I have to admit that when I began to write today’s post, I was a bit stumped. I wanted to blog about the true power of social media and how it could catapult seemingly random people, events, or trends to overnight success, but I couldn’t find that single best example to illustrate my point. Luckily, my oldest daughter was home for Easter, and she did not fail me. I always knew that paying for her eight years of college would someday reap big returns.
She directed me to a Twitter page with the unlikely name of Sh*t My Dad Says. Once there, I was able to read the many words of wisdom spoken by 74-year-old Sam Halpern as they have been faithfully recorded by his n’er-do-well 29-year-old son, Justin. The curmudgeonly dad says things like, "A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed," and, "I didn't say you were ugly. I said your girlfriend is better looking than you, and standing next to her, you look ugly." The son Tweets these pearls verbatim to the rest of the world.
I read through several pages of the Tweets, and I have to admit that I was very amused. As you can probably tell from the title, Sam Halpern’s language tends toward the raw side of the spectrum, but if you don’t let the word choice get in your way, the man is genuinely funny. And his son’s idea to share these observations via Twitter was nothing short of brilliant, despite his father’s comments to the contrary, comments such as “you don't know sh*t, and you're not sh*t. Don't take that the wrong way, that was meant to cheer you up.”
The Power of Social Media
Oh, I was about to forget to tell you about the power of social media. It has been less than a year since that very first tweet. During the initial month, Justin gained 250,000 followers. Now over 1,200,000 followers have signed up for his Tweets, including about 100 who joined while I was writing this post. He has a Facebook page called Sh*t My Dad Says that boasts over 150,000 fans, many of whom seem to like to share the sh*t that their own dads say, and he even has the dubious honor of a knock-off Facebook page with another 35,000 followers.
He posts frequently on his popular blog, Sh*t My Dad Says. He has a website called Sh*t My Dad Says. He has compiled all of his father’s sayings into a book called Sh*t My Dad Says, which ranks #64 at Amazon.com based solely on pre-orders (the book does not come out until May 10). And then there is the CBS television pilot, which will feature none other than William Shatner in the role of that wise old philosopher, Sam Halpern, and which will assumably be called something other than Sh*t My Dad Says.
So there you have the power of social media. An unemployed entrepreneur conceived of an idea, branded it, marketed it, and once it gained critical mass, stood back and watched it all happen. Justin Halpern made it look easy. Or, as his father put it, "Oh please, you practically invented lazy. People should have to call you and ask for the rights to lazy before they use it."