stan lee

I'll start by saying this post is not intended to be arrogant or self indulgent in any way, but I know my only writing style can't avoid sounding that way, so just a heads up. And for this to make any sense, you'll need to read Stan Lee's article, Blogs Apart from this month's Marketing Magazine.It's certainly an interesting read, one that I'd suggest is unnecessarily cynical and perhaps just another dig I've come to expect from older generations. And I can't help but think that with less than a handful of Australian marketing student bloggers out there, it might not even be all that relevant. Yet I feel one of us should probably respond. So here's my thoughts as to how I perceive the article personally.To me, this blog is just a conversation starter. In many ways it's my resume. And just like you'd be stupid to employ someone based on their resume alone, the same goes for bloggers. But it's a foot in the door somewhere, where I'm then given the chance to prove myself. I've actually recently come to the decision I don't necessarily want to work just in the social media area, but definitely in an agency. This blog, I hope, will help me indirectly achieve that goal. Even if it's just because someone's happy to grab a coffee or beer with me.Even the most talented graduate in the country is useless if no one's heard of them, right? Especially when you consider how many positions are never advertised but rather are filled through a network's word of mouth. I'm thinking writing a blog like this one is a great way for someone to begin to "know the right people".Now I realise I criticise the industry. A lot. Probably too much. But if there's anything I've learnt about this industry is how cut throat, back stabbing and competitive it is. I'm certainly not the only one criticising, I'm just not doing it behind everyone's backs. Perhaps the only reason I publish it with my name attached is because I've got nothing to lose but I think every point I raise is a worthy one, and hopefully something other people agree with or are willing to discuss, even if not publicly.As for the expert claim, I don't think there's a single student blogger who claims this. I think some might suggest they could provide insights, even without practical experience, but none of them are claiming a guru status. And you know what, I think insights without experience can still be valuable if taken for what they are.The one thing I'd probably agree with Stan on is the issue about telling employers how things should be done. This is something I'm quite passionate about, and again, I'm only going to offer my insight, but Gen Y are not going to "bow down to employers". That's not how you're going to attract and retain talent. I see it more as something people can take on board or not...

This week, is Man Week. And I've been tagged by Gavin Heaton to write about it. However, like Stan Lee, I tend not to write about much personal stuff here unless I can tie it into marketing or blogging. Which is convenient, because my post is about this blog. I'm still a teenager. And as my amazingly dirty attempt at a beard would suggest I'm not even sure if I can use the word "man". In fact on some levels I'm fairly immature and don't even act my age at the most inappropriate of times. But the biggest change in my personally, as far as I can tell, is I'm no longer as quiet as I once was. My childhood was normal. I don't have an amazing story to tell. My parents separated before I could say the word marriage but I can't complain about how I was raised. I was labelled a geek at school who sat at the top of every class academic wise, but not harshly done and it was even something I called myself. While the rest of the kids were busy talking in class, I was busy working. And I think that made me quiet. I'd still talk and socialise of course, but no one would ever mistake me for "the loud one" in the class room. But around Year 10, I decided to start being louder. Not neccessarily talking more, just putting myself out there, taking opportunities that came up and generally expressing myself when I wanted to. I'm not sure why, but I do remember it being a conscious decision. And it was fun. And it taught me my opinions and thoughts are valid. And to not work too hard. I think over the past five years it's continued to build, especially when I look at how much I've changed since, even still if you compared to my first week at Uni to now. And one of the ways I've been able to do this, is with a blog. I've always said starting this blog was one of the best things I ever did, and not just career wise. This is one of those "not just career wise" things. It's given me a platform to express myself and express my passion. It's let me be as loud as I want. It's gotten me thinking, writing and doing something I love. And it's been an important aspect in shaping me into the man I am today....

A week ago, I was followed by @TheBogan on Twitter. After slowly building momentum over the past seven days, his follower count is building and I've seen his tweets retweeted a number of times. I'm not sure if it's because myself and Stan have engaged with him a fair bit, but he seems to be fairly involved with the Australian marketing bloggers. It only occurred to me this morning, but could this be a cunning marketing campaign for VB? While I doubt that's the case, wouldn't it be incredible if it were so? I love the creativity. I love the brand tie in. I love the audience engagement. I even love that it's completely non transparent, and Julian agrees sometimes it's appropriate to break the so called "social media rules". It could also be some guy who just wants a creative outlet. It might even be Stan himself. But maybe, just maybe, it's a genius piece of work by Droga5....

I've been meaning to post about Twitter for a while. It is fundamentally flawed. Both the concept and the design. It is ridiculously hard to read or thread conversations, if you watch more than 50 people it is easy to miss something and the layout is simply atrocious. Yet it continues to gain popularity. I thought newcomer Plurk (much less fundamentally flawed) would overthrow it, but even I turned back to Twitter eventually. I think Twitter some how manages to be successful because it's addictive. Once you've started it's hard to give it up. Although most start by asking, "Isn't it just like updating your Facebook status?", it grows on you. Stan Lee signed up just two weeks ago and I think he's now in need of a patch to control the cravings. His page used to display a badge that said he wasn't on the Twitter bandwagon, but that's changed just a little hasn't it, Stan? It's hard to explain but I think Gavin Heaton summed it up best when he said, "You get out what you put in"....

Imagine my surprise when I'm lying in bed on a cold rainy night, flicking through July's edition of Marketing Magazine to see my name appear in print. Alongside social media extraordinaire and good friend Julian Cole, Stanley Johnson throws a casual mention my way in The Youth of Today: Digitally Lethargic?, part of his Around the Blogosphere column.     It might not seem like much, especially to blog about, but as I read it, a light in my head clicked on and I realised this is the career and life I want. Interestingly, Stan later goes on to talk about a remarkable attempt by a graduate to get a job. I too am currently planning and implementing an idea that will get me a position at an advertising agency. I doubt it will spread like Sam's, but it will get me noticed. And within two months, I will be working at Leo Burnett Melbourne. So cheers Stan, I think I owe you a beer or twelve....