Cause of death: Twitter Bull Run; The deceased: The ICO Journal

Over the past five years, Twitter really hasn’t changed much in the way people use it. Sure, communities are better defined (because we all now know how to hashtag), and there is never a shortage of anonymous tough guys and girls (because…yeah). But, all in all, the platform really hasn’t offered anything new or shocking.

Except…

Even as someone who has served professionally in public relations, marketing, communications, and full-time media roles, it blows my mind, more now than ever, when a brand proves it has zero clue how to use Twitter (or social media in general).

The latest regrettable* example: The ICO Journal.

*Regrettable only because it was wholly preventable. Then again, ol’ Chuck Darwin has an award named after him for a reason. And, at some point, it just gets hard to feel bad for uncoordinated folks who believe they can outmaneuver raging bulls.

So, what caused all of this?

On Tuesday, over several hours, The ICO Journal’s Twitter controller cannonballed like a champ into a shallow pool and hit his or her ass flat on the bottom – from both a journalistic and social media management view point – beginning with this:

Several followers who didn’t appreciate the “dummy” label soon chimed in, and that number grew to many in short order. Meanwhile, the Journal account didn’t seem to mind the new attention, doubling down on that comment with other colorful adjectives to describe Tron enthusiasts they find to be offensive:

It continued, but really, what’s the point in a play-by-play at this stage. It comes down to this: nobody likes a self-important, condescending jerk – especially when there isn’t a good reason for it. And, the result (as of this writing) was a Tron-crowd-led bull run over the account and decrease in about 300 followers.

Earlier, I said this was all wrong from two points of view: journalistic and social media management. Let’s chat about those.

The tweet that began the entire fiasco – even prior to calling out Tron fans – was actually a retweet from a known Tron antagonist (I just joined the crypto community in April, and I’ve already seen the originator blocked by several others) who wanted to peddle a conspiracy theory as hot news and found a willing audience in the ICO Journal account manager.

Instead of (at the very least) vetting the information source and (at least pretending to try) finding more information, the IOC Journal posted it as a “maybe/might have/if/could be possible” rumor.

That flies under my personal level of comfort if I’m running a branded media account. Then again, they all have different standards, you know, like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – who would do everything but kiss on the mouth.

However … then it got Richard-Gere-just-called-you-a-whore ugly.

Immediately, instead of promising to dig more or work to validate the claim, the account then turned the burden of proof on the public and chose to believe that because nobody would play their game and answer with hard evidence that their conspiracy wasn’t true, then it must be a real something.

(Never mind you spent most of the afternoon rolling around in an unnecessary wrestling match while the entire crypto world had its best day in months. Silly.)

Oy vey.

Look, account person, the public isn’t the media. It isn’t the public’s job to do your job. If you believe there is a question to be answered, a case to be solved, etc., it’s on you. Otherwise, you’re lazy and doing a disservice to your brand and the beat you cover. Or, you’re just gossip.

I don’t think that’s what you’re after, ICO Journal, so do better. Your shrinking audience deserves the best effort you can give.

As for the social media management side, everyone wants to be the master snark these days, don’t they? I hate to break it to you, but not everybody is Wendy’s Twitter. From what I’ve watched, you certainly aren’t, so maybe ease up on the snark since it seems like it might be your Mogwai. You just aren’t ready for the task of using snarky humor in your tweets.

Grow up. Learn some responsibility in your role as a crypto and blockchain info source. And, maybe, just maybe, we’ll see you and Gizmo all grown up in a sequel.

*****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Advertisements

Dear Taylor Swift, your music rights unicorn is alive. Its name is Tron.

Dear Taylor,

This letter probably comes 3.5 years too late, but better late than never, right?

In the middle of 2014, you asked Wall Street Journal readers where the music industry would be in 20, 30, or 50 years. You opined that “music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

Taylor, you finally have a way to cut through the noise of piracy and artists not getting what they deserve. That way is Tron.

You were willing, at that point, to be the example in your industry by pulling your music off of Spotify. (We also know you went back on that later, but hey, business happens.)

Your point was solid then, and it’s better now. Why? Because the technology you, and all artists, desperately wanted and needed in order to protect what’s yours – and be paid for it – now exists. It’s called Tron. (Hollywood is watching after Tron bought BitTorrent, if you hadn’t heard that.)

What does Tron do? It cuts out middle men. It lets you sell your art directly to your fans at the price they and you deserve. It cuts down piracy, finally.

You need Tron. It has the scale to handle your fan base’s requests. It has smart contracts that leave you in control of pricing – and getting paid for every download. It is a blockchain system built for the entertainment industry. It is the content unicorn you dreamed about years ago.

And Tron needs you. You see, because you were smart enough and brave enough to buck the system in 2014, and because you are you – a transcendent, world-loved, public-reaching icon – you are the perfect person to take Tron to the larger general public. Right now, Tron founder Justin Sun is doing great work as a marketer, but he’ll never have your appeal. For many reasons.

This is the cause you picked up in 2014. This is your chance to drive the point home with a real-life example of how things could be so much better for artists going forward.

This is proving to remaining doubters how serious this is to you and how you are a true industry leader.

This is your moment.

There’s no way around calling it one, but I didn’t write this to be a pitch letter. I wrote this as someone who sees a way for you to carry your flag up the last part of the hill. You started this thing. You finally have a way to finish it, and finish it in only a way that you, Taylor Swift, can.

As a content producer myself, I’m pulling for you to do so.

Sincerely,

-ck

****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Hollywood eyeing Tron/BitTorrent?

“The old guard are following events, and watching carefully.”

A few weeks ago, the public general reaction to Justin Sun and Tron purchasing BitTorrent ranged on a scale from “BitTorrent is still a thing?” to “What’s a Tron?”

Within the blockchain and crypto communities, however, the move created one hell of a buzz.

In that excitement, Tron loyalists have begun digging into BitTorrent’s history. What they are finding are loads of examples of exactly why Justin Sun made it a priority to add not just any peer-sharing apparatus, but this one. 

Some of what was uncovered in recent days:

– Though it made news this past week by visiting with Sun, Twitter was on board with BitTorrent … all the way back in 2010.

– So was Facebook.

– At its core, BitTorrent’s Paygate service in 2014 was headed in the right direction for putting a lot of money back in the pockets of artists.

– And, an added bonus for you: Want to know why the Tron/BitTorrent match is absolutely perfect? Read this 2014 piece from the Harvard Business Review and keep Tron in your mind as you consider the article’s final paragraph.

Putting ALL of that aside, it’s no secret that Hollywood itself knows BitTorrent’s potential power. It also has been watching BitTorrent’s move. “The old guard are following events, and watching carefully,” a Hollywood production insider told me.

It all has brought legitimacy to Tron’s stated larger vision of decentralizing the Internet and putting creative control back fully in the hands of entertainment creators.*


*If you’re new to this concept, do you know Taylor Swift? She famously wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal in 2014 and in it said:

“It’s my opinion that music should not be free,
and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels
will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

Swift was almost right, except, with Tron’s smart contracts abilities, an artist wouldn’t even need the label if they didn’t want to go down that road. Thinking of her words now and pairing her thoughts with today’s Tron option…

Taylor Swift, with her iconic stature, is the unlikely mass-appeal hero that Tron needs and should use to break through to the general public.


But, even still, there seemed to be a large amount of doubt circling Justin Sun’s project – reflected in Tron’s trading price, not to mention in the confidence of pump-addicted detractors willing to share their well-reasoned, logical thoughts via Twitter.

Their issue, of course, is that they don’t, won’t, or can’t see past Tron as anything more than a cryptocurrency. That’s a shame because they’re missing the point.

According to digital content producer Robert S. Seppälä, Tron’s nabbing of BitTorrent is the real deal-maker – far ahead of the Tron token that so many one-pump chumps are hoping to cash in on.

“I agree the ]TRON] currency is cool, but beyond the bean counting, I believe it’s the content and entertainment delivered in the future that will drive this new world of decentralization through Tron,” said Seppälä, who is producer, director, and writer for EverTell. “It’s exciting.”

From many accounts, he’s not alone in that thinking.

****

Have a tip? 

Or, what topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto and Blockchain? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Why people believe in Tron – in their words

Earlier this week, I asked people on Twitter why they believe in Tron. I asked because while I have my own reasons, I wondered if there wasn’t something else I was missing.

I knew I was missing out on something because I’m not an investment professional, and I’m not a developer. Those types of folks, I assumed, are attracted to far different aspects of Justin Sun’s product than I am, even if we all share some level of hope to see an investment take off.

Personally, I’m a big fan of what Tron promises in terms of eliminating middle people and paying content creators directly. I love the entertainment industry and the vast content publishing landscape that now exists. But, I’ve seen how badly some creators have been gouged when the full rights to their own literature, songs, videos, etc. have been compromised as a trade for publishing on centralized platforms. So yeah, something like what Tron is selling interested me pretty quickly.

What I’ve come to realize, though, is that the real enthusiasm I have for it and several blockchain companies stems from their visions and missions. Those that haven’t really established a long-term plan, or those that literally had a plan to fork and that’s it, I’m not drawn to as much. Other people are, and that’s fine. I need more.

How are you going to change my world and everyone else’s? Better entertainment apps? Better financial systems and faster transactions? I get full ownership of my content?

I don’t necessarily want more than a working knowledge of the technologies behind blockchain and crypto (though, it is really stinking cool once you get used to it). I want you to tell me what you’re going to do with it.

And, gauging by many responses I got to the question, “Why do you believe in Tron?”, the platform (and others) are speaking to a growing number of others also – and not just with the allure of financial gain.

See for yourself:

People are stoked for a host of individual reasons. So, here’s to you, whoever you are, getting whatever it is you hope to get from the quickly evolving crypto world.

****

What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto, Tron, and all the rest? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

Hi, Justin Sun (and Tron). It’s me, Responsibility

Dear Justin,

You matter. That’s why I’m writing to you.

We’ve met and likely will know each other for the long haul. But, in the time we have had, I’ve come to believe we’re both hardworking individuals, which means we both likely understand stress. And I bet we both can agree that a lot of people enjoy dealing with stress in fun ways like getting close to other people, breathing heavily, and bending their bodies into weird positions.

But, enough about yoga.

It’s porn we need to talk about.

Specifically, can we chat for a second about your now really famous Tweet announcing Tron being accepted as a form of payment on PornHub? The tweet you’ve since edited because it was too dirty for many to accept as the quick in-and-out joke you intended? I got it. I smirked. I moved on. But, as you quickly discovered, many – from investors to interested onlookers to media headline writers – became fixated.

Look, you and I understand that one small sex joke isn’t going to ruin things. But, this incident serves as a tapping of the microphone to test whether it is on. And, guess what, not only is it on, but it is super turned up. Everyone is watching every word and action. That happens when you launch a new blockchain, poke at industry giants, and make a nine-figure purchase of one of the world’s most recognizable file-sharing products to boost your own.

That’s what happens when – at 26 – you’ve been pegged as the Millennial Jack Ma.

You matter, Justin.

That means your words matter, and you have earned the heavy responsibility of having to know when some things are better left unsaid. Of course, that’s extremely easy to say when I’m not tempted by the same level of popularity and influence that you have, but hear me out.

You’re young, charismatic, visionary, and driven, and you are in a situation not often seen by anyone because you have a tangible product that – even in its infancy – is showing (proving?) multi-generational potential. And, despite its youth, TRON’s reach already has a worldwide audience.

Such a varied audience leads to marketing challenges, but what the audience does know, collectively, is that if TRON is going to live up to such lofty ideals like dethroning current crypto leaders and decentralizing the web, then TRON needs to act like it is mature enough to lead such a charge.

Make the deals you need to make. Let them stand on their own.

You have enough branding happening – think about the steps you took before this to create the kind of image that led entities like Charity Compassion Coin to want to use your platform and Cardano wanting to work with you. And, think about the long list of respected developers who are clamoring to be among the first Super Representatives. They are here because they respect your vision and product.

That respect shouldn’t be taken lightly.

In the end, Justin, no harm, no foul. Could have been worse. Strive to be better each day.

Yours as long as you’ll have me,

-Responsibility

****

What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto, Tron, and all the rest? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

No, Tron isn’t going all in on #pr0n

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to PornHub. Or, in this case, raise BOTH hands, where we can all see them, thank you very much.

Now, nod your head if you’re into … Tron.

Okay, stop nodding. Keep your hands somewhere on a table in front of everyone, and listen …

There was a lot of hand-wringing and posturing after it was announced that PornHub will begin accepting Tron as a payment option. If we’re being honest here, my flash reaction was split three ways:

A) Uh, who actually pays for porn?

B) Hardly anyone pays for it — even if they really want that classic Kim Kardashian boot(y)leg file for their own — because they don’t want their credit card statement showing such things. It’s a privacy concern, not a moral dilemma.

C) Hey, American Purist complainer, of course you haven’t, but I’ll ask anyways: Have you ever WATCHED a Chinese game show? It’s weird, exciting, and usually barely clothed — leaving you with a good story for friends and a slight walk of shame from your recliner to the fridge… usually in reverse order.

And that was just my immediate takeaway from reading the Tron news.

The real conversation is deeper than that (if you don’t like all the innuendos with this specific post, you may as well pull out early and stop reading now.), of course, and it pointed out a couple of other things for me that I think could be kept in mind for the future.

1. Some of the backlash had to do with the recent sticky memory of watching Verge also dive into payment acceptance with PornHub. That’s understandable, I suppose, but I think most of the discomfort comes from not fully understanding what partner means in this case. In the link above, PornHub itself is reluctant to be go all-in with Verge – citing volatile crypto prices. Logically, one would think, or I do anyways, that same reservation is being felt with other cryptos as well. Still, the allure of increased anonymity leading to more currency spent – in any form – is too appealing for the company to ignore. (Think of it like Julia Roberts not allowing Richard Gere to kiss her on the mouth because “too personal.” But hey, we’ll take that coin just in case..)

2. Tron wants to be the block chain of choice for ENTERTAINMENT. Just because you might not be into one-legged guys standing on their heads while attempting one of the Kama Sutra’s back page’s illustrations, guaranteed someone else is. And, they want to see it on their device. And, they may even want to pay for it. Exotic has a market, even in the clean sense. Don’t think so? Thumb through your provider’s guide and see how often shows run featuring “Little People: Name the City”, or fat people, or giant people, or hoarders, or overeaters, or people addicted to plastic surgery. Everybody has a something they like to watch (or play, for you gamers). ALL of it falls under entertainment, which, if decentralizing the Web is Tron’s soul, then the entertainment industry, and all that comes with it, is its stated heartbeat. And, while you may have some comfort level questions about what that entails, your investment dollar doesn’t, which leads to …

3. Finally, while Tron investors have bought in on the “for all” idealism and subsequent future growth that Justin Sun loves to promote, many of them are the same investors who daily scream about Tron not taking them to the moon. You can’t have it both ways, friends. Without development AND demand for the token, your moon ship won’t make it off the launch pad. For those who look down on porn but also love money, think of it this way: the best homes also have the best-run septic systems. You never hear, see, smell, touch, or taste the stuff under your house (unless you’re into that…), but you certainly love living there.

So, let this partnership do what it is going to do, and be rest assured that porn isn’t an end game for Tron. It’s just low-hanging fruit to be used as low-grade but dependable fuel for the machine.

****

What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto, Tron, and all the rest? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.

“When Tron moon?”: The fastest way to make other crypto people hate you

“When Tron moon?”

Having only really gotten into crypto and blockchain a few months ago, I feel like I should be the one asking this kind of question. You know, when stupid is still infant baby cute.

Then again, I can read.

If they’ve not done anything else (and they have, of course), Tron and Justin Sun have made perfectly clear that they want to break the Internet be profitable and enjoyed over the long term – going as far as throwing out a decades-long plan for folks to chew on. (Years? Decades? Oh God… the horror!)

It also has become clear that many people don’t like to read that information, actually listen to the video media events, or pay attention to researched quotes and business moves floated among the Twitter crypto community. Many people never get past crummy, click bait headlines. which sadly makes sense considering the human attention span now checks in at slightly shorter than a goldfish.

And, it all leads back to the idiot investor’s mantra:

“When Tron moon?”

Tron hasn’t tried to be (and has never given the impression it will) like other cryptos that pumped, dumped, and dazzled like Stormy Daniels. Tron wants to be me-love-you-long-time sexy like Betty White. And, who doesn’t love Betty White?

The ideals and plans in place for Tron – the ones we’ve been privy to at this point, anyways – all have been geared for weaving the blockchain into the future commerce fabric. It was never about hoping for a lightning-in-a-bottle DApp. It never will be. It’s vision is that Tron will be the whole damn SYSTEM – one charged with loads of lightning.

Sun has tried pushing his vision so much that even I’ve gotten a little “okay, man … slow your marketing roll a bit.” But, I say that as someone who is beginning to understand the scope of this project. I don’t need the constant updates; not because I’m smart or annoyed but because the daily public updates don’t matter now.

Those who need to know about Tron; they do know because this developer’s paradise has been marketed well. Investors … they’ll come on their own just fine because real investors constantly research. (Sun has done his part already in setting up umpteen exchange partnerships and making TRX available in a load of different places.)

So if Betty White is hot, here comes the naked Bea Arthur cold-water bath: You have to HODL.

You have to forget your investment for a while. Enjoy the announcements. Check in once in a while. Keep the thought in the back of your head. But, overall, forget the daily check-in to see if you can say angry things to your boss as you quit.

You have to because if you thought hodling has been hard the past 6-8 months, remember John Paul Jones’ line from 1779 – which might be slightly adjusted for today. You’re going to need it as you protect your Tron for months, or even years.

“I have not yet begun to Hodl!” 

Or something like that.

****

What topics would you like to read about as we all grow with Crypto, Tron, and all the rest? Shoot an email to kitchenski@gmail.com with “Blog idea” in your subject line, or find me on Twitter at twitter.com/curtiskitchen. And, FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Tron (TRX) and Ripple (XRP) investor. I am not a financial advisor. This content should not be used as a base for or considered to be financial advice.