Saturday, 2 November 2013

And your bird can Sing...

Whilst news media, music and publishing industries are still desperately trying to adjust to a 21st Century where their previously high-valued products are now freely available online, other industries are also struggling for traction in the muddy field of web based commerce like John Humphries in Wellies at a particularly wet Glastonbury.

The problem for so many Companies is that the internet has transformed consumers into proactive cyber warriors. "Consuming" used to be a passive experience when the owners of capital  held the controlling levers of production and distribution and the only dissent came from the occasional Ralph Nader or Disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells writing to the local newspaper.

Now in the new "technocracy" everyone is a critic and everyone is able to throw their 5 pence worth at the big corporations and institutions via Twitter or Trip Advisor or dozens of other open forums. Last Century Alan Sugar and Rupert Murdoch were remote figures in ivory towers but now they bandy arguments with all and sundry on Twitter where they are out in the middle of the playground on a precise level with Joe public. The language is stilted and grammar free but hey, that's the way Lord Sugar talks. I wonder what Karl Marx would have made of all this?

Other companies without high profile leaders to sit behind have appointed a "Director of Social Media" charged with "managing" the minefield morass of public outspokenness. Many have invested in "promoted tweets" on Twitter which means they essentially barge into ordinary people's timelines like a geeky teenager having to shamble into a new classroom halfway through the term. Or a trendy new teacher trying to be one of the gang -"Hi, I'm Paul - you can call me Paul and I'll refer to you as 'you guys'".
The results are fairly predictable. Recently, for examples, the bank RBS posted this :

The responses from Twitter came in droves and one can only wonder at what happened to the person at RBS who authorised this Kamikaze operation. Promoted probably. Here's just a few of the more printable responses:


Mike and Ann said...

Hello Rog. I find those comments to the bank rather reassuring. They add up to Churchill's "You can fool some of the people some of the time.....". Bit like the expenses scandal, which all the M.P.s involved refused to recognise and now refuse to remember. I just hope that we all prove to have a better memory than our M.P.s (and banks) obviously expect us to have.

Rog said...

Good point Mike - collective amnesia isn't as widespread as previously thought!

broken biro said...

Depressingly they probably count results in numbers of responses, rather than their content:
'Well sir, we had 100 tweets back!'
'Tweets? And that's a good thing, is it, Wiggins?'
'Oh yes, sir, we have taken the world of social media by storm.'
'Excellent, Wiggins! keep it up!'


Rog said...

BB: Yes - they say "No publicity is bad publicity". I'm sorry to learn that my cycling hero has been reduced to this though.

Anonymous said...

bwhahahaha too much fun!

Pat said...

I still think Twitter is for the birds.