Image via WikipediaI find the traveling, dancing self described "deadbeat" from Connecticut, Matt, and now spokesperson for Stride gum to be a fascinating study of both personal brand and social media.
Particularly of most interest is this part of his bio:
"Matt was a very poor student and never went to college. When he got older, he was pleased to discover that no one actually cares. Matt doesn't want to imply that college is bad or anything. He's just saying is all. There's other ways to fill your head.
Matt is left-handed."
Matt may have been a poor student, but he's a social media genius, creating a viral frenzy about himself and the product he represents.
I'm not saying we should encourage kids to be like Matt... or should we?
I'm saddened that Matt saw himself as a poor student, that no one looked at him and saw the genius lying underneath - I mean anyone who can get a gum company to send you on a world tour can't be feebleminded!
Understanding social media is as much a part of life as understanding public speaking, writing on paper AND blogging online as well was editing a wiki, or working with your avatar in a virtual world. These are permanent parts of our lives and the sooner we just accept it and get on with using the things that can help us teach better: the better off we'll be and the less disenfranchised our kids will be as well.
Perhaps the part I like best is seeing all of the people around the world just dancing from the fish to the African tribesmen: just fascinating.
And if you watch the lectures he gave about himself, he's quite well versed. Somehow, Matt has not only traveled the world, but it looks like he's found an education somewhere along the way.
Lecture Series from 2006
I particularly love how he talks here about what he does in foreign countries.