What I’ve Ben thinking about today:
1. Who doesn’t like a good secret?
2. Michael Sam proves there is more to football than football.
3. Proof that proof reading counts.

1. I’ve got a secret. Oh man, who doesn’t want to hear a good secret? Which is exactly what a new social media platform is hoping you’ll say when you see what they have to offer.

Secret is a new app that lets you post and read secrets… under the veil of anonymity. And while some of the ‘secrets’ are pretty tame (…) you can imagine that a lot of them border on the scandalous.

Why it caught my eye is it was sourced in an article about the Nike Fuel Band being discontinued. The leak was found on Secret. And while I wanted to learn more about the network I was more intrigued by the fact a news article would use a faceless source.

This, combined with the fact there is a social network that allows people to hide behind their comments more than ever, has me thinking about the credibility of social media. And not in a good way. We’re already at a dangerous level when it comes to believing things posted on social media (without doing any supporting research); now we’re reinforcing that by citing posts in news reports. According to a survey from AP/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research/American Press Institute, 13% of people under 30 say social media is their preferred source of news.

So, two questions for you:
1. Would you use a social network where there’s no way to validate if what is being said is true or not?
2. Would you believe a news report that sources said social network?

Definitely something to keep an eye on.

2. Why this matters. As you know, I’m a Steelers fan. But if there was ever a day I wished I rooted for another team it was Saturday when I found myself wishing I was a Rams fan. Why? Because they have ownership and leadership that understand when a moment is bigger than football.

You can say all you want that Michael Sam was just another football player but you’d be lying. He was living history. He had a chance to knock down a wall right in front of us. And thanks to his abilities, he had a legitimate shot to do it.

Sure, he almost didn’t as it took until the seventh round to do it, but he did it. Thanks to Jeff Fisher and the Rams understanding that some things matter more than football. Sam needed a chance to show that equality and acceptance can take many forms and that some lessons can’t be found in a playbook. He’s not guaranteed a roster spot nor is he guaranteed playing time – but he will have a chance to claim both. The Rams made a statement on Saturday so Sam would have the chance to make one on Sunday.

3. We have multiple proofreaders at AKHIA. They are an important part of what we do here, especially when you consider how quickly we are expected to create and turn things around. However, I didn’t realize how rare they actually are. Did you know that only 32% of the nation’s eighth graders are proficient in language skills? Imagine how low that number will be in five years. Ten years.

But why is that? Social media? Texting? Yes, of course. But what about marketing and advertising? We’re not helping the situation when you consider some of these recent errors on packaging and in advertisements.

And while you may not feel responsible for the future of America’s youth and your role in helping them to use our language correctly…you may care when I tell you that 59% of consumers say they avoid doing business with a company that’s made obvious errors.

As the ecard says: Grammar—It’s the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.