HARRIET: Wake up Stan, wake up. Jack’s writing another blog.
STAN: What? What are you talking about? Goldfinger wasn’t supposed to write one of his %$#&!# stupid blogs for another week or more.
HARRIET: It’s not Goldfinger, Stan, it’s Goldenberg. And I know, you’re right. But Jack decided that with the snowstorm that’s blanketed most of America, his Readers need a little brilliance and a laugh or three to take their minds off all that mind numbing snowstorm coverage.
STAN: Aw, I’m not getting out of bed, Harriett. Goldsboro can just try to write this next blog without me.
HARRIET: But Stan, this is the only gig we’ve got. With the economy still recovering, it’s not easy for imaginary characters like us to find work.
STAN: Look, Harriet, you’re wrong. I keep telling you, I’m real and Goldberg’s just a fig newton of my imagination.
HARRIET: Well, that fig newton is about to post another blog. Now hurry up or Jack will write the blog with us.
STAN: OK, OK. I’m ready.
HARRIET: STAN! For God’s sake, put your pants on! This is an all family blog.

With a blizzard roaring outside and a wife roaring inside (“What a great day to clean the basement. Hon. Hon. Hey, you’re not writing that stupid blog, are you?”), intrepid bloggers from 10 Minutes of Brilliance braved the elements to bring 10,000 snowbound Readers something to look at besides TV anchorwomen and men pointing to cars skidding, kids sledding and snow falling as if they’d seen it for the very first time.

Today, we’ll be blogging about:

1. First Super Bowl Commercials Revealed
2. Predictions for 2014
3. It’s Always a Good Time for George Carlin
4. 3 Social Media Trends You Should Know About
5. Win Dinner with Goldenberg and 9 Other Crappy Prizes (Added by STAN when Jack wasn’t looking.)

First Super Bowl Commercials Revealed

As a Baltimore Ravens fan, I was pretty sure there was no Super Bowl scheduled for 2014. But it turns out, I was misinformed, much like Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine) in Casablanca. As it turns out, they will be playing it again, Sam.

Of course, as everyone knows, the highlight of any Super Bowl the Ravens aren’t playing in is the fierce battle between the sponsors. Doritos is out in front of everyone else with a contest that invites consumers to pick which of 5 semi-finalist, consumer-created commercials should “Crash the Superbowl” and be shown on air.

Today The Today Show showed (Redundant? Yes! (Repetitive? Well, maybe.) 4 of the 5 commercials from the contest’s semi-finals and made a valiant effort to get consumers to click on their web site to see the fifth commercial which they intimated was “too hot hot for TV.”

I saw the first four that were broadcast and fell for their hype to see what I had hoped would be a wild and crazy spot filled with naked women and more naked women. It wasn’t.

Not one naked body in it! Nada!  Not that I was looking for sexual gratification from seeing naked females on the small, screen. After all, I do Support Chicks Rights!

Anyway, here are the first five potential Super Bowl spots, some of which are quite terrific. In fact, the first spot is my favorite. What’s yours?

 “Time Machine” by Ryan Anderson

“Office Thief “by Chris Capel

Cowboy Kid” by Amber Gill

“Breakroom Ostrich” by Eric Haviv

“Finger Cleaner” by Thomas Noakes

So which were your favorites? And wasn’t the spot they didn’t show (the last one) on the Today Show pretty lame?

Predictions for 2014

Television writer and host Peter Funt predicts the year ahead. (An Op-Ed from the December 30, 2013 NY Times. “Smile, Peter! You’re on my blog!”)

The Year That Will Be

Late December is traditionally a time to recap the year’s news, but do we really have the stomach for it in 2013? Let’s look ahead, with a precap of news sure to happen in 2014.

Jan. 1 A White House brunch ends abruptly as participants fail to agree on a New Year’s toast. Democrats reportedly favored “Here’s to health and prosperity,” while G.O.P. leaders objected to the term “health.”

Jan. 18 Bill O’Reilly’s new book, “Killing Literature,” debuts at No.3 on the New York Times best-seller list.

Feb. 2 At the Super Bowl, N.F.L. officials announce a new protocol for evaluating possible concussions. Injured players will be required to recite three gay slurs in 60 seconds before being allowed back on the field.

Feb. 10 Following months of protests by disgruntled workers, the Labor Department finally cracks down on the nation’s largest employer by demanding it decide once and for all whether its name should be spelled Walmart or Wal-Mart.

March 11 Delta Air Lines clarifies that standing room at airport boarding areas “will remain free for the foreseeable future,” but that seats for passengers waiting to board will now cost $25.

March 18 Hillary Rodham Clinton begins her 12-state “Set the Record Straight” tour, aimed at convincing voters that she has not decided whether she will seek the presidency in 2016.

March 30 Hoping to silence critics, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” hires a female cast member who is part black, part Native American and part Republican.

April 16 Kellogg’s unveils a new breakfast cereal called Cholester-Os, “A tasty blend of sugar, oats and Lipitor,” providing 90 percent of the new recommended daily dose of statins.

April 21 The White House releases figures for its first “National Online Easter Egg Hunt.” A total of nine children were able to log on — four in Massachusetts, three in California and two in New Jersey. A White House spokesman, Jay Carney, tells reporters, “This gives us something to build on.”

May 9 Google and Warner Bros. reveal that “Gravity” will have its mobile device debut on Google Glass. For full effect, viewers will wear Google 3-D contact lenses under their Google glasses.

May 22 The Gallup Organization says it is suspending congressional approval polls, newspaper readership polls and Kanye West Q ratings, until data return to “scientifically measurable levels.”

May 26 President Obama delivers a Memorial Day speech, with signing provided by Cedric the Entertainer.

June 3 CNN changes the name of Anderson Cooper’s show to “AC 1,095.” According to a news release, “The new title more accurately reflects the number of times Mr. Cooper’s show appears on CNN each year.”

July 4 Macy’s kicks off the holiday season by having Santa ride in the final float of its Fourth of July Parade.

Aug. 9 The police in Palo Alto, Calif., crack down on people begging for bitcoins.

Aug. 12 Bill O’Reilly’s new book, “Killing Conversation,” becomes the first title delivered by Amazon’s fleet of drones. The recipient, Edith Johnston of West Palm Beach, Fla., is unharmed, but three Pakistani civilians at a wedding are injured in the delivery.

Sept. 18 A Pew poll reveals, “If the 2024 presidential election were held today, Chelsea Clinton would get 54 percent of the undecided female vote.”

Oct. 4 Oregon becomes the first state to recognize business partnerships between same-sex marijuana growers.

Nov. 4 Bowing to pressure from its authors, Macmillan announces that in 2015 it will limit Bill O’Reilly to 16 new books per annum.

Dec. 31 In a year-end message to the nation via YouTube, Mr. Obama says he “misspoke” a week earlier when he promised, “If you don’t like your holiday gifts, you don’t have to keep them.” The president concedes that “a small percentage of Americans will not be able to return socks and mittens from grandparents.”

It’s Always a Good Time for George Carlin

I used to know George Carlin. Not that he remembered my name or anything, but I used to catch his one-man show when he appeared in summer stock at the Painter’s Mill Theater in Owings Mills, Maryland. Somehow, the fake press pass I created as a teenager got me backstage and into Carlin’s dressing room. And from there we struck up a fast friendship that lasted only about as long as I was in his green room. But he welcomed me backstage every summer for three years.

I don’t remember a lot about meeting Carlin in his dressing room other than that he was funny, friendly and always brilliant even in private conversation. It’s weird that I don’t remember more about being with George Carlin in that smoke-filled room, but then again, I’d be willing to bet none of the other occupants of the room probably remembered anything either. And I do mean “anything.”

The 60s and early 70s were like that, you know. In fact, if you do remember anything at all about the 60s or early 70s, well then, you probably weren’t even there.

Here’s a wonderful 9-minute clip of Carlin’s brilliance with words and the euphemisms society and the media create that obscure the words’ real meaning. It was  sent to by my friend, Steve Cline.


3 Social Media Trends You Should Know About

Penned by Alex Honeysett for the Daily Muse

It’s the beginning of a new year, and chances are you’re resolving to do several (hundred?) things for the first time, differently, or better. But before you start listing your new and improved social media plans for 2014, I’ve scoured the Internet to give you a head start.

STAN: Goldbergawitz is such a phony. He didn’t scout the Internet. He’s repurposing something he found in his in-box.
HARRIET: It’s called “collating.”
STAN: Whatever.

To find out what the experts are saying will be big in social media this year, read on. Their predictions will help you nail those resolutions — and maybe even keep a few of them.

1. The Social Media Job Scene: Bigger and Better

According to Business Insider, there are six social media jobs that are going to explode in 2014: SEO Specialist, Social Media Strategist, Online Community Manager, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketing Coordinator, and Blogger or Social Media Copywriter.

If you’re determined to find a social media job this year, research the jobs on this list — which are you most qualified for? Interested in? On the flip side, if you’re an executive at a company that plans to invest more in social media this year, these jobs are good predictors of what people will be paying attention to in the social world in 2014. Know anything about SEO and social media? If not, you may want to add “hiring an SEO specialist” to your resolution list.

2. Beyond Facebook: The New Platforms on the Block

Forbes outlined the top seven social media trends it predicts will dominate 2014. The most interesting? MySpace will make a comeback, Google+ will “become a major factor” and there will be more micro-video. Here’s what this means for you:

  • Since MySpace part two is still in its infancy, I wouldn’t suggest building out an entire social strategy for your brand on the platform just yet. I would, however, keep an eye on if — and how —brands are adopting the platform this year.
  • As the article states, Google+ is proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals, and providing a more personalized search experience. If you don’t have a Google+ account, this should be the year you resolve to try it out.
  • If you haven’t mastered Vine or Instagram’s video feature yet, now is the time to get comfortable. If the prediction is correct, making compelling short videos will be as important as writing in 140 characters. The earlier you can master the trend, the better.

3. Small Moments, Big Trends

PR Daily took a look at 10 social media moments in 2013 that it believes are precursors to major trends in 2014, including Oreo’s tweet during the Super Bowl, Facebook launching hashtags, and Pinterest’s makeover. What do these milestone moments mean for your social media resolutions this year?

  • Oreo’s hugely successful live tweet during the Super Bowl was a moment that social media experts talked about all year. PR Daily predicts that, similar to the way brands pay for product placement, companies will make deals with networks to learn a TV show’s storyline beforehand so their content is more timely. Which would be a really interesting way for brands to not only publish timely content, but also hugely relevant content. Resolution: Watch this space.
  • PR Daily predicts that Facebook’s introduction of hashtags signals that brands will be incorporating hashtags into their TV, print, and radio spots more frequently to strengthen their social campaigns. If you’re not fluent in the language of hashtags, make that one of your top goals.
  • Pinterest got a makeover this year and introduced features like Place Pins analytics, and Rich Pins strengthening its ROI for brands. Not on Pinterest? Make a point to check out its new functionality.

As you’re mapping out your priorities for the year, there’s nothing more powerful than arming yourself with information. But if you find yourself getting lost in the noise, remember your #1 resolution for your brand: Keep it genuine and authentic. The rest will follow.

Happy New Year!

Win Dinner With Jack Goldenberg and 9 Other Crappy Prizes!

HARRIET:  Stan, did you write that headline?
STAN: I most certainly did.
HARRIET: But it sounds like winning First Prize, dinner with Jack, would be a crappy experience.
STAN: Pretty accurate description, huh?
HARRIET: Stan, you’re making Jack out to be a loser, a jerk, a buffoon.
STAN: I never said he was a baboon.
HARRIET: No, I, uh, oh never mind.
STAN: I wouldn’t insult baboons that way.
HARRIET: All right, Stan, that’s enough! Does Jack know about this Contest?
STAN: Not yet. But he will when he reads the blog.
HARRIET: But what are the rules?” How do Readers enter? And what are the other prizes?
STAN: I have no idea. I’ll let Goldberg figure that out.
HARRIET: Stan, this will make Jack the laughing stock of the blogosphere.
STAN: I know. Revenge is sweet, isn’t it?
HARRIET: But you’re calling some are Jack’s prizes really crappy!
STAN: Truth in advertising, Harriet. Truth in advertising.

Well, that’s it for today, Brilliant Readers. I hope you enjoyed it. I rushed it out because I thought you deserved something else besides snow coverage at the start of 2014

Let me know if you see any typos, I didn’t catch. And thanks, as always, for stopping by.

I have no idea what this contest is about, but I guess since it was announced on my blog, I’ll have to follow through with it. I’m lucky Stan didn’t write that I’d pay $1.00 to the first 50 Readers who posted a comment on today’s blog! Good thing he didn’t think of that.

BONUS! BONUS! Goldberg (all right, Goldenberg) Offers $1.00 to the First 50 Readers who post a Comment on this blog by January 15, 2014!  Hurry! Get you buck from that cheapskate Goldsboro while he still has one to spare!

HARRIET: All right! All right! You’ve done enough damage for one blog. Now say goodnight, Stan.
STAN: Goodnight, Stan!

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