Monthly Archives: June 2010

How I Became the Popsicle Girl

Taking the long way home on my daily stroll so as not to feel rushed to eat my daily DQ Blizzard, I noticed ahead of me a few young chaps who I often notice loitering around my neighborhood. Fiercely consuming my ice cream treat, I almost didn’t notice the boys’ conversation: “Isn’t that the popsicle lady?” I looked up and saw that they were referring to me. “Hey! Aren’t you the popsicle girl?”

I am indeed the Popsicle Girl. And what follows is the story of my namesake…

A few weeks ago I attempted to attend two #tweetea gatherings in one night. During my commute from one to the other, I stopped off at home to feed my dog and my self. Since there’s never anything good to eat at my house, I grabbed a popsicle and headed out the door.

While speeding to #tweetea, scarfing my popsicle and checking my email, I made sure to periodically look up to see if my car was still in the right lane (on the road, whatever). During one of these “safety checks” I noticed the neighbor boy walking along the side of the road, noticing me. We acknowledged each other, thug style.

Continuing on my way, I opened an email that contained some particularly arousing verbiage and immediately my new Lelo Gigi vibrator came to mind. With cinematic squeal, I pulled a u-turn and headed home for a quickie. After a most glorious microwaved orgasm, I grabbed a popsicle and headed out the door. Again.

As I made my way to the first #tweetea for the second time, life was good. I jammed some tunes, got down on my popsicle, and let the breeze do that magical thing that breezes do. At a red light, I took time to appreciate the happy details of life: a youthful couple walking their dog, kids drinking Slurpees at 7-11, the scary laughing teenagers outside of the house with the boarded-up front door, and hey–there was the neighborhood boy again! Roadside and pedestrian, he was staring at me and laughing.

“Another one?” he asked. I smiled shamelessly and raised my popsicle, thug style.

And that’s how I became known as the Popsicle Girl.

Detroit Bloggers on the Big Screen at DWIFF

This week I had the honor of talking with my friend Matthew Stanton, whose new film Memoirs of a Blogger premieres at 7pm on Saturday, June 26 at the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival. Based on a true story, Memoirs is a short film about Alex, a blogger who covers the social scene in our fair town.

Stanton’s other media art includes a documentary about online dating (The Digital Dating Game) and a portfolio of works that “encompass technology that is outdated.” My favorite project is “The Breakup,” a digital text-based story about the aftermath of a one-night stand. For this piece, Stanton extracted posts from the website Texts From Last Night and rearranged them to create a cohesive conversation via a series of old-school AOL instant messages. “The Breakup” and other worthy multimedia projects created by Stanton can be found on his website, The D Spot.

Stanton is a former student of mine and agreed to do an interview with me on social media in Detroit and Memoirs of a Blogger when I threatened to go into the university system and change all of his grades from A’s to A-‘s. The interview is posted below (you might also enjoy our unedited convo on blogs and journalism, in which we reveal the exact location of O Street in O-Town). Also, don’t forget to check out the trailer on See you on Saturday!

Should “Memoirs of a Blogger” really have been titled “Sex in the Motor City?” In this week’s Between the Lines, Dan Smith asks Stanton about the similarities between “Memoirs” and Sex and the City.
Read it here or on page 27. And if you’re nasty, find me after the screening on Saturday and we can chat about whether they are alike, how so, and if and why we should care :)

I Love Detroit Video Contest Entry


Making a video for Garden Court’s “I Love Detroit” Video Contest was a far more meaningful experience than I expected it to be. I can’t wait to explain how I wound up with the final product. Though I missed the entry deadline (not to mention a healthy spread of intellectual gatherings and social events that took place last weekend, including hearing the expertise of Hubert Sawyers, III, who sat on the “Building a Music Economy” panel at the Allied Media Conference), the circumstances that kept me from completing and submitting the video on time were also the conditions that allowed this project to be personally significant. Intrigued? Watch for a more detailed reflection, coming soon (along with “Why I Love Detroit: The B-Sides”).

In addition to my heart growing a few sizes, my standard for email etiquette has also been raised a few notches, thanks to some crafty correspondence from Doc Waffles, who allowed me to use his song, “One More Pint, Detroit.”

Tweetin’ Ain’t Easy: My First Experience With Social Media Marketing

For the past month or so, I’ve been doing online promotions and blogging for this year’s Detroit Wig Out. I became involved in the event when Melinda Clynes, coordinator of the event and fiancee of my father, asked me if any of my former students might be interested in volunteering for the job. Looking to explore social media marketing as a possible career for myself, I quickly jumped in and said, “Me! Me! I’ll do it!”

Completely overlooking so many of the conversations I have been a part of over the past year’s worth of Tuesdays, I thought that the time I have spent hanging with the #tweetea crew gave me some kind of knowledge on how to execute a social media campaign–as if I absorbed a skill-set by merely being in the presence of this group of professionals. This is not to say that I don’t have any insight into social media marketing, nor is it to say that I haven’t learned anything from attending these weekly meetings (if you haven’t heard me say it before: #tweetea provided me with a new spectrum of thought, and for me this kind of effect is more enjoyable than falling in love). Rather, it is to say that social media marketing takes far more than just being familiar with software and technology or reading Mashable each morning. It takes well thought-out strategy, focus, a deep understanding of the many online populations you are dealing with, and goddammit–some actual experience. There are probably more things to add to this list that haven’t been picked up on my novice radar.

There are two lessons I have learned over the past month that I feel confident claiming: The first is that my own experience volunteering for the Detroit Wig Out has given me a new level of appreciation for the expertise and careers of so many of my dear friends and acquaintances. I am officially, on-the-record, balls-out amazed at what you do and the success you have doing it.

The second lesson is that my effort as a social media marketer has allowed me to distinguish knowing from doing in a very direct way. We often talk about talking vs. doing (and yes, we acknowledge the irony). Having some more time to reflect on this difference, I don’t think that doing is as simple as a mobilization of the talking; it requires translation, re-imagination, and flexibility for change. Though I am all for the doing, I think that people could be a little easier on everyone (including themselves) when this question comes up, pay a little more attention to and beg a little revelation out of the doers in so far as how they done did, and continue giving tremendous support and accolades to anyone who’s trying to get some doing done.