Tag Archives: IM

Stephen Chukumba says: “It’s all about con-text.”

Disclaimer: This post contains some politically incorrect content. I am both embarrassed and ashamed to even relate the information contained herein. However, in my defense, I was so amused by some of these gems, that I would have been remiss not to share.

If you text, Twitter, IM, Skype or engage in almost any form of micro-chatter, you’re familiar with “text-speak.” “Text-speak” are those acronyms which, despite their primary utility as abbreviated words that are easier to type, convey a common meaning, and are now used in regular conversation.

I am not talking about all texting shortcuts, like ROTFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing) or LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off) or even WTF (What The F*ck), each of which is widely used and well known, because in spite their ubiquity, they haven’t been adopted as part of our everyday speech.

texting

I text, therefore I am.

I’m referring to those texting shortcuts, that have made the transition from the screen to our mouths. BFF, for example, is perhaps the most widely recognized text-speak in common use today. BFF (for those of you still dragging your knuckles across gravel or perhaps without BFFs) stands for ‘Best Friends Forever.’

OMG is another acronym that has become part of our uber-forward text-savvy vernacular, and stands for ‘Oh My God’ (or goodness, if you’re not trying to take the Lord’s name in vain).

TMI is a third. TMI, which stands for ‘Too Much Information,’ is a virtual mainstay in this tell-all society we live in. I would have loved to tell Oprah TMI yesterday, when she had the chimp lady on. I didn’t need to know or SEE all that.

Yeah, I watch Oprah, so what?

There are countless others that have made the leap, like ‘addy’ (address), DIY (Do It Yourself), or IM (Instant Message, as in “IM me”). But recently, a friend of mine hipped me to a few that weren’t so familiar, but are (apparently) in widespread use and clearly have their place.

Take ABC for example. Do you know your ABCs? Most of us would automatically answer ‘yes’ (unless, of course, they were illiterate, and in that case wouldn’t be capable of reading this page to form an answer). And they’d be right, but not for the reason they assumed.

In text-speak, ABC refers to ‘Angry Black Chics.’ Two points for whoever knew that before arriving at this point. Listen closely, and you’ll probably hear the term ABC off the lips of a few brothers discussing women woes (“Man I can’t handle no mo’ ABCs, I needs me a white girl!”)

I know you know what AA is. C’mon, stop playing. It’s not Alcoholics Anonymous (although I’d imagine that there are some AA members that text ‘Im going 2 my AA mtg. C u there’, but that’s besides the point).

AA refers to ‘African Americans.’ When texting, or talking, referring to Black people as AAs will help avoid some awkward situations. For example, when discussing your outrage over Tyrone’s promotion to the first junior assistant to the night shift loading dock shift manager position, mask your hostility towards members of the darker nation by saying, “Those AAs get all the jobs,” leaving Tyrone (and the rest of the darkies) none the wiser.

The pièce de résistance of our post today, is definitely 5397. Not familiar with 5397? No, these are not the Lost doomsday numbers (which are 4 8 15 16 23 42 dummy). Nor are they last night’s Pick 4 winners.

5-3-9-7 on the alpha-numeric buttons of a phone, spell J-E-W-S. Yes, take it all in. Hey Skinhead! Sick and tired of Jews? Now you can state publicly that “5397s are taking over the world,” and fear no recrimination of being labeled antisemitic.

I hope you learned a lot today, and ‘Big up!’ to Carmen for her etymological assistances.

If you know of any words that have made the transition from text to speech, please feel free to share them with me. Who knows, you may be sitting on a texting DITR (Diamond In The Rough – I just made that one up).

For more text acronyms, visit Netlingo.

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Virtual Promotions

So last night I threw a party at this great little spot in Soho called Gallery Bar.  I haven’t thrown a ‘proper’ party for years, and just decided one day, that I wanted to.  So, being a digital person, I determined that the best way to create the event was to only use viral tools to promote the party.  I wanted to see if I could get people to come out to an event ONLY using viral methods (email, text, social network sites, blogs, etc.).

The first thing I did was hit up a few folks via IM, using IMO.  I got my boys Ben Tannenbaum and Richard Burroughs, and my brother, to all agree to promote the party through their networks.  From there, I sent a text on my iPhone to my boy Phil Graci, with TriAgency, to shoot me over some logos for the e-flyer that Ben and I were creating.

One of the online party flyers for ReFLIX courtesy of Ben Tannenbaum

One of the online party flyers for ReFLIX courtesy of Ben Tannenbaum

Richard hit up a bunch of his contacts with clubs in the city to find one suitable for our event, by IMing, texting and placing calls to folks until we landed at Gallery Bar (big ups to Darren and his crew!)  We put our e-flyers on a few select online party destinations, such as Fusicology, Yelp, Metromix, Going, and had over 25 RSVPs within a few moments of those postings.

Ben set up a Facebook event called ReFLIX, and invited all of our friends to join the group.  We then created the ReFLIX event within Facebook, as well, and once again, invited people to attend.  In total, we sent out invitations to about 300 people, and reminders and alerts thereafter.

One of the options we offered, was the ability to RSVP via text, by simply texting in the word RSVP to our short code.  They received a confirmation message, and another alert on the day of the event, which included directions to the venue.  Of course, people were also able to RSVP via email, but we expressly didn’t let people call to RSVP.

We had a running ticker counting down to the event, presented as status updates on our respective FB or Twitter pages.  Each day, we put up a new flyer, comment or picture on the event page, and kept people informed of new sponsors, films or items of note.

Despite the fact that it was a cold Wednesday (humpday, boo!), by 9:30 p.m., the place was packed.  We hit a technical glitch or two, which I exascerbated with my lateness (note to self: never show up late to a party you’re hosting if an element of the party has to be in place before you arrive).  But all-in-all, it was a nice party.

What made it especially unique was that there was not one paper flyer, no mass street team campaign, no crazy phone calls.  Facebook, texting and a few emails were all it took to put about 100 people in the spot.  The night ended well before the scheduled time, but I had proven my point: virtual promotions work.

In hindsight, it would have served me well not to neglect traditonal methods, like word-of-mouth, because I forgot to invite most of my friends, who (for privacy reasons) remain off the Facebook grid.  I just assumed that everyone uses Facebook, the way I do, and took the simplest and most effective form of communication for granted.

My advice to anyone interested in promoting an event, small or large, make sure you tap into the resources available to you right at your fingertips (oh, and make sure you call your friends!).

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