. Kansas City has long been a haven for me. Sure, there’s tons of other towns and options, but the world comes to KC, so I must with it.

I admit though that this situation is a very bittersweet one. The last four years have been some of the most rewarding of my life. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work in every single facet of a radio station. From the sales end, to the production, to the programming to the social media, there wasn’t a thing in the schedule I didn’t enjoy doing. Perhaps what was most rewarding was growing into an on-air personality, having this beautiful area tune in, listen to me, be entertained, enjoy, relate to me, start to feel like they know me.  The relationship I’ve developed with my community is one I’ll forever cherish.  I’ve spent my entire life in media, and I’ll always have a passion for it, but in order to advance myself I must not be afraid to take risks.

They say in this crazy race of life that if you don’t chase what it is that you’re after, you can’t possibly expect to ever catch it. This decision is one that I’ve been fighting for a while and I want to thank each and every person that was there to provide comfort and advice along the way. I’m sad to leave what I’m doing, but look forward to what the future has in store.

I was once given the opportunity to listen to a genius speak. I learned a great deal from his short conversation, but perhaps one of the biggest takeaways was a simple challenge: “Always ask yourself, what decisions would you make if you weren’t afraid to make them.” That guy created Facebook. I plan on taking that advice and creating my own success story. Wish me luck, Kansas City here I come!

Hashtags Are Getting Out Of Hand

Holy cow! I just realized it’s been quite some time since my last post on here. Truth be told, there’s a lot going on. I realize that’s the easiest excuse ever for not getting something done and we use it all too often, but I’ll follow it up with the second most used excuse: seriously, there’s a lot going on.

I have taken notice to something though in my time away: Hashtags are getting out of hand. Does anybody know why hashtags were originally created? It was a communication tool to link anyone around the world to a conversation of like items. Such as #MyDayWasLike or #CookingProblems. Television and Venues were licking their chops at this: it was an opportunity to make your event interactive: You could connect EVERYONE watching The Voice to the same conversation with #TheVoice. Attendees at SXSW could find each other throught #SXSW. It’s been something I’ve been trying to integrate into radio with #request or #OZKTop20.

Unfortunately, hashtags have fallen victim to the masses; Most people don’t use social media to listen, they use it be heard. Good hashtag conversations are few and far between, falling victim to stupid things like #swag and #yolo. People don’t click on those links, they just use them to fill up space in their tweet because it takes less time to explain than a sentence.

It’s almost become an act of spamming. Entire tweets consisting of nothing but hashtags. What does that accomplish? Sure it may gain you an extra follow or two, but is having someone wiling to follow THAT a good quality follow? Plus, it takes away from any of those conversations you linked to, and probably lost you any additional follows you gained or more.

Perhaps the worst part is that this trend has carried over to Facebook. Hashtagging in status updates, most aren’t even linked to the Twitter accounts. Granted, this may change with their new Graph Search (hold off on that verdict) but do these hashtaggers realize IT DOESN’T LINK TO ANYTHING ON FACEBOOK?!?!? This proves my afore-mentioned point that the masses don’t use social media to truly listen to what their followers are saying, they’re merely waiting for their chance to speak.

Maybe this is the way of the future. If social media has taught us anything it’s that it can’t be predicted. Maybe this is the new form of communication. From full sentences, to shortened sentences to this. Maybe this is inevitable. Hashtags will just join the ranks of poking and profile songs as the ‘Unnecessary Applications Of Profiles’. I hope not though.

I don’t want this post to be mistaken for a complaint. I still think there’s value behind the hashtag and desperately wish to see it return to the reason of it’s creation: to link us all together in one really big conversation. End this madness.