Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Inspiring Jennifer Windrum and the W.T.F. Campaign

This is my new post, which was co-written by fellow Huffingtonpost blogger Ann Tran! It is also cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Impact Section.

From journalist Robin Roberts to cyclist Lance Armstrong, cancer survivors often say they could not have pulled through their ordeal if it were not for the love and support of their families. This is why we had to write about the dynamic and extraordinary Jennifer Windrum. We don't know anyone who isn't deeply moved by what she's doing to increase funding for cancer research and prevention.

Inspired by her mom's bout with lung cancer, and aided by the worldwide reach of social media, Windrum launched the WTF? (Where's the Funding for Cancer) Campaign. It's a well-received initiative that has allowed traveling and talking with politicians, strategizing with other activists, and meeting with cancer survivors. Her efforts were honored this year when WTF was chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Mashable Awards.

A self-described "social media practitioner," her work feeds into today's related wording, the power of the 140-character message, and the wide reach of other media platforms to create social change. Passion and drive launched her campaign to eliminate this horrible disease, and her message not only gets out, it draws attention to the issue. Her campaign can be used as a template for future initiatives. Whatever your passion for social change might be, you could do no better than take a leaf from her book.

Our interview with her reveals why she is quickly becoming a respected voice (and visionary) in the ongoing, international fight against cancer.

Jennifer Windrum (Photo Courtesy of the WTF Campaign)


We love your "WTF? - Where's the Funding (for Lung Cancer)?" Campaign. Talk a little bit about what inspired it.

My campaign was completely inspired by my mom, Leslie Lehrman, who has Stage IV inoperable, incurable lung cancer. She has never smoked a day in her life. When I was 10 years old, I knew I was supposed to tackle something "big" when I grew up -- some kind of cause -- but as the years passed by, I kept wondering what "it" was. The minute my mom told me she had lung cancer (2005), my mission and path in life became crystal clear. My mom's future became anything but. My mom is far from alone. We literally have a public health epidemic on our hands and virtually no one cares. I won't stand for it. None of us can.

As a former reporter and now public relations, social media practitioner, I quickly realized the "true" lung cancer story wasn't being told. The facts just didn't, and still don't, add up. Sadly, it wasn't due to my poor math skills. I felt compelled to expose this story, bring about accountability and create a movement of change -- big change that is desperately needed for all of us. I knew I had to come up with an attention-getting, edgy campaign in order to cut through the clutter. A lot of people use "WTF" along with other digital acronyms, such as LOL, ROFL, etc. I wanted to tap into that relevant language in some fashion. Lying in bed one night it hit me: The double-meaning of "WTF" in today's digital language and "WTF" for 'Where's the Funding?' For those who don't know the digital "WTF," the message is still clean and simple. For those who get both meanings, it's a double-punch! Oh, the name is mother-approved. (Smiles)

Windrum's mom, Leslie Lehrman, receiving chemotherapy
(Photo Courtesy of the WTF Campaign)

Not only do you have to cut through the clutter to tell today's lung cancer story, but also the stigma attached to it.

Absolutely. Stigma be gone! Here's the way lung cancer rolls these days: Most people do not know that ANYONE can get lung cancer. Anyone. Yes, this includes the beautiful children who fill up your cul-de-sacs and school playgrounds. Lung cancer is no longer just a smoker's disease, as the long-held stigma leads us to believe. The statistics are more than frightening. 80 percent of new lung cancer cases are diagnosed in people who have NEVER smoked or former smokers who quit decades ago. 80 percent folks. Add this to the shocker list: Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of both men and women and represents 30 percent of all cancers.

More Americans die from lung cancer than from breast, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer combined. Because the government, and a majority of the medical community and public have long deemed lung cancer a self-inflicted disease, using the smoking stigma as an excuse, lung cancer research has been virtually ignored for decades, leaving the 5-year survival rate at only 15 percent - nearly the same as it was 40 years ago (13.2 percent). Unacceptable. It is the LEAST funded of the four major cancers (breast, prostate, colon, lung) by a long shot.

To provide some perspective, breast cancer received $1.153 billion from the federal government in FY10. Lung cancer: $218 million. This translates to $28,660 (dollars per death) for breast cancer and $1,386 (dollars per death) for lung cancer. Negligent. One more shocker: Lung cancer is not only the least funded, it is also the only major cancer that has no early detection screening protocol. Like many "LC-ers," my mom's lung cancer was detected during a scan for something completely unrelated. Absolutely insane. This scenario makes absolutely NO sense. So, I started yelling "WTF? in a very personal and politically incorrect way after launching my campaign in 2009.


You've criss-crossed the country talking with politicians, nonprofits, and activists. What has the response been?

The response has been absolutely amazing -- incredibly supportive, overwhelming and somewhat surprising, in some respects. Of course, the name of the campaign usually becomes the first topic of discussion, followed by, "I had no idea." Since "WTF?" is a social media campaign, I criss-cross the social media sphere every day, spending most of my time on Facebook and Twitter, connecting with like-minded people -- passionate activists and advocates from all walks of life, representing all kinds of causes. The beauty of social media not only lies in the communication platforms it provides, but the access to countless extraordinary groups and individuals who are also using social media to create social change. Even more beautiful, we band together, helping to further and highlight each others' causes.

The extent to which people across the country "have no idea" about lung cancer is extremely troublesome. The general public has no clue this disease is a real threat to them, whether they have smoked or not. Even more troublesome, many in the medical field and political arena are just as uninformed. No joke, some of the very doctors treating my mom for lung cancer didn't know the disease's full story. Believe me, they know now. My mom made sure of it! The response within the lung cancer community has been tremendous. In fact, members of several nonprofits and oncologists themselves have told me that "WTF's" rogue voice is what lung cancer has needed for a long time. "WTF?" is not a nonprofit, it's a social media campaign, so I can really dig into issues, do investigative pieces and ask questions that a nonprofit (and/or its board members) may not be comfortable doing. I don't have any red tape. My job is to cut through it. There is nothing I despise more than organizational politics, egos and turf wars that prevent progress. This is an unfortunate reality in the nonprofit world (and for-profit) I believe is becoming progressively worse. Lung cancer doesn't have time for these games and I refuse to play them.

In February, I visited Capitol Hill. I was honored to have been among 75 advocates the Lung Cancer Alliance selected to attend its Fourth Annual Capitol Forum, where we met with our elected officials (or their legislative assistants) to gain support for the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act. This piece of legislation is THE game-changer we need to start ending lung cancer, as we know it today. To say it's beyond time for our government to declare lung cancer a national priority and finally do something about it is more than an understatement. This is a social justice issue. So far, two of my (Nebraska) congressional representatives say they will support the legislation. Nothing is set in stone, of course. The Act will be reintroduced this month, so I will continue to advocate for support. The economy is in the tank and budgets are getting slashed. Guess what? The Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act will actually save lives AND money. It's a win-win. No more excuses. Now is the time for our elected officials to swallow their pride and lung cancer's outdated stigma in one big gulp. Times. Have. Changed.

Meeting with a lawmaker, and below, standing in front of the
White House (Photos Courtesy of the WTF Campaign)

You've made quite an impact. Your campaign was even chosen as a finalist for the Mashable Awards. We're sure that's given your efforts tremendous momentum.

Yes, it definitely has. I honestly was stunned to hear the campaign was a finalist for "Most Creative Social Media Campaign," right up there with the "Old Spice Guy" campaign. While I knew we were making a lot of noise and building momentum in the digital space, it's hard to know exactly how far your message is actually penetrating. It's especially difficult for members of the "WTF?" community to know, as the majority of them don't live in the social media world to the extent that I do. I make it a point to take "WTF-ers" inside social media channels they generally don't utilize to illustrate how their actions are playing out. It's critical they know and understand the impact their voices and efforts are making.

This is my mantra to the "WTF?" community: "No more status quo, plus, community, plus, social media equals Change!" Never believe you don't have a voice. Never believe your voice is smaller than anyone else's. Never accept, "Well, I guess this is the way it has to be." Never settle for status quo. Never. Never. Never. Using 140 characters and status updates with, and for, a purpose can result in pure magic. "WTF-ers" have several great examples under their belt that beautifully reinforce this. The fact that the campaign was a finalist in the Mashable Awards is proof that the "WTF?" message is traveling throughout the social and digital media, tech and web culture walls. I am grateful for new opportunities this high-level exposure has resulted in, such as new partnerships, speaking engagements and critical connections that can only help further increase awareness and funding for lung cancer research. However, what I am most grateful for is the incredible evolution of the "WTF?" community in such a short amount of time. The only reason the campaign has been, and can continue to be successful is the "WTF?" community believing it has a voice and collectively and effectively using it.

When I first launched the campaign, many survivors/advocates weren't comfortable, or didn't feel "worthy" of publicly raising their voices against lung cancer. Many smokers and/or former smokers lived the stigma, believing they brought the disease upon themselves, and, therefore, "deserved" lung cancer. Look, NO ONE deserves lung cancer. NO ONE. Early on, we had many powerful and sometimes heated discussions about the whole "smoker/former smoker vs. never smoker" debate. It was raw discussion that needed to take place, so it did. Today, that issue is a non-issue. The shame and self-blame are gone. "WTF-ers" are mobilized. They are empowered and fighting harder than ever -- as one unified voice. I literally stand in awe and amazement at all that this incredibly loyal community has endured and continues to overcome. They always stand at the ready to go full guns on our next social media campaign and/or challenge to make a huge statement: "Lung cancer is silent no more. We won't settle for status quo." THIS kind of momentum is creating true and meaningful impact.

Where do you see your campaign, say, 5 years from now?

I would like nothing more than to be able to shut this sucker down. I don't want it to be remotely relevant in 5 years. Unfortunately, it will be. I see the campaign morphing in an organic nature -- evolving alongside the ever-changing needs that will not only finally make lung cancer a national priority, but keep it that way. Lung cancer needs to ultimately become a manageable chronic disease. We have a LONG way to go. Cure? Sure. However, in all honesty, "cure" is not a word I like to throw around. I prefer to focus on tangible BIG "baby steps." Hey, how about some early detection screening for starters? Geez. I will continue to chronicle the bad, ugly and worst of my mom's lung cancer excursion, as well as the stories of her fellow warriors in as many ways and forms possible.

My mom is living scan to scan and treatment options are thinning. However, her commitment to changing lung cancer is not. My mom's unwavering strength and willingness to so publicly share her story is an incredible gift, I think. We made a pact. We will both fulfill it. No more "ANYONEs" deserve to fight lung cancer without the help and support of the "SOMEONEs" who should be fighting for them (yes, you Congress). So, when will I really end this campaign? Most likely never. It's funny... my mom recently revealed to me (on Facebook!!) that she would never have guessed what frustrated her most about me as I was growing up would wind up being, what she calls, "my greatest asset "later in life: Pure stubbornness!

For more information on Jennifer Windrum and her her amazing nonprofit work and advocacy, follow her on her Twitter feed, and fan her on her Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unpublished Dr. Seuss Stories from the 1950s Coming This Fall

Yes, you read that right. This fall, Random House Children's Books will publish seven previously unpublished Seuss stories from magazines in the 1950s. For die hard fans like myself, this has to be some of the best literary news of the century. Like, seriously.

All seven of the stories will be published together in a hardcover book to be released on September 27th. Titled The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, it will also include an introduction by Charles D. Cohen, world renowned Seuss scholar and collector. I can't wait.

This will likely be one of the big bestsellers of the year. Read more info here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tech Jobs Leading the Way?


The Los Angeles Times reported recently on the dramatic upswing in hiring in Silicon Valley - regarded as ground zero for the tech industry's growth and innovation. And even more amazing is that Detroit is outpacing Silicon Valley in tech jobs. This is all nothing short of amazing. And it may signal a jobs revolution led by companies and venture capitalists in the tech field.

Top policymakers, economists, futurists and trend watchers all agree that most of the jobs that have gone overseas are not coming back. Instead, the jobs being created in their place are clearly knowledge-based. A recent article in Forbes revealed that by 2015, 60% of all new jobs will require skills held by 20% of the population. This is why there has been an insistence on "re-training the American worker".

Conventional wisdom says that the housing industry is the area that revitalizes and energizes our stagnant economy. Certainly, it has played a dominant part in periods following previous recessions. But this is a different era, and it may be time to reassess "the key indicators" of the past. Not because they're no longer relevant, but because of the emergence of the global, tech-centered, knowledge economy.

I could be completely wrong, forecasting a boom in tech jobs, but it looks that way. And when we start to robustly develop the green jobs (solar, wind, etc.) that I and others have championed for years, we'll see a significant decline in the unemployment rate. The tech and green industries could be a powerful combination for the long-term health of our economy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Movie Review: "Sucker Punch"

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

I love great movies. Genre-bending, thought-provoking ones like Inception and The Matrix, and those characterized by exceptional acting like Training Day and The Usual Suspects. I have been looking forward to the slew of sequels and original works that 2011 will bring. One of those films was Sucker Punch, the highly anticipated work from director Zach Snyder, who brought us 300 and The Watchman.

Every bit as visually stunning and stylized as Snyder's other movies, Sucker Punch is also an over-the-top, intensely violent thrill ride. It follows the battles of Baby Doll, Sweat Pea, Rocket, Amber and Blondie, who engage in a series of terrifying challenges to win their freedom from a Gothic insane asylum. They fight off android aliens, over-sized ninja robots, zombies and other geek-tastic foes.

This is not a film that makes a great deal of sense in terms of the storyline, but that's entirely ok. It lives up to its title, delivering one punch after another. It will not be lost on the viewer that five teenage girls, dressed as Frederick of Hollywood models are kicking major butt in sequence after sequence. Call it fanboy flick meets lingerie, geek fantasy. I know that everyone will not like Sucker Punch. But man, when its moving, you won't be able to keep your eyes off of it.

There is no formula for what will make a movie memorable, or successful. But something tells me that this will be both. Buckle your seatbelt.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

16 Health and Fitness Experts to Check Out on Twitter

This is the latest post in our series, TwitterPowerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking. This was co-written by Barbara Ficarra, one of the world's leading voices in health and fitness.

This is also cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Health Section.

As the texts and records of ancient societies show us, health and fitness have always been essential to the growth and development of humanity. Health and fitness can be achieved by being mindful of our bodies and surrounding ourselves with compassionate people who exude a positive flair for life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Discovering our inner-strengths and developing our bodies, minds and spirits with the help of extraordinary people is the foundation of spectacular health.

The expertise of co-writer Barbara Ficarra has been particularly helpful to this post. A visionary thinker, health expert and media professional in high demand, she is well-versed on the history of health and fitness, and is consistently aware of the trends, discoveries and newsmakers in her field. Indeed, she knows the work of the 16 men and women profiled below.

Like Ficarra, they not only post their thoughts and perspectives, but they participate in the international, empowering conversation that Twitter provides to hundreds of millions. Anyone can sell books and DVDs about a new exercise routine or personal ideas about medical advances. What's different about these men and women? Truly, they excel because of how they push beyond the boundaries of creativity, and use social media to impact and enrich the lives and ambitions of their followers.


Joyce Cherrier /@Joyce Cherrier
Profiled by American Express and Ladies Home Journal, Cherrier has been an
advocate of healthy living for more than 25 years. An online contributor to
Sears FitStudio and Attune Foods, she maintains the popular blog


Alan Greene /@DrGreene
A leading Pediatrician, Greene is the author of Raising Baby Green
and Feeding Baby Green. An electrifying speaker and President of
the Society for Participatory Medicine, he is a visionary
who loves challenging ideas.


Eleni Kehagiaras /@kehagiaras
The Owner of Get Fit Training, she's an enthusiastic HIT and TRX trainer,
app developer, and popular radio show host with a global listenership
in the tens of thousands. Her weight loss story is
powerful, inspiring and transformational.


Thomas Goetz /@tgoetz
An editor at Wired Magazine, he's also author of "The Decision Tree" blog,
and book of the same name. "Better health begins with smarter choices,"
he says. Use his site to build your own decision tree. Very cool interactive tools.
Find out your health risks!


Donna Joyner /@DonnaRJoyner
An ESPN commentator and host of two television shows, both Oprah and
"Fitness Magazine" have praised her work. She's lectured in over 40 countries
and was appointed by Presidents Obama and Bush to the prestigious


Joseph Kim /@DrJosephKim
Celebrated physician, engineer, tech advocate, and blogger behind
MedicineandTechnology.com, NonClinicalJobs.com, MedicalSmartphones.com and MobileHealthComputing.com, he uses social media to engage in
health commentary and info.


Lissa Rankin /@LissaRankin
A respected OB/GYN, and author of two bestselling books,
Rankin is one of Forbes' 'Inspiring Women on Twitter', and is the
visionary founder of OwningPink, which helps the reader to tap into and
"explore your authentic self."


Mehmet Oz /@DrOz
Host of "The Dr. Oz Show," is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at
Columbia University and the best-selling author of Healing from the
Heart.
He has a regular column in "Esquire" and "O", The Oprah Magazine,
and is co-founder of Sharecare.com


Jeanette Jenkins /@JeanetteJenkins
Nutritionist, best-selling author, and creator of the Hollywood Trainer
DVD Collection, Jenkins is also a NIKE Training Club Ambassador and
"Fitness Magazine" Advisory Board Member.
Her celebrity clientele is most impressive.


Dave de Bronkart /@ePatientDave
Bronkart is a man on a mission! Known as "e-Paient Dave" the empowered
"voice" of patients, he was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer
and quickly became engaged in the internet, searching for
health info and support.


Lori Shemek /@LoriShemek
President of DLS HealthWorks, Shemek is a well-known Health Coach
Expert and founder of the Health Attraction System. A popular speaker,
she's also a wellness specialist for the show GOOD MORNING TEXAS!


Heather Frey /@SmashFit
An artist whose work has been published in journals and calendars, she
began her fitness career at age 3. Since then, she's competed successfully in
competitions, and has a sterling reputation as a certified trainer.


Miriam E. Tucker /@MiriamETucker
Tucker is a Sr. Writer at Elsevier/International Medical News Group. She is a
type 1 diabetic who writes about diabetes, infectious diseases, and other
topics. She always engages members of the Twitter diabetes community.


Stephanie Quilao /@Skinnyjeans
Known in social media the "Healthiness Curator", her blog does a fantastic job
of presenting her varied interests (charity, social media and...Yoda) and
explaining them in a way that complements her largely
health-oriented focus.


Dave Zinczenko /@DaveZinczenko
Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Magazine and Women's Health Magazine,
he is the author of "Abs Diet" and "Eat This, Not That!" Zinczenko is
also a contributor to the The Today Show.

Paula Robinson /@PaulaRobinsonRN
A Senior Service Specialist and owner of Sanitasole Adult Day Health Services, she's an enthusiastic and vocal advocate of Alzheimer's care and support, and has well-respected ideas on addressing the public health emergency gripping various communities.


Authors' Note: In case you missed it, here's Part 16 of the series: Twitter's Paul Steele: Blazing a Trail of Greatness

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ESPN, President Obama and the NCAA Tournament

It's that time of year again: the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. And for the third year in a row, President Obama has made his predictions. Dubbed "Barack-etology", this has become a big deal for ESPN, and a ratings bonanza. Their sneak peak pretty much confirms that. The president did exceedingly well in 2009, but did not fair too well last year. We'll see this time :)

I think its great when the president (any president) can take part in non-political activities like this. Regardless of what a critic would say, this gives him enormous exposure to viewers who don't watch the political shows on Sunday or the opinionated talking heads that dominate cable news. This is brilliant. And, as you'll see in this extended clip with Andy Katz, a great deal of fun.

WATCH:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who is mining your Data Online?

Illustration courtesy of TIME

Wow. If you use the internet a lot, you will find the latest story by Time Magazine's Joel Stein to be both thought-provoking and disturbing. He examines online privacy, and even looks at what data mining companies know about him. Some of it was false, but a lot of it was true.

A truly fascinating, must read piece. The very first sentence alone sounds the alarm bell. I read lots of posts daily. But nothing has captured my attention this year quite like this. I highly recommend you read it, and watch the two minute companion video.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What is "Great Social Media Content"?


This is a great question. I was only able to answer it once I figured out what kind of online persona I wanted. I opted for a Twitter feed and Facebook page that reflected who I am: a person with diverse interests and who believes in connecting and engaging people.

Like my friend Paul Steele, I am not in the business of telling people what kind of things people should post on their account. But since I get questions about how I find the content I post, I figured I would share a few things. I would divide my content up in 5 parts:

(1) Quotes and Affirmations - People like to feel good. Myself included. I will post quotes from the people I profiled in my piece 16 People on Twitter Who Inspire the World. But I also look for Cindy Ashton, Paul Harris, Elisa All, Aine Belton and so many others on my Twitter list called Daily Inspiration. Spreading positivity can never be oversold. Never.

(2) Random Facts - I love brain teasers, and information about things that make you say what?, really?, no way!, and just challenge your beliefs about topics. The OMGFacts feed does this better than most.

(3) Links - My first 4 months on Twitter were interesting. I posted a lot of articles from one feed, and most of it was on one topic. That was fine. But when I decided to post on various subjects and from various feeds, I felt that I had truly defined myself online. I started posting about food, the environment, technology, business, health and fitness, photography, charity and nonprofits, travel, etc. I look for dynamic feeds - whether 100 followers or 100,000 followers - that can enhance what I like to post.

(4) Music - I have some of the most diverse music taste out of anyone I know. I grew up listening to everything: rock, hip hop, jazz, classical, etc. So the music I post reflects that. I use Blip, though friends of mine like Lotay Yang and Emily Bratkovich use Grooveshark. There are many sites to choose from. The two I mentioned here are among the most popular.

(5) Engaging - This is probably my favorite part of social networking: being social, and actively engaging people. I say thank you. I recommend people in a particular person's field or city of residence. I provide more links if someone needs more understanding on something I tweeted. And of course, I retweet.

This is how my Twitter feed, and to some extent, my Facebook page, are put together. "Great Social Media Content" is not one style. Don't let anyone tell you that it is. Just figure out what you want to do in social media (positively speaking), and be the best at it. Make it happen!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another Awesome Eco-friendly Surfboard

Phot Courtesy of Spirare Surfboards

Because I love to surf, it looks like I'll have to purchase one of these wonderfully green surfboards this year. I know many have written about companies that are making sustainable boards because the feel good image of the surfer hasn't matched the reality of what's being done to our beaches. This has also been one of my concerns.

So I'm happy that Kevin Cunningham created his own company that makes surfboards out of the debris that pollutes the oceans. Brilliant! I am certain more will follow his example. An article in TreeHugger explains:
...fragments of man-made debris such as plastic and glass are recycled and reused in the skin of the surfboard. Plastic bags woven into a strengthening cloth, plastic bottles cut up and reassembled into fins, and many other possibilities to be explored.
This is a great example of an entrepreneur/environmentalist who doesn't simply think outside of the box. He thinks and acts as if there is no box. He should be commended. Great product. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Birth of Twitter

My friends will tell you many different things about me, but there is one thing that all of them know for sure: I live for Twitter. Global technology has been enhanced greatly by its innovation. Countries, companies, and individuals have used its fantastic 140 character format. In a lecture he gave last month at Stanford University, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey gives a great account of how the company got started. The entire lecture can be seen here. However, here is a short clip:

WATCH:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Next Year's Oscar Host Should Be...

...well, before we get to that, let me say this: Ann Hathaway and James Franco did a well enough job as hosts of this year's telecast. The problem is that well enough was not good enough to prevent a 9 percent drop in viewership from last year. Producers were clearly looking to draw in a younger demographic. This is also why Jon Stewart and Chris Rock were picked to host in years past. Many felt Stewart's humor was too wry, and Rock's too edgy. Whether any of that is true is beside the point. The producers keep getting it wrong with their recent hosts.

Three burning questions relating to Hollywood: (1) Why haven't Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock teamed up yet - the way Al Pacino and Robert Dinero did in Heat? (2) When are Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks going to work together again, because they were awesome in Philadelphia? And (3)...why not consistently have an Oscar host with international starpower and undeniable box office mojo, who is also...funny? Next time, I would pick Will Smith.

To me, it's a no-brainer. My favorite Oscar host of all-time is Bill Crystal. He's hilarious, has great comic timing, and is beloved in the film industry. So too, is Smith. He can hold the attention of young people for three to four hours, and even increase viewership. Hathaway and Franco will continue to have great careers in film, but they should never host the Oscars again. Time to think big. Give Will Smith a shot. If not him, then please make sure future hosts are funny.