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How the Grinch Saved Social Media

Authors: Anthony Juliano Anthony Juliano
Posted Under: Social Media
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A Holiday Fable, with apologies to Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Saved Himself

Everyone at the office liked Facebook a lot
But the Grinch at the top of the org chart did not.

The Grinch hated Facebook! And social media all!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite can recall.

It could be, perhaps, that his PC was busted.
It could be his iPad got stolen, or rusted.

But I think that the most likely reason of all
Was that he just didn’t know a poke from a wall.

Whatever the reason, be it knowledge or none,
He stood there in judgment, condemning every +1.

He looked out from his chair with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm, backlit tablets that seemed to abound,
For he knew everyone on the org chart beneath
Was busy now RTing and at-replying to Tweets.

“They’re using my bandwidth,” he snarled with a sneer.
“Next week I’ll fire them! Before the first of the year!”

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“I must find some way to keep productivity humming!

“For, tomorrow, I know is a paid holiday
They’ll sleep in late! They may even go on ‘vacay’!
And what will they do with their precious free time?
They’ll post statuses—oh yes, as sure as this rhymes
They’ll go to SCVNGR and Foursquare
Checking out their check-ins
They’ll blog and they’ll comment
And their Pinterests they’ll pin!”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!

“But then! When they’re back! Oh, they’ll pay, yes they’ll pay
I won’t give them access! It will be better that way!

They’ll shriek and they’ll shout; cry, whine and pout
They’ll call for my head and they’ll call me a lout
They’ll take longer lunches and stare at the wall
They’ll dash down to Starbucks for ventis and talls
They’ll claim they can’t think straight, say they can’t think at all.
They’ll print our advice from Baer, Brogan, and Falls
And they’ll ask me to change, but I won’t change at all.

No, I won’t give them their Facebook, Instagram or YouTube
No, I won’t give them the chance to waste time in their cubes.”

“I know just what to do!” The Grinch laughed in his suit.
“I’ll make a profile for myself, toot sweet and sweet toot.”

He thought to himself, as he clicked, dragged and dropped,
“They’ll think it’s not real! That it’s been PhotoShopped!”

He set about crafting his holiday ruse
“They’ll think I gave in to social media use!”
They’ll come back excited, he thought—perhaps even “friend” him
Oh, yes, this great big surprise he knew would upend them

He got so engrossed he could barely see
That the rest of the office was gone, except he.
He typed and uploaded, hitting every last key,
Then he paused for a smile and a quick simile

“I made it look real. I made it look just like me.”

And then, out of nowhere, a comment appeared
A “Hi! Happy Holidays!” from a client quite dear.

Then a quick “Merry Christmas” appeared on his wall.
Then “You’re finally here!” from his old cousin Paul.
A like and a share later, he was having a ball.
Until the Grinch stopped and remembered the intent of it all.

“This isn’t for fun.” And he clicked away from his wall.

The next morning, the Grinch sat down by the tree
His family beside him, his wife and kids three
They opened their presents and shouted with glee
He was almost content, perhaps even happy.

With his brood’s turn to unwrap now completed
They handed his presents to where he was seated
“Open them! Open them!” First a shout, and then screams.
“We bought them last night, the gifts of your dreams!”

He undid the paper.
An iPad appeared.
In the other box, a PC,
With all kinds of sweet gear.

“We saw you joined Facebook!”
One of the children exclaimed.
“We saw that you finally stopped being lame!”

“Well, this isn’t quite what I wanted…”
He started to say
But then he decided to log on anyway.

He clicked over to Facebook, and off came his socks!
500 friend requests right there in his inbox!
Some from old friends and some from the gym
All of these people wanting to connect with…him?

The holiday passed. He slept eight hours straight.
When the morning came, there was no room for debate.

He called in his team, and stared all of them down
He put on his best post-holiday frown.
“I’m changing a policy right here, right today.
We can no longer use social media this way.”

He heard a sigh and the words “my resume.”
“Any objections? Anything to say?”

“Yeah, I do,” said a voice from his now sullen team.
“Don’t you think this is a little extreme?
Don’t you see the value? Won’t you even try?
Don’t you understand the true ROI?
Our customers want to connect with us there.
We’re not wasting time. We have good ideas.”

The Grinch started to turn and walk away.
“No, we can no longer use social media this way.”

Then suddenly he turned back,
And continued to say…

“No, I mean it needs to be used in a strategic way.
I understand now that it’s here to stay.
I now know it’s about work, not just about play.
I didn’t think so until just yesterday
But I’m a pretty fast learner, thanks to Wikipedi-ay”

“That’s Wikipedia,” someone responded, “not ‘ay’.”
“OK,” they heard the Grinch say.
“I like it better that way anyway.”

So they grabbed pens and tablets, wrote down thoughts and plans.
“We’ll crowdsource ideas from connections and fans!”
“We’ll use LinkedIn for hiring and for retention!”
“We’ll measure results and track all our mentions!”
“We’ll make sure our content engages, inspires!”
“We’ll use it to solve problems! To extinguish small fires!”

The thinking continued, each person by name,
Offered opinions quite worthy, and none quite the same,
Until someone said something deserving of blame.
“What if we did something like… what’s the name of that game?”

“Farmville?” said The Grinch. “That sounds kind of lame.”

Then they all laughed, and The Grinch got knee-slappy.
He couldn’t even tell what made him most happy.
Was it simply because he had tried something new?
Or the chance for a big boost in revenue?

No—while the latter was certainly true—
It was more about what connects him,
And me,
And you.

We all want success, to be heard, to be better
We can spend our time bitter, or working together.
So this holiday season, I hope you will find
Fewer Grinches, and more friends, in real life and online.

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