A Social-Media Evangelist Dons a Hair Shirt

Can You Help This Man Reform His Ways?

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What a social week it was. Julian Assange wikileaked 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables straight to the internet in their original state, allowing the crowd to sift through for scandal, and allowing oppressive regimes to target diplomatic sources named in the dispatches. On a somewhat brighter note, my longtime public-radio colleague Bob Edwards released his memoir, "A Voice in the Box," as a free e-book. And Blakroc, the Black Keys' collaboration with hip-hop producer Damon Dash, announced its second album on YouTube.

Yesiree, this social-media thing really seems to be taking hold. Everybody who's anybody has figured out how to socialfy what used to be accomplished in analog fashion. It's all so thought-provoking and inspiring, but for me also a little embarrassing.

There's no bigger proponent of the Relationship Era than yours truly; I can talk the talk as well as anyone. As you know, in books and lectures and columns and consulting, I make a living at it. But, when push comes to shove, do I really walk the walk?

Oh, sure, I have a Twitter account. But @bobosphere doesn't hit send very often. I follow people who ovulate more than I tweet. I have a Facebook page, though it mostly gathers dust. I haven't looked at my own radio show's Facebook fan page in six months. You can put jumper cables on my privates and I still won't join FourSquare. I don't want you to know where I am ever, and I sure don't care where you're sipping chai, either. Have a scone. Go crazy, but leave me out of it.

See what I mean? Some evangelist I am. It's a shonda.

Obviously, this sorry situation calls for action, a bold gesture, to propel me into the orbit I so passionately commend to everybody else. But what? Shall I crowdsource my daughter's childrearing? Yes, that might expose her to some dubious parenting, but think of the carpooling! Or perhaps I should give something away for a free download. My latest book isn't finished, so maybe a haiku, spare and pretty:

Summer fades gently.
Check your tire pressure for
Labor Day Weekend
Or maybe I should just tweet out the images of my last colonoscopy. (Not a bad result, by the way. They found two small polyps and a brand new Starbucks.)

All of those possibilities are obviously attractive, yet they still seem too slight, too small, too unimaginative. I need something, well, bobospheric. So, as a down payment on my social-media rebirth, let me put it to you, my worldwide cult of acolytes:

What should I do to cement my bona fides and make my social-media mark? I will entertain all legal and non-vulgar suggestions, in the comments section here, on Twitter (#bobospherics), YouTube, whatever. Like this. Link this. Tweet this. Google+ this. Digg this. I need your help. Alone I am but one man with feet of clay. Together, we can put the "me me" into "meme." Together, we are an irresistible force.

And very possibly, the gods be willing, a future blog post.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Garfield, now a consultant, has reported on advertising, marketing and media for 28 years.
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