Liberal Tips to Avoid Rape: Conservatives on Twitter get nasty

A Colorado politician said:

It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody. – Rep Joe Salazar

A guy on Twitter who goes by the name “Sooper Mexican” posted a joke in response:

: yell “racist” at your rapist… that’s like the worst thing ever!

I get the joke, right — blowing a whistle is like yelling racist, completely ineffective.  I have no particular great love of the rape whistle as a rape prevention tool, but the joke’s intent, apparently, was to point to the fact that guns are the only effective way to prevent rape.

The reality is that guns are dangerous and likely to get you killed, especially if you are the victim of acquaintance or partner rape, like the majority of victims are.  But if the “joke” had ended here, it would have been mildly obnoxious and problematic, but the hashtag caught on and turned incredibly ugly.

#LiberalTips2AvoidRape if you think you can stop any one by blowing a whistle then get on your knees and blow this

Ah, see, it’s not rape if you are coerced into doing it.

#LiberalTips2AvoidRape “I don’t have to fight back, I can just abort it”

Because the terrible thing about rape is that you might get pregnant, not the violent invasion of your body!  And see, while conservatives want women to have control of their bodies in a rape situation, they don’t want them to be able to control their bodies by having sex for reasons other than procreation or to have control over whether they are pregnant or not.

#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: pray to Obama extra hard, and promise to have 3 abortions in his name..

#LiberalTips2AvoidRape Go for the Democrat politician look. You definitely won’t be raped…

Rape is about power, not about sex.  And insulting how the women in the party look is about as appealing to women as… joking about them getting raped.  So fair enough.

#LiberalTips2Avoid Rape Just shag everything. When they realize you’re an aerobic activity at best, and ObamaCare looms, they’ll head for gym

People won’t want to rape you if you’re a slut? Or maybe being slutty means you can’t be raped?  Unclear.

Not all of the advice is bad:

#LiberalTips2AvoidRape Don’t rape anybody.

The Good Men Project made an excellent point: America voted against all of the conservatives who said crazy things about rape in 2012, maybe this complete inability to understand the difference between condemning violence against women and laughing at it will haunt more campaigns in 2014.

Social Media Science

As a social scientist and nerd who works in the social media industry (yes, it is an industry), a recent story really caught my attention.  There’s been some claims that Google works better to follow/predict the flu than the CDC, but it turns out that Twitter is even better.

I have a new crush, and it’s a cobra!

Are you following @BronxZoosCobra?  If you’re unfamiliar with the story, the Bronx Zoo has lost a rather venomous snake*, an Egyptian Cobra, and in the ensuing New York panic, an incredibly clever person created a Twitter account in the name of the snake.  Despite the fact that @BronxZoosCobra is only following one person, their funny tweets have got them nearly 200,000 followers in under a week, myself included.

Despite the fact that there’s almost no chance that the snake has left the reptile house, New Yorkers’ fear of animals created the perfect opportunity to both ridicule and support New Yorkers and the snake has done just that with its posts.  Ranging from jokes about the original Ray’s Pizza (there are probably 60 places that claim to be the original Ray’s) to jokes about sneaking into chimneys and open apartment windows at night, @BronxZooCobra is the perfect mix of NYC insider and comedian.

What I particularly like about this is that it shows that being particularly clever and topical can get you a lot of attention, even though the market is already saturated.  This is good for businesses and self-promoters, if you’re witty and quick on the trigger you can still be really successful.  @BronxZooCobra has already promoted some local businesses, but just imagine how much self-promotion the person behind could do – social media has the power to create significant fame quite literally overnight.

*Although many media reports erroneously say it’s poisonous, it is not.  Poisonous means you can’t eat it, and you can eat cobras just fine, you just don’t want to get bit!

Have some tweets:

Indiana Jones, why'd it have to be Indiana Jones?

Getting my morning coffee at mud tuck. Don't even talk to me until I've had my morning coffee. Seriously don't. I'm venomous.

Dear @CharlieSheen, know what's better than tiger's blood? Cobra venom. #winning #snakeonthetown Also I'm 20 inches long. Just sayin'.

Holding very still in the snake exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. This is gonna be hilarious

The Empire State Building: “All the people look like little mice down there. Delicious little mice. #snakeonthetown

Want to clear up a misconception, I'm not poisonous as has been reported. I'm venomous. Super venomous, but not poisonous so don't worry.

Women and The Internet

It has long been a truism in the advertising world that men may make the money, but women control the purse strings, just watch any episode of Mad Men. All you have to do to see the truth of this is to look at those popular Old Spice Body Wash commercials, here’s a product aimed solely at men with commercials aimed primarily at women.  Even with this conventional wisdom, you might be surprised to know just how skewed the internet is to women users.

The majority of users on all social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter,are women, and women spend 30% more time using them than men.  55% of mobile social networkers are women.

Looking at Groupon stats, over 3/4ths of their users are women.  And that stat is similar across most online shopping and coupon services, from obvious sites like Etsy to more surprising ones like Chegg, a textbook rental service.  Social and casual gaming (think Farmville and Angry Birds) is also dominated by female users.  The numbers are staggering.  Not only are women the majority users, they are by far the most interactive and social.  Women maintain larger and more in-depth relationship circles on the web.

What does this mean for you and why am I throwing so many stats your way?  Well, for a start, it means that when you’re advertising online, you should be aware that women are going to be the most important and influential demographic to aim for.  Are you testing your products on women?  Are you taking into account what women respond to, what they’re looking for, and what turns them off?  Do you have women on your team?  So many tech companies are dominated by men, if you’re looking around you at a sea of male faces, you need to reach out to women, especially in your social marketing strategy.

More information, stats, and inspiration available here from the incredible Aileen Lee .

Sheryl Sandberg looking Badass

Gratuitous picture of Facebook's COO looking Badass

Testing Postling

Do any of you use social media management tools?  I'd never even thought to look into them until the company I write for, Social Axcess, asked me to create some profiles of a couple SMSS sites.  Right now I'm looking at Postling.  I'm mostly looking at Postling because it's free, which is a huge draw for someone like me who isn't really selling a product so much as selling themselves.  I will say, it seems like the biggest benefit to using Postling isn't just that it links your accounts, though it does do that quite nicely, but also that you can easily keep up with all the accounts that you've created and let fall by the wayside.

For example, I have a LinkedIn account that I visit about once every six months.  I didn't even realize that you could update it almost exactly the same way you update Facebook.  If I decided to replace my normal perusal of FB with Postling, my Linked In account would suddenly have activity, which I think is a good thing.  I would also probably update my Twitter more often, because it's really easy to write something and then decide which places you want to post.  In other words, unlike the tools that can automatically link your FB and Twitter account, it's both simple and necessary to dictate where all something you write gets published.

Of course, the only reason I'm writing this right now is to test out the blog writing tool within Postling.  Next… I'm going to see if they've got an Android App.

Oh, the other cool thing is that I could write like 30 articles and have them post at different times.  Which you can do with other things too, but this is free and I'm looking at it!

Social media and the revolution in Egypt

Originally posted at socialaxcess.com

The revolt in Egypt has shades of the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Like then, the revolution has been supported and promoted by social media like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Iran cracked down hard, blocking many IP addresses and making the internet so slow that it was difficult to use, but Egypt has gone one better and shut down all internet and cell phone access in and out of the country. No doubt they want to avoid the bad international press and prevent the internet from creating another martyr like Neda.

The protests in Tunisia earlier this month were also organized through social media, to the point that the government was hacking people’s Facebook accounts to try to stop it. And it’s not only Arab countries that are worried about the impact of these Twitter Revoltionaries, in China the social media results for “egypt” are blocked entirely, to prevent any social unrest there.

President Obama has called for a lift of the ban on the internet and of social media sites in particular.

I also call upon the Egyptian government to reverse the actions that they’ve taken to interfere with access to the Internet, with cellphone service and to social networks that do so much to connect people in the 21st century.

While there is much to tout about the democratizing power of Twitter, it’s hard not to also note that the government is using it to track down and punish people. While Tunisia’s dictator was forced to step down and the blogger revolutionaries are hailed as heroes, bloggers from the Green Revolution are still being hanged in Iran.

Social media is a powerful tool, no matter who is using it. The revolutionaries have the advantage of being young and therefore much more familiar with the online world and governments are quickly learning that it’s very difficult to have both the internet and restricted communications.

Social Axcess

So, biggish news, I’m working as a staff writer at social axcess and writing about social media.  Which is just about as meta as it gets.  I don’t know that there’s much that isn’t post modern about blogging, but there you have it.

My first post went up and there’s even a little picture and bio of me.  Ashley F. Miller, professional writer and general knower of things!

Go read about @TheAcademy’s social media campaign.