THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: This Is It. Right Here. Right Now.

What keeps you up at night? Worries? Feelings of inadequacy?

I was going to hit the sack a half hour before I started writing this when I decided to check whether Drake’s family had responded to his cut “Too Much” from Nothing Was the Same*. Within minutes, I came across a CRWN interview between Drake and Elliot Wilson on where he’s at, what we can take away from “Too Much”, but what’s maybe most important, how to look at our lives right now.

*Go listen immediately if you haven’t already!

The Golden Age of Blogging is Dead and Gone

CRWN x Drake, Ep. 2: Jay Z, OVO and Family from CRWN on Myspace.

I’ve been working on blog posts, calculations and tools for ages to show it, but maybe it’s better to just come out and say it — the golden age of blogging is dead. Dead. It was this innovative new thing back when we didn’t have Internet behemoths like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — but it’s not 2003 anymore. The Internet has changed — drastically — and its consumers crave something more. Something that resonates with them now instead of bloggers playing by rules made by the people who’ve already come and got their money. The bloggers who’ve already moved on to columnist positions, public speaking and TV gigs. The ones who knew that blogging alone wasn’t sustainable and reached for greater heights  to avoid getting lumped in with everyone else.

It’s time to think up a new way to play the game.

The Game Has Changed

But that doesn’t mean that people don’t still want to hear stories — people still love stories… but little novellas like the ones I write might not get that message across anymore.

The Internet’s rife with possibility. We have HTML5, CSS3, jQuery and all sorts of other toys to play with to really test the medium — we just need to sit down, rethink how we get that story across, and push the hell out of that envelope**.

**Not that kids will know what an envelope is in another decade or two.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that if you’re trying to reach the top of the game as we know it, have fun — it only has so much longer to go.

New games. New rules. New tools.

It’s time to build a better blogosphere.

Let’s do this.

–case p.

To All The Haters

Sometimes you have some really challenging days. Not only was I trying to take care of business at the day job, working against insane deadlines that always seem to spring up out of nowhere. Not only was I running on fumes, trying to get every last bit of productivity out of myself, despite the odds.

No, what was really tiring me out is that the Mansformation haters were out in full swing.

Can You Like Me but Not My Ideas?

I love my friends — and a lot of the ones I interact with regularly on my Facebook are intelligent, well-versed, but strongly opinionated people. For example, here’s a look at the words exchanged over the Man Lessons I’ve been putting out and what they mean (excerpts minimized as to not make brains explode):

Did it bother me that I was getting so much criticism from my friends?

Sure.

Did I think that they had valid points in their arguments?

Of course.

However, without them having a complete understanding what Mansformation is all about, I don’t know if I’m prepared to give full merit to the arguments made against it.

What Mansformation’s All About

They say you should write what you know. This is what I know.

Casey Palmer is a twenty-something heterosexual man living in Toronto, Ontario. He’s made a lot of friends and seen a lot of places in his time, and through all this, he’s made his share of mistakes. Through a list of friends that’s 90% female or more, he’s seen the kinds of mistakes that men can make. He’s heard the stories. He’s witnessed the aftermath.

And now he’s ready to do something about it.

This is me. This is who I am. Who I am not is neither female nor homosexual. So while I can easily share the background and perspective of a heterosexual male in the Man Lessons I distribute every day, who am I to speak for three other major groups of people? I think I’d be far better off getting a representative from each group to speak to their experiences rather than be presumptuous enough to think that I have the knowledge or the right to do it on my own.

I get a lot of critiques that many of my Man Lessons apply to women as well. Here’s a basic reasoning of why: All life lessons are potential Man Lessons, but not all Man Lessons are life lessons. Yes, there will be lessons that apply to everyone on the face of this planet, but at the risk of beating a dead horse, my lifestyle and choices cannot possibly represent every possible iteration of human being on the planet.

So I speak to the types of human beings I can completely relate with — the straight men in various stages of their lives, trying to find love. Trying to be more fashionable. Trying to live the lives they desire and just can’t seem to figure out how to put all the pieces together.

Eventually I’d love to put a team together to tackle female issues. LGBTTIQQ2SA issues. Issues bounded by culture and geographical locations. These would all be amazing to tack, but the fact of the matter is this:

In order to effect change, you need to start somewhere.

So here’s to my haters, who inspired me to really think about why I’m doing this and reassure myself that I’m putting a service together that helps the world. A service that can help men be exactly who they want to be in a world that only grows more confusing with every passing day. If you think that I’m alienating populations, you’re more than welcome to write material catering to them, but I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing.

Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions. I’ve got mansforming to do.

–case p.

Why Blog if You Can’t Keep it Real?

If you can’t keep it real, why the heck are you blogging, anyway??? Last night was the first night I’d had off in a while to do something other than work. I don’t know how we get so wrapped up in our jobs — okay, that’s a lie, I totally do: it’s all a response to worry and fear. The worry that if we fail to do a good job that we’ll wind up on the street, unable to sustain our lives. The fear that comes with the possibility of failure and the horrors that could happen due to us not living up to expectations. Though I’m still convinced of a saying that I came up with last year:

“Jobs need people more than people need jobs.”

Call me a liar if you want, but I’m convinced of this. If we didn’t try so hard to keep up with multiple Joneses, live beyond our means and keep up appearances to the world around us (who mostly don’t really care too much about us as individuals, so in effect, we do a lot of this for no reason whatsoever…) — we could settle for jobs that pay less, provide less hours, but possibly afford more happiness. With Toronto having the high cost of living that it does and the very visible homelessness problem (in its downtown core especially) that it does, there’s no way I’d wish to be unemployed, but balance is a must. Which brings me to here — trying to get in the rhythm of blogging again. You may or may not have noticed I changed the tagline of my site to:

“I’m not a blogger, I just talk a lot.”

Completely true. Ask any “popular” blogger about how they approach their craft, and they’ll likely tell you about the time and effort that goes into keeping a blog fresh, from using editorial calendars, spending hours working on and scheduling posts, and generally approaching the entire art of blogging as if it were a second job. But I hate planning. Sarah’s always taking care of the planning in our marriage because I’m so horrible at it. I’m the spontaneous one. The doer. I don’t think — I prefer to just get something out of the way and move on to the next thing. Apparently personality tests completely agree that this is the way my brain is hard-wired. (I’m an ENTP in my Myers-Briggs assessment if that means anything to you.) This is why I’m way more inclined to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to get my ideas out. It’s instantaneous. It’s quick. It matches the speed at which thoughts come to me a little more closely. But there has to be some reason to blog, right? I suppose when it all comes down to it — we all want somewhere where we can share the stories of our lives, and furthermore, somewhere where people will actually care about our existence. By and large, the Internet is a vast and boring place. We’re in a day and age where if we have an Internet connection, we’ve seen much of everything. You could discover more through YouTube, Wikipedia and social media in the last half a decade than you could through any encyclopedia in the years before. So when you see these niche blogs on things like tech, fashion or whatever other material goods — they’re great and all, but you rarely get any sense of feeling from them. No personality. No connection with the reader. There’s nothing that makes most blogs more real than any other blog — they end up just being words on the screen rather than a reflection of the writer providing them. And in my opinion, if you can’t keep it real, you don’t have a story to tell. But in a world where we share our thoughts in little bite-sized chunks and at a quicker pace than ever before… is there even a place for blogging anymore? This is the conundrum I came across — I was looking at my blog the other day and I thought — “I’m bored with this. I write a bunch of stuff, but I don’t care enough about it to finish what I started.” It’s not like it’s the first time it’s happened, either. My blogs in the past — and I’m pretty sure the same could be said for most people’s blogs — have died off because I didn’t feel connected to my content. I think I said it best when I told Jelani and Bess about my predicament:

“I’m writing like a news reporter looking in on my life, rather than writing like the guy living my life.”

Yeah, well that can’t happen anymore. Writing about only the events that pass in my life is lopsided. It’s like having a newspaper that only covers current events, without any of the columns and Op-Ed pieces that keep readers coming back. So even if I’m not really a blogger; even if I like the spontaneity and freedom of keeping my thoughts in bite-sized chunks of 140 or 63,206 characters (alright, Facebook’s not so bite-sized anymore) — it looks like I’m going to keep blogging for the simple reason that I like to write. Despite the fact that I lead an active social life, hitting up dinners with friends, tweet ups and learning conferences; despite the overly-busy work schedule that often just sees me coming home to pas out and do it all over again the next day; despite the fact that I’m using up most of my time for one thing or another, I still — like most people — feel like I want people to hear my story. So here I am, world. I hope your eyes are open, because I’ve got a lot to say!

–case p.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXLI: How to Make the World a Better Place

The world could be a better place, but we just don’t care. Or don’t care ENOUGH. We act like the homeless don’t exist. We put doing for selves as priority one without a second thought. Helping isn’t something that’s VALUED by the society around us.
Who are we in the world? What is our purpose here on Earth? We constantly search for the meaning of our lives — many of us dying before we figure it out.
But why is this? Why can’t we seem to fill that meaningless void? Why don’t we help even when we see people in dire need?

The 2K11 24/7 CXLVII: How to Live Your Damn Life

Since I’m getting married tomorrow, I figured I should write something epic that truly captures where my mind’s at right now, since it may never be the same again. So here’s a premise to start with:

LIVE YOUR LIFE.