That’s so fetch!

Mean Girls theatrical poster

Mean Girls theatrical poster

In the movie, Mean Girls starring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey, the character of Gretchen Wieners, one of the plastics, played by Lacey Chabert tries to start a new buzz word “fetch.” It was to replace the vernacular “cool,” “keen,” “awesome” or anything that was meant to be leading the edge of cool.

The running joke throughout the movie is it didn’t catch on despite Gretchen’s repeated attempts to use it glibly and leveraging her ranking in the school’s hierarchy. The irony of the joke was that her dad was reported to have invented toaster strudel, which did catch on as a breakfast food.

Today, I ran across this blog post by Eric Karjaluoto titled ‘Why your web startup will fail’ which articulated exactly why a lot of why “That’s so fetch!” will never catch on. Metaphorically, we are all in a tiny room, yelling at each other with a bullhorn, screaming, “I’m so fetch!” Unfortunately, the sound of our own voice tends to drown out the message of the other guy.

What makes one thing stick and another not? Why does “cool” or “awesome” stick and not “fetch?” I suppose “fetch” would stick if you got enough people saying it, but to do that, you would need to convince enough people that enough other people are saying it.

In other words, how do you turn up the volume of your bullhorn louder than all others in the room? The answer is you don’t; you find a quieter room, reduce your circle of friends you allow at your table or adjust your expectations. “Fetch” as a fashion trend might be a cool thing, but so is “fetch” as a secret, special word among a closed circle.

Twitter is becoming a very small room with a lot of people with loud bull horns. This is primarily — as it exists today — why it will die in about 12-18 months. The people who have something to say will become tired of shouting above the crowd and not getting heard. They will move on, leaving a bunch of posers. If you are not already established in Twitter circles, you probably won’t ever be. While you may have the next great idea, you can’t buy enough volume to power your bullhorn.

Twitter works for Guy and Scoble because they were there at the onset. They are the grandfathers of Twitter and they don’t have the struggle we little guys do. When Guy tweets out, people click! But for guys like us, unless we have something more cool than fetch to give to the Twits, we’re going to have to find our own quieter room and work up the volume.

And it will be hard and nobody but a few will listen. Hopefully, we’ll control the bullhorns long enough to get noticed.

Originally published at: gerardmclean.com

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