Ahem. When reading interesting literature (or doing anything, really), I have this weird tendency to pause for annotation. I write down, bang out on a keyboard, or express through productive visuals whatever strange thought or memorable idea I’d like to reference at a later date. Fortunately, this nearly obsessive compulsive desire to categorize my personal experiences, individual ideas, and inspired thoughts usually works out in my favor. I say my favor and not everyone’s favor because, of course, the concept of what I consider to be a reward isn’t popularized through consensus.
The late Christopher Hitchens is famously known for approving of and, in fact, staunchly defending unique trains of thought, and I thank Alex Wilhelm, a former colleague of mine while working at The Next Web, for introducing me to this fascinating human.
Some quotes by Hitchens himself that seem responsible for the methods behind his own madness (and which also happen to now inspire & support my own philosophies):
“I don’t care. I don’t need a ‘seconder’. My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass.”
“Get people to think about why do they know what they already think they know? How do I know that I know this except that I’ve always been taught this and never heard anything else?”
“Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever you think, you’re bound to be okay because you’re in the safely moral majority.”
So uh, y’know. Keep that philosophy in mind as you read my blog. I am one who believes that my genuine need to discover interesting philosophies and experiences while psychoanalyzing, through written explanation, the foundation of that interest for future reference — I believe that this is the routine behind which I derive most of my success. By archiving my experiences — no matter how minor the effect on my life — I am better able to analyze and understand myself, and routinely reward myself through generating the results I want again and again via these cataloged experiences.
Fortunately, the most rewarding form of self-analysis is, to me, the sort that benefits my career. And for some reason, reading and analyzing great literature fuels my instinct for developing creative social strategy (which is, basically, both what I do for a living and what I happen to do for fun). Of course, this is in combination with many different categories of rewards, but hey — if reading and writing make me better at my job, I ask, why-the-f*ck-not?
Sometimes, the strategies behind what produces particular results are more important than the actual results. For me, this proves true when it comes to how I best understand the mere approach to my own strategies, especially with the intent to produce some sort of profit or reward. Reading and devouring as much information as possible then analyzing and archiving my thought process during this experience better enables me to achieve expected or predicted results.
Take, for example, The Andromeda Strain.
The Andromeda Strain is a fiction novel by Michael Crichton who, through his amazing ability to spin a story out of nothing, spawned the following lengthy annotation from me, and helped me to better visualize my own basic understanding of marketing and advertising strategy (yes, I’m a visual thinker):
So does that mean that the animals and beings we know today are simply the cross-bred mutant babies of their bacterial ancestors? And since all living things, according to Michael Crichton — AKA, Book God — are simply organs coexisting within the same cell membrane, and that these organs are, wait for it, actually just smaller groups of cells and bacteria coexisting alongside other groups of cells and bacteria within other organs which coexist within other bodies?!
My mind is blown, Crichton, and you are responsible! /Shakes fist.
In a relevant trail of thought, two beings hoping to mate are merely two very separate yet absurdly populated masses of privately colonized and grown bacteria-within-bacteria-within-bacteria that are genetically able to coexist in the interest of replication. That is, by creating friction between one another to stimulate production and movement of liquid reproductive mutations (catalysts, by their actual definition) — multiplication occurs, and a similar set of bacteria-within-bacteria-within-bacteria grows to “life”.
It’s the chemically-compatible process of which passing down and multiplicative friction occurs in scientifically inevitable and interesting cross-genetic mutations.
Chemically speaking, it does matter how healthy and genetically superior you are. Eons of inter-species breeding have made it so.
Relating this to new experiences — or life, really, although I admit it might be a distant concept to grasp if your mind refuses to stretch this far — use your body to create personal and positive environmental friction between you and mutually beneficial outside forces. Do not simply interact with other bacterium in the way that history proves is accurate. Experiment to get even better results.
Understand the scientific cause and effect between you and your world, then manipulate the green return based on mutual benefit, or self preservation. This simple understanding of business exchange becomes the driving motto behind “earned reward”. Or in other words, “Here’s what I’m offering, and here’s what I deserve. If you can’t match that, then in the interest of self preservation, mutual benefit, and basic genetic success, I’m going to have to politely refuse. But thank you.”
Ho. Lee. Shit.
I realize that some of you might be lost at this point, so let me tie that all back in:
Reading is my catalyst for creative social media strategy.
Again, this is only from my perspective, so what works for me may not work for you, but …
When I discover new authors that I just absolutlely love or who very easily influence and inspire the way that I think in some minor way, I can’t help but rave about them. The artistic ability to craft words in an engaging and relatable manner is absolutely rare, and is, in my opinion, something that I feel should be praised. In the case above, I can’t help but worship Crichton’s surprisingly-pleasant instinct to, as the Washington Post says, “make the unbelievable believable.”
For example, reading Crichton then archiving my reaction has made me realize exactly what I’ve been hearing: “Creative Social Media Strategy is not a Science, it’s an Art.” By obsessively analyzing the styles of various writers and understanding how often they use which creative techniques (written or spoken, really) to produce different reactions, I am better able to mimic, predict, and reproduce expected results.
A good author (marketer/strategist) invokes longterm and positive reaction from his or her readers (target market) through consumer-facing and self-generated content (catalysts for productive-friction), through which more brilliant ideas are inspired and can therefore spawn (viral marketing). A good author merely proposes what he or she has to offer the world, and sees organic return based on what’s being offered in collaboration. Or in marketing terms, a good author pitches and lures his or her readers with what he or she believes is valuable to his or her target market or demographic, then sits back to see who takes the bait, then knows exactly what to do with that acquired crowd in order to best leverage profitability. And, amazingly enough, creative social media strategy is the practice of that art.
Now, whether that market is “quality” or not — this is irrelevant to advertisers who simply work with numbers. Anyone who’s been a Partner on YouTube or successfully runs their own ad-based Media site understands this basic concept. Congratulations to Facebook, by the way, on its recent IPO. It figured that concept out real fast and managed to capitalize on what social media really is, resulting in Facebook’s ridiculously impressive valuation.
*I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks this way. Out of sheer curiosity, do you often find yourself overanalyzing everything? I can’t be the only one who tries to understand why, why, and why, or how, how, and how. And if I am, then shit. I am happy to blame reading on helping to carve out the methods behind my own madness, and to help me grasp and understand my own basic philosophies behind what makes the universe tick.
The glorious expression used to create the first photo, which can be found by clicking here.