Sunday, January 23, 2011

Toaster Chicken, the Galaxy, and the Perks of Being Social With Social Media

I recently came across these in the supermarket:

Two words that should never go together are toaster and chicken. So of course I bought a box, and was soon obsessed with toaster chicken; mostly because "toaster chicken" is so fun to say, but also because FlatJacks are surprisingly good, in a chicken nugget sort of way.

For me, Twitter is about the unfiltered sharing of your life. With toaster chicken now so deeply intertwined with my life, it got mentioned several times in my Twitter feed. A beautiful thing about Twitter is that anybody can discover if anybody else is talking about them, if they're paying attention. I was impressed, then, when Janes Family Foods (makers of FlatJacks) tweeted me directly about their crap. They even sent me some coupons so I can fill my belly and my toaster with even more flattened chicken product.

This is happening more and more; two-way communication directly between creators and consumers. This is a key development that's come with the ubiquity of social media: it has created new social interactions where previously there were none.

Example two: in December, a Toronto-based marketing company emailed me out of the blue and offered to loan me a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate phone for no reason1. Samsung probably figured I'd blog or tweet about it, but I never explicitly agreed to that. Rather, they took a risk by sending free shit to someone who seemed well-connected, and hoping it would bleed out to the world naturally as part of my social-media-fueled extended self. Just like what happened with the toaster chicken, but a bit more forced.

It worked though, because here I am blogging about it. Again, mainstream social media has created a new, organic(ish) sort of social interaction that happens to double as marketing.

This isn't just for ├╝ber-famous bloggers like me. Anyone can—and naturally will—get more and more involved with this social media stuff (a.k.a. "the internet"), and this evolution in the way creators interact with customers will continue to involve more and more people. It'll no longer be some corporation tossing their product down to the social masses, but rather the producers will just be another node in the social network.2

LOL... toaster chicken ....

1 Here is a brief review of the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate: Android is pretty wonderful. Its openness and customization options are a breath of fresh air after being stuck in Apple's elegant but restrictive ecosystem for so long. I loved being able to install Grooveshark without hacking the phone (because seriously Apple, fuck you re: that). The Galaxy itself is fine hardware-wise, but we gotta face the fact that most devices are just a big touch screen nowadays, so yeah, it's one of those.

A few deal-breakers would keep me from switching to a Galaxy as my main phone. First, battery life was inconsistent. Sometimes it lasted a few days. Other times it was gone in hours. I'd rather not micromanage applications to find out what caused the difference. Second, it didn't play nice with my MacBook at all. I suppose syncing with my music in iTunes is too much to ask, but I couldn't even drag and drop photos to and from the phone without something going horribly wrong. I hope whoever gets the phone next enjoys the pictures of my trip to Niagara Falls, because I won't be able to. Maybe it was just a faulty phone, but it seemed like it would have been janky even if it functioned properly.

2You may think this is a particularly poisonous node, motivated only by money and self-interest, but really: who isn't? The way I see it, a dickish corporation is no worse than a dickish Facebook friend. There is always the unfriend button.


Darius Whiteplume said...

I have had a few hits, mostly stuff entirely unrelated to what I post about. I did get a copy of Stargate Universe 1.5, gave it a cursory review and then gave it away to a follower.

Some of the most fun is when the famous and not-so-famous become associated with you after a post. I talk to some indy film makers and actors, and a few porn/adult stars. It's fun.

Toaster Chicken. Maybe you can recommend a vegetarian version? Much more toaster safe ;-)

Johnson said...

Toaster Chicken?! Amazing! All I ever got as a result of mentioning something online was some sex toys.

Jay Ferris said...

What the fuck, Canada?! Why are you guys holding out on sharing the miracle of toaster meat with your homies to the south?

Phronk said...

Darius: That's very cool! Connecting with famous people is another perk of this social internet stuff. Sasha Grey tweeted me once and I have not washed my typing fingers since.

Johnson: Sex toys?! That's even better. You can't even have sex with toaster chicken. Unless...

Jay: Hey, maybe it'll trickle down there if it's a success here. You do love your easy greasy food down there, after all.

Hey Lady! said...

Toaster chicken... I never would have thought of it, it's sounds disturbingly awesome! You can now make an entire meal in your toaster! I'm with "Jay Ferris", send some of that down to America!

Congrats on getting companies contacting you! It's a great testament to your honest blog posts and entertaining Twitter feed that we all read and enjoy. I can think of no one who deserves it more. I hope you get more of it.

Forest City Fashionista said...

Perhaps I need to start including some posts about "Toaster Chicken" as I never get offered free stuff :(
I did get asked if I'd like to administer a "video site" for London from some place called "" but that seemed like more trouble than it was worth. I just want free shoes.
Hey, you never congratulated me on making the list of OurLondon.Ca's top ten blogs. Don't be bitter...

Phronk said...

Hey Lady! I will send you some in an envelope. It is flat, after all. And thank you for being so nice.

FCF! I have been negligent in being present in any of the blogging world. I have planned on congratulating you by email, and will do so in the near future. So don't consider this a word of congratulations, yet. I think I am responsible for you winning though, because I remember someone asking about the best London blogs a bit ago, and I said FCF is a best London blog for sure. It may not have been OurLondon, but it was someone, so uh, that was all me. I'm not bitter...I'm sure they're saving me for Best Blogs in the World. Can't be on both lists right?

Hey Lady! said...

yeah, after rereading the comment I was surprised at how nice it was too. One could assume it's because I must actually like you, or more likely, because I was heavily medicated at the time.