I have not written like this in a while, but I had to document my reaction to yet one more "NO, THIS is the PROBLEM with Twitter" blog post.

What finally set me over the edge was a "reaction to a reaction" blog post by Mack Collier here.
His post was a response to Gary Vaynerchuk here.

I REALLY can not believe we are hearing the same inter-webs pap for the last TEN YEARS?
Yes, ten years of hearing the same complaints, same problems, same same.

To Vaynerchuk, I say thee: why invest in something that has ESSENTIALLY been the same "group chat" tool it has been since day one. Sure, there are some ups and downs based on who came and went, or how Twitter helped something some time, or heaven forbid, it was the ONLY place that celebrity posted that thing that time.

They can enact some algorithms like Facebook to make it more palatable, less of a firehose, but it was ALWAYS a firehose with ZERO privacy and always noisy, always competitive. Heck, it is the free market of EVERYONE(who uses it) thoughts, ideas, shared blog posts, you name it. The flotsam and jetsam of the internet is on Twitter. The smart folks have always figured out how to discern what they want out of the "cocktail party" that is Twitter.

To Collier, I say thee: you don't explain why you use Twitter differently now than it was nearly ten years ago. I assume because you want to market and not have conversations? Otherwise, what does the engagement problem you try to make matter? Know the tool you are using.

All of these audience congregators were ever going to be BROADCAST mechanisms even before the rules/paid/etc came along from whichever platform. You give us no reason that "everyone" can't have/find conversation on Twitter. Only YOU find it problematic now, like some barfly that bemoans that his favorite old haunt has introduced "microbrews" and drove all his friends away with a change in the music in the jukebox.

You want to have conversations? Get a forum, use your emails... but let's stop romanticizing what platforms were...

Twitter is still what it ALWAYS kinda called itself: a microblog platform.  As far as I was always able to discern, they were broadcasting and asynchronous, not some "chatting" platform.

You move to the "engagement" portion as if it was relevant to the argument, but what difference does it make? If you found tangible benefit from Twitter, clicks don't matter. As an aside, if you look at the clicks not the impressions, your organic was only TWO less than the paid!

To illustrate that the issues with Twitter have ALWAYS existed, let's peruse some old blog posts about this "ancient" platform:

2006: http://techcrunch.com/2006/07/15/is-twttr-interesting/
2007: http://publishing2.com/2007/12/11/why-i-stopped-using-twitter/
2008: http://www.16thletter.com/2008/04/11/i-like-twitter-but-it-has-a-big-problem/
2009: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/12-major-problems-twitter-and-stephen-fry-backlash
2010: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-mainstream-2010-9
2011: https://gigaom.com/2011/03/08/what-is-twitters-problem-no-its-not-the-product/
2012: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattbuchanan/why-you-hate-the-new-twitter
2013: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/05/sorry-my-feed-is-full/
2014: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markrogowsky/2014/04/12/you-dont-need-to-tweet-to-use-twitter-so-why-is-everyone-bothered-few-do/

Is Twitter the "social" platform that is "too-big-to-fail?"

Mr. White,

I'd like to take a moment of your time to explain why there is a fairly decent chance you will not get my business again.
It is not because your company provides poor product. I LOVE your HD DVR. My family has enjoyed your satellite based television service since 2007.
As your customer service reps always reminded me, I always felt like a valued customer.
That was until I decided to no longer be a customer.
This had NOTHING to do with your service or product. In seven years and one move from one house to another, we loved having you.
However, this past year we made the mistake of bundling your services with a well known internet service provider. The deal was good, but the ISP was terrible. We were locked into an internet provider that was terrible.
We suffered through it but as soon as we could unbundle and then replace the ISP, we jumped on it.
The only other decent internet provider in my area offered an insanely good deal on internet and television service.
I was torn. My family was torn. We like Directv products. I've called about problems with service and always liked your customer service reps and the response we got.
But the basic truth was: we found a better offer. We even tried the TV and internet provider before we finalized our decision.
So, I called several times to see what your company could do to keep my business. The first time I was told nothing. Then when I finally called to pull the plug, I got the standard "oh won't you please stay" kind of spiel.
I can live with that. No one wants to lose a customer.
However, the desperation I was pummeled with in the last week since I pulled the plug has reached it apex when I got the email in the photo above.
I received at least three phone calls from your reps. The last of which I finally answered. It was the same questions about why I was leaving during my call with your rep.
To be clear, they were all professional, nice, and scripted. What I have come to expect with your calling center folks.
That does not negate the fact that it was pretty much HARASSMENT at that point.
I said I was leaving and told your folks why.
You are coming off as the desperate ex now.
To illustrate, allow me to back up. When I first called to discuss options, I was told that I could save $10/month for the next year. No reason, just arbitrarily I would get this discount.
I saw recently that you said before a Boston crowd that "... DirecTV spends $1,000 to wire a new customer's home, so new customers aren't profitable until after more than three years of paying for service."
Granted, I have not had my latest iteration of your service for three years, but according to your math I've paid for the wiring more than twice. I guess this is why your reps can just drop my bill willie-nillie?
When I made the final call, I was also told that there were other options that could be done and I even have this last email to illustrate your desperation. At this point, I have to wonder "How much was I over paying for this service when it could so easily be discounted."
I don't really expect an answer. I may finally get over this if I ever move and have no other choice or my current provider just does not earn my trust.
I can tell you though, after seven years of trust, you lost mine when you lost this customer.
You can comment on here, or feel free to email me at tlyden@gmail.com, as I would love to hear how you might change your processes.


Wow! Nearly two years, a documentary, and documentary series later and I am back to talk about Dave Grohl after I reviewed the Foo Fighter's last album, Wasting Light.
This was an exciting prospect. Fresh off the success of "Sound City," Grohl announced this passion-project, where the Foos would tour different studios in different cities all over the US to show off the auditory capacity of our great nation.

I can't speak to the documentary aspect, but the tidbits I've seen have shown that Grohl definitely has a place (with his film makers) as a documentarian.

However, does the album that came as a result of the documentary suffice as a Foos album?

Let's go track by track:

1. "Something from Nothing"  from Chicago
This sounds like it should have been two songs and makes for a great theme to the "show." As a Foo's song, it is a bit all over the place and almost feels like they were just trying to give everyone something to do. 

2. "The Feast and the Famine"  from Washington DC
Perhaps the song most hurt by the "lyrics garnered from interviews" aspect of this project. Musically interesting, but lyrically confusing. You should not have to watch or read something else to just enjoy a song.

3. "Congregation"  from Nashville
Congregation definitely feels the influence of Zac Brown who is now become a pseudo-Dave Groll protégé. One of the few songs on the album that actually sounds slightly like it was influenced by the area where they performed the song.  It sounds pretty similar to "Wheels" which was on the Foo's greatest hits album.

4. "What Did I Do? / God As My Witness"  from Austin
Unfortunately, this sounds like two separate songs. What Did I Do? sounds very similar to Gary Clark Junior and this almost comes off as just the Foos covering him while he plays along. "God as My Witness" has a very hymnal quality to it, which stems probably from the area but also from the influence of the Gary Clark Junior.

5. "Outside"  from Los Angeles
Outside the guest guitarist Joe Walsh's mindbending guitar solo, there's very little to make this any different from any other from song from almost any other Foo Fighter album. Perhaps the only big difference is the insane bass line by Nat Mendel.

6. "In the Clear"  from New Orleans
Probably the most egregious example of a song not  illustrating the area or the influence of being on the road. Other than throwing some horns on the song, you'd be hard-pressed to know that the Foo Fighters rolled into New Orleans.  I suspected they could take the horns out and just throw the mellowtron on later in concert. Not a bad song but again not an example of what this project seemed to be aiming for.

7. "Subterranean"  from Seattle
Despite my wife's protestations, this is probably my favorite song on the album. It has a semi-ethereal quality that reminds us of Grohl's time in Seattle. 

8. "I Am a River"  from New York
This song also illustrates part of the problem of this album. While it might have been recorded in New York, the orchestrations of the strings were played in Los Angeles? This kind of chear shows that an album project with such ambitions is always going to fall short somehow..

This sounds like I didn't like the album, which is not true. As a Foo Fighters album, this falls short. As a "soundtrack" to a documentary, it is not bad. As a Dave Grohl vanity project, it absolutely NAILS it.

My suggestion for Sonic Highways part 2? Go into different towns and COVER the bands that make sense... that could be one of the best Foo Fighters albums EVER! 

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