I Am the Village Idiot
By Michael Stahl
“Make sure you tweet that to us, Emon,” Ken instructed.
“Sure,” Emon replied. “What’s your handle, Mike?”
I had forgotten. Not because I didn’t tweet often, but because some months prior I came up with this brilliant strategy of branding myself around the word “defaced.”
Of course, he was right.
The next day I embarked on a Twitter makeover. I changed my background photo to one a photographer friend of mine took of me while I was writing. I altered the color scheme and my identity became, finally, “@MichaelRStahl.” I did compromise with myself on my profile picture though—it’s of half my face because I’m sipping a huge cup of coffee. There’s still this air of mystery as to who I am, but based on my drink of choice, and the excess of it, the possibilities are narrowed to those of “journalist” or “night club manager.”
I emailed Ken with an update. The subject line was “Are you proud of me?”
“It looks good!” he replied. Then, he inexplicably wrote that he was packing his bags—curious because he had just forcibly, hilariously moved from Brooklyn to Staten Island a couple weeks before. From a New Yorker’s perspective, he might as well have gone to Mars.
“Where are you moving to now?” I wrote.
“Alaska,” he replied, adding a “lol.”
Smelling a foul ruse, I went along with it, writing something that seemed equally ridiculous: “Maybe I’ll take your social media job! lol!”
“Go for it! lol!” he wrote back.
Not a week later, Narratively held an editorial meeting. Early in the proceedings, Noah, the site’s founder, had mentioned with a straight face that Ken was in fact skipping the mainland to do political reporting for a Juneau paper. Laughter erupted out of me, and others too who were also victimized by their suppositions that Ken was playing jester.
“I was so convinced that he was kidding, Noah,” I said, “that I even jokingly told him that I’d take his job!”
When the meeting adjourned, Noah approached me: “Hey, when you said you’d take Ken’s doing social media, were you serious?”
I wasn’t. But I wanted to be.
“Uh, sure,” I said, stumbling. “I have to tell you that I have absolutely no experience with it though.”
“Bah,” replied Noah, with a wave of his hand. “It’s tweeting and Facebook. I’m sure you can figure it out.”
Currently, I manage social media for four clients. Though I wouldn’t say I’ve “figured it out,” I’ve come a long way in a short time. This blog will cover what I’ve learned thus far.