Like so many things these days, it all started with a tweet.
But it wasn't until I received an email last night from SB Nation Emperor Jim Bankoff notifying me that Ashton Kutcher was joining SB Nation as an advisor, that my ultimate dream was becoming a reality. Indeed, Ashton Kutcher is now inextricably linked to Casual Hoya. At first I thought this was simply a social media ploy to get Kutcher and his legion of seven million twitter followers to hop on the Casual bandwagon and turn what is already a GLOBAL PHENOMENON into an INTERPLANETARY SUPERBUS OF UTMOST PROPORTION. But after reading the entire email from Emperor Bankoff it appears that Kutcher might actually be a legitimate dude, and one that could have a beneficial impact on the future of SB Nation and the casual blogosphere.
More Ashton after The Jump:
Aside from being an actor, uber-celeb, and endorser of cameras, Kutcher is someone who is very knowledgeable about the interwebs and web products. Above all, he is a sports fan. For those interested, below are some answers that Kutcher posted to a few questions that fans asked him on something called Quora, which appears to be like formspring but without the expletives:
How do celebrities identify and choose charities to support?
Ashton Kutcher, maker of stuff
I can only speak for myself. I think "celebrities" are just people and respond to the same things that anyone else responds to. I spent many years as an actor being asked to attend functions and being asked to donate money on behalf of a plethora of organizations. Generally I responded to three things.
Personal Historical Relevance:
If myself, my family, or my friends have been affected by the problem that the cause is making an effort to remedy I would be more likely to consider participating.
If the event or cause was being supported by one of my strong tie relations and they asked for my help I would be more likely to participate than if the request was coming from a stranger.
If the cause was someway based or connected to my hometown, state, or current city, I would be far more motivated to get involved.
Beyond these three factors I think that it's important to consider what the person/celebrity is already advocating. If they are currently publicly supporting an effort, finding alignment or complimentary motivations is very valuable. I'm approached by 5-10 non profits a week asking to attend events, tweet, donate, or support various causes. It can all be quite overwhelming at times because you want to help everyone but you ultimately can't. When it all boils down you try to find the ones that you have the most affinity with and the ones where you feel the request has been thought out and not exploitive.
I also highly recommend the KISS method. Keep It Simple Stupid. If the request is as simple as a tweet; send the copy and the link that you want posted. Make it short. Give the quick facts about the organization and the direct request. People tend to put long drawn out requests in the "read later" or "maybe i'll never get to this" box. If they are interested in what you are doing they will ask for more info. If you are going to make me read a five minute book on your organization to ask me to do something that takes 5 seconds, I might never get to it.
subject: need help will take 2 secs
Hey, can you help me support starving kids in Connecticut? pls tweet
tweet copy: help feed connecticut babies pls rt http://richhungrykids.com
Aside from the coin, what was your motivation to join Two and a Half Men?
Character. I love the character we are creating.
Schedule. Sit-coms have the best work schedule in show business, this will allow me to do all of the thing I'm pursuing at my company and otherwise.
Family. My step-daughter has one year of school left. I'd like to stay local to be able to support her and not end up on a movie set in some remote location for four months.
Creative. 2.5 has one of the best writing staffs in the game
Support. 2.5 has a track record of success and CBS and Warners are very supportive of the show.
Who is the best NFL running back of all-time?
Jim Brown has to take the prize. 9x pro bowler, 8x all-pro, never missed a game in his career, 3x MVP. He also lead the league in rushing every year he played except one and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. The debate is always around who's number 2. I believe it was Walter Payton.
My friend and I have had a ten year debate between Walter Payton and Emmit Smith that was settled this year. When we asked Emmit Smith at the Super Bowl in Dallas he said Walter Payton was the greatest of all time.
Is it fun for movie stars to kiss other movie stars on-screen?
It totally depends on the co-star. Seann William Scott in Dude, Where's My Car?... not so fun. Natalie Portman... not an awful day on the job.
Why is it so common to include voluntary prostitution in the category of sex trafficking?
Human trafficking data is extremely incomplete due to the psychological complexity of the issue and the lack of funding that has been allocated to research. Often times the data becomes conflated due to the lack of transparency from the victims themselves.
Sex trafficking is defined as: A commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age
Proving force, fraud, or coercion can be very difficult considering that the victims have often times been brain washed, beaten, raped, molested, threatened, and tormented and fear revealing the identity of their trafficker. Often times what appears to be a voluntary commercial sex transaction is not. Therefore gathering a precise data set can be very complicated. In addition to this, many of the "voluntary prostitutes" are under the age of legal consent. Rough data has shown that the average age of entry into the global commercial sex trade is 13 year old. Mind you this is the average age. And depending on sexual consent laws in a particular country (18 in the US), all girls under that age fall in the category of sex trafficking victims. This alone accounts for many of the "voluntary prostitutes". One must also consider a girl who may have been brought into the sex trade by a trafficker at a young and now has grown to the age of legal consent. Even though this girl may now be choosing to sell her body for sex, given the pre-existing circumstances, it's extremely difficult to assume that she would have made that choice had she been given prior free will.
However there is a great minority of women who do independently choose to sell their body for sexual services. Rough estimates say 20%. These women are often times rolled into sex trafficking statistics due to poor accounting or NGO's who are unnecessarily compounding numbers based on moral bias.
See? This guy knows stuff! I certainly look forward to Kutcher's influence on SB Nation, and if it can lead us to greener pastures then I'm all for it.
I just hope that this is a legit deal, and a few months from now we won't have cameras in our faces with Kutcher storming out of a closet telling us we've been punked while his friends like Lindsay Lohan and Wilmer Valderrama cackle in the background.
Actually, that would be pretty cool, too.