There was a time not really that long ago though time often flies on unexpected wings at a worldwide music conference in Munich when us executives listened to a panel of young Facebook execs explain how we could use the social media platform- very new at the time- to sell more music. To work closer with music fans. Introduce new music much more cost effectively. And with more pinpoint accuracy. How MySpace was finished. But never ever thinking that this thing called “social media” would get off the ground, we never listened.
Ignorance and arrogance came into play and most of us saw their presentation as a break to grab some chocolate muffins and chat up one of the Facebookers.
We -the music industry- had successfully sued illegal file sharing site Napster and co founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning and believed that nothing was going to change our world. The six star lifestyle was going to continue. So much for that dream.
It was fun while it lasted. Twitter, that is. Was it only just a year ago that many in horse racing were merrily twittering away? Everything in moderation, we were taught, but all that went out the window. Everyday was tweeter than the tweet tweeted the day before. Had it become a priority in life? Tweeting?
Amongst the jockeys, those most busy on Twitter were probably the Iron Man- Neil Callan, the Zac Attack, Brenton Avdulla, Blake Shinn and Tommy Berry.
Today? Most, like Peter V’landys, The Man From The North, who joined the Twitterverse during the early days of “his” beloved Everest “concept”, seem to have withdrawn. Or at least become more selective about with whom they “engage”. Others think it’s a waste of time. An unnecessary distraction when there’s real work to be done in the real world.
While those who make a study of such things- and count us amongst them- wonder about the sudden drop in almost one fell swoop of being on Twitter by many in horse racing, races are still being run and right at the bottom are not tips per se, but only what we like at today’s Carnivale of Actione at another Happy Wednesday. But Twitter? Hmmmm.
While Twitter will always attract those with an opinion, especially regarding the ebb and flow of politics led by the daily Trumpeting while there will always be tweets featuring cats, other cute animals, the sayings of online life coaches and some genuinely relevant news, other than those who’ve been tweeting away about the same things for the last 5-6 years, there’s a hush out there from the rest of the racing community.
Gawd knows where we went wrong, but we went wrong and many are still going wrong because they really think everything is going alright. Oh, but it’s not.
She is definitely not without her faults, but my daughter is grounded enough to know fact from fiction and has done extremely well for herself in the real world. She’s never yearned for fame, but has been successful with what she has achieved- tangibles and not this time wasting exercise of buying the illusion of fame- through hard work.
Perhaps racing writers have realised by now that apart from being pigeonholed with this label, horse racing is a very specialised field. It’s also a very narrow one when it comes to readership. And like newspapers moving almost completely into the online world and hoping to be a subscriber-based product where content is king and competing for readership in a crowded information highway, it means being about diversity. Really diversifying.
Continuing to play a role in horse racing could mean looking at adding more strings to one’s bow. Just as Rock journalism suddenly disappeared after less than a decade, horse racing writers are most definitely needed, but newspaper editors and others will and have become more selective in who they use. And how. Many don’t know because it’s not a personal priority.
Watching the recent spate of awards shows supposedly to acknowledge and celebrate the arts- films, film makers, actresses, actors- please, Natalie Portman, note that actresses were mentioned before actors- musicians, music etc etc, what one has been exposed to is a Hollywood made chain reaction of politics, sermons, self righteous indignation, and hashtags. What the hell was Hillary Clinton doing appearing at the Grammys? There’s Bruno Mars and then there’s Hills reading from the book “Fire And Fury”? Enormously stupid move.
The reading of #FireAndFury and the #Grammys was one of the lowest class things I have ever witnessed on television and I dont get why Hillary Clinton continues to embarrass herself.
Instead of taking a break from #MeToo and #TimesUp, these award shows have become another platform to pummel the senses with speeches and sideshows that often ring hollow as it is more of the same- the same old crocodile tears on the same background, the . same old same old with no answers, no solutions, and no answers to And now what? Time’s up is a nice enough term for a hashtag, and the message behind it, but surely it must be more? How is this hashtag and rah rah speeches from celebrities going to achieve what everyone hopes they achieve?
Recently, more and more people following the world of horse racing are taking sabbaticals from social media, mainly Twitter. Some never come back, Why? In order to return to the real world. Even with all its faults, it’s somewhere with small pockets of beauty and intelligence and the chance to escape from relentless stupidity, triviality and where the terminally needy have found somewhere to belong. Twitter is like an old Barbra Streisand song about people needing people. The difference is that it’s an often irrelevant world that doesn’t really exist nor brings us human beings closer together.
The problem with whether being on Twitter or Facebook is that many of these people who are part of this social media community- and usually hiding behind pseudonyms thinking they can’t be found out, and authorities on everything and everyone and damned be if one were to disagree with them- appear on your timeline, meaning one cannot help but read their Wikipedia knowledge and self obsessed tripe. This creates a chain reaction of negativity.
There’s a song that starts off, “It’s been building up inside of me for a long long time.” And the build up to bid a final Adieu to especially Facebook has been tremendous. It’s been about kicking any type of addiction and that weakness to feel needed.
Everyone around is singing “Last Christmas” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” I look around and see what I have seen for the last three three years: those who have paid to attend some “festive gathering” insisting to themselves that they’re going to have a good time. Maybe some are. Me, I’m weighing out the pros and cons of leaving Facebook. If I jump ship, this would be the fifth time though an ex live-in who thought she had figured out a successful escape plan quickly realised that like that line in Hotel California, you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave. You might have bolted, but you’re still there like the ghost of Christmas past.
I’ve been telling as many people in Hong Kong as possible recently how I wish I could bottle the city and take it to places like Tokyo, Amsterdam, perhaps Taipei, Copenhagen, certain parts of Melbourne, but away from the usual suspects in horse racing, and if one can stand the pollution, Beijing and Shanghai. Why? To try and bring Hong Kong’s mojo back- that is if it ever had a mojo. To see where and why it’s lost the plot and needs to start all over again with a new mindset. Seriously now…