It is finally here, the end of Social Media & Digital Business and my college career. While I am excited for what the future has in store for me, I think it is a great time to look back on the past year and achnowledge some of the highlights (and lowlights)
You know what that means right? It is time for an award ceremony!
Biggest Loser : Meek Mill
The Internet makes a lot of people look like fools, but the biggest L of the year goes to rapper Meek Mill. Over the summer Mill took shots at Drake over twitter (though I have no proof, I am convinced Mill was tweeting while drunk). This sparked a good old fashioned rap beef that included diss tracks and even a physical altercation at a club. Once the dust settled the Internet had declared Drake the victor. Meek Mill quickly became known as “Weak Mill” and a slew of internet memes making fun of Mill quickly followed. To add insult to injury, Drake’s song “Back to Back” not only went platinum, but it was also nominated for a Grammy.
Runner up : Ted Cruz
Cruz had a rough year. He was publically embarrassed by Trump in front of the US population on multiple occasions, got caught up in a sex scandal, and is suspected to be the true Zodiac Killer by many Internet conspiracy theorists. On top of that he spent millions of dollar on a presidential campaign that resulted in nothing but suffering. Sorry Ted, better luck next time.
Best Viral Marketing Campaign : Vans and Damn Daniel
Luckily for Vans, this one fell right into their lap. After two teens uploaded an absurd video featuring the catch phrase “Damn Daniel” they had a viral hit on their hands. The video quickly bounced around twitter and racked up millions of views in a matter of days. The teens received their reward on Ellen when Vans provided the boys with a lifetime supply of white sneakers. But the value of the sneakers given to Daniel is only a small fraction of the profits made after the spike in sales that resulted from the Damn Daniel craze. Shoes sales went up over 300% and their classic white canvas model went out of stock for a few days.
Runner Up : Hamburger Helper
On April Fools Day, Hamburger Helper’s mascot Lefty tweeted out a link to its debut mixtape titled “Watch the Stove”. Although the mixtape was intended to be humorus, it is the furthest thing from a joke. The Minnesota rap group that HH employed – Dequexatron X000 – absolutely crushed their task. The mixtape became an instant success and racked up over 6 million plays in under two weeks. The man behind this all deserves a raise.
Most potential : Virtual Reality
Plain is simple, VR is cool. At a recent Redsox game I tried on a VR headset for the first time and was blown away. VR might find all of its money in the entertainment industry, but I think it also has the potential to be a great educational tool. With a VR headset you can see all the wonders of the world from the comfort of your mom’s basement.
Biggest Mess : Streaming Music
Someone needs to figure out this music streaming fiasco. The market is too crowded and lacks the centrality needed to give the consumer the best music listening experience. Hope there is some soft of merger in the future so everyone can enjoy the artists with music on only one platform. I suspect that the problems with music streaming all stem from the major record labels. Nobody is buying albums anymore when they can be found for free, so the record labels are slowing the progression of music streaming so they can make up for the insane profits they will never see again.
Runner Up : Katt Williams
Poor Katt can’t stay out of trouble. Every time he does something stupid it is recorded and uploaded to the Internet and goes viral. He needs to get his act together and clean himself up because his image has been severely tainted this past year. I still believe in you Katt, by all means go get your paper boo boo.
Most Improved: Snapchat
Snapchat was clearly one of the hottest topics this past semester. Not just because the app is so fun, but because some major changes were made to the interface and funtions. Snapchat’s addition of new filters, expanded geotags, in improved text and video chat features have helped the app stand on its own two legs. I am so glad snapchat did not sell out to facebook because I honestly believe they have something huge on their hands, the future of free communication over the internet. I just hope they can figure out how they can monetize before they sell out like soundcloud.
Honorable mention: Justin Bieber
It really was the year of the Biebs. He released a smash album and was able to regain the support of the public. Do I thing Justin is actually a sweet guy that turned over a new leaf and abandoned his troubled past? Absolutely not. But he apologized to the world at the Comedy Central Roast and strategically followed it up with multiple appearances on Ellen and hit singles like “Sorry” and “What Do You Mean.” You go Justin, I never stopped believing…. even after you said “Fuck Bill Clinton.”
MVP – Twitter
When I first started using twitter in highschool I thought it was nothing more than a way for me to send out funny jokes for my friends to see. But using Twitter this past semester in a more professional sense has totally changed my opinion of the app. It really is on of the best ways for internet users to stay in contact with others as well as what is happening in the world. With twitter anyone can be a journalist, writer, comedian, artist, advertiser, the list is endless. Whenever I wanted to figure out what was happening in the news or wanted to learn more about a breaking story I went to twitter first. After this semester I have no doubt that I will continue to use twitter. I actually plan on deleting my original twitter (that is plagued with profanity and immature content) and make @HelloJohnLam my primary account. Also, Vine and Periscope are timeless apps, It was a genius move to purchase these while they were still cheap.
Runner Up : @ProfKane
When I first started taking the class I was so pissed because drop-add week was over and I found out I could not take the class pass/fail. We were already a month into class and I had not blogged nor tweeted yet. My senior slide class quickly became one of the most demanding of the semester. However, I am glad I stuck around. Our once a week meetings quickly became on of the highlights of my week and that is because ProfKane. This class was one of the most engaging of my college career because ProfKane gave us the freedom to explore and discuss the topics that we thought were relevant and interesting. The “what happening in twitter this week” is easily my favorite segment of the class because I get to hear what people are passionate about and wanting to share with the rest of us. In my opinion, this is one of the best and most exciting forms of education.
I know you are reading this ProfKane .. Thank you for everything this year. I wish you stealth and wealth.