What kind of teenager would you be

I just wrote a long, thoughtful reflection on this article about a 13-year-old Snapchatter extraordinaire, and then Squarespace ate my draft. It included references to the pastel-colored diaries I used to buy, year after year, at the local Thrift Drug, their keys glittering under the harsh electric lights in their spot next to the Wet N Wild lip glosses. In it, I wondered if I would have been spending all my time on Tumblr, or perhaps on YouTube, if they were around when I was a teenager. Would I have been a content consumer, or a producer? 

I suppose it's fitting that my draft disappeared. Because the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I would have been some great, but anonymous, blogger. Like a Gossip Girl, only at a poorer school and with a strong focus on books and cheerleading practice. And I wouldn't tell anyone it was me. 

Anyway, it's a pretty great read (regardless of whether you're horrified or amused by it). 


Sweet Valley Confidential: That's how it's done

News broke today about the cover of the upcoming Sweet Valley High sequel, Sweet Valley Confidential. Here's what made the execution flawless:

1. The Sweet Valley Confidential social media accounts: I follow SVConfidential on Twitter, and I "like" them on Facebook. And you know what? They do it right. I've always felt included in the excitement, like they granted me access to a secret sorority (like, I don't know, THE UNICORNS?!). (Although I do have a bone to pick with whoever manages their Twitter...I won a Team Jessica shirt in July and have yet to receive it, and my message to them went unheeded. But I'm nothing if not forgiving!) (Ha. Not really.)

2. The tie-in to traditional media: People broke the cover news. This is a great example of using an established outlet to house the content and then using social channels to market it. And really, what other mag besides People would make sense? Even though I don't read it regularly, it's the perfect choice. (Although now I know that Melissa Rycroft is having a girl, and frankly, I didn't care to know that, though perhaps it will come in handy if there's ever a Bachelor category on Jeopardy.)

3. The artwork itself: It's kind of gorgeous, yet totally predictable, and still somehow feels both modern and retro at the same time. $10 says it's Liz on the front and Jess on the back. (Though how cool would it be if they printed two versions with the front and back covers reversed?! You're welcome, St. Martin's Press.)

Of course, none of this would matter if there weren't throngs of people waiting to see the cover and read the book. When the content is stellar (or at least that nice mix of average-yet-appealing-for-nostalgic-reasons), the community will respond organically.