Seth Godin, Santa Claus Is A Linchpin!

Posted by Lady Mel On Friday, December 24, 2010 0 comments

I’ve come to realize that Santa Claus is not real after I recognized my mother’s signature on a letter intended for Santa one year. However, I’ve come to appreciate the face behind modern holiday materialism, not as Jolly Old St. Nick, but as one of the greatest ‘fictional’ linchpins of all time.

So what is a linchpin? A linchpin, according to marketing guru Seth Godin, is someone that you should aspire to be. Linchpins stand out by creating ‘art’ (meaningful work) through emotional work and are not afraid to challenge the status quo. With this economic recession, a lot of people including myself, are reevaluating our career choices. People are leaving their jobs to launch start-ups and other ventures. If this had happened 50 years ago,  these people would have been outcasts. Why would they leave their secure jobs with good 401K plans, health insurance, and retirement pensions to start a company? Now answer this question. How many current “jobs” have these same financial benefits? Very few. Fast forward. So wait, Santa Claus performs meaningful work? Think about it.

For centuries, he has influenced Western culture from blockbuster movies and music to the holiday branding of retail stores, charities, companies, social media platforms, malls, and human behavior. He loves what he does for a living. He takes a year to deliver presents to all the good little girls and boys around the world. He does his job not for the money or for the power, but for his passion to change lives. He inspires others to get into the Christmas spirit and dress up as him to inspire the hearts of children and the less fortunate every year. Real linchpins and game changers are passionate about what they do and how they promote their causes to their audiences, leaving money out in the back-burner. Santa Claus does not care about material things. If he did, he would be the most wealthiest person alive right now.

Recently Melinda Pfeiffer, an unemployed North Carolina woman, sent a Santa letter to her local newspaper, asking Santa Claus to give her job for Christmas. I don’t know if she truly believes in Santa or marketed her distinctive skill set to local readers of the newspaper, but if you are an adult woman writing to Santa Claus for a job, even though he is a myth, the image of Santa Claus is still powerful

In Tribes: What Need You to Lead Us, Godin discusses that a leader of a tribe or community should encourage his/her members to be leaders themselves and inspire their audiences to lead and connect ideas. Santa Claus’s tribe consists of two groups: the elves and the rest of us. The elves are the foundation of the Santa Claus brand. Without their 'art', there will no toys and gadgets for the little boys and girls and holiday conspicuous consumption would be at an all time low. The rest of us are the people responsible for keeping the myth alive by believing in the myth and instilling Christmas spirit and hope in others. With communication, delegation, and leadership, the legend of Saint Nicholas leaves on.......until 2012 arrives and the world ends.

Today, people create blogs and social profiles to leverage average consumers, future employers, and industry experts. Santa pretty much does need to use social media like we do because his brand has already developed through centuries of folklore, not YouTube. But if he were real and wanted to get with the times, a strong social media presence would be beneficial because he could connect with millions of his fellow admirers online.

Do you know how many tweets and Facebook comments he would get from people? Trillions. Epic Twitter shut-down! But for Santa Claus, it would just be a day in the life of a linchpin, reinventing himself one character at a time.

What are your holiday plans for Christmas and New Years this year? How has Santa Claus change your life? And Happy Holidays everyone! :D

The Top Five Blog Posts of 2010

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, December 20, 2010 0 comments

I have been writing for years. For weeks after a time. At work. At home. Inside my head at night. I write  blog posts not only because I enjoy writing but because I want you, the follower, to gain access to what's going on in this amazing mind. This year, I have had some creative bouts of imagination and I want to honor five blog posts that channeled this creativity. I plan to write more bizarre and insightful posts over the next year. Here is what I think are the best blog posts of the year:

1. Alice in Twitterland: How to Tweet Like a Rockstar (March 15th)

2. Your Guide to Becoming a Socially, Relevant Blogger (April 8th)

3. The Tweetbag Wars (February 18th)

4. Every Movie Should be An Inception (August 23rd)

5. The Social Network: The Movie Behind the Brand (October 5th)

Relive these posts. Cherish them. You know I have. As a follower, I want to know what are your favorite blog posts this year and tell us why you liked them. I would like your feedback because I want my blog and this community to do bigger things in 2011. Tell me what you like about this blog and what things I should work on to better promote this platform. The art of branding never ends!

Picture of the Week

Posted by Lady Mel On Friday, December 17, 2010 2 comments

You are going to break Jake's heart or
Vice Versa.
And then make millions off of writing 
An album about your relationship with him.
It's inevitable.
Is your 15 minutes of fame up now?

Hugh Jackman Rides Edward and Bella!

Posted by Lady Mel On Thursday, December 16, 2010 2 comments

Hugh Jackson is one of the most versatile actors of my generation. He can act all manly and macro as Wolverine in the X-Men movie series or sing his heart out on Broadway. But when he got injured after his stunt went wrong during Oprah's Australian extravaganza earlier this week, I thought nothing of it. I knew he was okay. But then I saw this epic image of Jackman photoshopped behind Twilight's Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and understood that my deep hatred of the teen book series would live on. I am surprised someone from Tumblr or Buzzfeed has not gotten on the "Hugh Jackman Can Ride Anything" meme bandwagon yet. Enjoy your day!

Video of the Week

Posted by Lady Mel On Friday, December 10, 2010 2 comments

I have to tap my hat to actress Helen Mirren, this year's Sherry Lansing Leadership Award recipient, at the 19th annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast in Beverly Hills. Her bluntness towards Hollywood's double standards and the lack of strong roles for female actors (of all ages) is a breath of fresh air. Although I am over 100 miles away from my alta mater, Smith College, I am glad that I was not taught to be the cookie cutter model of the modern woman and that there are women out there that challenge society's notions of womanhood each and every day! 

Like I mentioned in my previous post, why do consumers take traditional roles for women and men at face value and don't analyze what the media or their inner circles tell them? Mirren's acceptance speech is a part of my life and I hope you share her words of wisdom with others. Bravo!

I Just Saw Avatar and Eclipse, Now What?

Posted by Lady Mel On Thursday, December 9, 2010 5 comments

I have reviewed many movies on this blog. A movie is suppose to take you somewhere, elevate your senses and expectations. I still hold to that principle every way I go. Recently I had the luxury of watching two films that I strongly rejected from watching in the past: Avatar and Twilight: Eclipse. For Avatar, the best scene of the movie was the epic Na'vu revolt against the humans at the end of the film. The CGI graphics were pretty amazing, but like I said before, the plot-line was boring. Here is how the movie went.

Boy enters a new world. Boy meets girl, a tribe chief's daughter. Sounds familiar? Boy was suppose to kill or undermine the tribe's people to take their minerals, but then falls in love with the girl. Boy's people did not like that, and boy works with the tribe to defeat his former colleagues. Boy and girl live happily ever after. If I had seen this movie last December and written a review, I could have saved you $20. If Avatar came on HBO again, I would not see it. That is how bad the film is to me. I think that twenty years from now, Avatar will be celebrated for its breathtaking imagery and not for its storytelling. Avatar is not our 21st century version of Blade Runner or the Matrix.

Now those movies were classics ahead of their time; walking philosophical vessels of ourselves, reminding us of our humanity and will to create and accept our destinies. I can watch them over and over again. I cannot say this for Avatar and I certainly cannot say this in Twilight or its third movie adaptation, Twilight: Eclipse. Same concept; Boy meets girl. Boy happens to be a vampire with sparkling skin walks in the daylight. Boy's love for girl is so predatory and co-dependent that he will do anything to protect her from danger, even from the girl's best friend who happens to love her as well. Eventually, the girl becomes a vampire, gives birth to a half-vampire child, and lives happily ever after with her one true love, but I digress.

These movies are not for everyone, but for a core group of people. Lately we have become a society that tolerates the predictability and orthodoxy of the entertainment industry. 
In some respects, the art of film making is dead. Canadian actor Ryan Gosling understands that Hollywood is sexist, racist, and misogynistic. Do you see him on the cover of Star Magazine or on Dancing With the Stars? Hardly. He worries more about his acting craft than the money and fame. 

Twilight fans should take a minute and realize that romantic love isn't all peachy and clean in real life. Avatar fans should take a minute and realize that James Cameron needs to write/direct better stuff. Do people even think critically about what's going on in the world anymore? But what about personal preference? People have the right to watch and enjoy these films. My personal preference is watching non-regurgitated Hollywood trashy movies. I over-analyze films and I am aware of the garbage movie executives put forth to the public because I know it's mostly garbage. People these just days consume culture (technology, movies, books, news media, etc.) without knowing the consequences. Now that's the truth. 

What do you think about the notion that people take the lessons and cultural representations of the self, race, sex, gender, class,etc. from films at face value?