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Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


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How to Leave Facebook 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Facebook has been the hugest time suck I’ve ever experienced. I haven’t even watched TV in months, I feel like I never have time to do the things I should be doing, and I get antsy if I can’t check it at least a few times a day.
~ Anonymous friend

Have you seen enough cat pictures? Tired of all the privacy leaks? Or do you just want to recoup the time that you lose captivated by people you don’t really even like?

You want to take a Facebook break, but you’re not sure how. A report published Feb. 5 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows 61% of Facebook users have taken a break from using the social networking site at some point. If so many people can take a Facebook break, then why not you?

But leaving Facebook?  Yes, it sounds insane. To hear some folks considering it, the idea of leaving Facebook is akin to leaving Earth. If you can’t bring yourself to deactivate your account right away, you can ease yourself into a Facebook break by limiting your interaction with the site.

A great starting point is the notifications. Do you really want to know when a friend-of-a-friend’s Aunt Lulu comments on a puppy photo you commented on in 2010? You don’t need a text message or email about that. If you look through the notifications, you’ll see that you can live without a lot of them.

FACEBOOKOBLIGATION

Of course, you’ll want to be notified about friend requests, but more important: you want to be notified when you’ve been tagged in a photo or a post. You don’t want the idiot friend who doesn’t follow the What-Stays-In-Vegas Rule to tag you in the pics of the fur bikini mechanical bull riding contest that you won in 2006.

If you want to further limit your Facebook interactions, delete the app from your phone. You’ll be amazed at how freeing this is. No badges, no buzzes. You’ll find your phone is plenty entertaining without it.

After you have limited the notifications and deleted the app, you’ll probably feel like something’s missing — like you’re not wearing pants. That will pass. You’ll soon find a sense of calm and quiet. At this point, you might find deactivating your account isn’t so hard. Try just one week.  At the end of that week, see how you feel. You may be surprised to find you feel relieved.

Why would I feel relieved?

Because you wouldn’t constantly be responding to a website.

Let’s face it: Social media carries an obligation. If we’re logged on, we are required to respond. It’s like if you’re at a party, you’re required to interact. Facebook is a 24/7/365 party. And sometimes you need to leave the party.

That’s not to say that you can never go back. But when you do, you’ll probably have a different perspective about what you share and with whom you’re sharing. This is healthy. We need to revisit how we interact on social media from time to time so that the sites — Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — don’t completely legislate what we share, how we share it and with whom we share. Taking a break from Facebook (or any social media) allows us to step back from the maddening crowd and think for ourselves — without the coercion of an unapologetic algorithm or the noise of a 24/7/365 party.

 

EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 


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Toyota Venza girl angry about Triscuits

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 
Our heroine from the Toyota Venza commercial can be seen in the new Triscuits commercial.
 

 
That’s all I have to say about that right now because I have to go to dinner.
 

Like this commercial? Hate it?

 

Tell me why! (No registration required.)

 

Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

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RELATED: Toyota Venza Girl plugs eBay

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 

RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 


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What I know about being off Facebook

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of an ongoing series documenting my social experiment as a former Facebook user. The observations and opinions expressed here are mine and do not in any way reflect those of my employers.

I got an email from a friend the other day saying she missed me on Facebook. It’s not the first such email, and it won’t be the last. It has been more than two months since I deactivated my Facebook account — again. And although I don’t miss it —  I do like not being on the world’s largest social network — this time around confirms what I discovered last fall: Being off Facebook makes for some weird real-world situations.

Unlike last time, I just deactivated without a lot of fanfare. This time there were no pleas for me to stay. No questions why. This time I made a clean break: For 24 hours, my status said, “I’ll be back. Promise.” And then I was gone.

After eight-plus weeks, I’ve found plenty of ways to keep busy — and more real-world social weirdness. I told a friend that because I’m not on Facebook that it’s as if I’m persona non grata. I have gotten (what seems to be?) cold shoulders from co-workers and former co-workers because they (might?) think I’ve defriended them. Even worse, I’ve lost a meaningful connection with co-workers and former co-workers whom I actually like — not to mention re-formed bonds with the college friends whom I truly love. Case in point: I’m just now catching up on plans for a 20-year reunion — but I’m not blaming the organizers. Facebook definitely makes it easier to orchestrate such events. If I’m not on Facebook, I have to work that much harder to be included.

But I don’t mind.

When I logged on after the first break, I found that as much as things change, the more they stay the same: I was losing the same 20 minutes every day that I had been losing before I logged off. And it was a precious 20 minutes. I had not deactivated my account because I think I’m too cool for Facebook; I did it to find some lost time because I am too easily distracted by — well, everything. Facebook was a crippling diversion for me at home. Away from work, every minute counts for me. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I needed to eliminate distractions that ate up my free time. Facebook was one of those distractions.

“But do you miss it?” That’s the question I get when I mention I’m a former Facebook user. The answer is no, not really. There are just so many things about Facebook I don’t like, such as its creepy “sharing” initiative or the classic overshares from the Chardonnay Moms or the chain-prayer posts. I have to admit, though, there are some things I miss. As a journalist and marketing/ecommerce student, I miss seeing what the marketers are doing with the brand pages. As a friend, I miss seeing what my friends are doing, how their kids are growing up. I miss seeing what my teenage niece is up to or the beach photos from North Carolina that make me homesick. All of which is more reason for me to make a real-life effort to connect — and to stay logged off.

 

NEW: Thinking about logging off? Baby steps for the Undecided<

 

EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mashable on Facebook’s auto-sharing feature

 


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From YouTube: Facebook Nervous Breakdown

I did return to Facebook after deactivating my  account.

I do have more to write about logging off the site; however, I don’t have time right now because I need to ‘like’ some things on Facebook.

Right now, I want to share something I found on YouTube via Facebook: the Facebook Nervous Breakdown by tmusic406. At the time of this writing, the video had 194 views.

Enjoy.
 

 

EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mashable on Facebook’s auto-sharing feature

 


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Toyota Venza girl does an ad for McRib


ED’S NOTE:
This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

UPDATE 8-12-12:Toyota Venza girl is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad?
 
Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 

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I think I’m going to change the name of this blog to the Allyn Rachel & Other Stuff Blog. She’s all you people want to read about this year!

J’s Pages commenter Sarahbelle tipped me off that the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the new commercial for the McRib, another bewildering food marketing success.

The McRib ad is a clever bid for mobile users, much like the new eBay ads. In the McRib spot, newlyweds Rachel and a Steve Zahn lookalike are about to embark on their honeymoon when he gets a text that the McRib is back! (“I’m gonna miss it!”)
 

 
 

I married a 14-year-old!

 

~ Allyn Rachel,
as McRib Bride

 
The ad does a great job of showing that all the characters have obeyed McDonald’s call-to-action for mobile users: “Get the word out: McRib is back!”

And it’s worth noting the spot fails to answer the question: What the hell is a McRib?

At the time of this writing, this HD version had 379 views, the SD version 2,546. There were 8 likes, 1 dislikes and 7 comments.

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See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Allyn Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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One month off Facebook

It has been a month since I deactivated my Facebook account.

When I sat down to write this, I really believed I’d have more to say about it, and then I realized that I risk repeating what I wrote in my last post about logging off. However, I do have at least one observation to share.

But first I want to make clear that when I deactivated my account, I didn’t do it to because I think I’m too cool for Facebook; I did it to find some lost time because I am too easily distracted by — well, everything. Facebook was a crippling diversion for me at home. Away from work, every minute is precious to me. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I needed to eliminate distractions that ate up my free time. Thirty days later, I have found that time, but I’ve also found myself in a weird social space: People assume I know something simply because it was posted on Facebook.

“You didn’t read that? I linked it on my Facebook page.”

“Ohmigod! Funniest picture ever! Go see it on my Facebook page.”

“Did you see on Facebook that Joe changed his relationship status to single?”

Um, no. Why don’t you tell me about it?

My husband asked me recently if I miss it. The answer is still no, but I do miss people – just not Facebook and its creepy “sharing” initiative, although I do want to test drive the Timeline and the Gestures, just for my own edification, to see what all the fuss is about.

Maybe in November. Maybe never.
 

NEW: How to leave Facebook: A beginner’s guide

 

EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mashable on Facebook’s auto-sharing feature

 


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No Facebook: Week 3

Did I log off Facebook too soon?

I was asking myself that last week when Facebook’s most recent redesign sparked an outcry among users. I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I’ve missed the “huge” changes, all the rage, all my friends’ comments about how they feel about it. I got an eyeful of brief opinions on Twitter, but not enough to overdose. (I can log off Twitter more easily than I could Facebook.) Now folks are saying they’ll quit Facebook, but social media watchers are saying no, they won’t.

But I had already quit Facebook. Was it time to go back?

No.

Although I want to see how the brand pages might look and how marketers would respond to the changes, I’m enjoying my time from Facebook. Right after I logged off, I noticed my life seemed quieter; it was something I couldn’t explain. Then my friend Terry pointed out that social media carries an obligation: If we’re logged on, we are expected required to respond. On Facebook, I felt I was required to respond to everything, no matter how large or small. After I quit Facebook, I felt like something had been deleted from my daily to-do list. I realized what I was feeling was relief.

That’s not to say there aren’t some things I miss about being on Facebook: I miss keeping up with my niece who just started high school. I miss keeping up with my best friend from college. I miss seeing what people are saying about Allstate’s Mayhem commercials.

But I don’t miss spending 16% of my online time looking at strangers’ Lady Gaga photos. And after reading about the creepy Timeline and auto-sharing features, I miss Facebook even less.

I still can’t say whether I’ll stay gone from Facebook forever. Deactivating my account was an experiment to eliminate some distractions. I told my friends I would be gone just for a little while, and then I set an end date for Nov. 1. But I’m not sure I’ll log on after that. I’m finding that there is life outside of Facebook, and I like it.
 

EARLIER: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW: Mashable on Facebook’s auto-sharing feature

 


In case you haven’t heard: Google+ wants you — now

As of last night, the Google Doodle is a bold blue arrow inviting the masses to join Google+, the social network that was introduced in late June as a “field trial” that aimed to fix “awkward” online sharing. Users could join the project by invitation only, which made building one’s circles kind of dull. I was eager to be on the bleeding edge of this newest thing, and a well-connected friend scored me an invitation; however, it wasn’t until later that I could send my own. When I did, some of my friends hadn’t heard of Google+, and some of them had and didn’t care. Even so, in less than a month of the launch, Google+ was estimated to have 20 million users, according to web-traffic tracker ComScore. About that same time, Facebook confirmed estimates that it boasts 750 million users.

If you’re tired of Facebook or just intrigued by the ideas of the Circles and Hangouts — or if you just need one more site to log into — sign up for Google+ today. You’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, Google likes you. (Just be sure to use your real name. See post below.)

What is this? Why can’t I just know you on Facebook?

~Real response to a Google+ invitation

 

EARLIER:

Google+ (NASDAQ: GOOG) has revised its profile policy and is suspending accounts with pseudonyms. Saurabh Sharma explains the change in a one-minute video.
 

 


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FLASHBACK: JUST IN: Toyota Venza girl does an ad for eBay

UPDATE 8-12-12: Allyn Rachel, aka the Toyota Venza girl, is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 
Toyota Venza Interactive Ad on YahooED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

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UPDATED with details 9-20-2011

Googlers have been hitting this site to see whether the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the recent eBay commercial entitled “Blue Jeans.”

She is — as you can see here. I don’t have any information about this clip right now, but I’ll see what I can dig up. She plays Susie, the daughter with the super hip mobile device iPad.

(Post continues after video.)
 

 

This commercial is part of eBay’s “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign designed to expand the ecommerce giant’s footprint in mobile commerce, a daunting task for a company seen primarily as an auction marketplace. With the “Buy It New, Buy It Now” call to action, eBay urges shoppers to take advantage of the 62% of 200 million live listings that are “fixed price,” and the 70% of those products that are new. (Like the new jeans that actress Allyn Rachel orders in the commercial.)

According to the press release announcing the campaign, eBay is targeting the “shopping enthusiasts,” the category of shopper who are most likely to shop using mobile devices. The first step in reaching those shoppers is through legacy media: Six 30-second TV commercials began airing Sept. 14 on national cable network shows including Top Gear, SportsCenter, Tosh.0, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project — about the time Googlers started hitting this site looking for more information about the actress and the “Blue Jeans” ad.

At the time of this update writing, this YouTube video (posted Sept. 17) had 1,271 379 views, 3 1 likes and 0 dislikes.

AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners, the folks who convinced us that Slim Jims are “mantastic!”

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See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Ally Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 

RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook