Making of the Man

The Phenomenon that is Instagram

I admit it: I’m hooked into a few social networks these days and even bought into the whole Klout thing that measures my influence on these networks (and quickly bought out of it when I realised how obsessive I was about my Klout score falling) and to say that I’m totally hooked is a bit like saying that heroin is a nice “once in a while jaunt in the park”. I’m nothing short of unabashedly addicted.

However the one that has captured me the most is Instagram. With its immediate snapshot update way of sharing the world, it has truly amassed a membership that MySpace only ever dreamed of. And at the same time, has captured the imagination of many users - I’d rather see a photo than a mundane Facebook status update of “I got up and bought a coke.” Let’s face it, no one fucking cares about that.

So while holidaying in Sweden a few weeks ago, I took some photos of a rather amazing hotel where we stayed (it is truly remarkable, check out www.treehotel.se), and while I have very (if not extremely) modest following on Instagram, I managed to get 10 likes on a photo I posted. Yes, I hash tagged, but I generally do that to well, remind myself of the photo’s context.

So imagine my surprise today when my iPhone started vibrating like a lonely person’s vibrator with Instagram notifications. I started getting about 5 likes per second on a photo that I posted five weeks ago. And this, I kid you not, has been going for the last hour or so. Yes, that’s right, about 300 likes in an hour. And it’s still going.

So I decided to head on in and see what on earth was causing this. And imagine to my surprise: it looked like the Instagram application had posted a photo of the hotel, and soon everyone was searching for photos of this place. And recommending it to other users and so on. While 100+ likes on a photo does not a viral champagne make, to me, it’s like the world had descended on my photos and had given me two enthusiastic thumbs up. And still are.

So while I hear about these social networks being rubbished all the time and how Facebook’s investment in Instagram was a bit of a rubbish investment, it’s definitely allowed me to share some marvellous memories and dare I say it, some fucking awesome photos. After all if 200+ Instagrammers believe it, why shouldn’t I?

PS: if you want to see said photos: I’m user JTCF1981. Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion on my blog.


Dunhill

I’m not one for big customer service gestures, in fact most of the time, as I’m usually running about, I’m looking to get in; do what I need to do; and get out.  Quite like a men’s restroom.   The fact remains though, as fast as that transaction is, I still expect a certain level of service - generally it’s a mutual respect, of which, if not afforded to me, is quickly tweeted to the world.

So when I’m not in a rush and the service is perfect, it’s always a pleasant surprise.  In fact, to the point now, where I’ve started tweeting about it, and if the store I’m shopping at has a twitter account, I mention them in my tweet and the person who served me, just so they get the kudos they deserve.  While my tweet may be one in several hundred thousand a day, I might be able to convince people who follow me to shop there.

I stopped into Dunhill today on the corner of Davies and Bourdon Streets in Mayfair.  I think it’s single handedly become my favourite store in the world, not only for it’s old world gentleman feel, but for the fact that we were asked if we would like a tour of the store.  While I had the time, I took them up on the offer and got to see the private cinema; the cigar room; the exploration room - and not once was I pushed into buying something (a pet hate of mine).  

It really is a place with a wonderful feel, almost like being in an old friend’s house.  If that old friend was a millionaire who had a thing for classic men’s clothing and accessories; cool gadgets and a bit of hunting thrown in.  Additionally, there is spa service offering facials, shaves and haircuts and a bar and cafe downstairs where one can take a break.  In fact being there for a while, it didn’t feel like we were in London any more, but in a stately manor home out in the countryside.  I also definitely got the feeling that people who worked there were proud of the reputation and the brand that they represented - there’s nothing worse than someone who resents their job, and isn’t afraid to let you know.c

When we finally left (after a staggering 45 minutes), I vowed to buy something the next time I stopped in… and to take up the offer of smoking a couple of cigars in their courtyard during Summer.


surisburnbook:

Brad Pitt shilling for Chanel No. 5 is like … Honey Boo Boo becoming the face of Hermès.

If Chanel really wanted Brad Pitt, they should’ve changed their classic scent to include a heavy smell of burlap bag with beef jerky afternotes.

Love this.