Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Myspace: A sleeping Giant

Myspace!?! Go ahead and say it, how could something that died, something that crashed and burned and was replaced by Facebook possibly re-take its throne? How could this site possibly do that?  Everyone has used this site and probably remember it from its heyday as this hideous site that became outdated. Sites like Twitter, Instagram and many others have replaced this platform. Myspace is not a sleeping giant, its "sleep for good" is what most would say and if you’re trying to make a blog or anything else stand on this site, you would be committing social media suicide. It’s easy to assume that and I would agree, hell if someone would’ve came at me a year ago talking about MySpace, I would probably agree; but don’t sleep on the site, someone spent $30 million dollars to revamp the site, trust me, nobody spends $30 million dollars on something to let it go. 

Come, take a trip with me let me show you the new MySpace and what it has to offer. The new myspace stuck with its root: It’s geared towards musicians. The site has integrated itself with Facebook and Twitter. This means that people don’t have to generally create a new account, they can log in with their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts. The layout of the new MySpace has a sleek look. The dark tones of the page, gives it this updated sort of lounge look; if MySpace were to be a ground business, it would be the smokey bar with live bands playing. It would be the dive bar, the underground night club you hear your friends talking about but you don’t go to because it’s not a popular place; that’s what MySpace is. MySpace is the kid who was popular in middle school, became the laughing stock in high school and now in college, has came out of his or her cocoon and is popular amongst a new crowd in college and probably plans to stay that way; we all know how that story goes. When you go on MySpace, it’s a tad cold at first because it’s not popular, it’s not crowded, you’re not being bombarded with advertisements and for the most part, your news feed is not flooded with gossip from your friends and family. It’s actually kind of refreshing for a change. Unlike Facebook, you can connect with tons of people who have been hiding on the site, resisting and riding out the wave of the mighty Facebook. The rules are not so strict and the environment of the page is relaxed. Of course, you have your music you can play breaking the silence that you often feel when on Facebook. It’s funny because I read an article about how people have become depressed on Facebook because of reading people’s post, seeing smiling faces; you never experienced that on MS.

                                                                  The old MySpace

                                                             The new MySpace page

In my opinion, when you were on MS people still posted pictures of having fun; the difference: Music was there to influence your mood. If you were sad, you could play your happy song and BAM! Life didn’t seem so bad. On FB, I think people get so wrapped up in post, they often forget what people might be actually feeling; I don’t know but I know that music has that power to changes moods which is something FB kind of lacks. Well anyways, this post is not a comparison post, this is a post about the sleeping giant and why it’s a sleeping giant. I’ve been wrong about these things before, so I may be wrong but I think in about three maybe four years, MS will be the hub of social media again. 

My reasons: There’s a whole generation of people who have no clue what MS is. Sure, they know of it, but they’ve never been on it. Eventually, the curiosity will kill the cat. Everyone follows the youth because everyone is fascinated with being young and in the know; let’s face it,  when the youth say’s, “This is getting old” people have a  tendency to leave it alone; hence why everyone left MySpace in the first place. The youth who kicked off this trend of leaving MySpace, we’re not so you young anymore; actually, most of us are getting close to thirty or already there. This means there’s a new youth and people older than them but younger than 30 are going to be looking at MS as the new place that they’re parents are not at. So, doesn’t MS sound like a viable candidate? Of course not because there’s something about MS most people love to hate; something else that’s popular amongst the youth, liking what most people hate. Why not just take a step ahead and join the new MySpace, I mean you already know you’re going to be back on it probably posting something like, “Damn, I haven’t been on this site in years!” be different from your friends, stand out, nobody says you have to make MySpace you’re social media hub but add it to your list again; it’ll just save you the time and when it comes back, people are going to look at you as a trendsetter, the person in the know, it’ll boost your stylish points amongst your inner circle; we’ve all seen how this plays out right? =)


Monday, October 28, 2013

E-CIGS: The crossroad or the gateway?

            I’m pretty sure by now most of you know what the E-cig is; for those of you uninformed or unaware,  pull up a chair and let’s get you caught up. What is an E-Cig? It’s an electronic cigarette. It’s designed to look like a real cigarette. It light’s up at the end like a cigarette, it delivers nicotine to your body like a cigarette, it’s pretty much a cigarette but here’s the difference, there’s no smoke; instead of smoking, the electronic device allows you to vaporize your nicotine. That’s kind of cool. These bad boys hit the market in 2007 and have caught like wild fire ever since. People walk around the malls, smoke--- excuse me, “vape” in restaurants, people are “lighting up” where ever they go now. As the market grew, it started to become the new go to “nicotine patch” and I agree, most of these e-cigs are claiming to have less of a nicotine delivery then traditional cigarettes; however, it’s still nicotine. 

As the years progressed, the vaporizing became more aggressive. Originally, if I remember correctly, they didn't have the disposable ones for sale; however the rechargeable one’s at the time were costing an arm and a leg. The market began to grow and the price came down and disposable E-cigs were born. E-cigs began to move away from looking like the traditional cigarette to taking on the look of the sleek blu e-cig; they also started to take on this weird hybrid look, a cross between a hookah pipe and a Bic pen. When one makes a purchase, you purchase cartridges or a small bottle of oil. When you empty out, you refill it back up or feel it up; also one has a choice on flavor. One doesn’t have to stick with the traditional flavor of tobacco; you can get cherry, apple, bubble gum AND they make cartridges that have NO NICOTINE. Basically, one can continue with their habit and not be addicted. 

Life is sweet again. Someone has created a product that moved us forward but took us right back to the 50’s; which makes me wonder if e-cigs have anything to do with the style changing…I digress. Ok for those that didn’t know, I hope that brief write did some justice; I’m pretty sure I’m leaving out some information but Google can help you with whatever I missed. Let’s fast forward shall we. Here we are, in 2013 and the E-cig market has made the big bad Marlboro man shake in his cowboy boots, E-cigs have made Camel regress to asking everyone in the work office, “Do you know what day it is?”, E-cigs have made Newport an Export, they’ve made smoking an actual cigarette, the thing of the past for most. 

The tobacco companies, they don’t like that not one bit, I tell ya, dem new electronic cigarettes are destroying my PROFIT! AND THO WHO SHALL DESTROY MY INCOME SHALL DIE! I’m over exaggerating but they don’t like it all. I don’t have any numbers to back this claim (so feel free at anytime to add a graph of how cigarette companies have slowly declined in the years) but cigarette companies for the first time in years, are starting to see a decline in their business. After so many years of killing people, the karma of an electronic cigarette is starting to kill their business. So, does the Marlboro man get on his horse and ride away? Not so fast, they found a small, tiny crack in the e-cig market. 

(Sighs) Nobody knows how safe these electronic devices are. Many of websites are ranting and raving that e-cigs are NOT that much better than traditional cigs. Want to know why? E-cigs still deliver a certain level of toxins AND because it’s not a tobacco product, there is no age restriction on who they can sell it to. So this means 15 year olds are running around puffing on these things, putting nicotine in their body. As I stated earlier, these things DO NOT produce the amounts of nicotine a cigarette does; none the less, they still have nicotine and we all know the nicotine is what hooks the smoker in. (by the way, by the time I release this, they may have an age restriction on e-cigs so those last lines may be invalid later on) Anyways, tobacco companies and the government, are going to use this to their advantage so that they can tax this as a nicotine product. Marlboro man still had one in the chamber, I see what you did there; instead of linking up with these e-cig companies and supplying them with nicotine, you put yourself in the good guy position and played it as these things are bad, there is no age restriction and our kids are out here buying nicotine products!?!  They should be ashamed! (My accusations about these tobacco companies is just that, an accusation)

Look here, you kill people more than guns, your product hooks people to the point they don’t even know why they smoke, I’ve watched your product literally make people speed eat so they can go off and smoke a cigarette…I mean there still chewing for God’s sake and their reaching for a cigarette. I’ve seen your product bring tears to the eyes of people I love, I’ve seen your product hook me, un-hook me, just to hook me so I can get un-hooked again, I see what your product does so PLEASE do not demonize the e-cig market for making a product less harmful. 

Here’s the cross roads to that problem: Right now in America, there is still a great number of people who were 15 in 1955; if they smoke, and have been smoking, there not switching over to  e-cigs anytime soon; however, those in that range who do smoke, there market will be leaving earth soon (May God bless  them). After that, you have the baby boomers. I love you guys, you generation ROCKS!  The baby boomers have smokers just as well learning from the previous generations, you know they had parents who were in the cotton clubs and knew a thing or two about prohibition; the time when cigarettes were good for you and gave you chest hair. However, the baby boomers are the hip generation as well. Baby boomers have iphones, they have ipads, they have all the latest gadgets. Cigarette companies know e-cigs are the trend and guess what, baby boomers like the in things; however, there are a few who still enjoy certain things of their youth but for the most part, baby boomers want what’s in style and that can be bad for the Marlboro man. 

The E-cigs are marketing for the technology age; which last I check my generation is either bigger or about as big as the baby boomers. Whew! This is a lot to take in…let me see if I can break this down a lot quicker…if e-cigs can corner that market, bye-bye traditional cigarette companies and hello new and improved cigarettes. Here’s the problem I see: E-cigs are meant to pursue you away from traditional cigarettes; but because of the nicotine, people are just switching their habit over and  sticking with e-cigs; however, there quick emerge to fame is also addicting a new generation; the yin and yang in this country is really at work. So we got people using e-cigs to come off cigarettes, and new smokers, smoking a less harmful alternative becoming addicted to e-cigs; a generation that will probably make the switch to e-cigs, companies protesting e-cigs are better than cigarettes; while the Marlboro man is trying to demonize the e-cig companies for not having an age restriction on a non-tobacco product that's a tad bit better for your health then their product which by the way can also be used as  non nicotine; but guess what else these things can be used for: THC. 

So the plot in our country thickens. The vaporizer used to cure us from cigarettes, can actually be used for marijuana usage as well….right on. I’m not advertising marijuana usage BUT, just legalize it already; let’s face it, 1.)We are aware that weed does not kill people like cigarettes, 2.)We already know that weed usage will bring our country out of debt when taxed, 3.) Weed can be used as gasoline, 4.) If legalized, you might be able to regulate it, as of now, the internet has created the new wild west so certain laws are easily being bent; thank you technology.  5.) This post is about the crossroads of e-cigs; but I can’t help it, vaporizing pens have a crossover affect and multiple usages. People still want nicotine  in today’s world. Marijuana is like the cigarettes of the 20’s; combined revenue of e-cigs and Marijuana would just floor our economy; here’s the kicker, both of them are less detrimental to one’s health. Maybe, this might be our key to getting us out of our rut....just maybe.