Daily Marauder


THIS WEEK: LOST IN TRANSLATION IN JAPAN by Marauder

THIS WEEK: LOST IN TRANSLATION IN JAPAN

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For the past week, I’ve been darting across Japan from Tokyo to Kyoto attempting to soak in as much as possible within only several days. I came to Japan in hopes of seeing family, a mission which became complicated by the challenges which only family can bring. I left Japan with a deep respect for the tradition and rules which make every day tick along to the second. Here’s a download from my maraudering…

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Nothing Says Japan Like a 6A Sushi Breakfast

Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

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Tsukiji Market is the renowned fish auction market where most of the fish in Tokyo is purchased on a daily basis. A few suggestions if you plan to go. Get there EARLY! I don’t mean 5A early. I mean 4A early. To get there this early, you can only take a taxi as the trains don’t run until around 5 in the morning. Friends recommended that we head there on our first morning in Tokyo. Being that time is misaligned from the many hours of time difference from LA, this was the perfect plan. Sushi Dai is the famous sushi restaurant in Tsukiji but with 2 hour lines and the crowds to match, we settled for a more random spot along the market. I would name it but unfortunately, the sign was in Japanese and well, there you have it. As you can see from the toro, salmon and roe in the bowl above, it did not disappoint.

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Pretense as an Iron Chef

Knives in Tsukiji Market

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In Tsukiji, you can buy many things from fish obviously to souvenirs. I suggest playing tourist fools like we did and walking thru the prohibited areas until you get ‘caught.’ Japanese knives are world -renowned and clearly a shop stop was necessary. The knives with the blue labels are the ones with the carbon steel. The others usually come crafted with stainless steel. You can find many knife vendors in the market and for a full download on the many attributes of Japanese knives and where to go in Tsukiji, click here. In general, Japanese steel is considered much harder than Western steel. In addition, carbon sharpens more easily than stainless steel.

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THIS is as Close as You Get to the Imperial Palace

Water Fountaining, Tokyo

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It turns out you need a reservation to visit the Imperial Palace, a fact completely lost on two most spontaneous of travelers. In short, the water fountain outside the stone walls was as close as we got. In a city where the trains run down to the second, order is imperative.

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THAT’s Not a PEARL. THIS…is a PEARL.

Asahi Pearls in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

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My father has worked in Japan at Toshiba since I was a little girl and ever since then, he has returned home with pearl earrings from his friend in Tokyo. I first met the shop owner on my trip to Tokyo last year, which was cut short after the wreckage from the tsunami. This year, I decided to return and say hello to the man who has been working in this store since 1949. He knows my entire family and has been selling my father jewelry since 1976. It’s a funny thing finding a piece of home in a foreign country.

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Nothing Says Tokyo like Cell Phones for Babies

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It seems necessary to make a stop in a cell phone store and check out all the gleaming technology. Here you have cell phones with only a few simple buttons, so the wee kiddies can use them. I’m constantly affronted by the challenge of technology approaching a destructive quality in peoples’ lives rather than a beneficial one. Being in Tokyo was filled with technology pornography but reaffirmed my assertion that we’re all running precariously close to being addicted to smart phones and the connections they bring.

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Tampons are like Porn

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The Japanese art of being demur translates to even the simple task of buying tampons. Not only were they protected from prying eyes in this fine brown paper bag, they were tapped shut, for security of course.

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Organized Chaos

Shibuya Crossing

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After 8 years of living in New York City, I thought there could not possibly be a place of more chaos. Color me corrected. Pedestrians cross in all directions including on a diagonal. Only in Tokyo could this chaos seem strangely organized.

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Harder. Faster. Stronger. Tokyo.

Shinkansen, the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto

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The bullet train maxes out at around 180 mph clearly giving it speed-advantage to anything we have in the US. That said, Amtrak has free Wi-Fi on several trains now and sincerely, I’d take free Wi-Fi over speed. I’m sure that says something about me but I hardly care. I expected to come to Tokyo and find Wi-Fi in abundance. While it is in fact everywhere, it’s heavily restricted, locked behind a series of passwords or payment gates. Free love otherwise equated to free Wi-Fi certainly doesn’t exist here. Perhaps the Japanese know where to look, but open Wi-Fi equals innovation, giving all access to the open educational system which is the internet.

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One Bad Ass Shogun

Nijo Castle, Kyoto

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Tokugawa was one bad ass shogun and here lies his castle. While he typically spent most of his time in Tokyo, here’s where he came to rest while in Kyoto. Tokugawa is a prime example of a smart leader. He imposed taxes on all the feudal lords so that he could keep their wealth under control. Pimp. Money brings power and heavy defense systems. Pimp. By keeping their purse strings tight, he kept them under his control. And yes, this makes him one badass shogun. PIMP.

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Back to the Knives

Aritsugu in the Nishiki Market, Kyoto

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Aritsugu has been making knives for over 450 years, originally favored by the Imperial Palace. I picked out a carbon steel blade based on some excellent recommendations from Shogo Minami, who spoke incredible English I may add. Aritsugu will etch whatever you like in your blade. Choosing “Marauder” on a carbon blade felt like I was having a Kill Bill moment.

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Lost in Translation

Park Hyatt, Tokyo

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This hotel may be the finest hotel I will ever experience. Selected due to its Lost in Translation moment, this hotel did not disappoint on any end. Even checking in was far superior to anything I have ever experienced. Upon arrival, you are whisked away to a lounge-like seating area and welcomed like royalty. Our room was on the 49th floor and showcased the most expansive urban view I imagine I will ever have of Tokyo. Swimming in the pool and reading Shakespeare’s love sonnets seemed incredibly surreal. In short, stay here for whatever time possible. You will never forget it.

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Japan taught me a respect for order but a LOVE for passion.

I came away from my experience in Tokyo wishing that certain things in the US ran along the order the Japanese maintain so carefully but secretly longing for the crazy train of emotions that I had come to expect from home. I was hyper-aware of the mess I seemed to be making as I simply walked along the street and that awareness brought me nothing but an additional layer of stress. I loved Tokyo and would return in a heartbeat, but a little mess…aint that bad.

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Facebook Camera

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In other news, Salesforce acquired BuddyMedia, Instagram puts the nail in the PicPlz coffin, Facebook’s stock price continues to see decline, flirts with getting into the smartphone business (BAD idea), and launches a camera app clearly in direct competition with Instagram. Frankly, the Facebook camera application is a bad user experience with the exception to the News Feed which streamlines your Facebook feed simply to the pictures. To this end, I think the better user proposition would have simply been to allow for a visual picture-based-only-view to the News feed in the original Facebook mobile app rather than to launch an additional application.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Street Art to Animated Gifs



THIS WEEK: GRAFFITI NYC & LONG LIVE THE IPO by Marauder

THIS WEEK: GRAFFITI NYC & LONG LIVE THE IPO

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LA Artist Retna at the corner of Bowery/Houston

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NY artist Wane along Kent Ave in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Kent Ave under the Williamsburg Bridge/ Brooklyn, NYC

Photo Credits: Daily Marauder

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This past week, I spent some time in NYC. During my walking trips around the city, I took a few snaps of some incredible street art from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Street art holds quite a bit more worth to me than anything hanging in a gallery because of the circumstances surrounding its viewing. Much in the way Bill Cunningham chronicles street style in the NY Times to show what real (or somewhat real) New Yorkers are doing with the latest runway pieces, street art is built for everyone. Cunningham remarked that “The best fashion show is on the street” and I would add that the best art show is in the same place. No admission fee. No thoughtful head nodding or crowds of people. Just art. Unexpected and there whenever you want it.

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It still strikes me as incredibly odd that LA brought the first street art exhibit to creation at the MOCA Los Angeles, while NYC snubbed its nose in Brooklyn. Between the two cities, street art certainly has its place where it is fostered. In NYC, that’s usually the outer boroughs and in LA that’s Hollywood or downtown LA.

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I tried to track down the artist behind the bottom piece in Brooklyn but wasn’t successful. If anyone has the information, please leave a comment or email me.

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This past weekend, I also watched the 1980’s film Wild Style all about graffiti art culture in the South Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop. It’s not a well-acted film by any means but it’s got a realness to it that’s fascinating.

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In other news, Facebook’s IPO finally goes live and experiences some growing pains, the Zuck gets married, the queen and king of disco, Donna Summer & Robin Gibb, passed away, and Pinterest continues to show strength in pushing e-commerce.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

The Anti-Gravity Ball



THIS WEEK: REMEMBERING MCA by Marauder

THIS WEEK: REMEMBERING MCA

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“as you can imagine, shit is just fkd up right now. but i wanna say thank you to all our

friends and family (which are kinda one in the same) for all the love and support.
i’m glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him.
thank you.”

- Mike D

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Coldplay Tribute 5/4 at the Hollywood Bowl “Fight for Your Right to Party”

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It is with great sadness that I dedicate this post to one of my heroes, Adam “MCA” Yauch from the Beastie Boys. He died last week at 47 years old from cancer in his salivary glands. Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz in 1979, one year after I was born. The Beastie Boys started as a punk rock group and quickly merged over into hip hop.   Paul’s Boutique defined my college experience and laid groundwork for a connection to music which has motivated and pushed me forward in the darkest of times. He was one of my heroes. He will be missed.

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For more videos to remind you of the Beastie Boys genius, click here.

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In other news, Nielsen reported another drop in TV viewers, the Apple OS vs. Android deathmatch continues, The Scream sells at Sotheby’s for a cool $120MM, Turntable tries to get its mojo back, Facebook sets its IPO at $28 – $35 a share, Discovery buys Revision 3, ComScore names Tagged as the most engaged social network, and Zynga sees massive decline from its recent acquisition Draw Something.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Transmission LA: Mike D Curated Art

Photo Credit: Daily Marauder



THIS WEEK: TUPAC BECOMES THE WALKING DEAD by Marauder

THIS WEEK: TUPAC BECOMES THE WALKING DEAD

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Photo Credit: Daily Marauder

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This past year, I joined the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences (The Emmys), at the urging of my former colleague Lori Schwartz, Chief Technology Catalyst at McCann. I had worked on the live show last year, helping to craft the social media story from the red carpet and backstage. It seemed a natural extension at that point.

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Its Emmy season and a cavalcade of TV series have been arriving at my doorstep. From watching a mountain of DVDs to going to the Academy Theater itself to watch a panel of producers and cast of The Walking Dead & Boardwalk Empire, I feel fully immersed in the script to screen process.

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In watching the somewhat awkward exchange between my digital/tech co-horts and my entertainment friends, I’m continuously reminded of what causes the disconnect. I’ve been somewhere between both worlds for the last 6 years, first working at HBO and then for Lionsgate in digital marketing & R&D. It appears to me that Silicon Valley/Alley doesn’t seem to fully understand the massive undertaking involved in creating quality content. Their arrogance in thinking that they can either cut costs seamlessly and/or create better content, is simply ridiculous.

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By that same token, many in entertainment diminish the power of those in the digital and technology sphere, simply because, in many respects, some may not understand the technology or may believe the young and sometimes green chiefs of these companies don’t understand their business. Therein lies the rub of many misunderstandings. The truth of the matter is this; entertainment needs technology as much as technology needs entertainment. One without the other is irrelevant and the man that mastered this relationship is unfortunately gone, replaced by Ashton Kutcher in an upcoming biopic. So perhaps, the best method to move forward, is a reaching across the aisle for all of us.

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Photo Credit: High Snobiety

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In other news, Coachella brings Tupac back from the dead in Hologram form, the Prometheus team brings forth another viral campaign, and many weigh in on the Facebook/Instagram deal.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

The Body. Transformed Through Technology. Beautiful.



THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK by Marauder

THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK

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Lena Dunham in HBO’s Girls

© Jojo Whilden/HBO. All rights reserved.

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The new series, Girls, comes to HBO this Sunday and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I watched the first two episodes in Austin at SXSW spawning my lady crush on its writer/creator, Lena Dunham. The show follows a group of NYC Williamsburg hipsters through their daily machinations focusing on the somewhat unglamorous side of their romantic transgressions. I spent my 20’s living in NYC, the latter half in which I was working at HBO, and hence, was especially excited to see this story unfold.

I’ve been watching the critical reviews come across the internet wires and they all boil down to one thing: sex. The sex in Sex & the City was glamorous Jimmy Choo-laced fantasy, thick with witty Samantha-isms and adorable recaps from Carrie. The sex in Girls is uncomfortable to watch and ‘real’ in a way I’ve never seen on screen before. Slate Magazine describes this realness as the “chronicling of bad sex” whereas New York Magazine raves that the sex “isn’t a reward, it’s a revelation.” So which is it? Lena Dunham writes, stars, and partially directs this series. She plays Hannah, a post-collegiate brutally torn from the parental financial purse strings to go out on her own for the first time. The first sex on screen carries out between Hannah and her sex buddy Adam, and while not ruining anything, I’ll just say, that I would never tell a friend about sex that bad.

That said, it wasn’t only the sex that I found so intriguing. It was the comfort level by which these girls interact with each other and by which Dunham herself is comfortable exposing the world to. There is one scene in particular that I have obsessed over, obsessed because I think it indicates some lack of cool on my part and therefore has been a conversation piece for weeks. Dunham’s character, Hannah, takes a bath with her towel-clad roommate Marnie chatting about their lives, a pastime which in most respects would be done over breakfast or perhaps, any other place with clothes on. I’ve obsessed because I’ve wanted to know if this happens in real life. Do women get together naked and talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives? I don’t even like to look people in the eye in the women’s locker room, let alone sit naked in a bathtub and talk about my sex life. Does this make me uncool?

Lena Dunham, as Hannah, with actor Adam Driver.

(Photo: Jojo Whilden/HBO)

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Back to the sex. The attempt to categorize this show at the ‘everygirl’ story would be dangerous. In the same way that Sex & the City did not translate to the lives of most American women at the time it debuted, I don’t think Girls has the intention of direct translation. How many women buy Jimmy Choos on a Monday and Monolo Blahniks on a Tuesday? In the same respect, how many women catch up on their day with their best friend sitting naked in a bathtub and then have discussions about how maybe they really do want AIDS at the doctor’s office? Here’s where I had to reel myself in. Being that you, the viewer, are presented with a woman (Dunham) who looks more real than the skinny plastic surgery-disfigured faces of so many Hollywood actresses, the viewer immediately thinks that what happens on screen will look more similar to their own world. In my case, even though I spent some time living in Williamsburg, the attempt at direct correlation was lost in translation. Frankly, that’s not the point. I think Dunham’s intention is to entertain with her own story and hope that each viewer draws inspiration in whichever way makes sense. Whether that’s making one person feel less embarrassed about their own bad sex moment or more comfortable in simply sharing something with a friend, so be it. So, I’ll attempt to stop thinking about how uncool I am for my lack of bathtub friend time…but seriously, does this make me uncool?! Maybe not, but quotes like this one, make Lena Dunham fresh to death.

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In other news, Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 Billion (scaring the sh-t out of this Instagram user right here and this one over there), Google busts out some augmented reality glasses which sadly bring on the Star Trek jokes, and Bravo announces plans to bring a Silicon Valley reality series to screen.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Architecture Meets Outdoor Art Projection

Photo Credit: Designboom



THIS WEEK: THE ARTIST MEETS ONE RIGHT LEG by Marauder

THIS WEEK: THE ARTIST MEETS ONE RIGHT LEG

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Monica Almeida/The New York Times

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Is it just me? I can’t be the only person alive who doesn’t understand the intrigue of The Artist…can I? It’s a silent film with a sickly sweet message crammed with actors pouring their emotions out like water from an unbridled hose. Simply stated, I’m not a fan. Clearly, the Academy does not agree; the Artist picked up 5 wins last night at the Oscars. At the very least, actor Jean Dujardin could have given us a throw-back to Roberto Benigni Oscar mayhem, but apparently Italians have a bit more joie de vivre. The Artist aside, the Oscars along with Billy Crystal, just felt a bit washed up last night. I enjoyed the 4 hours of Whitney Houston’s funeral the weekend before far more than the night honoring a bunch of films that, for the most part, were mediocre.

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Maybe the solution is to crowd source the nominees rather than giving the power to the Academy. Maybe then, there would be some actual surprises outside of Angelina Jolie’s right leg. Speaking of that, please Ms Jolie. PLEASE EAT. Till next year I suppose.

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In other news, the Samsung Galaxy Beam projects on walls, Facebook plans to release premium ads, The Oatmeal puts HBO on blast, and HTC releases the One X prompting Gizmodo drool.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Nerd Alert: Smartphone as Glasses



PHYSICAL MEDIA, MEET SOCIAL MEDIA. FIREWORKS. by Marauder
February 21, 2012, 11:17 AM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , ,

Last week, I returned from 10 days on the east coast to the note above on my car asking if I’d like to sell. As it happens, that’s exactly what I want to do. I hadn’t had the chance yet to post the car on the obligatory online sites or social networks. I simply had one note from a stranger asking if I wanted to sell. So, of course, I turned to social media next posting the note on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for my social networks to revel in the amazing timing and coincidence. As it turns out, another friend who saw the note on Facebook was also interested in buying my Jeep for his teenage son.

That afternoon, Kevin came by to test drive the car and offered to buy it immediately. Who knew selling a car would be this easy? The ease to purchase got me thinking about interplay between social media and physical media. In this case, the physical media left on my car, in the form of a note, posted to social media networks generated two potential buyers. Fascinating.

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At SXSW this March, I will be speaking on a panel entitled, “Are We Killing Social With Social?” taking a hard look at the ways in which social media can affect our physical relationships. Think back to a moment when a friend ignored your conversation to check in on Foursquare or post a picture on Instagram. While we fuel our social networks with content like programming a television network, we sometimes forget that physical interaction can solve the challenges before us.

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In my case of selling my car, the combination of physical and social led to the sale. Without the note on my car, I would have never posted on my social networks and my Facebook friend wouldn’t have taken interest in the Jeep. The note itself turned out to be an intrigue-driver demonstrating that the car was in good shape. A stranger had passed by and stopped to show interest, writing a note which served as a physical word-of-mouth review more powerful than a Facebook like.

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Of course, Kevin’s lack of punctuation and general affection for capitalization brought him to task on my Facebook page, but that aside, Kevin’s note helped sell my car. In short, physical media should not be sacrificed by the bedside of social media. Social media should serve as a springboard to empower our daily lives. I only fear that for some, the empowerment has turned to addiction and physical media and interaction are being ignored. Let’s face it — Without the note, would a link to the online posting of the car sale be as effective? Perhaps, but physical media sure helped in this case.




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