Dear CMO:
Can it be that only a short week ago, the world only just heard the now ubiquitous phrase, “Don’t Taze Me, Bro”? How time flies.

The YouTubization of American culture ensures that any and every act committed in public will be captured on a cell phone camera or a camcorder and posted for instant global consumption so others can laugh at it. It’s no longer enough to keep your guard up; now, you send your videographers to dog the footsteps of your competitors. I’m sure the quality of the conversation will improve, as a result.

Dennis Miller commented the other day that he was frustrated at not having a “Don’t Taze Me Bro” t-shirt up on his website fast enough. Someone should have told him that there were 106 “Don’t Taze Me Bro” T-shirts available on Café Press 48 hours after the event took place. Today, one week later, there are 185. One week later. Over 100 different designs to choose from. Social media and speed.

Did you hear about the Texas teenager who is suing Virgin Mobile Australia for using her image without her consent in their advertising? This is an interesting story on a number of levels. First, how did Virgin Australia end up with her picture (Flickr and a creative commons license used inappropriately, as it turns out). Second, how did she ever find out about it (pure luck). Third, and most perplexing, does Virgin Mobile Australia have no legal help (a right to use a photo as long as you show attribution doesn’t mean doodly squat unless you have a model release)? However, pan back and look at the entire picture (no pun intended) and acknowledge to yourself that ten years ago, none of this could have happened.

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Key Takeaways:

> The dawn of social media means you can get into trouble faster than ever. You can become a post-Andy Wharhol celebrity, enjoying your 1.5 nanoseconds of fame with a speed only constrained by your bandwidth.

> The dawn of social media means you can get out of trouble faster than ever. Not getting into trouble is never an option. You will. The good news is that social media lets you recover quickly and publicly.
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Lastly, a very well respected journalist and blogger, Jason La Canfora of the Post, had what can only be described third person as a catastrophic experience with his printer the other day and was irked enough to take time out of his day to talk about it on his blog. A word about Jason and his one-year old blog: this week, it recorded its 100,000th comment. When Jason talks, the city (and the Redskin faithful) listen. And comment, as you can see. Fortunately, people either know people or know of people, so hopefully Jason’s comment has prompted a speedy and resolute response from the printer vendor, who is now acutely aware of Jason’s pain and is hopefully on the case.

See? Social media can get you out of trouble, too.