Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday roundup

A few notables from the week:

1) Ashton Kutcher officially racked up a million followers on Twitter, beating CNN in the race to the top. (Which makes sense, considering the fact that only 6% of CNN's audience uses Twitter. But. Regardless.) He's the first Twitter user to gather a million followers. (Take that, Guy Kawasaki.) And so now those one million people (myself included) get to read updates from Ashton. Tweets like this one, from Easter: "I hope I can make it home without braking into these bad boys. I love candy." ... (yeah, "braking") ... great ... I mean, don't get me wrong, I love him, but I have to say I think his million followers have been Punk'd.

2) In other Twitter news, I am now following Anderson Cooper. Mmmm. 360 indeed.

3) Speaking of Twitter... in light of the epic "#AmazonFAIL" that happened this week, and considering that the actual fail was the way Amazon handled it (or didn't), AdAge's Abbey Klassenn explains the best way to weather a Twitterstorm. Motrin, Amazon, Dominos, countless others... in the age of social media, brands need to think about this stuff.

4) Dr. Denny explains a few things this week. First, why cable should stop bleeping out profanity. F*** yeah. Also, perhaps more importantly, Denny shares some poignant insights on why in order to save themselves from extinction, newspapers should hire more journalists, not fire them. Good ol' Denny. He's always right.

5) USA Today explains that the story we all know about Columbine didn't actually happen that way. Ten years later, we learn some startling details, like the fact that the perpetrators weren't bullied or on antidepressants or in the trenchcoat mafia after all, we learn that they had planned a much more elaborate terrorist attack on the school that would have killed thousands had they been more adept at making bombs, and we learn that they weren't targeting jocks or blacks or Christians (and in fact didn't shoot a girl for saying she believed in God, that never happened) - they were actually just trying to kill everyone. There's a lot more we've misunderstood for 10 years, too -- definitely read the article. It shows how media hype can sweep up a story and make a run for it, never to return until 10 years later when some people decide to write books.

6a) Scarlett Johannson joins Kate Winslet on my list of awesome celebrities. Why? Because she wrote this op-ed for HuffPo in response to trash mags who are constantly talking about her weight. A snippet, for your reading pleasure: "How are we supposed to view articles highlighting celebrity cellulite and not sulk in the mirror, imagining a big red arrow pointing to various parts of our bodies? The media has packaged for us an unhealthy idea that one must suffer loss, be in the middle of a nervous breakdown, feel pressure from friends or coworkers, battle divorce or have a bitter dispute with an ex in order to get into acceptable bikini shape... I would be absolutely mortified to discover that some 15-year-old girl in Kansas City read one of these 'articles' and decided she wasn't going to eat for a couple of weeks so she too could 'crash diet' and look like Scarlett Johansson."

6b)Also, in related stories, see this article on RedBook's retouching of Faith Hill (from 2007). Crazy.

6c) However, for some good news, check out Elle France's no-makeup, no-photoshop issue. Yay!

7) Johann Hari says you are being lied to about pirates. Argggg.

8) Switched says that a lot of hackers are actually organized terrorist groups. Great. Just great. Where's Jack Bauer when we need him?

9) GalaDarling explains that the reason you might have been experiencing "mixed messages, insanely indecipherable behavior & strange incompatibilities" in romance lately is because Venus has been in retrograde. Phew, I thought it was just because NYC guys are assholes. (Okay, let's be honest, that's actually why.) Regardless, today at 3:35pm (east coast time), Venus is going "direct" again, so we're back in the clear. Further down in the post, Gala offers some good suggestions for starting fresh. Who knows, maybe I'll make a corkboard this weekend. Thanks Gala!

10) Also, Facebook just put its new 'governing documents' up for a vote on the site. You have till the 23rd to vote. In the meantime, read this article - "Do you own Facebook, or does Facebook own you?"

11) Two videos of late feature celebrities making fun of themselves. Gotta love that. The first is a skit from SNL last week, when Zac Efron was the host. He makes fun of High School Musical. (How could you not???) In the second video, Lindsay Lohan pokes fun at herself by making a hilarious mock eHarmony profile. Love ya, Linds.

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