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The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Thanksgiving is the idea of sharing.  It's the time of year when everyone gets together to share food, drink, shelter, and stories.  It's the time when we look back on the past year and think of what we're thankful for, what opportunities we've had, and how we can better ourselves in preparation for what's right around the corner: the New Year.

This past year has been very crazy for me.  I met a wonderful girl, I graduated college, and I watched my sister welcome a wonderful baby boy into this world.  These monumental changes in my life have all led to new opportunities, new experiences, and new challenges and I'm extremely grateful that everything has worked out for myself and my family.

As most of you know, over the past few months I've been struggling, like many others, with the economy and what its done to the current job market.  I'm thankful for the opportunity I've been given by Upper End Properties in letting me come in, essentially create my own job title, and allow me to build my business from the ground up.  I'm excited about the opportunities this position will bring me over the next few months and the potential it has to grow well into the new year.

I'm also thankful for my friends.  I'm thankful for the fact that no matter how many times I don't pick up my cell, how many times I decide not to go out, and how many times I blow them off for whatever indie film is playing at Plaza Frontenac, they'll always be there to call me the next weekend.  It's rare to find such persistence in people, and I appreciate it more than anyone would know.

Most importantly I'm thankful for everyone who's stuck with me and this blog.  I'm still not positive where I'm going to go with it, what I'm going to do with it, or whether or not people REALLY enjoy reading it, but still, looking up analytics and seeing 190 page views on average, per post, is something I'm extremely grateful for.  I may not be the best writer, I may not always interest you, but you keep coming back, and I can't stress to you enough how much I appreciate it.

As I've said before, Thanksgiving, to me, is all about sharing.  I encourage you to write a blog, a note, a status on Facebook, or a 140 character tweet on Twitter.  In a time where a "thank you" is only a click away, there's no excuse not to tell someone how you feel.  Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thanks for a wonderful year.

 
 
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For these past few months I've been what I would call the hardest working not working person out there.  I've posted a little over 50 insights, ideas, and opinions on Buff's Blog, well over 30 commercials on The Daily Interest, a slew of Content & Copy on Posterous, and read more than I can even imagine on advertising, social media, marketing, and web 2.0.  I've put all this work in to build my personal brand, to define myself online, and to network myself into a group of people within the industry I wish to enter into.  I've always said, a resume can only say so much about a person, and in my case, it doesn't say a whole lot.

The problem you run into in today's world of 24/7 news feeds, is the fact that a lot of messages get lost.  Sure I receive on average, 60-70 hits a day, but I've always envisioned it reaching a much larger audience.  The other problem you run into in today's digital world is the addiction that comes from having information constantly updated throughout the day.  It's become hard for people to let go of thier laptops and their cellphones.  Use me for an example.  I always want to be on Twitter, Facebook, and Blogspot seeing what people are doing, writing about, and posting links to.  It's a healthy obsession, but an obsession nonetheless.

In an attempt to restructure and reorganize my social media behavior, I have decided to try out a few new applications.  Hootsuite is the first.  On Twitter, I post everywhere from 20 to 30 tweets a day.  While this only takes about 20 minutes to do, the research behind some of the tweets can take hours.  Don't get me wrong, I think I am posting some of the most entertaining, interesting, educational, and relevant stuff out there, but I'm not sure who exactly is receiving it.  Hootsuite is an application that allows you to schedule your tweets.  Rather than post 20-30 up-to-the-minute tweets, I've decided to use Hootsuite to schedule 8-10 tweets a day.  It will allow me more time to gather information, sift through the relevant stuff, and will give my followers more of an opportunity to read my posts.  More or less, I've decided to rebroadcast and reinforce, rather than to be the first one to break news.  

As a writer and blogger you begin to get yourself into a bind.  You spend so much time writing an article, only to have it pushed to the back of your blog when you post something new.  I think the blogger dilemma can best be exemplified in the context of a band releasing music.  Ludo, one of the best bands out of STL, worked hard touring and releasing independent records in the Midwest for about 5 years.  They built a loyal following in this region over those 5 years, but it was their major label debut "You're Awful, I Love You,"  that truly put them on the map.   After two years of touring on that album, they decided to re-release their previous two albums because all of their new fans had never heard the music that got it all started.  That's kind of where I'm at in terms of my twitter and my blog.  I'm very proud of what I've posted and what I've written, but at the same time, it's hard to accept that there's probably only 10 people, my mom, dad, and girlfriend included, who've read them.

Anyways, just a little rant.  My spirit's are actually at an all time high right now.  I've got some great career opportunities on the horizon and all of them involve writing, social media, marketing, branding, and almost everything I'm looking for in a job. 


My twitter might be a little slow while I get things organized, but I'd love for you to check it out.  You can follow me at www.twitter.com/mbuffa.
 
 
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Today marks the end of a wonderful ride.  I just celebrated what some may call my "golden birthday," the day when your age coincides with your day of birth.  Well for me, I turned 23 on October 23rd.  An amazing weekend was had by all.  My girlfriend did what girlfriends do best and planned a surprise party for me.  My best friends showed up to have a couple drinks and it turned out to be one of the most fun nights I've had since living in St. Louis.  

Something about the traditional birthday has changed though.  It's a lot less personal than its ever been, but it's also a lot more fun.  Why?  Facebook, that's why.

The birthday has always been regarded as one of the most looked forwarded to days of the year.  I guess this changes a little bit as you get older and birthdays start to become more of a feared event than a welcomed one, but nonetheless, it has always been a special day.   It's a day when everyone feels like a king or a queen, the most important person on earth, and someone who deserves all the attention.  Social media has allowed us to tap into this feeling and get a lot more out of it than we ever have before.

What am I talking about?  I'm talking about the number of people who now know when your birthday is.  There was a time 5 years ago where I could count on my hand the number of people's birthdays I knew.  Now I have a rolodex of about 300.  Not only that, but we're alerted every day, sometimes weeks in advance about the next person in line to celebrate.

Talk about a confidence boost, and I'm sure most of you can relate, here's more or less what my Facebook looked like pre and post birthday.

October 22, 10:00 PM:  Six People Have Written on Your Wall
October 23, 9:00 AM:  Twenty-Four People Have Written on Your Wall
October 23, 2:00 PM:  Forty-four People Have Written on Your Wall
October 23, 11:15 PM:  Thirty-Nine People Have Written on Your Wall
October 24, 10: 00 AM:  Nineteen People Have Written on Your Wall

Needless to say, I, as I'm sure many of you can relate, felt like a million bucks. 

A lot of individuals negatively associate Facebook and birthdays.  The most typical argument I hear, and one I'm guilty of using myself, is the argument that Facebook takes the intimacy out of the birthday.  It allows anyone: friend, family, foe, enemy, acquaintance, oddball, stalker, or total stranger equal playing ground.  

After this past weekend, I tend to not use that argument anymore.  Sure, some of my best friends called me, some texted, and some wrote on my wall, but I say, it doesn't matter the medium, it's the message that matters, and I appreciate any and all comments I received.  

I'm turning over a new leaf.  Too many times have I neglected the opportunity to give a shout on a birthday.  Do I think birthdays are huge deals?  Not at all.  Do I think people really care if I write on their walls on their birthdays?  Not one bit.  But I do know that on a birthday, people should feel like a million bucks, like they are on top of the world, and like they really do matter.  A lot of the time, all it takes is two simple words, 24 characters, and the click of a mouse, "Happy Birthday."  

Many thanks from everyone who made me feel special on my day.  I hope that when your day comes, you'll pop open Facebook and feel exactly what I'm talking about.

Here's to another year.
 
 
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Have we lost all of our privacy as a result of living in the Internet Age?  That could easily be debated.  Finding out information about an individual is as easy as typing their name into google.  Do I care?  Not so much.  In fact, I like having a personal brand on the web and I try to find ways in which people can reach me.  So what's the problem?  The problem is that I only really want certain people to reach me, and that is an issue that the internet really fails to take into consideration.  

The other day I received a call from FedEx/Kinkos.  It was a very nice lady who had printed a few resumes and cover letters for me last week.  I wasn't able to answer, but she left a very nice message asking me how my interview went and in what ways she could help me in the future (in terms of printing services).  This was probably one of the nicer things that a business has ever done for me.  I mean, that's some very personal service right there.  I just can't help but wonder...was that phone call a little too personal?

Now I've seen this personal service in other ways and it's never really bothered me.  I order protein supplements and vitamins from Bodybuilding.com.  About a month after each order they send me an email saying something like "I'm sure you're running low on protein and vitamins, here's the deals that we have available for you."  I mean that's pretty cool right?  I think the difference lies in the medium of delivery: phone vs. email.

I love the web.  I communicate daily on the web.  I build relationships through the web.  The phone however, is and always will be (IMO), a much different story.  I could talk to people on Twitter all day, people I don't know, people I want to know, or people I do know, and never get bored.  If everyone of those people started calling me though, I'd get a little wierded out.  I think that's where the generational difference comes into play between millennials and Boomers.  My parents both prefer phone as a medium and very rarely give out email addresses.  I however prefer email, facebook, twitter, and then the phone, something I don't think is very uncommon for my generation.  In fact, I'm reading a lot of articles now about professionals simply putting their email address and Twitter handles on their business cards.  Makes sense to me.

This was just a spur of the moment thought but I'd like to hear from you.  Have you had any "Kinko's" moments?  Do you prefer the phone or the web? I'm all about social media so I would have to say I'm bias, but I believe we're in the Internet Age for a reason, and the phone as we know it may be on it's way out.  Opinions from all ages are welcome.


Also, if you're looking for the most innovative way to connect, one step beyond phone and email, check out my post on Google Wave, the newest communication platform from the guys and gals over at Google.  Check that post here
 
 
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I just recently read a white paper on the idea of incrementalism as it relates to big businesses.  Incrementalism at its core means this:  to make small, often unplanned changes over a long period of time.  For some companies, this way of thinking works well.  You've got a winning strategy, why change it.  The most basic example of this way of thinking would be to examine the process of creating a website or a blog.  Many people start a website, add a little bit of content each day, and incrementally move forward in creating a so-called "finished product."  But the problem I constantly find in terms of incremental thinking, is that the "finished product" is never actually reached.

I believe in big ideas and big changes.  It constantly keeps people interested, connected, and consistently guessing.  I appreciate innovation, experiments, and calls to action.  In today's society, ideas that break traditional boundaries and barriers are the ones that turn out trends.

let's look at some of today's Big Breakers vs. Slow Movers.

The What You Want, When You Want It Category

Redbox vs. Blockbuster:  Capitalizing on cheaper movies, more locations, and no-hassle membership, Redbox has completely destroyed Blockbuster in recent years.  Blockbuster moved incrementally in marketing and distribution relying too much on their brand name.  Redbox was innovative and broke ground with a new form of movie rental and distribution, people caught on, and the rest is history.

iTunes vs. Best Buy:  Cashing in on ease of use and accessibility, the iTunes store allowed individuals to buy music by the track, legally, and downloadable directly to an iPod.  They cut out the middle-man and made it unnecessary to drive to the store, buy a full CD, and download it to your computer.  Best Buy missed out on legal, digital distribution, leaving the market open for Apple to dominate the industry.

The Music Industry

We see incrementalism all the time in the music industry and a lot of the time we don't even notice it.  Bands are consistently capitalizing on the current trends.  Many of today's bands are just getting lost in the shadows of similar, but more popular bands.  Bands like Fall Out Boy have amassed thousands of bands holding tight onto their coattails in an attempt to make a quick buck.  The artists that are going to pave the way for the future of the music industry are the ones that are daring to be different.

Lady Gaga:  Different - hugely successful
MGMT:  Different - hugely successful
Kanye West:  Different- hugely successful

Cell Phones
Cell phones are all the same.  Except for one- the iPhone.  A huge idea; this thing has a full-web browser, apps, a video camera, a iPod.  It blew competition out of the water.  Apple didn't take an existing phone and incrementally improve on it like most companies - they created something completely unique and new.

The future depends on big ideas and big innovations.  The current economy could not only use them, but it desperately needs them.  We are the future of business and we will decide the direction of the economy.  It's time for us to move past incrementalism and move more towards imagination.  The internet has allowed us this option and it's the people who understand this who will truly benefit.  

My challenge to you.  Find a way to make a big, positive change in your life today.  Incrementalism can only work for so long.   Eventually you'll lose interest in yourself and people will lose interest in you.  Make it happen.  Make a change.  In such an oh-so-similar society, those who stand out will be the ones who succeed.
 
 
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I'm not going to lie to you.  It's official.  I love Twitter.  Just thinking about this topic gets me excited.  I know I'm going to forget things, but in a rushed attempt to spread the love for my new social network of choice, I will do whatever it takes to convert you.

Every one of my friends has Facebook.  Not a whole lot of them have Twitter.  Let's get things straight off the bat though.  I'm not trying to convert you so I can follow you, creep you, communicate with you, or stalk you, I'm converting you so that you can be exposed to the newest, most innovative form of social media.  I don't claim to be an expert, heck I don't even have a ton of followers, but I do know that I understand the fundamentals of Twitter and the ways in which it can be used as a universal source of media for all of your sports, political, business, entertainment, music, and movie news.

This isn't a post about social media and Twitter in business.  This is about using it at the most basic - To entertain and excite. It's about getting your news delivered directly to you, all day, every day.

A basic introduction for the Twitter-impaired.  You are allowed to use 140 characters or less to communicate "What has your attention."  I know, this sounds a little confusing at first, but those who "get it" are making it pretty darn simple for the newbies to catch on.

Ok so we need an example.  Say you're a sports guy/girl.  Each day you check certain websites to catch up on sports news.  You go to ESPN, Sports Illustrated, STL Today, and MLB.com.  When you visit these websites, you sift through all the information that interests you and find the articles you want to read.  What can Twitter do for you?  It can send these websites to you. Every story they post, editorial they feature, and picture they post can be sent directly to you, leaving you with all the information you need to get your sports fix.  All you gotta do is follow these websites on Twitter.

I'll use an example that's a little more close to home for me.  I love movies.  I have certain movie reviewers that I like to catch up with before I hit the megaplex each weekend.  Roger Ebert, Reelviews, RottenTomatoes, and Pajiba all have Twitter accounts.  I follow each of them.  When they post a movie review or a feature story, they post the link to it on their twitter, and the message is immedietly delivered to me.  When I wake up on Friday mornings, it's usually to about 10 different tweets all containing movie information from my favorite reviewers.

I like to use the analogy that Twitter is basically the best magazine you've never read.  All day, every-day I receive updates through Twitter.  I have different categories just as a magazine has different sections.  I have advertising, which relays all the information I need to know each day about the advertising industry and the different campaigns being worked on.  i have music, with posts from my favorite bands and music sites like Rolling Stone.  I have a friends category that fills me in on what my friends are doing.  Lastly, I have an entertainment column that has all information from celebrities and celebrity news columnists to television and radio stations.  I'm essentially being delivered Rolling Stone, AdWeek, the Business Journal, and People without the wait and without the cost.  It's truly surreal.

What I'm getting at with Twitter is this:  It is the newest form of interactive media that not only allows you to share information on yourself and what your interested in, but also allows information to be delivered directly to you all day, every day and only from sources that interest you.  I think everyone needs to jump on board right now and see what you're missing out on.  In the past it was just a phrase, but in today's world I think it's come true:  The bird truly is the word.
 
Let me know if you have any questions on how to use Twitter or how to get started.  I promise I'm not steering you in the wrong direction.

Also, see my post on Tweetdeck in the rants/raves section.  It is a must-have application for anyone using Twitter.  Check it out here.
 
 
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People always ask me "What is your favorite ad?"  While the answer is always changing, (currently Bud Light Lime), it's safe to say that I'll always have a sweet spot for men's personal care brands.  What do I mean by personal care?  I mean brands like Axe, Old Spice, and Mitchum.  Each one of these brands represents products for men that appeal to men therefore the obvious strategy is to advertise towards the standard target market:  men.

The new strategy I propose, with slight hesitation, is the possibility of brands creating campaigns aimed at those directly related to the target market, but not the target market itself.  If we look back at the case of Axe, Old Spice, and Mitchum, we'd be talking about a campaign directed at the target market's better half: women.

Before the negative comments start rolling in, please let me explain myself.

Let's use the Axe brand.  They make funny, sexy, dirty ads usually involving a large group of half-naked women chasing a a guy until they catch him and clean him up.  It's the Axe Effect.  Why do guys like it?  Because they get the idea that if they wash with this stuff, if they spray it on before they go out, they'll have no problem getting girls.  Trust me, I fell for it too.  We all wish it was that easy.

Axe has done a great job of winning the guys over though.  You can't open a Men's Health or Men's Fitness Magazine without flipping to a print ad and I can't help but notice the television ads during every MTV commercial break.  They've got interactive sites showing guys how to get girls, how to style your hair with their product, and how to choose a scent based on the type of girl you want to date.  What I'm getting at is:  I think guys finally get the point.
 
What can a brand do when it has already established an extremely brand loyal target market?  It can turn the market upside down!  I've came up with a proposal for Axe to put into effect.  I want you to tell me if it would be a smart idea or a waste of time and money.  It's based around the idea of "The Axe Upgrader."  It includes online, social media, interactive, mobile marketing, in-store ads, and promotional events - all marketed towards the girlfriends and mothers of the direct target market.  

Here's the campaign:

The“Axe Upgrader”

Medium:  Online Website

Description:  Interactive website that provides girls with the opportunity to turn their boys into men.  Games that provide girls the opportunity to upload their boyfriends pictures and change their hair and body styles around and email them to friends.  Tips and tricks on how to upgrade your boyfriend into a more stylish and hip guy.  Include blogs, videos, pictures and testimonials of men who have been given the Axe Upgrade.

Axe Upgrader Facebook Group : Females Only

Medium:  Social Media – Facebook

Description:  Interactive facebook group with discussion board, videos, boyfriend gallery, and advice column.  Basically a female version of the male group with over 1,350 members.

Axe Upgrader Photo Bus

Medium:  Promotional Event/Moving Marketing

Description:  An Axe Upgrader bus that would travel the country to female frequented concerts, parties, and events.  The bus would turn into a place to eat, drink, and take pictures with male models who would be endorsing the products.  Having the men take pictures with female guests and “wash and upgrade” themselves in front of the women at the various events over the course of the summer. 

Axe Online Advertisements

Medium:  Web Ads

Description:  Axe hair product ads on websites such as Perezhilton.com, Cosmopolitan.com, and other female frequented websites promoting the Axe products that can upgrade your son or your boyfriend.

Point of Purchase Ads
Medium:  In-store

Description:  Axe hair product point of purchase ads in an easily recognized and strategically designed promotional sales shelf.  Moms shopping for their sons can easily see that this is the newest, most stylish product and will try it out for their sons.

Mom’s Guide to the Axe Upgrader

Medium:  Website

Description:  The “mom-friendly” version of the Axe Upgrader website with information about the products, how they can give their sons style and confidence, and coupons and information on where to buy the products.  Ads linking to this website would be placed on banners on mom-frequented websites.

Here's the deal.

I hate shopping.  I think most guys feel the same.  We want our moms and girlfriends to buy everything for us, but we still want the best stuff out there, and usually moms and girlfriends don't know what to buy.  Do these two subgroups make up a big enough target market to make a difference or would Axe be wasting their time and money?

I want this to be bigger than just Axe, but it's tough to think of how many companies this strategy could apply to.  I mean, essentially it wouldn't be a successful solution for most brands but for Axe, I really think it works.  Could this apply to beer companies so girls know what to buy their man?  Could this apply to Bacardi and Smirnoff so guys can brush up on what to buy their girls?  I think the opportunities are pretty endless, but it's a whole new way of thinking.  

What do you guys think of my proposal?  Creating a new target market, based essentially off the opposite sex or opposite end-user.  I think it could be the next big marketing solution, but maybe I just got soap in my eyes.
 
 
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Ok, so for starters, I know - I gotta work on my Photoshop skills, but for now, that's the best I got. I mean c'mon, you can't go wrong with a green background and some freshly cropped out eggs.  I mean, seriously.  The creativity is in my head, not my hands.  Sorry!

On to the good stuff though.  

So I'm sitting here looking around at some internship opportunities.  You're probably asking "why do an internship after you're out of college?"  Well, I can think of oh-so-many reasons.

1.  Get some real world experience in the industry
2.  Network with some big time names
3.  Learn from the best in the industry

What are some reasons that a company would want to take on an intern?

1.  Good press 
2.  Newest pool of talent 
3.  Cheap labor 
4.  Great coffee
5.  Fresh minds

When I think about all these benefits of being and intern and having an intern, I can't help but think of how powerful a business could be if it was comprised wholly of, well, interns.  

Here's the big idea.

Start up a company - for this example - we're using an advertising agency.  The company is going to be called "The Ad Egg." In fact, we might even go ahead and make The Ad Egg a non-profit ad agency. Well, scratch that, we'll want to make a profit somehow.  What is The Add Egg?  Why don't we just look at a possible mission statement.

"The Ad Egg's mission is to incubate the young minds of tomorrow and prepare them to hatch into industry through hands-on learning, research and development, and a virtual agency experience."

So wait, this is a pretty much school right?  No, not quite.  It's much cheaper than a school and requires more work.

Where did this idea come from you might be wondering.  Well here's the deal.  Ever since my sophomore year in college, I have been looking for an internship.  I mean, it's free labor!  How could people possibly resist.  But the problem is, they did - and they still do.  

I've got multiple bones to pick within the area of career development.  The first one lies in the fact that there is just too much darn competition out there to work with.  In college, I would apply to these internships that would have around 200 kids applying for the same position.  They narrow it down to ten, then decide on one or two lucky individuals.  I feel great knowing that I made it into two top 10's (even though I didn't get either,) but it really makes you wonder how you can be that #1 applicant.

The second bone lies in the fact that a lot of companies don't even offer internships.  I get it, it sucks to train people.  As a manager at Hollister it was my job to train the new employees.  Not only that, but I had to train the other assistant manager as well, all of which left me feeling a little pissed and a little stressed.  I mean, most of us have enough work on our own plates with no time to sit around and tell an intern how to use the company email address.  But get this - the better you train that intern, the more he/she learns and excels, the better you look as an employee and the greater chance you have of getting promoted (as the intern takes your position full-time).

So back to the idea at hand.  A company full of interns.  An agency in this case.  Why would companies use "The Ad Egg" for their next campaign?  Because they are the freshest minds in advertising.  They are cheap.  They have great coffee.  They are working harder than ever because, unlike members of big-time agencies, they don't have a paying job.  Yes that's right.  These interns don't get paid.  They are doing this all for the experience, in hopes that they will someday use what they have learned in an attempt to land a big time ad job.

Wait a second, wouldn't this hurt the existing agencies that actually charge a fee.  Yes and no.  Sure the Ad Egg would produce good material (we'd hire the best and the brightest), but agency experience would still be a huge issue.  Interns wouldn't be able to compete with the big guns and truthfully - wouldn't have the budget to either.  But the fact remains, businesses would still use the interns, because they are free and they are driven.  Our point of sale would be - to at least give us a try and if you didn't find a campaign that works, go ahead on with a big name - at least we got the experience.

This is all just a total brain spew.  But I think in this economy, investing in a place where great minds could come in, volunteer their time and effort, and work towards a greater goal would find a great home in STL.  The opportunity is endless.  If we could get companies like AB, Nestle Purina, P&G, Edward Jones, Target, Vi-Jon, and other huge companies in STL on board to help out with this business, host contests, let them play around with their next campaign, give them ideas to work on for the future, host guest speaking at the Ad Egg Headquarters - things like this - would truly help us grads.   We are stuck in this purgatory between school and a career and this could finally be our way out.

I could be speaking for myself on this one, but I would love to have a business to go to each and every day.  A place where I could gather with other recent graduates, blog, work on advertising projects, network, hear speakers, and get prepared for a future in the industry.  I think a lot of people would buy into the Ad Egg.  Heck, if we could make the building look like an Egg, I think we'd even be sending more of a message.  We'd be passionate, driven, and companies would recruit out of the Ad Egg.  It would be a great entry level path for those who don't want to work at Starbucks but haven't found their dream job.  Or heck you could even do both, but at least you'd be moving closer towards that dream job in the process.

Enough with the rant, but I want your ideas.  Would you volunteer your time with a company if you weren't getting paid?  A place where you could develop your skills and work with real companies on real campaigns.  A place to spend time preparing yourself and branding yourself for future employment? I know I would, but please, let me know your thoughts because my mind might just be a little scrambled.  

 
 
Hey guys, 

For anyone checking in, I apologize for the lack of consistant blog posts.  I've been doing some traveling here lately starting out in Cape Girardeau, MO, heading West to Fulton, MO then catching a plane to Fort Worth, TX to spend some time with my girlfriend.  This blog will continue to be my main priority as I plan to write more op-ed style pieces on my job search, job thoughts, and industry ideas.

If you haven't noticed yet, I do have another blog up and running called "The Daily Interest."  It's more of an entertainment-driven site with my favorite ads, movie trailers, and internet videos.  I'll also be posting some industry news on that blog as well.  The reason I decided to make this site was so that I could keep this as more of an intellectual portfolio.  I'm working on some powerpoint presentations that I plan on embedding into this site as well as some educational articles that I have been spending some time on.  I also got a book review that I plan on posting here soon.

A lot of stuff in the works. but the main priority is finding a job.  I'm building a brand, but it won't be much use if I don't find an outlet to use it.  I'll keep you posted here, but thank you for checking in.  Lots of exciting stuff to come and I'm glad you guys want to be a part of it.

For now, head over to The Daily Interest at:
www.buffsdailyinterest.blogspot.com

Follow me on twitter for all blog updates at:
www.twitter.com/mbuffa
 
 
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Have you ever wondered what your favorite band is doing right now?  How about your favorite actor?  How about that movie that you just can’t wait to see?  Wouldn’t it be great to get some behind the scenes footage from the set?  Some videos of Dashboard Confessional recording their new album, some photos of Ben Stiller behind the scenes at Jay Leno, or a video on how President Obama stays in shape? 

Ever since the invention of online social media – these are the things that I have been waiting for.  Call it weird, call it creepy, call it stalker – but I love the Internet and the idea of the “
4th dimension” made possible through social media.  What do I mean by this?  Well for starters, now you can know what your favorite band is doing, where an actor is eating lunch, or what is going on behind the scenes of True Blood.  What’s the problem then?  The problem lies in the fact that while many people are taking note of this issue, in my opinion, not many are using social media to their full advantage. 

What brought this whole idea up?  Well, today was the launch of fitness model and actor Greg Plitt’s new website (
http://www.gregplitt.com).  Before you go to the site and judge this guy on his appearance, let it be known that he more than just a fitness model, he’s an inspirational speaker, a West Point Grad, an Army Ranger, and a workout guru.  He’s got a huge amount of followers, and what does he do?  He creates a website where they can see what he’s done, what he’s doing, how he stays in shape, how he eats, who he meets, and how he’s gotten to where he has.   It breaks down that wall that so many celebrities put up, and allows fans to truly connect with who he is and what he’s done. 

 There are other people doing this too, the first few that come to mind being Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey, and Ellen Degeneres.  Ellen and Oprah both post monologues, photos, videos, contests, recommendations, insights, and opinions on their respective mediums every day.  Usually this involves Twitter, Facebook, and their own branded websites but things such as texts and emails are expanding the spectrum daily.  Ashton Kutcher now hires a production crew to go with him everywhere, documenting his every day life from a behind the scenes interview with Conan O’Brien to a candid bikini shot of wife Demi Moore while on vacation (which received over 950,000 views on twitter -
http://twitpic.com/2bj58 - ).  He hosts web.tv shows on Ustream, he has his own television show on Facebook, and he’s constantly letting fans in on the life that is “Ashton Kutcher.”  This obviously isn’t a fad, rather a phenomenon, seeing as a recent stat claims, Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama.”  That’s proof.

Actors and models aren’t the only ones getting in on this online action.  Bands are constantly updating Twitter with where they are and what they’re doing, giving fans behind the scenes photos and videos, and breaking down the barrier between listener and artist.  I’m still waiting for the “4th dimension” to be broken down further on this one though.  Why can’t we get live streams of Dave Matthews in the studio recording his new album, a live feed of Blink 182’s pre-show ritual, or a behind the scenes look at how Kings of Leon drummer, Nathan Followill, chooses his drum set.  Maybe it’s just me wanting to be a part of something greater, or maybe it is a whole new opportunity that isn’t being tapped into by many of today’s entertainers.

I’m still waiting patiently for this wall to break down completely.  I don’t even watch Football, but I just spent four hours glued to the television for a show called “Hard Knocks:  Preseason with the Bengals.”  Why?  Because it’s interesting to see what these football players go though, their families, their training, their ups and downs.  The behind the scenes reality.  I just read an article about Obama’s personal health plan documenting his daily workout regimen.  Tell me you wouldn’t be interested in hearing what the president of the United States bench presses each day, what he eats, and how far he runs.  It’s these small facts, these random thoughts, and these little ideas that get me going, and it’s these same thoughts that I think are paving the way for the future of social media.

Why do I post these blogs? 
Because I believe that someone out there is reading them and getting a little sneak peak into my life.  If I were an actor, I’d have videos of life on the set.  If I were a model, I’d be posting pictures of all the girls I worked with, and if I were musician, I’d put a webcam up during one our practices.  It’s this “4th dimension” that I think will be crucial for success in the entertainment industry in the future.  Those who can embrace it and attack it with strategy will connect with fans on a more personal scale, something becoming more and more important in today’s society.

My next blog will be a more intelligent study of this phenomenon and the power this “4th dimension" has in terms of consumer spending and brands.  More specifically I’ll dive into the importance of social media strategy for companies like Vitamin Water, Red Bull, Gatorade, and Target and the importance of having an online personality and interactive brand in a crowded market of competitors.

I want to hear your thoughts on this.  Are there any celebrities, blogs, websites you follow?  Do you ever wish you could know more about your favorite entertainer?  Give me some scoop in the comments.  I welcome any
insights, ideas, or opinions you may have.