- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2008

The ‘my’ trend

“The Web is awash in sites that begin with that most personal of pronouns, and not simply MySpace. A few quick clicks will connect you to MyCoke, My IBM, My Subaru, My AOL — even MyClick, a mobile-phone marketing company. Collectively, they amount to a new world of Web sites designed to imply a one-on-one connection with a corporation or large business. The rise of sites with the ‘my’ prefix is an outgrowth of an increasingly customized world of technology, such as iPod and TiVo. But they illustrate how corporations are striving to show that they can be as intimately connected to their customers as in vogue social networking sites.

“The ‘my’ trend is even a factor in the presidential election, particularly the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania on April 22. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Web site now includes a section called ‘My Pennsylvania,’ where supporters are asked to contribute ideas on how she should campaign in that state. The site contrasts with Sen. Barack Obama’s repeated use of the word ‘you.’

“Yet people in marketing and business also agree the ‘my’ prefix could have a limited shelf life if it is overused.”

David Bowne, writing on “On the Internet, It’s All about ‘My,’ Sundayin the New York Times

All ears

“I see earpieces everywhere these days. I went to a Chris Rock concert a few weeks ago, and a dude in the row in front of me wore his earpiece through the entire show. What’s the guy going to do, take a call right in the middle of a joke? If he did, I didn’t see him do it. I still had to put up with that stupid blinking blue light every fifteen seconds. I wouldn’t have noticed it, but they darkened the theater when the show started. In a dark theater, those flashing blue lights are like pleasantly colored lasers of hate.

“The other day at the grocery store, I found myself in an aisle with two people wearing earpieces. Both of them were having conversations. There they were, inspecting the labels on canned goods, and talking into their earpieces.

“For a confusing moment, I thought one of them was talking to me, because he said ‘hey, buddy.’ It took me a couple seconds to realize he had an earpiece on and was talking to it, not me. Then the guy gave me kind of a ‘mind your own business’ look.

“I think it’s time that someone spoke up about this growing societal problem before it really gets out of hand. We’re already a nation of addicts, and I really don’t think any of us wants to see chapters of Earpieces Anonymous springing up in every city. If you’re an earpiece addict, consider this to be an intervention.”

Bob Rybarczyk, writing on “Get that thing out of your ear,” Wednesday in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

Not a gas

“Gas prices in … the city have reached crisis levels with many stations charging just below $4 for a gallon of regular. It costs so much to fuel up that the American Automobile Association is urging its members to leave their cars at home and take public transportation.

“ ’We are in the midst of a crisis,’ AAA’s spokesman Robert Sinclair declared. ‘People have to be very discreet in their use of motor vehicles. If you can, use public transport.’

“Gas in the state is selling for an average of $3.66 a gallon — the highest ever, Sinclair said. That’s nearly 60 cents more than a year ago. People were panicking back then. The level it’s at now is unbelievable.

“Many gas stations across the city are charging more than the $3.66-a-gallon average — and it’s only going to get worse as the summer approaches.

“ ’I am outraged,’ said City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), who yesterday saw two stations near his Tremont Ave. office charging $3.99 a gallon. ‘They’re on a highway and obviously think they have people captive to that price.’ ”

Adam Nichols, writing on “We’re Getting Hosed by Gas,” Wednesday in the New York Daily News

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