What I’ve Ben thinking about today:

1. Vines are shared 4x more than online videos.
2. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
3. The Star Wars kid is 25.
4. Not every Iron Man idea is a good one.
5. The GateKeeper!

1. Twitter Vines are shared 4x more than online videos. Yea. I know. Because Vines are freaking awesome. They’re a blast to make and hilarious to watch. There’s really no way to go wrong with a Vine – it’s hard to mess something up in six seconds. But there is a lot of good fun that can be had in six seconds. So much so that five Vines are shared every second on twitter.Are you on Vine yet? You really need to check it out. I’m not trying to say ‘I told you so’ to everyone who laughed at me about twitter (‘uh, no one will ever take something called a tweet seriously’) but I will if it gets you to believe me about Vine. Do me a favor, if you have any questions about it or want to see what the big deal is, call (330.463.5650) or email me (ben@akhia.com) directly and we’ll talk through it.

I know some people are saying ‘I don’t get it.’ And personally, I think that’s kind of the point. It’s supposed to pique your interest in six seconds and make you want to learn more, engage more. If you’re a brand (and there are brands using Vines – 4 percent of the top 100 shared are from brands) you need to tie them to a strategy. What do you want people to do. If you’re an individual, they need to be an extension of your personal brand. Does Vine match what you’re tweeting about, putting on Instagram and Facebook? Are you using it to grow your network and become connected to people that you may never have the chance to connect with or be exposed to? If you don’t want any part of what I just said, you don’t want any part of Vine. And there’s no shame in that either. Don’t use or do something just because you can.

2. Speaking of which, the latest from ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.’: I’ve written in the past that there shouldn’t be rules for how to use twitter – that’s the joy of twitter. But if there’s anything that might make me reconsider it’s this app from Huggies. The TweetPee lets you know when your kid’s diaper has been…soiled?…via tweet. You basically the clip the monitor tot they’re diaper which transmits the tweet once the magic happens.

I’m not sure why we need an app for this. I’m pretty sure one of the few things parents have to worry about learning is when their kids diaper is ready to be changed. You either smell it, see it or hear it (in the form of your kid losing their mind). And even if we didn’t have any of those things…isn’t this a bit lazy? Do we really need technology to do this for us? I can think of a bunch of other things I’d rather technology focus on, including:

1. Self-assembling crib
2. Auto-calibration feature for car seats
3. Self-warming bottles
4. Peas kids actually like and..
5. An adult version of banana baby food.

3. The Force is strong with this one. Remember the Star Wars kid? The kid who videotaped himself practicing his Jedi moves? He was a freshman at the time he made the video – two years before YouTube premiered. Since then the video has 27 million views and spawned several spoofs…and even more acts of cruelty. Mashable caught up with the Star Wars kid, Ghyslain Raza, now 25.

The article is very interesting – and somewhat disturbing. I had no idea so many people were mean to Raza because of this video. He was ridiculed and teased on a regular basis; some kids even told him to kill himself. Huh?

How did this happen? What made people react so negatively to this? I guess I always thought that Raza received the same royal treatment all other YouTube all stars receive. I mean, the Chocolate Rain guy was everywhere after his. I mean, you mix cool Jedi moves with one of the best movies of all times…that should be a winning combo. I feel bad having watched that video so many times and thinking that this kid was a hit with the world and his friends. But that was never the case. I’d have to think that if that was shot today this kid would’ve been a media darling and had a much different outcome. If we can get a kick out of a kid acting loopy after the dentist we can get behind the Star Wars kid. (I feel like this guy needs a Tosh.o do over.)

4. It’s early, but we have a lock for the dumbest idea of the year. How can anyone forget what happened in Colorado last year, during the Dark Knight Rises premiere? Well, apparently it’s not that hard for one movie theater manager in Jefferson City, Missouri who thought it was a good idea to crash the  premiere of Iron Man 3 with people dressed up as members of S.H.I.E.L.D., who rushed in during the movie, carrying assault rifles.

What good can come from this? Given all of the stories around gun violence and the public shootings, why would anyone want to do this? It’s seriously one of those moments that I just don’t understand how anyone could be so stupid. J.A.R.V.I.S. would definitely not approve.

5. Cedar Point – summer’s ‘GateKeeper’. As I mentioned I hit up Cedar Point yesterday. And let me tell you, it was freaking cold – 43 degrees for most of the day. But, the sun was shining and the GateKeeper was open for business, which I’ll get to in a minute. One thing I have to say: I love Cedar Point. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bad experience there, going all the way back to when I was riding the Gemini Jr. However, it seems like they are having an awful lot of trouble keeping the Dragster open. It was closed yesterday due to mechanical issues. The Millennium Force also closed for about three hours for the same problem. And the Gemini had no signs of life all day. Three of my favorites, all closed for parts of or the entire day. I understand it was day three so I won’t say too much about it. Just hate missing an opportunity to ride these.On to the GateKeeper. This ride is pretty cool. It offers a really a unique riding experience. You really have a hard time getting your bearings because of the angles, twists and (record setting) turns (first coaster to invert riders three times). Hanging off to the side of the track was definitely cool. You can choose to go to the left or the right side once you’re close to the cars. Do both if you can. (Granted, it was a Monday. In May. And it was 43 degrees so we only had 20 – 30 minute waits. I’m sure it will be much longer come summer.)

The left allows you to look over the lake, which is a definite added bonus of how the GateKeeper is built. The right gives you a different view of the park as well as a different experience all together. The keyholes, which have been talked a lot about are pretty cool as well, especially when you’re coming back past them. The best part about the GateKeeper is how it changes the park. I always used to think you had a long way to go before you got to the good stuff in the park. Now the second you step to the (redesigned) gate you’re greeted with screams as people fly by you overhead. And it takes you over to the beach side which is overdue for some attention.

All in all the GateKeeper was a lot of fun and definitely met expectations. But where does it rank on my top five Cedar Point coasters? Let’s see:

  1. Magnum
  2. Maverick
  3. Dragster
  4. Millennium
  5. GateKeeper (bumping Gemini)

So it cracked the top five. Will it move up? Possibly. It’s hard for me to put anything ahead of Magnum but if I did it would be the Maverick, which is just such a fun ride and has a little bit of everything. The Dragster? Sorry, when you show you can be open every time maybe you can go higher. So everything is right where it should be…for now. Let me know once you ride it and what you think!