Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I await your asynchronous reaction to my review of the Loren Feldman film "#SoMe"

Over the last three days, I've shared my thoughts on three posts that I wrote between 2005 and 2012. These posts were not randomly chosen, however; all three of the original posts include the use of the word "asynchronous" in some way, shape, or form. While the word "asynchronous" has a specific technological meaning, it also has the general definition "not occurring at the same time." While some of my posts note the advantages of asynchronous communication, I've never really discussed the drawbacks - the chief of which is that when you're communicating asynchronously, you're all alone.

Which brings us to Loren Feldman's recently-released film "#SoMe." Excuse me for a moment:


OK, disclosure out of the way.

Feldman, for those who don't know, makes his living providing marketing advice to companies small and large, often getting the principals of the companies to honestly tell their story. Not in an effort to accumulate the most likes or viral success or mentions in Mashable, but to achieve something quite different:

We help companies to develop sound digital strategies designed to have laser like purpose designed to reach not millions of people, but very specific people. Not just pandering to social media “fans” or “followers” who mean nothing to your business.

It's fair to say that there are other social media advisers who do not share Feldman's views. Which explains Feldman's other activity - the one for which he is known among many.

He performs puppet shows.

For example, here's how Feldman covered the removal of Shel Israel from the FastCompany show with Robert Scoble. I covered the same story in a blog post. You can see which of these is more entertaining - well, unless you are entertained by seeing Robert Scoble argue with people in post comments.

Since that time, the Shel puppet (now referred to as "Shel Puppet," with no explicit reference to a particular living person) has achieved a life of his own. (I compare it to the way that the Doonesbury character "Duke" eventually diverged from the real-life model of Hunter S. Thompson, or how Will Ferrell's portrayal of Alex Trebek has - we hope - diverged from the real Mr. Trebek.) After all of these years, Loren Feldman and Shel Puppet have emerged as friends, bound together by their mutual interests.

And that is where Loren's film "#SoMe" begins.

The film itself is a mixture between a story and a documentary. The story part concentrates on the friendship between Loren and Shel Puppet, and Shel's perception of the friendship. The documentary portion includes interviews with people that Loren Feldman has known over the years - Jason Calacanis, Sarah Lacy, Paul Carr, and a host of others - and these people take the time to share their own thoughts on social media, both good and bad. (And yes, the word "asynchronous" appears in at least one of the interviews.) As the story advances, the story and the documentary intertwine with each other, until at one point, the people in the documentary are commenting on the story. The results are both entertaining AND thought-provoking; as Frank Angelone stated in his own review of #SoMe:

After watching, you truly stop and think about the benefits of social media, but whether or not we’re all going a little too out of control with it.

Yes, the movie is definitely entertaining. I don't want to give away the plot, but it's a story that even Robert Scoble would enjoy - actually, Robert Scoble would probably especially enjoy the plot. At the same time, the story is thought-provoking, not only because of the statements of Calacanis and others, but also because of what goes on in the story. As I said before, Feldman certainly knows how to tell a story, and has the ability to make us care about a puppet's feelings. (This is not the first time this has happened; think of Kermit.)

Oh, and since much of the movie is set in Los Angeles, there are a lot of driving scenes - unfortunately, none in Pomona.

However, it's difficult to describe the movie in a review - primarily because I'd have to give a lot of the plot away. And the few previews that are floating around (including the one below) don't capture the full force of the movie either. I strongly encourage you to see the movie yourself. More information is available at

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