Interview: SF Local, Drew Hoolhorst

The Fetch Blog

This week Eliza interviews freelance copywriter and regular Bold Italic contributor, Drew Hoolhorst. Follow Drew on Twitter via @drewber and on his blog, Rocket Shoes

You, Drew Hoolhorst, are a master storyteller. Who do you consider your earliest influences, and how has your storytelling evolved over the years?

Thank you, interview question, that’s incredibly kind of you. Ready for the hokey answer? My grandfather was the best storyteller I’ve ever met in my lifetime. Since I was a tiny babe, he would tell me the most grandiose Big Fish-esque lies you’ve ever heard and I just couldn’t get enough. There was sort of something great about it…his “art” of lying, really. I know that sounds horrible, but I loved how he could lie to me and tell these tales of absolute grandeur and even when I knew they were lies or at least stretches of truths, I just loved…

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On Graduating College

“Life-changing events often happen in pajamas.”-Jessica Hagy

In four days I will graduate from college. I have never been more ready for something to happen in my entire life. I have made the most of my college career and the flexibility it allowed me. I felt from a very early point that the social style of my school was not for me, and I’m going to skip out on writing a lengthy rant about it (though I may have wanted to).

My move to California heralds more than just the end of college. My move is the product of four years of endlessly applying to internships, learning how to network, learning to distinguish who my real friends are, and finding a career path that I find exciting, challenging and rewarding. I’ve learned, too, that I will not let the expectations or judgements of others prevent me from achieving or even just doing what I want to do. (This has been helpful when it comes to choosing studying over drinking, though not as much when I don’t feel like listening to my gym instructor).

The only real drawback is the sadness of my parents about my migration toward the sunnier coast. The bittersweet irony of this is clear to me, as they raised me to be a strong and independent person willing to take risks and pursue dreams. I owe them everything (likely translatable to countless round-trip tickets from Albany to San Francisco, which I will willingly and happily purchase).

Growing up is always hard, and always unexpectedly so. It is comforting, however, knowing that over the last four years I have made lifelong friends and relationships (across the world) that will accompany me forward, into the unknown (and very bright) abyss that is my future.

So here’s to the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

Facebook Isn’t The Sky, Everyone Can Relax

I find the recent hysteria about the declining Facebook use of kids and teens to be pretty silly. What did everyone expect? That ONE social network would be cool for more than a single generation?

The reason this all seems funny to me is that I don’t view this as a problem, and advertisers shouldn’t either.

Facebook currently has somewhere around 1 billion users. Those users are made up of basically everyone you have ever met or could possibly meet. Change is hard for anyone, but the less-than-super technologically savvy take a while (if ever) to move from one social network to another. More to the point, most adults have no reason to leave Facebook. They’ve already learned how to use it, and a lot of their old friends and family members are on it.

So why should this be comforting to advertisers?

Before not too long it will be clear which new social network kids are moving to. Then advertisers can add those sites into their repertoire. Aside from the hyper-aware/overprotective parents, most aren’t going to hop on the bandwagon for whatever 12-16-year-olds think is cool. Advertise on both. Market to everyone. That’s the way the game has always worked and always will. Maybe it will be for the better. Maybe advertisers will figure out a better way to target their marketing towards adults on Facebook, and then find more creative ways to market towards kids elsewhere.

The secret to marketing is having a cool product with a compelling story- that people actually want and need. So maybe we should be focusing more time on making things that people actually want, and less time trying to sell people things that they don’t.

PS. Check out Cliff Watson’s awesome post, “Teens aren’t abandoning ‘social’. They’re just using the word correctly.”

Life Is Eventful: How Getting Out There Got Me Here


The Fetch Blog

We’re taught from a very young age that there are certain major life events that will have significant importance and deliver at least a modicum of respect. Being born (though you aren’t quite aware of that one), graduating from college, getting married, having children, buying a house, turning 50, etc. These are the Events with a capital ‘E’.

What no one really tells you, however, is the way the other kind of events will impact your life. These events will present the opportunity for learning, fun, and personal growth. Occasionally they will offer you a few hours of complete anonymity, and with it the extraordinary chance to be whoever you want.

When you scan The Fetch each week, deciding which events you’d like to attend, you never know how they will go. You could meet a new friend, make a new connection that leads to a new job, or find the perfect person with…

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If Marissa Mayer Succeeds…

If Marissa Mayer succeeds in bringing Yahoo! back from the grave will it be attributed to hard work or good advice?

If Marissa Mayer succeeds will she be compared to Steve Jobs (in his 1996 resuscitation of Apple) or will she be heralded as “the female Steve Jobs”?

If Marissa Mayer succeeds will her haters still hate her or will they applaud her with the pretentious false air of having known she would succeed the whole time?

If Marissa Mayer succeeds will I have a better chance of being considered a person working in tech first, and a woman working in tech second?

And most significantly,

If Marissa Mayer succeeds will she go down in history as the person who saved Yahoo! or the woman who saved Yahoo! ?