Posts Tagged ‘ blog ’

The “Just Checking” Cheerios Ad, Minus The Racist Trolls

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

A lot of buzz has been going on over the past week or so about the “Just Checking” Cheerios Ad.

On May 28th, Cheerios released an awesome 30 second ad on YouTube; I’ll get to the awesomeness of it here in a minute.

First, I have to teach you about what are called “Internet trolls.”

I really like Wikipedia’s definition of them:

“In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl//ˈtrɒl/) is someone who posts inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[3]

So, Internet trolls laced the comments section of the Cheerios ad with hateful messages of racism.

As you’re about to see in the ad, a biracial family is featured. The Internet trolls used this as a target to upset people… and unfortunately, they were very successful.

They were so successful that the comments on the ad have since been deleted. Plus, no one can leave a comment on the ad anymore, because of the Internet trolls’ success of basically making it seem like America is full of outspoken racists.

I choose to believe that while America can be awkward about differences in race, as I know I tend to be because I fear asking questions about other races and cultures, because I might seem uninformed, unexposed, and accidentally racist, I just don’t think there are not truly enough outright racists in our nation to shut down the comments section on a Cheerios ad that features a biracial family.

(Also, see To Be Colorblind, Racially Speaking…)

But I do believe that America has enough select sick people to cause a riot on the Internet. They knew the masses would be angered. They knew that the overwhelming majority of Americans are not racists and would get quite a rise out of the trolls’ racist remarks.

Unlike the traditional racist who is very ignorant yet extremely focused on hating a certain group of people, Internet trolls are careless about who they indirectly hate. I don’t know which is worse…

Okay, I told you that the “Just Checking” Cheerios ad is awesome. Here it is:

As a daddy blogger who is extremely focused on spotlighting ads, TV shows, and movies that feature dads in a positive and active role, I love (!) this ad.

I noticed that the acting is superb. It’s so believable and candid, that I actually caught myself thinking, “What a cool family.”

Then I reminded myself they’re just actors.

This ad is fresh, funny, and promotes good health. And for the fact that you eat Cheerios in a plastic baggy every morning on the way to school, I can even say that we honestly support the product they’re selling.

That doesn’t happen very often in this health-nut family you’re a part of.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. Beware of Internet trolls, even in the comments section of this, too!

 

Photo: 3D Cute Furry Monster, via Shutterstock.

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The 2013 Parents Blog Awards… It’s Nominating Time!

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Believe it or not, you’re not the only kid out there being blogged about by one of their parents.

It turns out, there are plenty more Mommy bloggers and Daddy bloggers, so Parents magazine is now inviting its readers to nominate their favorites for The 2013 Parents Blog Awards .

Between now and January 27, readers can nominate their favorite blog (or their own) in one or two of six blog categories:

  • Most likely to have you reaching for the tissues
  • Most likely to make you laugh
  • Most likely to inspire you to change the world
  • Most likely to make life as CHO (Chief Household Officer) easier
  • Most likely to wow you with photos or videos
  • Most likely to help you achieve a personal goal

Five finalists will be selected in each category, and then it will be left up to the readers out there to select the winners!

Voting will take place between February 6 and February 24. The winners will be announced on Parents.com on March 1, and then featured in an upcoming issue of Parents.

They can visit the Parents Magazine Facebook page today to cast their votes.

As for you and me, we’ll vote, but we’re not on the ballot. Otherwise, that would be like Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson trying to audition to sing on American Idol!

Let’s help other parent bloggers get the spotlight they deserve…

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

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7 Tips On How To Start A Baby Blog

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A year and a half. 

It was a year ago yesterday that The Dadabase officially premiered on Parents.com with “Welcome To The Dadabase.”

Today, I want to share some advice with any mom or dad out there who is considering, or at least curious about, starting their very own mommy or daddy blog.

If you’re wanting to start blogging about your kid mainly just to share with friends and family, then I simply recommend going to WordPress.com and get to typin’. That’s all the advice you need from me.

But if you are like I was back in April 2010, recently having found out I was going to be a parent and wanting to be the best darn baby blogger I could be with hopes of “going pro,” then this article is perfect for you.

Here are my top 7 tips on how to start a baby blog:

1. Be both personal and international. You want to engage two different types of necessary readers: Friendly Followers-family and friends who read your stuff because they love you and your cute kid. And Cosmic Crashers- people who don’t care who you are but want to learn about some buzzing new topic you’re covering in the world of parenting.

2. Be different. Before I started my blog, I was determined to find my “schtick.” I wanted to be the first ever daddy blogger who documented his thoughts from the moment he went public with the pregnancy, on a weekly basis.

Even now, I don’t know of any other dad who has done this. You can go back for over two years and find between one and seven blog posts each week about my son and my thoughts as a dad. What’s your schtick?

3. Be willing to be wrong. I am constantly wrong when it comes to my opinions and viewpoints regarding all those polarizing, controversial parenting topics from circumcision to raising a vegetarian child.

Not only am I wrong at least half the time, I’m totally cool with it. I don’t mind being crucified one day and praised the next. I am both the good and the bad guy.

4. Be consistent. Can you commit to writing at least one blog post per week? If not, stop reading now because this isn’t for you.

Just like with advertising, your work needs to be omnipresent. And just like with the news, it needs to be fresh.

5. Be egotistical. Speak with authority. Assume your story is interesting, then prove it. Ever heard of what’s called “the blogger’s ego?” Well, I depend on it.

6. Be weird. In the midst of sharing the chronologically predictable advancements your child experiences each week, make each event special by pointing out the strangest aspect about your kid learning to eat solid foods or learning to walk. “Quirky” sells.

7. Be named well. You have to come up with a really cool name for your blog; one that represents you well. Consider your kid’s name or your last name or something people won’t be able to forget.

Good luck and may the force be with you.

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Investing in the Undervalued and Underappreciated

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Nine months.

On Thursday, October 5th, 2006, I looked across a large, crowded room and saw a beautiful 25 year-old girl who had no legitimate reason to be alone. In that wishful moment at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, I thought about how wonderful life could be if I could get that beautiful Puerto Rican stranger to fall in love with me. Turns out, she wasn’t Puerto Rican; it also turns out, she did fall in love with me- but it took exactly four months to the day for her to see me as more than just a friend.

Without knowing it, I applied a long-standing business principle of billionaire Warren Buffet, as explained in his son Peter Buffet’s book, Life is What You Make It:

“The idea is elegantly simple. Find something the world underappreciates, support it, don’t meddle, and allow time for the world to catch up in its valuation.”

I basically can’t stop obsessing over that very true concept. It doesn’t just apply to business; it appears to life in general.

How did a guy like me end up getting a girl like Jillanne Tuttle to fall in love with me? More importantly, why was this girl still even single, anyway?

Because she was underappreciated. So I supported her. And I didn’t meddle. Needless to say, it worked. That’s the only way I could have gotten a girl so out of my league like that.

I ignored the bad advice of well-meaning guy friends who tried to tell me I should come on strong and ask her out on a date from the very beginning. Instead, I privately vowed to be her friend first, not meddling with our friendship. Then interestingly, on February 5th, 2007, a switch flipped; she finally saw me in the romantic way that I had seen her from day one.

Is it crushing to my ego that she didn’t immediately fall in love with me for my weird and random conversations, not to mention my physical likeness of a plethora of Jewish actors such as Fred Savage, who played Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years? (Featured right, with his son.)

Not really. Subconsciously I knew back then that if I were to truly capture the attention, as well as, the heart of this girl, it would take more than all the culturally valuable assets I didn’t possess.

The truth is, I happened to be the right guy in the right place at the right time, making a conscious effort to invest in a person who others foolishly overlooked. So I made the most of it. Thank God it worked.

That same principle is how The Dadabase was born. I realized there was all kinds of information for moms-to-be, but not for dads-to-be. So a few weeks after we found out we were going to have a baby, I decided to start a weekly blog from my fatherly perspective. Sure enough, that was sort of a rare thing- unique enough that  American Baby took notice in their magazine in October of last year.

And when Parents.com started asking around in their search for an official daddy blogger, I happened to be the right guy in the right place at the right time, because their sister magazine American Baby had featured my blog on page 13 of their issue just five months before.

In other words, I found something the world had underappreciated (parenting advice and narration from the dad’s perspective), I supported it, I didn’t meddle, and the world began to catch up in its valuation.

As for using this concept in parenting, I’m already seeing how it translates. No other humans can see more value in my son than my wife and I can. So we will reasonably support him, do our best not to meddle in ways we shouldn’t, and wait for the world to catch up in his valuation.

It’s wild to think that we are surrounded by underappreciated things in this world everyday, just waiting to be supported and valued. What great things are we missing out on simply because certain rocks haven’t been turned over and certain doors have never been opened?

Some possible answers could include “flying cars like in Back to the Future, Part II,” “cell phone watches like Penny and Brain had on Inspector Gadget,” and “the comeback of Pepsi Clear.”


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Forgive Me, Fellow Parents; I’m a #TwitterRookie

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Eight months.

Who knows what kind of social networking tools will be popular by the time my infant son is old enough to use them.  I can only imagine the challenges I will face in communicating with him as technology continues to develop and he becomes a teenager.  As for now, my biggest concern regarding myself staying relevant in the world of communication is the inescapable entity known as Twitter; as it relates to the readers of The Dadabase.

Up until recently, I didn’t take Twitter very seriously.  But back in May when my personal blog, Dad from Day One, was picked up by Parents.com and transformed into what we now know as The Dadabase, I quickly learned just how relevant Twitter had instantly become (and/or needed to become) to my life.

I saw how quickly a seemingly average blog post of mine could get some immediate, widespread exposure because a handful of readers out there decided it was worth sharing on Twitter.  As of this week The Dadabase has begun consistently averaging over a thousand views a day. That’s not to say, “Dang, ya’ll! Look at how awesome I am…”.

Instead, it’s quite the contrary: It only makes me incredibly aware of how huge a role my readers play in growing The Dadabase, as well as, my personal mission to positively re-brand fatherhood.  My ability to grow a following is pretty similar to the way Inspector Gadget would catch the bad guys: He faithfully and passionately did his job, but it was his niece Penny and her canine friend Brain who actually made things happen.  I am simply the Inspector Gadget of the parenting blog world.

This morning I caught up with my friend Joe Hendricks at a Starbucks here in Nashville.  He is a professional photographer whose work has been featured in many posts here on The Dadabase and I highly respect his business advice. Naturally, he started asking me about how I am utilizing Twitter, as a writer. Well, the truth is I wasn’t.

Within a few minutes I realized I didn’t even know what the word “hashtag” meant.  I guess I assumed it had something to do with a person labeling their Ziploc baggy of marijuana… turns out I was wrong.  Even worse, I had no idea that Twitter has an “@Mentions” tab so that I can see where my Twitter followers have shared and responded to my Dadabase posts.  It was thanks to the “@Mentions” tab that I was able to see that my most popular posts became that way because they were my most re-Tweeted posts.

So I spent about an hour today going back to reply and thank all the people who helped spread my writings further in the blogosphere.  I never realized there were that many people I didn’t even know who were sharing The Dadabase with other people I didn’t even know.  But I am extremely and sincerely grateful. That is so awesome of you who have been doing that.  So, thank you!

Another thing I did was change my Twitter profile picture to feature my son, instead of the bizarre red panda that had remained since 2009.

It is so important to me that I respond to every single one of the comments I receive here on my blog; even when a reader openly disagrees with my perspective.  I see now that replying to comments here on this site and on Facebook are only part of it.  Now that I have been better educated on how to use Twitter, I promise to be more involved with my Twitter followers.

You see, I am only so tech savvy.  I’m not yet cool enough for an iPhone or an iPad  or a new laptop (though I desperately need one because the MacBook I use was already outdated when I bought it new in 2006).  But now I am being forced to be cool enough to use Twitter.  So pardon my progress as I figure this thing out.

I am always excited to hear from other parents out there who are going through the same stages of parenthood as I am. Additionally, I feel honored to be part of this global network where I can start a random conversation here on Parents.com, which is then promoted through Twitter, and then the rest of the world can choose to chime in if they find it engaging enough. And now as of today, if you reply via Twitter, you will officially hear back from me, nickshellwrites.

Go, go, gadget blog!

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