How’s it going?

20 Jun

Oh I dunno, I’m having kind of a rough day and– wait, why are you walking away?

Rapidly becoming one of my least favorite encounters in my days is the ever-disorienting, passing-by greeting of “How’s it going?” or “How are you?” I never know how to answer.  Clearly you don’t actually want a response, so don’t ask me.  Here I am, getting all excited to share with someone the events of my day or to vent a little and you merely walk away and leave me in your dust.  How rude.

Okay so maybe I wasn’t planning on unloading the burden of my life on you , but it’s still incredibly awkward when I reply with a “pretty good, how ar– (mumblemumble)…” because you didn’t even slow down your walking pace to hear my answer.  Just saying plain ol’ hi is always an option too you know, you don’t have to muddle our encounter with false interest and crushed dreams.

In retaliation to this problem, I have a few suggestions for replies that could put a stop to the maddness, feel free to give them a try:

How’s it going?
1. How do you THINK it’s going? (a question for a question)
2. I’m so lonely. *start crying (TMI)
3. I find you attractive. (catch them offguard)
4. (no reply, keep walking, they don’t deserve your response if they don’t want to hear it)
5. mumble “asshole” and then when they go, “excuse me?” say “as usual” (confusion tactic with a pre-planned recovery)

What’s a common social occurrence that drives you crazy?? I promise I’d truly love to hear what you have to say. Or, what do YOU wish you could say to someone who doesn’t wait for your response?

Get at me,


A word on Jason Derulo.

13 Jun

Jason Derülo serves as a shining example of everything that’s wrong with trying to be “cool” in society today.  His parents are from Haiti where they speak French as the primary language and so the actual spelling of his last name is Desrouleaux, but rather than force United States youth to gain any semblance of culture by learning to pronounce a French word, he took his unique foreign name and Americanized it so audiences would be able to pronounce it correctly.  Stop trying to fit in, didn’t anyone tell him hormonal teenage girls love a good foreign boy?  Exhibit A: Robert Pattinson.

Now I understand having your name pronounced incorrectly can be insaaanely annoying sometimes.  My last name is Brackeen (Braa-keen), yet somehow about 80% of people fail to recognize that two e’s next to each other make a long “eeee” sound and say bracken instead.  My last name is not a cluster or thicket of ferns.  But when you have a huge following like our aforementioned name-changer, you have the power to make a stand for all of us out there who suffer from mispronounced name syndrome.  JASON DESROULEAUX YOU COULD BE THE ICON OF A GENERATION.  You say your name enough throughout your songs, people will figure out how to pronounce it eventually. (btw, stop doing that.)

I like to think he's hanging his head in shame.

Another reason I’m disappointed in dear Jason is because he has clearly dumbed-down his actual musical abilities.  According to a trusted source (Wikipedia), he has a real degree in music from a real university in New York.  He didn’t even mouseketeer himself to the top.  And he’s been writing songs for varying artists since he was 16 before moving onto producing and finally kicking off his solo career that would forever put him at the top of my list of “I would rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than this.”  He could be composing real music.

So mmm watcha’ say? (had to): Please put your talents to better use, Deh-roo-low, because if I hear my roommate play one more song that starts off with an air horn and your auto-tuned name I might seriously lose my shit.


things I am excited about.

7 Jun

1. Everyone I know is probably sick of me raving about Lollapalooza in August, but I’m going to rave some more.  I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE SO MANY AMAZING ARTISTS.  If you haven’t heard of some of the bands I’m excited for, give ’em a listen, you won’t regret it.  (thank me later.)


Gold Motel (perfect summer music)
Local Natives
Young the Giant
Two Door Cinema Club
Friendly Fires
City & Colour
Sleigh Bells
Beats Antique

However, sadly enough, I currently stand without a companion to accompany me because apparently none of my friends place music at the same monetary value as I.  Want to join?  Get at me.

2. Being signed up to take first semester Thai in the fall, which could potentially move me in the direction of fulfilling a certificate in Southeast Asian studies and one day achieving my dream to go to Thailand.  Don’t ask why, it’s hard to explain.  I just really want to go.

3.  KIRA HARMAN GET(ting) A TWITTER.  Your name is now on the Internet and I am calling you out.  It’s time, amiright?

4.  Maybe going to see Incubus at Red Rocks in Colorado mid-August.  A road trip is currently in the works, so stay tuned.

5.  summer, summer, summer.  Even though I’m sporting three jobs and an internship the sun always makes me happy.

6.  Training for an olympic distance triathlon on July 31st.  I had never swam laps in my life until last week, and my shoulders killed for days, but training feels good.  I like having goals.

7.  My internship!  Planet Propaganda has thus far proven itself to be an awesome place and a good fit for me (I think).  They listen to good music and recycle, I get free tickets to High Noon Saloon shows, and they do really cool and imaginative work.

(insert witty sign-off here)

Charge!: The New York Times Unleashes Offensive Maneuver to Increase Profit

19 Mar

I don’t care what kind of analyzing they’ve done, The New York Times (NYT) is making a bad move in their decision to charge online readers of the paper for viewing content.

In a move that has been in the works for over a year, NYT has finally made the decision of how to go about charging Internet readers for content.  Going into effect March 28 in the U.S., the Times will prevent those who view more than 20 articles within a four-week time period from viewing additional articles without paying.  It will now cost diligent, web-based readers $15 every four weeks for access to NYT news on their smart phones and the website, $20 every four weeks for website and iPad/tablet accessories access and $35 for all of the above.  Those who already subscribe to the print version can sign up for these services for free.

Old School

Representatives for the NYT and financial analysts say this decision puts the paper in a position to increase revenue, but I am not convinced.  I think charging for this content will cut off a lot of readership, especially from the college-aged, yet news-savvy, audience. When it comes down to getting the news, yes the New York Times radiates a classic, cool vibe, but this vibe is not worth a monthly $15 or more.  I’d love to look mature and cultured as passerby look over my should whilst I read the news online, but ultimately I am a college student, I need to buy groceries, rent is due every month, my laundry costs two bucks a load and I can get what I believe to be equally as reliable content elsewhere online for free.

Also, it appears they have based their decision off an analysis of the success of The Financial Times (FT), which switched to charging for online content besides a monthly 10 free articles a couple of years ago.  However I do not think this should be the comparison point.  Readers of financial news are a much more specific audience who also require their news to be analyzed and interpreted by professionals.

Not to say that general news reporters are not professionals, but consumer-generated content works for world news where it could never in the arena of money.  Plus, those reading FT most likely have to read it for their job or the like, as I cannot see too many people going out of their way to learn about the stock market, etc. unless they are somehow invested in its outcomes.  Therefore FT readers will pay for content when it comes down to it.  Nobody has to read the NYT.

New School

So it is easy for me to bash their plan, but what could they possibly do in the alternative?  I have an idea based on absolutely no research, but I think it could be effective if they began a huge marketing push for reading print news.  And not just for the New York Times–any newspapers.  People purchase meaningless products everyday, why not buy something that may actually help them in life?  I believe branding and an aggressive advertising campaign could do wonders to make reading printed papers an “in” thing again.

What are your thoughts on this New York Times strategy?  Any alternative ideas?

America: An Advertiser’s Land of Opportunity

7 Mar

Thank goodness for those in the branding biz United States citizens so staunchly advocate for choices in their day to day life.

I stumbled upon this compelling TED talk given by Sheena Lyengar on CNN‘s homepage today and found it both extremely interesting and fairly relevant to advertising and branding.  She discussed how in different cultures, peoples’ perceptions of how much choice they should have can vary greatly.  Most shocking to me was that she discovered some people may even think there are occasionally too many choices.  Pay special attention to her analysis of a study comparing soda with juices, milk and water in the later half of the video.

But wait, too many choices?  Is there such a thing for Americans who relish their culture of individuality and freedom of expression?  Maybe.  In the last few minutes listen closely to her nail polish story.  Lyengar is in fact blind and she discusses how two women tried to help her choose between two shades of pink nail polish; they said if only she could see them she would be able to see the colors were definitely different.  Well, she took the labels off and brought them to people who could see the difference (presumably), and they reported back to Lyengar that they thought the test was a trick and that there were not in fact two separate colors there.

The point is, the names of the shades made all the difference in viewing them as unique colors.  In a society where choices are not valued, there’s a lot less room for unique color names such as “flamingo pink” or “mac’n’cheese orange,” due to fear of too much choice, people just want to know if it is pink or orange.  Therefore there’s a lot less room for brands to distinguish themselves from the rest in their field.

It seems to me that without the super glue loyalty of Americans to their brands, or their dedication to choice and individuality, the Don Drapers of today’s society would be overwhelmingly unemployed.

Oh How Ads Have Evolved…

28 Feb

This has no true social media value but it made me laugh.  I love the 80s.

But do you “like me,” like me?

28 Feb

Most people who use the Internet have likely noticed the option on a plethora of articles to “Share” or “Like” what you’re reading by connecting with Facebook.  Yet I’ve never thought much about my selection between the two choices until I read an article on Mashable proclaiming their impending melding.

Facebook has been in the process of updating their “Like” button function while leaving “Share” at the wayside.  Now on most websites when you click “Like” it will post a thumbnail picture and short summary of the targeted article instead of the tiny, nearly non-noticeable link–it has basically taken the place of “Share”.

Why does this matter?

At first, it may seem like a trivial change.  Also, now when Internet-goers “Like” a webpage or online article, it becomes much more visible and will likely increase traffic to said webpage, hence the reason for the shift.  But problems arise when people start to question, “do I really like what I’m sharing or is it just something worth reading?”  Contextualizing this question with my life, I tried to imagine reading an article on Gov. Scott Walker’s policies and wanting to share it with others for them to read… the thought of having to say I “Like” those policies makes me shudder, and would probably make me hesitate to share it.

In my opinion, limiting sharing options to only a “Like” function could in fact decrease consumer participation in articles and could represent false opinions.  Liking something and sharing it are two completely different acts for me.

What do you think?  Is this a  big deal or is this a poor move for Facebook?