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iPhone Mania
I'd be shocked if you didn't know what the iPhone is or that it's going to be in stores this Friday, the 29th, at 6 PM local time. Apple's publicity machine has been working overtime to promote what some are calling the "Jesus Phone."

The iPhone may be over-hyped, but I wouldn't call it a hoax. The guy who is first in line for one at Apple's flagship NYC store, however, might be classified as a hoaxer.

Greg Packer is what you might call a media whore. He's been quoted in the press as a "man on the street" over a hundred times since 1995, according to his Wikipedia entry (by the way, why does HE get his own Wikipedia entry when *I* don't have one? Grrr.) He's so ubiquitous, in fact, that an AP memo asks reporters to try to find other people to comment on things.

According to Wikipedia, he shows up at an average of two media events per week. At the moment I'm typing this, he's sitting outside the Apple store and it's guaranteed that he'll be all over TV on the 29th when Apple finally lets the unwashed touch this (according to some) paradigm-changing gadget.

I doubt that Apple is paying him to camp out, but who knows? Anyway...

UPDATE: Gelt magazine contacted me with a link to a short piece about the origin of the nickname "Jesus Phone":

Link
Categories: AdvertisingPranksTechnology
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Thu Jun 28, 2007
I think PT Barnum would be right at home charging people $600 for a phone with $100 a month "service". Not exactly a pure hoax but it has some hoax elements.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  in  Spring Hill, MA  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  04:00 PM
Heh, I only heard about the iPhone just this morning. . .oh well.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  04:31 PM
It could very well be that he has an Wiki entry because he wrote one on himself. It's been done before, sometimes out of an ordinary desire for publicity, sometimes out of a conviction that nobody else will get it right, and sometimes as part of a con.

There was a case a couple years ago...hmmm, can't remember the details, but I think the man managed to get quoted by newspapers simply by having a Wiki listing that he'd written for himself. Something like that, anyway.
Posted by Kathleen  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  04:37 PM
Greg Packer probably is a media "man of the street" for the same reason that the news talk shows have the same people over and over: they are familiar and can be expected to give predictable news bites which can then be supported or derided without thought. And the iPhone is just the latest in a long line of "wonders" that have been predicted to change the world over the last few decades.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  07:55 PM
"It could very well be that he has an Wiki entry because he wrote one on himself."

Very possible. BTW, I was only kidding about bitching that he has a Wikipedia entry and I don't.

"Greg Packer probably is a media 'man of the street' for the same reason that the news talk shows have the same people over and over: they are familiar and can be expected to give predictable news bites which can then be supported or derided without thought."

Yup. If you read his Wikipedia entry, you'll see where he explains the art of getting quoted in the press. Soundbites and availability are the key.




And the iPhone is just the latest in a long line of "wonders" that have been predicted to change the world over the last few decades.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  09:27 PM
Sorry for the marooned part on the end there. Yes, the iPhone is a very cool piece of technology, but it ain't gonna change the world!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  09:29 PM
After all, the Segway already changed the world, didn't it?
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  10:32 PM
JoeDaJuggler, I had forgotten all about that wonderful device, invented by The Maid of Norway in the late 13th century as a means of getting her soldiers more mobile as they could raid England better. I actually saw one here in Tucson not too long ago, I remember that there was a discussion about if they were street-legal or not, but not the outcome. Since I saw it being driven on the street, I guess they are. At least in Tucson.
One of the other site I visit had an article that the iPhone was more open (allowing the customer to choose options in terms of sites to visit, shopping, etc) than other cell phone plans but not significantly so, and a damn sight more expensive. It will probably be more like the early Apple Mac computers, forcing the other competitors to inovate faster.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Jun 29, 2007  at  01:02 AM
Sorry, Alex beat you to this one (as far as Greg Packer). Check out pg. 154 in Hippo Eats Dwarf.
Posted by Archibold  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  01:59 AM
Cranky Media Guy, you so need your own wikipedia page. Too bad I'm horribly lazy and I don't actually know enough about you. However, you've done enough to deserve it.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  05:13 PM
Razela, given the way he was presented to us, concerning his past accomplishments, MAKE IT ALL UP!
And the way the iPhone has people going, you'd think it was a Star Trek convention, or a World Series game or something.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  05:19 PM
I, too think that the Crankmeister should have his own Wikipedia page. I'd also suggest a daily show opposite Oprah. And his head on Mount Rushmore. That would be cool.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  05:46 PM
you know, I'm sorry... I didn't mean to suggest that Cranky's Actual Head be placed atop Mount Rushmore, I meant his bust. Ummm, his likeness. Maybe Geo. Washington's face could be retooled to look like His Crankiness. Perhaps a show opposite Oprah called Pimp My Monument, where C-Dog's face replaces lesser-known Presidents and the like, surprising the populace at the secret unvailing. Or, change Cranky's real face to match that of Paris Hilton, Geo Bush or some other useless detritic overflow of humanity. Pimp My Cranky... me likey. Oh, BTW, I heard that the iPhone is based on extraterrestrial technology recovered from the Roswell Crash, and they want it back. That's why I'm not getting one; not cuz I don't have the $600, I just don't want any confrontation with Alien-Givers. CMG, phone home
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  05:59 PM
iPhone, uPhone, we all scream for iPhone... yeah, yeah, you were thinking it, but I said it first. Shotgun.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Jun 30, 2007  at  06:02 PM
I wish I knew what an iPhone actually does. You know, apart from the stuff my
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Mon Jul 02, 2007  at  08:40 AM
Funny thing is that I heard about it weeks after it first came out. I am so out of it.
Posted by Lina  in  Miami  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  03:39 PM
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