I was reading an online article about boosting your social media presence and organic reach. It said I should write headlines (my kids tell me I should call them Titles, Headlines sounds too, ugh, analog) that offer a compelling promise. I think this headline offers a compelling, if somewhat confusing, promise.
But, the headline, er, title, fails in that it has nothing to do with what this post is actually about. In order for a post to be of any use it has to be authentic and actually provide useful information. In some sense the headline worked, you are reading this now (I am assuming someone other than myself is reading this, what an ego I have), but, have I destroyed my credibility with you, dear reader? Will you trust my anything I am writing anymore?
My kids sometimes ask me is a particular website is a trustworthy source of information. In our over saturated media market place we need to develop a healthy amount of cynicism about the news, social media posts, corporate communication and marketing. I believe the trend towards authenticity and real story telling, borrowing heavily from journalism traditions of sourcing and correcting errors if they occur.
There is a Exxon Mobile ad running on television now that has some Pogues-influenced song about going to work, and the visuals are a diverse group of people who work for the company. The ad states a series of numbers of jobs they claim they will or have created in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. I do not know if the numbers of jobs they claim to be creating are correct or not, and the ad does not seem to offer any way to prove it. But, that really does not matter to me. I will assume the information is at least mostly correct, but the company has a huge public trust issue. There have been numerous news stories discussing leaked internal company memos where scientists working for the company have discussed openly the the dangers of climate change and the well documented roll fossil fuels play in this slowly approaching global danger. We know the company has not been true in the past, so even if the current ad is completely accurate, they still are a long way from earning the trust the so desperately want to instill in the viewer.
Oh, the photo above, sorry forgot to talk about that. It was made at an event at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, atop some hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square. The man in the background was dancing on a table, the theme of the event was 1970s disco. Most of the guests looked or were dressed like him, so he did not catch my attention (well other than the fact that he was quite a good dancer, and… well, very physically fit lets say.
What I did notice was the woman seated in the foreground. She was just sitting there taking it all in with a smile that would not quit. It was quite loud in the room, so we probably did not actually talk. In these situations I make eye contact with the person I want to photograph, gesture with my camera. People either demure and shake their head and I move on to something else, does not happen often, but good to notice when it does otherwise you will come across as kind of irritating or creepy. She did what most people do in such situations, took a moment to pose and was genuinely pleased that I had noticed her.
Try to notice the things that are not too obvious or yelling for your attention. I was like that in high school, the quite, kind of weird kid who desperately wanted to be noticed, but had no idea how to make that happen. Luckily I found photography was a way to force myself to interact with people I would never have approached and never imagined they wanted to talk with me. I was wrong, almost everyone wants to be noticed, even the weird, shy kid in the corner at the dance staring at his feet. He wants to talk to you, just is too scared to do so.