The Warren G Story

We were driving down the highway when Regulate by Warren G came on the radio. I started chuckling to myself.

“What?” my wife asked from the passenger seat.

“At the bar, one of the regular was Warren G,” I said, in between spurts of laughter, “I knew because I had to take his credit card to open the tab.”

“What?” my wife responded. “Warren G went to your bar?”

“Yeah,” I said, catching my breath, “it’s what it said on his credit card — I didn’t even know who Warren G was until my co-worker put this song on afterward.”

“Wait,” my wife, turned to me, “Warren G is a regular at your bar?”

“He’s just an old white guy named Warren G,” I confirmed, still laughing. “It’s another person named Warren G.”

My wife was clearly frustrated. “You are so bad at telling stories.”

For more of my comedic writing, please check out my Humour Section

In rage or outrage

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How celebrities continue to bait the public on social media

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Feb 24, 2016

When you are a celebrity trying to promote yourself, no news is not good news. It’s better to receive hate from some than go completely unnoticed. That has been the philosophy of many celebrities who have taken to Twitter to make a big splash before sinking back into the depths of their wealth and sorrow.

But the barrage of outrage has become too much for British comedian Stephen Fry, who rage-quit Twitter after the criticism he received for a joke he made at the BAFTA Awards show. Or was it just another publicity ploy? While hosting, Fry zinged costume design winner Jenny Beavan for dressing like “a bag lady.” The Internet rose to Beavan’s defence, calling out Fry’s “offensive” comment on Twitter. Comedians defending their jokes on Twitter is not anything new, what’s surprising is that they continue to respond to those faceless voices even though they know they cannot fight the trolls.

I don’t believe Fry was harmed by the comments, I believe Fry was doing what celebrities do best, which is making the PR move that will garner them the most press. Quitting Twitter was the apt solution. It silenced the critics and made his fans appreciate him more. It also got him trending, which is rare for the BAFTA host.

Ricky Gervais, another fellow British comedian, is also no stranger to online outrage. As the host of the Golden Globes this year, Gervais made it his sole purpose to poke Hollywood celebrities and the Internet bear that defends them. Why? He openly admitted it. The more people bitching and moaning about how offensive he was on the show, the more publicity he gets. The more you get people talking about you, the higher you rise up on the Internet’s relevancy meter.

Celebrities have a powerful voice. When they speak, people listen, even when what they are saying is complete garbage. How has Donald Trump gone as far as he has on the presidential campaign? Shock factor. You cannot ignore it or pretend it wasn’t said because everyone will be talking about it days later. Simple yet ridiculous ideas that go against the grain are bound to evoke more attention than playing by the rules, nodding to what everyone else is saying, and conforming with the crowd.

Lastly, there is Kanye West. Does he have a new album coming out? Of course he does. But he didn’t market his new work as the latest Kanye West album, he marketed himself as a brand—a brand that’s so good it doesn’t give a fuck what you think. He sided with Bill Cosby, called out Taylor Swift, asked Mark Zuckerberg for money, and compared himself to Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry. Think about all the demographics he hit with those comments. Think of all the people he offended and honoured. He’s tapped into the Internet’s pathos and has manipulated it to do his album’s marketing for him.

So the next time you hear about celebrities saying something outrageous on a public platform, ask yourself: Do they want me to retaliate, or repeat what they said like some sort of megaphone?

Mobio INsider Offers Celebrities and Thought Leaders a Chance to Get Paid on Social Media

At a glance, Vancouver-based Mobio INsider seems to be another social media platform occupied by celebrities. But it is the business model that separates it from the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—because Mobio INsider believes that the content produced on social media deserves to be monetized.

As we all get sucked deeper and deeper into the black hole of the Internet, communication is becoming more diluted. The problem is not that people aren’t talking to each other. Those with thought-provoking ideas don’t really know who their true audiences are—and people who have questions didn’t know whom to ask.

While Mobio INsider is not a private “ask me anything” message thread, it does something that many other social media platforms don’t, and that is connecting those who have questions with those who know the answers.

“We want to help [influencers] make better content,” explains Mark Binns, CEO of Mobio INsider, to Techvibes. “If they make better content it will be consumed more, shared more, etc. It will also help them make more money. The way to make better content is to involve their fans and their followers in the process.”

Mobio INsider enables the audience to ask and then choose which questions they want the influencers to answer by the process of up-voting (likes). The influencers will see the high demand, and take the opportunity to connect with their fans and followers.

But here is the attractiveness of Mobio INsider: anybody can become an influencer and anybody can be paid for sharing ideas and content.

“There is no reason why a beauty-blogger with 20,000 followers on Twitter—that really pay attention to what she says—can’t use Mobio and get paid,” said Binns. “The time of paid social media for influencers is here.”

For those who have answered a question on Quora brilliantly or have offered incredible insight on Reddit will know that points and karma doesn’t really feel the same as money. Volunteer-work is rewarding, no doubt, but the value of compensation is something we all deserve, especially when our efforts are capable of changing someone else’s life for the better.

“If you sign up with the Get Paid Program, you are not obligated to post anything, but it is an opportunity for you to make money,” said Binns. “The more you post on Mobio, the more advertisements you can show in general.”

Mobio INsider functions with integrated ads that followers and fans will view prior to receiving the influencer’s response, not unlike those videos you watch before YouTube videos play. In addition, Mobio INsider also have banner ads that are positioned as unobtrusively as those seen on Facebook and Twitter. But it’s the fact that the content developers are receiving a portion of the funds that makes it worthwhile.

Today, audiences don’t asks generic questions and busy influencers don’t have time to sift through their Twitter to find the best ones to answer. The demand is not only for smart and astute content, but also for a simple way of recognizing followers’ needs and getting the most out of their time.

“This is now possible, people should be getting paid for their content and having better relationships with their fans,” said Binns. “It’s really working and this is quite exciting for us.”