Tick Yes Blog

Tag - content watch

Content that sticks

When content makes a connection, it becomes an art form
Our post about culture jamming and guerrilla marketing, which raised concerns that the adoption of culture jamming by marketers, may end up killing the subversive, pop culture-driven movement has been one of The Message’s most popular. It’s also why it’s a delight to come across genuine ‘just-to-break-through-the-monotony’ pieces of unexpected art.
Stickers on the Central Line is a Tumblr that showcases just that. The creators of the site clearly delight in designing official-looking stickers and place them on trains in the London Underground. Most are light-hearted and whimsical, and break through the oddly impenetrable veneer that Tube-riders work hard to cultivate. Like this…
The stickers have little purpose other than to forge a momentary connection with their audience in a place where connections (at least intentional ones – touching hands accidentally with the dirty guy in the overcoat doesn’t count) are hard to come by. For example…
The deliciousness of sharing a private joke with a bored Tube passenger is obviously what fuels this entertaining initiative, but there are also some insightful socio-political statements being made, including…

And this…

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Tell us a story…

The accessibility of online content makes this a golden age for writers
Make no mistake, we are living in a golden age for writers. Not in the hazy, wine-soaked way that the ’50s were for the Beat Generation, or in the sharp, uncomfortable way that saw the late ’60s and early ’70s introduce revolutionary ideas and change the way people thought about everything.
Rather, this is a golden age for having your voice heard.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: CONTENT IS KING in the attention economy – and the creators of that content are in a unique position. It has never been easier to share a piece of writing that moves you, or makes you laugh, or educates you. And by sharing, you take part in a global and ongoing curating project that propels exceptional content into constant circulation.
It means incredible writers are now available at the simple click of a mouse. But in case your friends haven’t been as share-happy as they could, we’re bringing you some recommendations…
Charlie Brooker
Charlton ‘Charlie’ Brooker is probably best known for his work as a columnist, first for The Guardian and later for G2, a Guardian supplement. His acerbic style and often outrageously offensive comments (in 2004 he wrote a piece on George W. Bush that ended with: ‘John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. – where are you now that we need you?’) have landed him in hot water from time to time. Predictably, though, that has merely ensured his words are passed around the Internet like virtual hot potatoes.
What to read…
A good starting point for those interested in learning more about Brooker’s work would be this piece on nightclubs and the fact that nobody ACTUALLY likes going to them. The standout para would have to be:
‘Clubs are such insufferable dungeons of misery, the inmates have to take mood-altering substances to make their ordeal seem halfway tolerable. This leads them to believe they “enjoy’ clubbing. They don’t. No one does. They just enjoy drugs. Drugs render location meaningless. Neck enough ketamine and you could have the best night of your life squatting in a shed rolling corks across the floor. And no one’s going to search you on the way in. Why bother with clubs?”
Cat Marnell
If ever there was a divisive figure, Cat Marnell is it. Trust fund-fed, openly drug-addicted and recklessly, relentlessly honest, this New York personality has been fired time and again for a range of offences that all boil down to her prioritising heroin and angel dust over covering stories assigned to her.
Formerly Beauty Editor for xoJane.com (Jane Pratt’s online magazine), Ms Marnell currently writes a column for VICE magazine called Amphetamine Logic, which often details past drug experiences that are, to say the least, somewhat confronting.
Of those who know of are, half seem to love her, the other half despises her and all of them holds serious fears for her health. But there is no denying that Cat’s frank, honest and erratic style makes for compelling reading.
What to read…
This piece that Cat Marnell wrote on the death of Whitney Houston encapsulates everything that is good about her writing. Clear, concise, at times deeply sad but never self-pitying, it turns Whitney’s life – and indeed, Cat’s own – as a modern-day fable about the loneliest times in an addict’s life.
Although undeniably challenging, it is a good introduction to Cat Marnell’s highly individual style.
David Thorne
We’ve posted before about David Thorne, but just in case you weren’t listening, this guy is really where it’s at for the LOLs. While some of his work has you cringing and feeling sorry for his victims, the majority of it will have you snorting into your morning coffee while trying to hide the screen from your boss.
One of the most eloquent internet pranksters, his email exchange regarding a drawing of a spider went viral some years ago and brought Thorne’s unique content offerings into the public eye.
What most may not know, however, is that there is a large (and constantly updated) body of work just waiting to be discovered on his website.
What to read…
Presuming you’ve already seen his spider masterpiece, so check out this email exchange with his neighbour. Gold.
 
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Israel and Iran: Facebook friends

Can online and social media content bring peace in the Middle East?
While the title may seem a little trivial, the sentiment behind what is happening online between these two historical enemies is anything but. We posted last week about the anti-Islam film The Innocence of Muslims and how the way it has been spread through social media is, in effect, a new form of cyber warfare. Well, today we’re bringing you news about a cyber peace-project…
With tensions growing between the governments of Israel and Iran, and talk of war becoming more serious each day, their people – as ever – are the ones who are faced with the greatest threat. So ordinary Iranians and Israelis are attempting to combat the sense of powerlessness they feel with a social media campaign for peace.
‘Israel Loves Iran’ is an online initiative whereby residents of both countries can express their friendship and goodwill towards each other and create ‘a bridge in the Middle East between the people’.
Started by Israeli man Ronny Edri, the initiative began back in March when he posted a photo of himself and his daughter holding an Israeli flag on Facebook, along with an open letter to the people of Iran expressing peace and love.

The image – and the message behind it – was picked up and shared all over the world, promting Edri to start a Facebook page and fundraising initiative to take the messages to the streets in the form of billboards and posters. While the fundraising effort has so far fallen well short of its $150,000 target, it has highlighted the plight of the millions of innocent people in both countries who will not only be forced to fight, but also die, should a war eventuate. This powerful message was featured across a banner on the Facebook page recently:
‘We are millions of people who will be hurt. Will be drafted, will have to fight, lose our lives, our relatives. We, parents from Tel Aviv and Teheran, will have to run with our children to the shelters and pray the missiles will miss us. But they will fall somewhere, on someone.”
Here’s hoping they don’t fall at all.
 
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Fully sick

Meet the man with the Midas marketing touch
It’s no secret that brilliant creative minds are in hot demand in the golden age of content marketing. Being able to create engaging content that will be shared – maybe even go viral – is a skill that most brands will pay big bucks for.
Someone that fits the bill perfectly is Christian Van Vuuren, a man who understands the concept of ‘viral’ all too well. A few years ago, after a vaccination-less holiday through South America, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and put into isolation in hospital. He ended up having to remain there for over six months, and used the time to create a series of YouTube videos featuring him rapping about the experience:

Since his happy recovery, Van Vuuren has been putting his talents towards creating cringingly accurate portrayals of a certain type of sub-culture – the hipster – and in particular, the sub-sub-culture of the hipster who lives in Bondi.
Van Vuuren and his mate Nick Boshier have created the wildly popular YouTube series Bondi Hipsters, which features short webisodes highlighting the irony of the lifestyle many Bondi hipsters lead.
Here’s a particularly funny example:

But Bondi locals aren’t the only ones who think that these boys have some serious content-creating talent. Google recently flew them to the Olympics (along with their three production partners) and put them up for the duration of the games so that they could film a series of episodes based on the games. Google has also come on board (through YouTube) to promote the series as featured content.
He’s mates with Google, has a killer recipe for viral content, and clearly has his finger on the pulse when it comes to pop culture, and yet his strategy (as shared with The Vine) is astoundingly simple:
‘Set a date, and shoot it… It’s so easy to talk about an idea, or to develop an idea forever, or to always dream of the perfect people to play the characters, or the perfect network to show it at the perfect time-slot… But just set a date, get some mates together, and shoot it. The technology is there now, and it’s affordable. You can have the same access to very similar quality technologies that fully fledged professional studios have got access to. Get a Canon 5D/7D and a copy of Final Cut, and you are well on your way! Then put it on YouTube and share the balls off it.’
Exactly.
 
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Talk nerdy to me

Science, computers and enjoying literary in-jokes are cool all of a sudden… and we have social media content to thank for that
Has anyone noticed that science is cool now? Not ‘cool’ in the way you’d say it to a teenager to try to pique their enthusiasm about something, but ACTUALLY VERY SOCIALLY COOL. As is knowing about computers.
It used to be sexy when someone knew how to speak Spanish. Well, now speaking HTML is something you’d talk about on a date, not downplay.
There’s also a love of all things slightly geeky – from drinking tea to wearing specs to reading the classics and watching environmental documentaries. These are all interests that may have started off in a self-conscious, intentionally ironic way, but whose innate charms have wriggled their way into social consciousness to become legitimate passions and pastimes.
Eating sustainably, exercising, buying locally, recycling… Responsibility is sexy in a way it hasn’t been since (we’re guessing) the Victorian era.
We shouldn’t be surprised, though. First Apple (a brand centred on a man who unashamedly wore sneakers and mum-jeans) suddenly became part of the zeitgeist, bridging function and fashion. Next came the slow but unstoppable rise of geek-chic, driven by a gaggle of pre-teen-looking CEOs (hello, Mark Zuckerberg) who looked like they could make up a (bad) university soccer team, but instead made the Forbes rich list.
Online content becomes the trend-setter
When the dynamic shifted online, so did the trend. Which meant that the digital natives – the ones most adept at surfing the Net to find and share things of interest – took control of much of the content we consume.
So let’s take a brief look at the coolest content on Facebook at the moment.
The page ‘I F**king Love Science’ has over a million likes, but even more impressive is its reach. At time of writing, over 1.6 million people are ‘talking about it’ – in other words, sharing its content, referencing the page or otherwise interacting with the site. That’s a lot of people getting interested in science.
And this is why it’s so popular:

Another page (following the same slightly crude title format – but hey, they’re mavericks! They’re cool! They can swear if they want!) is ‘I F**king Love Puns’ – a glorious collection of dad-jokes, nerdy puns and cheeky references that sit like little hidden gems for people clever enough to get them.
For example…

It seems that the accessibility of information really does change the way people interact with it. If you post on GM foods, or write about the science behind the Mars Rover, or share a titillating literary meme to make clever people giggle, people really will be interested. And if we all have to start wearing mum jeans and sneakers as a result, well that’s a pretty decent price to pay for becoming more enlightened as a society.
 
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Caught in the (copyright) act

The whole issue of content piracy has just taken a deliciously ironic twist
Anyone who has watched a non-pirated DVD in the last decade would probably be familiar with the following government warning:

Remember the catchy jingle? Well, it’s at the centre of what is probably the most ironic news story to appear since this one.
Dutch musician Melchior Rietveldt has been awarded €60,000 in damages after noticing the track he produced for ‘a local film festival’ popping up on every second DVD he rented.  He took his concerns to royalty agency Buma/Stemra and was awarded €15,000 as an advance, but then needed to commence legal proceedings against the agency in order to get the remaining money. In addition to this a judge has awarded him a further €60,000, taking his total earnings up to €104,000.
Now, we may not be mathematicians, but that seems like a fairly paltry amount in comparison to the amount of DVDs that were sold bearing that message.
Then again, if the damages sum was awarded based on how many people were swayed against piracy by the advert itself, then we’re guessing it’s more than generous.
 
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Trapping the zeitgeist

Why K-Pop is the coolest thing in online and social media content
For some time now, Korean Pop music (or K-Pop for short) has been making its way colourfully, bizarrely and oh-so-entertainingly into our collective consciousness. Interestingly, the increasing popularity of the music is due in a major way to the inexorable growth of online and social media content. So while the genre actually originated waaay back in the early ’90s (a time before online content and social media even existed in the modern sense), it is social media that has made it accessible to a previously inaccessible audience.
K-what?
For those of you not fortunate enough to belong to that effortlessly trendy and in-the-know population sub-sect known as Gen Y, here is a brief explanation…
K-Pop is the kind of ‘so-lame-its-cool’, surrealist, quirky, kitsch concept that is a perfect match for online content (particularly YouTube) and social media. It’s the kind of thing that starts out as an irony and somewhere along the line becomes absorbed into the zeitgeist, to the point where it’s hard to differentiate (even in our own minds) whether it is actually cool or if we like it because we’re trendy and ironic. Like moustaches. And hipsters.
Still don’t know what we’re on about? Then check it out for yourselves:

What you just experienced was Gangnam Style, the wildly successful K-Pop single from Park Jae-Sang (aka PSY). It is the most successful K-Pop single ever, and it has received well over 100 million views on YouTube.
A perfect content fit
As digital distribution and social media begin to play a far greater role in the world of music, it’s interesting to note that the parameters change a little bit. The video, for example, is far more important these days, as it provides the main method of social sharing and word-of-mouth marketing.
Far from being innocently unaware of its humorous appeal, we’d suggest that a vital part of K-Pop’s success has been its main players understanding how the genre translates into killer online content, and replicating the formula.
Whether it’s got staying power as a mainstream Western entertainment form remains yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure: K-Pop has memed itself into the spotlight.

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Flash mob

Online and social media content shows the world is wild about Harry
You’ve got to feel a degree of sympathy for Prince Harry. Sure, he’s been born into a world of incredible privilege and wealth, but he’s been born into it at a time when every move he makes is being documented, analysed and commented on. In other words, he has become content fodder, not merely for the newspapers and magazines that caused his mother so much grief (and, some would say, ultimately killed her), but for anyone with access to a computer or Smartphone.
While still at school, his teenage dalliance with marijuana was splashed all over the front pages of the tabloids, earning him the (admittedly funny) moniker ‘Harry Pothead’.
Fast forward a decade or so and the 27-year-old prince has become a cause célèbre of the content world due the kind of trip to Las Vegas lots of 27-year-old men like to take with a few mates. As a result of a game of ‘strip billiards’ photos of the naked royal – the third in line to the English (and Australian) throne – have gone viral.
It is an incident that raises some interesting questions about the changing nature of content and, particularly, content syndication.
Privacy in the online content world
As soon as the photos came to light, Buckingham Palace requested – nay, demanded – that all newspapers respected the young man’s right to privacy and not publish the revealing pics. In the UK, all except The Sun (predictably) have complied. But, of course, the Palace is powerless to prevent everyday content creators who aren’t governed by a code of conduct from spreading said shots via social media.
Harry and his elder brother William are known to have a deep loathing of the paparazzi – blaming the photographers who hounded their mother for her untimely death. Yet now, due to technological advances and the rise of Smartphones, everybody is a potential paparazzo – as Harry has just discovered.
Of course, you could argue that he should choose his party companions more wisely or even behave in a manner more befitting his title. On the other hand, you could justifiably argue that everybody deserves the right to privacy and that anybody should be allowed to let their hair down without worrying about someone publishing photos of them doing it.
Clearly, the latter point is the prevailing one in the UK at the minute, with thousands of Britons demonstrating their support of the beleaguered prince by joining a Facebook group showing themselves performing Harry’s now infamous ‘naked salute’. Soldiers (and Harry himself is an Afghanistan veteran) feature prominently in the tribute.
As a result of the furore, the Facebook account of one Spike Wells has now been deleted, prompting speculation that the mysterious Mr Wells was in fact a pseudonym for Harry himself.
On the one hand, it’s a little sad that access to Facebook – something most of Harry’s Gen Y contemporaries believe is both their inalienable right and an essential part of life – has proved impossible because of who he is. On the other, this event is an unintended content marketing masterstroke, depicting Harry as a real man of the people and proving an ongoing connection between the royal family and their subjects.

What’s your take on the Prince Harry photo scandal? A big fuss over nothing? Proof that the royals are over-privileged time- and money-waster? Or proof that they are just like the rest of us – and a good thing too?

 
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High drama

Social media content creates a modern fable in 140 characters
Having an unruly passenger on a flight is something most flyers dread. It happened to film producer Cassian Elwes recently – and he turned it into utterly compelling, insightful and incisive social media content. As first reported on Buzz Feed, the incident, while first unsettling, ultimately becomes incredibly moving.
If anyone ever thought it was impossible to be profound on Twitter, think again…
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I want to write this all down before I forget it even though its 3.45am. I just got home. Tonight I took the 9pm jet blue from ny to lax
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
When I got on the plane I went to my seat 20f a window seat I had specifically booked. There was someone sitting already in my seat
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
A youngish looking guy maybe late 20’s( turned out he was 32) quite burly white crew cut lots of tatoos. Gang looking maybe.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Hey that’s my seat man I said. A quick drawling f— you its mine now was the response I sat down next to him mumbling ‘charming’.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He pulled his hoodie over his face & leant against the window like he was going to sleep.2 minutes later along comes a young japanese couple.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He has the aisle seat next to me and his wife the one directly behind him. He asks me if they can sit together and I happily oblige.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
We take off About 1 hour into the flight the japanese lady who was sitting next to hoodie gets up and trades with her husband.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Hoodie wants to get up. he walks to the back & stands in the galley for 10 mins just staring at the metal wall. The stewardesses ignore him
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Then he comes back and sits down. The japanese couple are squeezing away from him. He starts ripping up a magazine and licking the paper
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Then he starts sticking the magazine pieces to the mini tv in front of him. The wife calls the stewardess who comes and tells him to stop
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Then he wants to get up again. This time he walks to the front. I feel uneasy and I go back & tell one of the ladies that he’s acting weird
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
And I’m really not sure that its a good idea that he’s hanging around the front where all the buttons are for the doors.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
In the front I see some sort of exchange with him and a lady who’s just come out of the loo. He starts back down the aisle and stops halfway
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He just stands in the aisle staring at some guy not saying anything for 5 minutes like he wants to fight someone. The japanese look worried
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I go back & say to the stewardess isn’t there an air marshal who can come and sit next to hoodie. She says no they can’t identify themselves
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
The air marshal’s only there to stare at the cockpit door & protect it. She calls the captain who says there’s another off duty one on board
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
The japanese couple get up and go stand in the back.The plane is totally full & there is nowhere else for them to sit.The off duty guy comes
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He sits down next to hoodie and they exchange a few words. I’m right behind and now hoodie starts shouting at the guy f— you many times
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Hoodie tries to get up but air marshal blocks him. More f— yous. Hoodie throws his vodka at him but it lands on the couple in front of him
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
The stewardesses come up and try to talk to hoodie to no avail. Then they look around & ask if anyone wants to volunteer to sit next to him
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
As the japanese couple refuse to come back and the air marshal sits away from from hoodie on the aisle saying nasty things to each other
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I’m feeling quite guilty for switching with the japanese couple in the first place and volunteer to sit next to him.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I stand up and look over. Let’s talk let’s just talk I say. Hoodie who’s called marco says I know he’s a cop to the air marshal
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
And then he looks at me and growls you must be a cop too. How many american cops do you know that have english accents I say
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
You’re f—ing security he says again to me. No I’m not. I’m going to sit down and were going to talk about films. Do you like films. Yes
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I sit. The smell of alcohol is incredible. Do like movies. f— you. Do you go to films. F— you. Do you write at all. F— you.Yes he says
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Where did you grow up. I’m a f—ing marine man don’t f— with me he says. I will kill you man. Come on I say what have you written ?
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I wrote a short story yesterday. Really marco what was it about.A kamikase pilot.he sees his kids & his wife in flashback just as he crashes
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
ThIs is not a particularly reassuring conversation 20 rows from the cockpit. Where did u grow up. Lower east side man ny. Shooting heroin
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
My father killed his father who was a bad man and my father’s dead. I live in queens now. I went to the marines to get off drugs.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He pulls out a canister from his pocket filled with little green pills. He swigs from it. The plane jolts and the pills fly everywhere.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Did u ever write about the marines. F— you man I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve seen shot no man should ever see. I can’t write it
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I tell him I’m a movie producer. He tells me he’s going to la to work on a commercial doing construction. I gotta work man but I hate la
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I turn 2 the air marshal. I think I can keep him talking for the next 2 hrs until we get to la I say .Too late he says we’re going to denver
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Listen man I want u to read my stuff. Its a movie. Cool I say. Give me your email which he does. I want to give you something man he says
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He pulls out this patch that says ‘stay’ on it pic.twitter.com/dHhAEWJ9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
the captain comes on and says there’s a small problem on board and we are diverting to denver and will be landing in 20 minutes
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Marco is oblivious to this,wants to tell me about all his tatoos. He shows me the one of his arm with the madonna. I shot heroin in her eyes
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
& then he pulls up his wife beater & there’s a giant skull on his chest. See this huge scar a n—-r tried to stab me in the heart in queens
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
But I held up my hand just in time & I got this scar on my wrist too. I seen s— man. The air marshal whispers tell him were landing in la
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Listen this flight was quick we’re landing in la I say. I want to write down my email for you.Hey lady he says to woman in front gimme paper
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I give him a pen and he starts to write as he swigs more pills from the little bottle. Don’t forget me man. I won’t I promise I say
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
You’re going to forget me man and then he punches me quite hard in the ribs. I laugh in shock. Then he whacks me on the thigh which hurts.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I stuff his address in my pocket. He wants to wrestle. I push him off jokingly which stops him. Don’t forget me man he keeps saying
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
The plane starts a rapid descent. The air marshal whispers to me get up when we start taxi-ing. The cops will come on ,get out of the way
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Marco is still repeating don’t forget me as we land and taxi. Wow I hate la he says again. I need to go to the bathroom I say and get up
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
The captain comes on and asks everyone to remain seated. A precaution he says. A few minutes later 2 policemen come in . Marco stands up.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
With not much fuss they handcuff him and lead him down the aisle and out of the plane. Its silence. The 2 stewardesses come up and thank me
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
20 mins later a cop comes on board & asks me 2 follow him out 2 the jetway. The lady who was coming out of the loo earlier is filling a form
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He groped me she says. I’m pregnant and I’m pressing charges. An fbi officer comes up to me and asks to write out a statement.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I write that I used to be william morris agent and I’ve dealt with difficult people before and really this guy wasn’t that difficult
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Just then 6 police officers come quickly down the jetway with a guy they r pushing/holding/ walking. Its marco but he has blue mesh hood on
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Just as they are about to reach me they make a hard right out of a side door and down some stairs to a waiting police car.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Marco is fighting it. He tried to spit at us says one policeman trying to justify the hannibal lecter mask they have on him.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
Now I can’t help feeling bad for marco. Its a federal offence to make a plane land and the charges from the woman will probably be assault
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
We eventually take off again. I replay the whole thing in my mind again as the adrenaline wears off. What’s the message what’s the point
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I realize the point is these wars are f—ing with our children’s minds. A whole generation is being sent home screwed up.
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
I find one of the pills on the floor and the nice lady in front googles it on her phone. Its clonazepam a drug for bi- polar anxiety. Heavy
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
He was probably very anxious about flying. I opened his note and this is what he wrote :
cassian elwes @cassianelwes Follow
‘We all love the ones we hate. Blood. Lust. I was born in queens. We all lose hope’. Marco I won’t forget you I promise.
 
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Heavenly body copy

How NASA has used content marketing to spruik the success of its latest mission
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it has been a real shot in the arm for NASA and an online-content success story. Why? Because not only is NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover the largest, most expensive, most complicated and most intelligent machine we humans have ever sent to another planet (making its successful, undamaged landing rather important), but as demonstrated by the social media response to recent events, it shows that the space agency can still hold the attention of the world.
The Curiosity mission has an estimated budget of US$2.5 billion, but coming on the heels of the retirement of the space shuttles, questions were being asked about the wisdom of the mission. Indeed, if Curiosity had ended up a mass of molten metal on the red planet’s surface, there was a strong chance NASA’s planetary science division would have been shut down.
Instead, US president Barrack Obama led the tributes, calling the mission’s success ‘an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future’.
But in amongst the remarkable scientific and engineering feats that it took to safely land Curiosity on Mars, it is worth pointing out that content marketing has also played its part.
The role of content marketing
Cleverly, NASA has utilised social media as a means of spreading interest in the event. Long gone are the days when entire communities gathered around a television to watch grainy black-and-white footage being beamed back from the moon (or TV studio, depending on your conspiracy theory point of view). Rather, a technological first is now presented as online content, digested via Smartphone.
Firstly, the landing was live-streamed over the Web, making an instant Internet celebrity of Bobak Ferdowsi. Now better known as NASA Mohawk Guy, Ferdowsi stood out from the staid crowd at the flight centre thanks to his blue and raid Mohawk, complete with yellow stars on the side. Going from man to meme within minutes – typical tweets included: ‘Becomes an internet sensation. Too busy landing a robot on Mars to notice’, 32-year-old Ferdowsi went from having 200 Twitter followers to nearly 30,000.
But while that is an impressive number, it is but a fraction of the 750,000 followers the Curiosity Rover itself has. Written in the first person (cute!), Curiosity tweets through the tensest moments of the landing – and even provides a YouTube link to the following video.

Now, it’s near-touchdown ‘look out below’ soundbite may not enter popular culture to the same extent that Neil Armstrong’s ‘one small step… one giant leap’ one did all those years ago, but you have to give NASA credit for recognising that the immediacy of content marketing can become a crucial component of its communication strategy.
 
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