Brian Shaler

Occasionally Interesting

Gravity is for chumps

Archive for April, 2009

A Culture of Negativity

“We kid because we care.”

I hadn’t noticed it until people from outside of Arizona started asking me about it. “Why are people in Phoenix always making fun of each other?” I originally thought it was just me, but it seems to be a general attitude toward anyone who puts himself out there.

In my travels, I’ve come across cities with truly vindictive people who create enemies within their communities. Phoenix doesn’t seem to have quite as much of that genuine angst — with only a few exceptions.

However, when it comes to public displays of negativity, Phoenix seems to stand out among cities, based solely on my personal encounters with people outside of Arizona who have made this type of observation. It’s hard to say if there is a reason or if it just happens to be this way.

I know quite a few awesome people in Phoenix who are incredibly positive, but they tend to be quieter.

It is common for people to be to proud to acknowledge people around them. It’s also far to easy to sit at home and belittle the achievements of others or critique their ways of doing things. Unfortunately, this seems to be human nature.

Should I Start a “Mazda Movement”?

I got an email from the Ford Fiesta Movement campaign this morning:

Thanks for your interest in The Fiesta Movement! As you probably know by now, we received over 4,000 entries! We have been very busy culling through all of the submissions and the competition was stiff! We have finally chosen our 100 Fiesta Movement Agents and unfortunately we are not able to offer you one of the positions at this time.

In the end, Agents were chosen for a variety of reasons. In keeping with what we set out to do with the Movement, we wanted to make sure we did a thorough job of different kinds of Agents from across the US who spend time in a variety of social network channel. That being said, we had to spread our 100 Fiestas to everyone from bloggers, to YouTube stars, Twitterati, Flickr fiends and most importantly, some really engaging people who we thought would have a great story to tell if we let them. On top of that, we wanted our voice to stretch far and wide, so we made it a point to spread our Fiestas throughout as much of the country as possible.

However, there are still opportunities for you to get behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta and let us know what you think. As part of the Movement, we will be taking global Fiestas across the US for the next several months, stopping at key events and everyday locations to allow people to connect with the Movement & test drive the vehicles for themselves. For more information you can find a calendar with our whereabouts on FiestaMovement.com (coming in early May), as well as the full content stream from the Movement.

Thanks again for your interest in the Fiesta Movement, we truly enjoyed and appreciated your submission.

– Fiesta Movement Mission Control

A few things to note:

“we received over 4,000 entries!”

Fiesta Submissions on YouTube

They asked applicants to submit a YouTube video and tag it “fiestamovement.” They chose their 100 agents from these 600 entries (less, actually, because not all videos tagged “fiestamovement” are application videos). The fiestamovement YouTube account had 413 application videos in its favorites list.

“we had to spread our 100 Fiestas to everyone from bloggers, to YouTube stars, Twitterati, Flickr fiends and most importantly, some really engaging people who we thought would have a great story to tell if we let them.”

I know I don’t have much reach on YouTube, but I think I’ve got at least a little bit of credibility when it comes to blogging and Twittering. And Flickr? Have you seen my automotive photos?

Ford Edge Crossover SUVFord Mustang ConceptHDR - Mazda MX-5Mazda CX-9 in motionVolkswagen Passat Wagon Grille
Mazda Nagare Conceptarchive0032006 Mazda MX-5 - Downtown Phoenix, AZPicture 078Mazda Nagare Concept

As for telling an engaging story, it’s very subjective. However, I think a fair share of the people who have been following me on Twitter for 2 years would say they do so because they think (and I know this because they tell me) I’m interesting, exciting, and/or funny. I’m spontaneous and I travel a lot. I meet tons of people. I personally think my ongoing story is a great one to tune in to.

“we wanted our voice to stretch far and wide, so we made it a point to spread our Fiestas throughout as much of the country as possible.”

I didn’t see any agents from Arizona. It looked like there were 10-20 agents from Southern California, though. To be fair, there was a little bit of spread to more obscure areas like Midwestern states.

Mazda Movement

Brian, quit your whining. If you’re so freakin’ interesting, why don’t you just get out there and do it anyway?

I’ve got the three C’s required to be an agent: a Car, a Computer, and a Camera/Camcorder.

I like my car. It’s very fun to drive. I don’t have to be given a free Mazda MX-5 to be willing to tell that to people. I’ll do it for the car.

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