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Posts Tagged ‘Monica Guzman’

The Value of Online Friendships and IRL

bff, by eflon

Two years ago at SXSW I met two people in real life for the first time. After meeting each other, we didn’t have that awkward “getting to know you” phase, instead we were chained to the hip debriefing about sessions and mapping out how each of us were going to make our impact in the world. When we’d meet new people and they asked how we met, we’d answer simultaneously, “On Twitter!”

“You mean you didn’t just meet here?”

Well, sorta. You see, the three of us had been talking for two years online and SXSW happened to be the first time that we were all in the same physical room together.

We joked that we were “IRL-ing,” which is the active verb of spending time “in real life” together as opposed to online. And it was fun, too.

Think about the closest friends that you have, the ones that you can share anything with. Now think about how long it took you to get to that point of comfort with your friend. Years, probably.

Friends vs. Friendship

Yesterday, Monica Guzman wrote about the term “friends” and how in the age of social media, are all of the “friends” that we have online actually friends, or just people we know who we call friends?

She writes about the difference between friends and the role of friendship:

How many people can I turn to in a crisis? A small group of family and close friends I’d think to reach out to — if I keep the trouble offline.

But if I take it online, if I decide that’s all right, it’s all of them plus an unpredictable number of other friends, acquaintances, professional contacts and even strangers who might help, maybe more quickly or more effectively than the people I know and see the most.

These tech-connected “friends” won’t ever replace the flesh-and-blood people with whom we form deep, enduring relationships. But they can act the part a time or two, and even audition for a permanent role….

So are people friends if they act like friends for a moment here, an hour there? Can we draw clean lines between our networks and our friends once and for all?

No, we can’t, and maybe we shouldn’t. Because when we’re so connected, the prevalence of friends doesn’t matter nearly as much as the prevalence of friendship.

The question about if a person is really a friend or not is something that we’ve all wondered for years (just ask any heart-broken teenager). But are the conversations and relationships we have and build online real or not?

Stop Valuing IRL Over Your Online Life

My friend Mouyyad of IRL-ing fame sent me this video of Alexandra Samuel’s talk at TEDxVictoria in which she gives Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life (video embedded below). She says:

We are so used to apologizing for our online reality that we actually have an acronym for it: I. R. L., in real life. And you see people all over the Internet itself using this acronym to say, ‘What I’m doing right now online does not count. It’s not real. Reality happens elsewhere.

Wait, so that conversation that I had with someone last week on Twitter that turned into a freelance project wasn’t real? And the person who I met two years ago online who’s turned into one of my closest most trusted friends, isn’t real?

Alexandra’s talk is centered on the idea of “Real Life Too,” a new acronym to embrace and properly recognize all those activities that we do online as being real.

That anonymous person who left a hateful comment on your blog? They’re real. That blogger you’ve been connecting with who lives on the other side of the world? They’re real. That person who lives in your same city who you’ve tweeted with at events but have never shook hands? They’re real, too.

Alexandra Samuel: Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life at TEDxVictoria

I still love the term “IRL” because to the friends who I have IRL-ed with, it’s a joke. After building up trust and being our real selves with each other online for years, we were able to skip the awkwardness that comes with meeting people for the first time and jump right into being “friends.” We know that where our friendship started, online, is as real as what happens offline.

I think about all of the “friends” I have on Facebook and how many of them I’m actually friends with, care about, or are just “friends” with because I’m curious to watch what they do in their life. All of that is real, and just because the interactions that we have with each other happen online doesn’t make it any less real.

What do you think, is online life as real as offline life?

Photo by eflon

How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog by Using Ryan Gosling

Hey Girl meme, CrossFit edition

There was some pretty stellar content floating around the Internet last week, but perhaps the best thing I stumbled upon was CrossFit Ryan Gosling (full set on Facebook and on the co-creator’s blog).

Ryan Gosling, the Meme

“Hey Girl,” the meme, was originally started by Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling on tumblr, and made famous by Danielle Henderson’s Feminist Ryan Gosling. The blog was started as a joke to keep track of the theorists she is studying as she works towards her graduate degree in gender studies. The content has no affiliation to Ryan Gosling, the actor, and as with most things we encounter online, it doesn’t really matter because Henderson’s content is so damn entertaining.

Like all good memes, spin offs happen, and last week I ran into the most amazing rendition of the “Hey Girl” meme and that is CrossFit Ryan Gosling.

CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created (I believe) by Gabe Billings and Robin Runyan out of Eugene, Oregon and shared like mild wildfire on Facebook last week. You can view all 21 photos (so far) here.

Why CrossFit Ryan Gosling works: A Lesson in Marketing

The reason why Feminist Ryan Gosling worked so well and is (arguably) more famous than the original is because of a few reasons:

1) Know Your Audience

People who are “subject matter experts” of the target audience created Feminist Ryan Gosling and CrossFit Ryan Gosling who these pictures were created for. The person behind Feminist Ryan Gosling is studying gender issues; the people behind CrossFit Ryan Gosling is a CrossFitter. They wrote captions for people who are like them and about things that matter.

The fact that Ryan Gosling is featured is for entertainment only.

Takeaway: Know your audience intimately.

2) Find Your Niche and Stick to it

According to Know Your Meme, “Hey Girl” was created in December 2008 but made famous by Feminist Ryan Gosling when it came to the scene in the fall of 2011 and was featured on Ms. Magazine blog, The Huffington Post, GQ, Newsweek, Bust, and about a dozen more.

Why did Feminist Ryan Gosling do better than the original “Hey Girl” in such a short amount of time? Because Feminist Ryan Gosling had a very specific purpose: feminist flash cards.

Granted, I haven’t spent much time on the original site, but the name is telling – “Fuck Yeah!” doesn’t really tell me what your site and your content is about, whereas Feminist and CrossFit does.

Takeaway: When given the opportunity, specialize and become an expert over being a generalist.

3) Do it Because You Want to

The best part about Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling, Feminist Ryan Gosling, and CrossFit Ryan Gosling are that they are all fans – of the topics they parody at least. If you want to create some great content that will have some “stickiness” to it, you have to enjoy what you’re doing and come from a place of curiosity or heart.

CrossFit Ryan Gosling was created because someone at the creator’s gym came up with the idea and the set is what they all came up with. The creators are CrossFitter themselves. They’re not getting paid and they probably did it because they wanted to. And that’s what it’s all about.

Takeaway: You will create something noteworthy if you love the topic you’re creating first.

In Other Sunday Serial News

When you’re done lusting over Ryan Gosling, here are a few other articles for you to read:

What did you read this week?

Post updated on April 22, 2012 to reflect multiple authors and the official web “home” of CrossFit Ryan Gosling to be here. Thanks, Gabe and Robin for stopping by!

Hipster Entrepreneurs Have Taken Over GeekWire

Every once in a while you get a tweet from someone in response to something you wrote – and then they write about it.

Remember Sunday’s post, How to be a Hipster, in response to the New York Times article, ‘Generation Sells’? Today, Monica Guzman published an article on GeekWire and yours truly was quoted. (Yippee!)

The article is awesome as it carries the conversation about the ‘entrepreneurial generation’ one step further as Monica interviewed a number of startup founders and small business owners about how they have used social media to build an “one giant cocktail party” that’s helped them build a community of people who will help them launch their business by evangelizing their product.

That’s one party I’m excited to attend. Every single day.

You should read Monica’s article: You’re selling yourself, and that’s OK: Welcome to the entrepreneurial generation.

You’re selling yourself, and that’s OK: Welcome to the entrepreneurial generation