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There is no Digital Media but AOL and Shingy is its Prophet

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 10, 2014

Here is every super-quotable line from the New Yorker’s recent profile of Shingy, AOL’s Digital Prophet that everyone loves to hate. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll roll your eyes. It starts:

How does Shingy know? Because he is a digital prophet. Literally. His business card has a microchip embedded in it, and it reads “Digital Prophet, AOL.”

Then:

AOL pays him a six-figure salary for-for doing what, exactly? “Watching the future take shape across the vast online landscape,” Shingy says. “I fly all around the world and go to conferences.”

And:

“I listen to where media is headed and figure out how our brands can win in that environment.”

But also:

He arrived at AOL headquarters in the Village wearing black nail polish and high-top sneakers with leather wings. His jacket, T-shirt, and pants were black, and he had decorated them with wide stripes of white paint.

And so:

He ran into a Ward Cleaver-ish advertising executive named Jim Norton. “My man!” Shingy said, offering his trademark three-part handshake, ending in a hug.

Which leads to:

“Wanted to show you a little brain fart I had on the plane,” he said. It was a cartoon he had drawn of a bear wearing zebra-print pants and a shirt covered in ones and zeros.

For which else is:

“Love it, love it, love it,” Nardini said. “I’m thinking of the bears more as a metaphor.”

Yep:

“A thousand per cent,” Shingy said.

Nope:

“Shingy is my muse,” Nardini said.

Maybe:

There is something so polarizing about Shingy, but also so unifying.

Still, this:

He is passionate about spaces, and when a space is not working he reboots it, taking everything out and starting over.

OMFGROFLCOPTER:

This is a space I recently rebooted for Tim.

Derp:

“Do you like the scent?” Shingy said. A diffuser released a fragrance (called London) designed by Tom Dixon into the air.

Snuh:

Armstrong looked around. “I have meetings here, and people don’t know where to sit,” he said.

Flurbitz:

“They’ll figure it out, man,” Shingy said.

This, I can’t even, is everything:

He took an Uber car uptown

Is it a hard-G like “GIF” or a soft-G like “GIF”?:

“I think some folks from Applebee’s are going to be in the house,” he said. “I’m more of a caffeine-free, gluten-free, raw-food sort of guy, but I am able to find something to like in every brand once I hear their story.”

And finally:

Everyone is talking about SoLoMo — social, local, mobile — but they should be talking about HoMo: home/mobile, cell phones used on the couch.

That’s a full 44% of the article right there. Bravo Andrew Marantz on your stratospheric quotability quotient! Bonus quote from Valleywag’s Kevin Montgomery:

David Shing has the kind of gig that can only exist mid-bubble, when dinosaur corporations chase Snapchat into extinction.

(Ok, the Uber thing isn’t quotable, but had to include it because Uber.)