Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 127: Breakfast of ChamPEAons!


As my 28 days of Social Networking Rehab have become 127, it is clear that 12 steps is a much greater distance than it sounds like. In the old days, a guy would walk a mile for a Camel. Today, I'd walk a lot farther than that to find a decent Internet connection to check my Twitter and Facebook accounts!

"Social Networks are the new Nicotine and Twitter is my favorite brand of smokes!"


THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

As proven by the popularity of PodCamps, BarCamps, TweetUps, Social Media Breakfasts and other "events," it seems that those of us who are truly addicted to Social Networking like to hang out together (mostly to compare digital cameras, Blackberries and mobile phones as we Twitter, Seesmic and Utterz "live" to everyone else who is NOT there).

But Social Networking Addiction is not always a bad thing. In addition to keeping the staff at INVITATIONS gainfully employed, social networking addicts, by nature of their close and constant connections, are perfectly positioned to join forces and rally for a cause. If we are going to fall off the wagon, we might as well join the bandwagon! And join the bandwagon we did! (and for a very worthy cause)

GOING GREEN IS NOT AN AL GORE EXCLUSIVE!

Peas. Peas, not global warming, is the cause that has caused the greening of Twitter. At this point, if you don't know what I am talking about you are either a pea-brain, or you are clearly not enough of a social networking addict to be considered for admission to rehab at INVITATIONS. (Okay, I apologize for the pea-brain comment. That was uncalled for - hey, I'm an addict, AND I can't resist a corny pun... It is GOOD if you didn't know what I was talking about beforehand, because NOW you do! Please forgive me and read on...)

Peas have become Twitter's pink ribbon of support for those facing the challenges of cancer, inspired by a fellow Twittizen, Susan Reynolds (@susanreynolds) and her own unexpected breast cancer diagnosis earlier this month. The frozen peas Susan used to comfort herself physically have become the symbolic peas we have added to our Twitter avatars (Pea-Vatars) to comfort Susan in other ways.

With peas on the brain (I guess I am the pea brain!) the INVITATIONS Social Networking Recovery Facility is pleased to be the sponsor of a new "Pea-S-A" Public Service Announcement, shot on location at the RASCAL HOUSE in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Thanks to fine Twittizens Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver), Florian Seroussi (@florianseroussi), Steven Buehler (@revtriste) and Jonathan Gluck (@JonGluck) for their apPEArance in the segment.

And please, after watching the Pea-S-A, visit www.frozenpeafund.com and see how you can contribute. Pretty peas?




Video By Jeffrey Sass. Peas in a Spoon photo by Ashley Whitworth, Fotolia.com

Send This Video to your PHONE! Text "JEFFSASS PeaSA" to 69937 (MYXER) or click below:

More videos from JWS at Myxer!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 113: Twitter Withdrawal? Register for help here!


Last Friday may have been the day that lives in Infamy, but today is the day that may cause serious pain for a lot of otherwise happy Twittizens. Why? As noted in the screenshot above, Twitter will be down for 12 HOURS!!! (UPDATE: The planned outage was a non-event and re-scheduled for Sunday, December 16...)

Holy Withdrawal Pains Batman, what's an addict to do???

It is ironic that this planned Twitter outage comes only days after Jeremiah Owyang caused a TwitPlosion of activity with his provocative blog post entitled "Some Conversations Have Shifted To Twitter." This shifty blog entry, with more than 400 comments from Twittizens desperately seeking more followers, has perhaps unintentionally made the honorable Jeremiah one of our generation's leading enablers of Twitter addiction.

Help Is On The Way! Get Your INVITATION!

The marketing brains here at INVITATIONS realize that this "twouble with twitter" may cause an unusually high demand for Social Networking Rehabilitation services this weekend. With that in mind we are hosting an Open House today and will be accepting any and all applications for admission to the INVITATIONS Clinic.

Our Patient Registration Form is below. Please click on it to view, download and print a copy. You may Fax your completed form to (484) 737-5174. While all applications will be accepted during today's Open House, beds will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

As a professional courtesy, we have already set aside the Invitations "Presidential" and "Royal" suites for Jeff Pulver and Doug Haslam.


Read this doc on Scribd: INVITATIONS FORM b


UPDATE: It is Saturday at 4:10pm EST and Twitter has yet to go down. Despite the numerous countdowns and refreshes by the faithful addicts, it appears the rumors of Twitter's temporary demise were greatly exaggerated!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day 107: Get Your INVITATION! The Steps to Social Networking Rehab


Clearly my rehabilitation is not going well. 28 days has turned into 107 and I am still battling my Social Networking Addiction. The good news is that I am not alone. The beds at INVITATIONS are full, and the waiting list for admittance is growing faster than a line of geeks at an Apple store the night before a new product release.

GETTING PULVER-IZED

I was recently in Boston and had the chance to attend one of Jeff Pulver's Real-Time Social Networking events. With "live" human poking and tagging and everyone wearing Name Tags with their Twitter or Facebook names, this might as well have been an official SNAA (Social Networking Addicts Anonymous) meeting. Of course, by definition, a group of SOCIAL networkers are hardly anonymous! With Jeff P as the fearless leader, the event was an outstanding recruitment vehicle for INVITATIONS. Camera in-hand, I seized the moment to interview a number of folks who are ripe for a 28 day "vacation" in Social Networking Rehab.

A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Here is the resulting Public Service Announcement. Thanks to the patience of soon to be patients: Todd Van Hoosear, Chris Brogan, Jesse Baer, Jeff Glasson, Jeff Pulver, Scott Monty, Joe Cascio, Ann Handley, Michelle Wolverton, Nate Aune, and Doug Haslam. For your cooperation, you are all entitled to one free group therapy session during your next stay at INVITATIONS.



Send this video to your phone. Click the button
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or Text "JeffSass PSA3" to "69937" (MYXER)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day 72: The Perils of Twitter and Social Networking - A Public Service Announcement

In order to earn some merit points toward some time on-line here at the INVITATIONS Recovery Facility, I volunteered for a study on some of the Medical Side Effects of Social Networking Addiction. The results of the study were quite shocking (though in retrospect, perhaps predictable). This has the potential to be far more serious than Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and may cause you to think twice before sending your next mobile Twitter Tweet! Here is the Important Public Service Announcement just released by the Staff of INVITATIONS.



Special Thanks to my fellow present or soon to be admitted INVITATIONS Inmates who appear in the PSA, including Jeff Pulver, Chris Brogan, Seth Harwood, Ed Roberts, Laura "Pistachio" Fitton

UPDATE: Send this video to your phone! Text "JeffSass PSA2" to "69937" or click the button:
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 61: A Seesmic Shift... or a Social Networking Speedball?


What's an addict to do? It has been 61 days since I started the "program" and while I have experienced fleeting moments of social networking sobriety (mostly when asleep, or confined to an aircraft cruising at 30,000 feet) I still find myself lured back into the dark world of Twitter. As I wander the streets, Treo in hand, it seems there is an @somebody on every corner, teasing and taunting me to just give them 140 characters for a fix...

A Seesmic Shift


Now there's a new drug of choice (isn't there always!) If tapping a vein with Text is not enough to get you off anymore, you can feed the demon with VIDEO using Seesmic. Why think and type when you can make funny faces and talk right into your webcam??? Better yet, my Seesmic Videos go directly into my Twitter feed. What a rush! Who needs Heroin and Cocaine to get high... Seesmic and Twitter is my Social Networking Speedball!

Thanks to my new "dealer", Loic Le Meur, I am feeling a bit trapped, and will have to extend my stay at INVITATIONS...



Video by @sass. "Shift" Photo Credit: charles taylor - Fotolia.com

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Day 43: Top 10 Reasons YOU Need Social Networking Rehab

(This post was inspired by Laura Fitton (@pistachio) and Lorri Randle (@mediajoltz) while we were Tweeting things up together in Ontario at the PNME. If you can say "YES" to four or more of the items below, then YOU should seriously consider joining me for an extended stay at INVITATIONS, the Nation's Premiere Social Networking Recovery Facility.)

Top 10 Reasons YOU Need Social Networking Rehab:

10. You have tried to email or IM someone by typing "@theirname".

9. You had to Friend your Physician on Facebook in order to make a Doctor's appointment.

8. You know who Robert Scoble is.

7. Without counting, you can instinctively form cohesive sentences of 140 characters or less.

6. You know who Dave Winer is and don't think RSS is a Cruise Line.

5. You have Twittered someone while they were physically less than 10 feet away from you.

4. You don't think Steve Rubel was one of the founders of STUDIO 54.

3. You left your baby in a car seat on the roof of your minivan because you were responding to an @Yourname Tweet on your Blackberry.

2. You are stressed out trying to figure out how to fit all your Facebook friends at the table for Thanksgiving.

And the number 1 reason YOU need Social Networking Rehab...

1. You are reading this post (and you linked to it from a Twitter message!)


Photo Credit: hazel proudlove - Fotolia.com

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Day 42: Breakfast of Champions???

When my therapist here at the INVITATIONS Social Networking Recovery facility granted me a short leave to go have breakfast with Jeff Pulver at Mo's Bagel & Deli, I had no idea it would lead to a stiff reprimand and a complete re-evaluation of the state of my recovery and the seriousness of my addiction. Unfortunately, chronic blogger that he is, Jeff P. had his camera along with his toast, and thanks to his little video, my recovery is toast too! Jeff documented my admission of what I was really doing during my recent trip to Ontario California, which was like a visit to a Twitter revival meeting. Really, the New Media Expo was like a Crackhouse for Twitter users.

Thanks to Jeff posting his video of me on YouTube, I was found out by the staff here at INVITATIONS. They now have me on a 24/7 Twitter-watch.

Thanks alot Jeff! You have single handedly PULVER-ized my chances of ever getting out of here again!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Day 40: PNME - Convention or Crackhouse?


It's Day 40 of Social Networking Rehab and I am a twittering mess -- literally and figuratively. I feel like I have taken 12 steps forward... and 40 steps backward! What happened to my will power? My discipline? My text messaging bill???

WHO EVER HEARD OF ONTARIO CALIFORNIA? OBVIOUSLY TWITTER USERS!

I met very few Canadians in Ontario, but there were Twittizens everywhere. It was inescapable. People were not asking for business cards or phone numbers, they were clinking their Blackberries and iPhones together and asking "Who are you on Twitter?" If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say "@" I'd be rich enough to buy the Twitter team some servers that actually work! As I said in this recent Twittergram, attending the the Podcast and New Media Expo was like being in a Crackhouse for Twitter users. It was insane! People strolled aimlessly through the halls of the convention center, thumbing away on their portable device of choice as if it was a divining rod leading them to their next destination. And it WAS! If you followed the popular Twitter streams you knew EXACTLY where everyone was, and what they were doing... what they were eating, drinking, who they were talking to, what they were wearing, who they were stalking, who was stalking them, where they were going to be in five minutes, in ten minutes, a week from Tuesday. The information flowing through the Twitter stream at PNME was flooding the banks of my sanity!

WHAT'S AN ADDICT TO DO???

Seeking refuge I ducked into one of the conference sessions. The Steve Garfield, Vlogger extraordinaire, was standing at the podium, about to give a dissertation on creating, editing, and posting your own Video Blog. Perfect. I could relax, free of all the bad influences of the Twitter enablers. I let out a well deserved sigh of relief, forgot about Twitter, and sat back in my chair to listen and watch a master display his craft.

NOT SO MUCH!

What does Steve do? He uses TWITTER as his subject! Yes kids, to demonstrate making your own video, the venerable @stevegarfield decided to create "TWITTER: THE MOVIE!" live, from the PNME vlogging session. And better yet, like lightning striking twice, Steve glances out into the crowd and picks ME to be one of the "actors" in his Twitter production. Alanis Morissette, are you listening? THIS is IRONIC! A recovering Social Networking Addict, who's drug of choice is Twitter, is randomly chosen to star in "TWITTER: THE MOVIE!"

No wonder my 28 days are now up to 40!!!





Photo Credit: Dima - Fotolia.com

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Day 29: A Token of Depreciation...


It's Day 29! Where's my bleepin' keychain??? I was politely told by the staff here at INVITATIONS that I did NOT earn my 28 days of Social Networking sobriety Token. I DID get a TechCrunch token, but that was part of the problem. You see, I was granted an outpatient leave to attend the TechCrunch40 conference in San Francisco. I promised to be on my best behavior and stay clean... I swore to my sponsor that I was going on a business trip and I would NOT be using Facebook or Twitter. Yeah right...

"THE HALLS ARE ALIVE... WITH THE SOUND OF TWITTER..."

How could a Social Networking addict resist such temptations? I had barely arrived at the Palace Hotel when I ran into @chrisbrogan - a Twitter Rockstar! Then, my lips still moist from kissing Brogan's ring, who do I see standing in the hallway but @scobleizer, Twittizen extraordinaire! As one of more than 5,ooo @strangers that Robert Scoble follows, I knew he would surely be delighted to meet ME! After all, we are tight, Scoble and I. I was practically right there with him at the birth of his beautiful new son, Milan. I knew all about the new camera he had around his neck. We've bonded 140 characters at a time, countless times!

WAGON? WHAT WAGON???

TechCrunch40 was gonna be great... and without hesitation, my rehab went out the window. I snuck into a dark corridor of the Palace, where I saw Fatblogger Jason Calacanis sneaking an oatmeal raisin cookie. We shared a knowing nod, and as soon as Jason left, wiping the telltale crumbs off the corners of his mouth, I dug deep into my pocket and withdrew my fix. My trusty Treo 755p. In moments I felt release. I was in. I was Twittering about my encounters with my fellow Twittizens at TechCrunch. Ahhhh...

TWEETUP IN MEATSPACE!

My addiction reached new heights in San Francisco, as I extended my abuse beyond cyberspace and into "meatspace" by attending my first TweetUp -- a gathering of humans who, freed from the constraints of keyboards and SMS are enabled to share food, drink, and even speak in lengthy sentences. Yes, at a TweetUp you get to meet the Characters behind the 140 characters. Talk about a rush! It was great to see so many @'s in person. @CreativeSage even wore her iconic "hat" from her Facebook and Twitter profile pics, adding another dimension to the experience.

So, it is quite clear that my recovery will take far longer than 28 days... but I will get that Token or Keychain sooner or later! (And when I do, I will let you know by Twittering about it!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 22: AA For Social Networking Addicts!


Its day 22 of Social Networking Rehab. I thought I was at the home stretch until today. American Airlines has become my enabler. As I mentioned in this Twittergram, I am on my way to San Francisco for TechCrunch40 (which is NOT a Cereal!). My 2:45pm direct flight from MIA was cancelled for "mechanical problems" leaving me to standby for a 4:20 pm flight via Dallas. Naturally, I did not get on the standby flight, leaving me sitting here waiting for a 7:20 flight to DFW, getting me into SFO a little before Midnight.

What's a Social Networking Addict to do????

SMILE and THANK AMERICAN AIRLINES! This is far more valuable than my frequent flyer miles. I have almost SIX HOURS of uninterrupted, guilt-free Social Networking! I have my laptop and Sprint wireless broadband card, a seat near an electrical outlet, Facebook and Twitter open before me, coffee and alcohol readily available. So what if I won't get any rest or sleep before my busy TechCrunch schedule. I am in Social Networking heaven!!! No kids or dogs to interrupt. Just you, me and my laptop!

Thank you American Airlines! You can fuck up my travel schedule anytime!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Day 21: Mash? Mosh? Mush!

It's day 21, and as I mentioned in a Twittergram, I feel I am constantly being taunted! How can I ever expect to get clean if every day there is a new network on every street corner.... taunting, teasing and tempting me. Yahoo, take your MASH away! Nokia, stick to making phones and squash MOSH! All these new networks are making my mind into MUSH!

What's a Social Networking Addict to do?

It's bad enough, thanks to my Treo, that I catch myself Twittering in the bathroom, while driving, while walking, at the gym. I am quite adept at "thumb typing." Now I find as long as one hand is free, no matter what I am doing I am able to Twitter away. (And "Twittering with one hand" has NO sexual connotations, thank you very much!)

This is bad... very bad. Clearly the meds they have me on here at INVITATIONS are not doing a thing...

Perhaps I'll have to seek a homeopathic remedy. Any ideas???


Photo Credit: Ljupco Smokovski - Fotolia.com

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Day 19: TechCrunch is NOT a Cereal!


Ok, it is confirmed. The staff here at INVITATIONS are complete idiots. How can they claim to be "The Nation's Premiere Social Networking Recovery Facility" when they have NO CLUE about what's going on. To understand an addict, you need to walk in an addict's shoes... To understand a Social Networking addict, you should at the very least have a Twitter account! Is that too much to ask?

I sent a Twittergram this morning but the end of it got cut off. I was talking with my Therapist and I told her, "Hey, Guy Kawasaki is on Twitter now!" I was pumped. Guy's a RockStar. The so-called "expert" Therapist looked at me puzzled and said, "You mean the motorcycle???"

NOTE TO THERAPIST: GUY KAWASAKI IS NOT A MOTORCYCLE!

As if that wasn't bad enough, I had to explain that I needed an outpatient pass for a few days for TechCrunch40. She told me that they had a fully stocked kitchen, but if I wanted a certain special brand of cereal she would be happy to order it for me...

NOTE TO THERAPIST: TECHCRUNCH IS NOT A CEREAL!

I know I am getting better and that being here is really for my own good, but I hate it here... Sneaking a fix of the Internet from the Starbucks around the corner really sucks, and I haven't been POKED in days!

I guess I'll go raid the kitchen for a bowl of cereal...


Photo Credit: Chris Hill - Fotolia.com

Monday, September 10, 2007

Day 16: The Social Networking Gene...

It is day 16. I am more than halfway through my recovery. It is kind of quiet here at INVITATIONS since the Crackberry wing is practically empty. All the Celebrities checked out to go to Vegas for the VMA's. After seeing Britney's performance, I bet most of them wished they had stayed here. At least when the docs, nurses, therapists and counselors here start yellin' at you, there's no question they aren't lip syncing! Oops. She really did it again, didn't she!

As I mentioned in this morning's Twittergram, I am faced with the prospect that I may have passed this terrible disease of Social Networking Addiction onto my children. I have started to see the signs in my youngest, my daughter. At 16 she can thumb type on her SideKick like Mavis Beacon after two double espressos! I am pretty certain she is using MySpace when I am not around. On more than one occasion, when I came home from work I noticed her dilated pupils from staring at the Computer Monitor. I hope and pray that she doesn't discover Twitter! I fear that Twitter may be a gateway social network, and may lead to her using more powerful and addictive social media, like Facebook, where her usage won't be limited to short doses of 140 characters. Once she crosses that line, she may be lost forever.

I will have to keep a close watch on who her friends are. I better not recognize any of their usernames!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Day 14: Community Service Hours... Made a PSA!

Woohoo! It's day 14 -- I am halfway through my Recovery! Woot!

As I mentioned in this morning's Twittergram, today I was assigned a Community Service project. They had me create a Public Service Announcement about the growing problem of Social Networking addiction. To me it looks more like a damn commercial for this place!

As Chris Brogan would say, "what do you think?"

video

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Day 12: Forced Downtime


This morning I had breakfast with my Rehab Counselor. It seems I have been forgiven for my "poking" and "powncing" comments. Even so, I chose my words very carefully when I told her I wanted an iPod TOUCH! I don't need any more harassment charges against me.

She asked how I was doing and I told her I hadn't toyed with Twitter for at least 8 hours. She seemed pleased with my progress. Of course, she has no idea that the only reason I haven't been Tweeting my brains out is because TWITTER IS DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE.

Perhaps I should ask her if the Rehab Facility has a SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY???

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Day 10: Follow the Powncing Ball...

So, it is Day 10. I am back in Recovery after a Labor Day Weekend Reprieve. It feels like for each step forward in the program I am taking two Tweets backward. I came back to the facility with a fresh outlook, and according to the staff, a fresh mouth as well. Don't they get it? Telling a female counselor that I want to Pownce her when I get out does NOT have any sexual overtones! Sheesh! Imagine if I told her what I was really thinking... that I wished we'd get LinkedIN together one day! Between that and the "poke" comment the other day, they are watching me like a hawk... but I still managed to sneak in this Twittergram when they were all busy tightening the strings on the straitjackets in the Crackberry Ward (FYI, that's where all the Celebrities are!)

My ankle is getting raw and itchy from the Treo bracelet. If my kids come to visit I will see if they can sneak in some Calamine lotion.

Think of me when you are Twittering. I am thinking of you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Day 8: A Squirt of Revenge...

It is Day 8, and I am still reeling from my disappointment that Quechup would not be the latest network to feed my addiction. That said, as I mention in this stolen moment Twittergram, I found a suitable use for the crushed Community Condiment! He-he. We'll see what my Therapist thinks about getting poked now!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Day 7: Teased & Tortured by Community Condiments

It is Day 7 in Social Networking Rehab, and I am reminded that we live in a cruel and angry world. How excited I was to, even in Rehab, be receiving countless invitations to a groundbreaking and exciting new Social Network that was taking the globe by storm. How thoughtful of all these folks to think of me in my time of healing and share with me the excitement and promise of yet another on-line community. Oh Joy! Invitations! Even the name seemed so enticing, exciting and for me, apropos... after all, as soon as my 28 days are up, I fully expect to "Catch Up" with all I missed while in recovery.

You can imagine how disappointed I was to learn that "Quechup" was merely a sham -- a clever condiment ruse to rouse contacts and other data from eager and unsuspecting early adopters. Had I not been in this fine facility and on restriction, I too would have succumbed, and given forth all YOUR contact information! Alas, Rehab is not just saving me, but perhaps, as Gary V might say, it saved a little bit of you too!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Day 6: Speaking in Twitter Tongues...

It is Day 6 in Social Networking Rehab. Not even a week and already I am feeling the pangs of withdrawal. As I sit in the rec room with the other "patients" I notice my thumbs twitching aimlessly in the air, ghost typing on a Treo that is not there... I stare at my Treo, strapped to my ankle, out of reach, keeping me out of touch... If only I were a contortionist.

In deference to my inability to Tweet, I am only speaking in sentences of 140 characters or less. I take solace in the fact it is driving the staff here nuts. And it is forcing me to T A L K R E A L L Y S L O W L Y A S I C O U N T T H E C H A R A C T E R S I N M Y H E A D...

The characters in my head... The characters in my head... YOU are all the characters in my head...

I managed to bend over close enough to my ankle to send a Twittergram.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day 5: Group Therapy Gets Out of Hand...

So they put me in a group this morning... I was trying to be nice, and participate in the conversation, so I told the Therapist that "I couldn't wait to Poke her when I get out of here!" Well, she may have a PhD, but she knows squat about Facebook and totally misinterpreted my comment. Now I am up on harassment charges... The good news is there are plenty of attorneys here in the Crackberry Recovery Unit and I think I found a guy who's willing to take my case pro-bono as long as I let him check his email on my Treo...

During Morning Calisthenics I bent over close enough to my Treo to send this Twittergram.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day 4: A Fix via Twittergram...

Having my Treo strapped to my ankle as a Lindsey Lohan-esque Anti-Twitter bracelet was not enough to deter me from checking in with my Twitter followers... Happily, I did not get caught!

I used the edge of the Bathroom Stall to pry apart my Treo and send this Twittergram.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Step 1: Recognize You Have A Problem!

It all started with this simple video... I woke up just like any other Saturday, and the next thing I know, I am the first person to be voluntarily committed for Social Networking Addiction... This Blog will chronicle my 28 days in Social Networking Rehab. If my experiences can help just one person return to a normal, disconnected life, then all my troubles will have been worth the pain. Are YOU that one person???