George Lucas Announces Newest Social Media Platform: Hollowgram

Not wanting to be left behind the latest social media craze-du-jour, George Lucas has announced the first social platform allowing users to upload 3-D speaking holographic images of themselves.

Called “Hollowgram,” this ground-breaking site will allow hollow people everywhere to upload every detail of their lives in glorious 3-D. Lucas hopes to capitalize on all the momentum surrounding Pinterest, which enables posting of static, legacy, 2-D, lifeless stuff for others to waste time browsing using so-last-century technology.

“Look, we’ve all known since 1977, when the first Star Wars was released, that 3-D holographic imagery was the wave of the future. I’ve waited all this time – through IRC, bulletin boards, AOL, MySpace, Facebook, and Instagram – until the marketplace was ready. It was tough to see all these precursors, but Hollowgram – it’s our only hope to save social media,” said Lucas in an exclusive Q&A interview via Quora.

Hollowers, as users of the site will be called, will soon be able to download the Hollowgram app for iOS, Android, DOS, and Windows 95. A FAX version is in the works. Once installed, a user simply activates Hollowgram, and the fascinating details of their every action and word are streamed in real-time for others too hollow to follow.

Hollowgram will be ad-supported, with non-intrusive product placements carefully projected into the real-time imagery.

A visit to the BETA site showed the simplest and most elegant interface imaginable – one button that the user presses. Currently, the only hologram is of Princess Leia asking some old wizard for help, which plays over and over again. It actually looks like she’s in trouble. “But that’s part of the dramatic energy of our pending launch,” said Lucas. “What better storyline arc could we ask for than a social platform that helps defeat the evil empire? Which, of course, is Google+.”

Not to be outdone, Disney is preparing their own platform, code-named Goofi, which will allow users to share their own 2-hour full-featured animated cartoons with each other over dial-up service.

[disclaimer for the less-discerning - yes, this is a spoof. You can't download Hollowgram from the app store]

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Facebook’s Secret Weapon Unveiled – Ann Handley!

As the excitement is building today about Facebook’s promise to (once again…) transform social networking with a slew of new and sparkly features, the Connection Agent has gone under the interface layer to discover the real secret lurking beneath the impending drama.

It’s Ann Handley.

Facebook has secretly acquired Marketing Profs figurehead and Content Rules co-author Ann Handley, and embedded her within the FB platform. It is the first time a human being has been coded into a social network, though there have been persistent rumors that Twitter’s middleware may contain DNA fragments from Peter Shankman.

Starting on Friday, the status update box on Facebook will now be the iconic question, WWAHD? (What Would Ann Handley Do?). Users are expected to consider carefully how Ann might update, and then type their status accordingly, leading to a uniformly higher-quality of on-line content.

Facebook will also incorporate a context-aware ANNvatar, which will pop up and give advice about what you are reading and writing, delivering critiques as to style, grammar, and re-purposable content. The ANNvatar will speak in Ann’s voice, pulling words and phrases from the Content Rules book, which will now be the official Facebook Help Menu. Users will be able to choose AH levels, from mild snark all the way up to to ultra-Boston-style-insulting.

It is rumored that there will be a C.C. Chapman FB upgrade in the future “for the guys” but this is not yet confirmed. There is also speculation that each FB status will be auto-converted into a QR-code for people who prefer to use a smartphone for each and every form of communication.

The new Ann Handley FB version will be Prodigy and MS-DOS compatible because, after all, that’s what Ann Handley would do.

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Microsoft Announces Minus, New Social Network for Pharma

While high-profile social networks like Facebook and Google+ have recently made splashy announcements to try to gain the attention of the masses, Microsoft has been quietly, and brilliantly, working on a new social network custom-designed for pharma.

Steve Woodruff, the Pharmaceutical Connection Agent, was given an exclusive sneak peak at the platform, dubbed Minus, which is being launched today to a beta audience of one pharma company, one patient, and 25 lawyers. While detailed screen shots were not yet approved by Regulatory, a mockup of the interface was obtained, showing the sensitivity of Microsoft designers to the constraints of pharmaceutical industry communications. (click to biggify —>)

Steve Ballmer, President of Microsoft, beamed as he read a carefully prepared and vetted statement to members of the press, who were not allowed to ask questions or engage in dialogue during the announcement. “Here at Microsoft, we understand legacy systems, bureaucracy, and the need to consider the past when developing for the future. That’s why we’re the ideal partner for the pharmaceutical industry to create a social platform that will reflect how controlled, one-way, non-interactive communications can occur in this modern world of digital networks. This is what social media is all about – MINUS all that social stuff.

“Now, please view these 17 slides of disclaimers, safety warnings, software contraindications, and approved uses for Minus.”

The announcement was hailed as a great advancement for an industry dogged by difficulties participating in the public, free-wheeling world of social networks. “For years, we’ve struggled with how to communicate with the public in a safe, controlled manner that will keep us out of trouble,” said one VP of Marketing, whose identity could not be revealed due to privacy concerns. “Now, we can get our messages out there on the Twitter and the Facebook by using this Minus thing to…to…say more stuff. You know, join the conversation.”

While it wasn’t yet clear who exactly would participate on the Minus platform, this was viewed as no barrier to adoption. “We’ll just pull a Google+ on everyone and make it limited rollout for everyone in pharma who has a Klout score of 82 and above, or who has a value of 1,000 or more on Empire Avenue,” explained Ballmer. “That ought to get us to critical mass in no time.”

To appeal to its target audience, Microsoft enlisted the avatar of ancient Uncle Sam Wilson as the key figure in its marketing campaign. “Old Sam had just the right look-and-feel that we wanted to accelerate uptake of the platform,” said VP of Minus Biz Dev Sam Wilson IV. “Doesn’t he just exude social control?”

Addressing the thorny issue of user-generated content in a regulated environment, Ballmer scoffed, “UGC is so 2009. We’re looking to the future by hearkening to the past. Remember the good old days of DOS? Guess what computing kernel powers Minus?”

Reporters were encouraged to submit questions via an analog “Suggestion Box,” all of which would be reviewed by an approval committee and selectively answered within 3 weeks via a special Minus application using U.S. Mail.

(please do not tweet or share this link without prior authorization from a qualified lawyer. Any harm that comes from using this blog post in a way that it was not intended must be immediately reported to proper authorities. 9 out of 10 regulators surveyed approved this message)

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Announcing the QWERTY Thirty in Social Media!

There has been a proliferation of lists lately circulating in the blogosphere/Twittersphere: 40 Brilliant Women that Must be Followed or You’re Done For. Awesomely Hunky Men in Tech.  99.5 Clowns (still waiting for Gary Vee to publish this one).  You know, arbitrary feel-good lists that allow us to pat people on the back and tell them we think they’re cool. Plus, it’s linkbait.

So I thought this morning I’d make up my own: Awesome People Who Are On This List Because I Said So.

No gender. No reason. Pure, arbitrary choice.

But wait! This should be a community project! We all should have our say-so. Have you come across someone who uses a QWERTY keyboard to express their awesome? Or even their not-too-awesome? Then help create the QUERTY Thirty list:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

…..

30.

Go ahead – create this list by adding your favorite people in the comments. Put ‘em on this stellar list just because you say so! The list closes at 5 pm ET. That’s arbitrary, too.

(what if we end up with 746 names? Simple. We’ll just round it down to 730 to keep things rhyme-y!)

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Inconceivable! The Princess Bride Guide to Leadership

It took 20 years of study, but finally it’s out – Inconceivable! Tapping into a rich vein of wisdom from the iconic business video The Princess Bride, this indispensable volume will thrill and inform every leader who is seeking the answer to the question: “I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using?”

Or if you’re thinking about going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line…

You’ve heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? I’ll tell you what I think of them in light of this stellar business guide, in the video review below.

Here is my 5-star video review of this important handbook:

Critics are raving about Inconceivable, even if the word does not mean what they think it means:

We will be seeking to get the author to co-host an edition of the weekly LeadershipChat, if he’s not swamped.

The book is relatively small, but the ideas are of unusual size. Pick it up, especially if you have no gift for strategy, and your job is at stake. It’ll be a miracle!

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Become a Certified Quora Ninja!

(yes, this is a spoof. Only a pixie-dusting unicorn can make you a real Quora ninja!)

Yes, you too can become a Certified Quora Ninja!

Quora is the hottest thing on the social media circuit today! All the hottest names in networking are advancing their personal brands, and beefing up their subscriber numbers, by asking and answering earth-shattering questions on the most relevant and authentic site going!

With our 15 years of experience navigating Quora, we have the chops to certify you at the Expert, Guru, or Ninja level in no time! For just $995, our 2-hour webinar can transform you into a question-fielding black belt who will be envy of the social media crowd. You’ll be a sought-after speaker at South-by, and your Klout ranking will go through the roof in just days!

Here’s what you’ll learn in this dynamic and ground-breaking course:

  1. Setting up an account in Quora (bonus: using Twitter to log in!)
  2. Creating your profile – 7 hints even the experts don’t know!
  3. How to ask a question that ends with a question mark.
  4. The art of the answer – how to obfuscate and sound intelligent doing so!
  5. Hyperlinks – your best friend on Quora. The ninja-click explained step-by-step
  6. Selling yourself based on superior knowledge you don’t possess – the 5 keys.
  7. BONUS! The ninja method of cut-and-paste research to amp up your expertise!

What will you get from this amazing course? A huge well of in-depth knowledge from the experts. Big props from social media lemmings who will turn to you for expertise and substance-abuse counseling. And, a coveted digital Quora Ninja Certificate (suitable for computer wallpaper or Twitter background graphic) that proudly proclaims your new status among the elite! Click to biggify —->

Just forward $995 by Paypal TODAY – this is a limited-time offer, and only a handful of visionary ninjas will be anointed before this course is closed forever!

(post inspired by this lunatic profile on LinkedIn—-> (click to biggify),                    discovered and shared by my friend Olivier Blanchard, Chief Social Media Ninja-Puncturer).

Disclaimer: this is a spoof. Any hope of turning you into an expert by means of a bogus course on- or off-line is strictly imaginary. The ConnectionAgency does not guarantee that, by taking this or any other course, you will be investing in anything worth more than a virtual sheet of 20-lb. paper. Title, taxes, dealer prep and options not included. Void where prohibited by common sense.

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10 Can’t-Miss Predictions for 2011

I don’t usually do year-end prediction posts, but after reading so many enlightening missives from brilliant thinkers, I was hit by a sudden flash of inspiration – a massive and luminous outpouring of the blindingly obvious. So, here goes – my can’t miss social media marketing predictions for 2011.

  1. More people will search for stuff on-line in 2011. It’s been growing every year for quite a while now, and the big surprise is, that this behavior will continue to occur.
  2. Mobile is going to be big. Really big.
  3. E-commerce will explode onto the scene. As people discover that they can buy things on-line, they will do more of it. Books, music, toys, pet food – you name it. Disintermediation is the key word here. Big for 2011.
  4. Apple will introduce flashy new versions of its hardware and software products. And people will buy them. In fact, some people will wait in long lines to buy them – and others won’t.
  5. A lot of people will do a lot of stuff on Facebook, which will have more users in 2011 than it has now in 2010.
  6. Very important people will be profoundly embarrassed by revelations made about them via the Internet.
  7. Market valuations for software vendors will go up and down while fluctuating during the year.
  8. Companies will try to sell stuff using social media, and social media purists will be so upset about it, they’ll whine on Twitter and blogs.
  9. Everyone will hate SxSW’s method of choosing panels by popularity contest, but a million bloggers will beg for votes on Twitter anyway, while saying how much they despise doing so.
  10. People will discover that if you join smartphones with location apps with coupons you can cause a lot of people to make a lot of noise on-line about it, and generate stoopid company valuations.
  11. (Bonus) Content will rule. There may even be a book about it (hey – had to get a plug in there for CC and Ann!)

What about you? What are your profoundly insightful predictions for the exciting year ahead?

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See prior spoofs :>}

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