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Monday, May 24, 2010

Satire A Dangerous Slope: BP Case Study

This post has less to do with the actual BP Brand and more to do with the individual who created the fake account BPGlobalPR on Twitter.

What has BP done right so far?

In the disaster that is the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is a PR nightmare, BP has managed to do a few things correctly from a PR standpoint.
  • Have paid for a google sponsored link that comes out on top for searches of BP Oil Spill with what BP is doing to fix the problem
  • Going to their homepage auto redirects to a splash page where they show what BP is doing for a Gulf of Mexico response
  • Created a twitter account of BP_America to help people speak out on the oil spill.

BP not managing or monitoring its brand.

While it is great that BP has made its brand and tried to take control of it, because if you don't someone else will. And someone else has done so, a twitter account BPGlobalPR made by someone who was upset with how BP was handing the oil spill situation. I am not the first to notice this account or how "real" BP hasn't or if it has I have yet to see anything about it. Some other bloggers have touched on this subject including Samir Balwan, John Taylor, and Mark Smith, and The Brand Builder himself Olivier Blanchard. I recommend once finished reading this blog that you read their incites on the situation. As for me this blog post is more on the Spoof/Satire point of view and what that individual is doing in response to the oil crisis.

Edit: According to Ad Age BP is aware of this account and the outrage that this person has towards the whole situation is understandable. Also looks like the account will not be taken down but might have to change slightly to make itself more clear that it is not a BP account.

Using Satire...for the good?

The fake and in my opinion hilarious twitter account of BPGlobalPR shows what social media and twitter is capable of. The fake account has over twice as many followers as the real account and many people on twitter do not recognize that it is a satirical account which devalues and damages BP and its brand. But with the over 10,000 twitter followers the individual behind the account is able to use the account and the followers to not only vent and point out how bad BP screwed up the situation but also do some good. What good could come from impersonating an actual brand. selling t-shirts. The fake account links to a site where you can get a "free" BP Cares t-shirt with $25.00 shipping. The good is the owner claims "All proceeds from these satirical shirts will be given to charities involved in cleaning, preserving, and rescuing the gulf and its animals.
We are printing shirts as quickly as possible, please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping." Now it would be great if that is true but by coming off as a fake account/impostor/con man it is hard for some people me included to believe that all proceeds will go to charity. Now they very well may which would be awesome and that individual who used Twitter to address their frustration at BP is doing plenty of good.

Edit: It looks like the proceeds will go to a charity of Healthy Gulf.

How is this a dangerous slope?

Where is the line that should not be crossed? Impersonating a brand and using their trademark and image is illegal. I am waiting to see what BP will do to the individual who made the account, and if other people who are upset with the situation also will create a satire account at BP or another companies expense.

Were you familiar with the fake BP account? What should be done to this account? What should BP and other companies do to make sure that this doesn't happen again or to them?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trying different templates

I am attempting to find a template that works in 1024p resolution, having some difficulty but going to keep trying and messing with them, liked my old template but the images and borders were static and enlarging the width to 1024 left lines over the text. Also I still remember some html... how would of thought I would not me. If you have any suggestions or opinions please let me know. I don't want to keep writing articles and want these to be blog posts with a community. But thanks to my 10s of loyal readers.

Is the next Evolution of Social Media Clusterr?

What is Clusterr?

Taken from The Clusterr Blog: “Here is a very brief synopsis of what Clusterr is:

Clusterr solves the information overload inherent to social media streams. The application parses the users Twitter timeline looking for Tweets that contain links. Clusterr resolves the short URLs, identifies and categorizes the media behind those URLs and then organizes & sorts the content in “Clusterrs” by type: Videos, Pictures, Web Sites and Music. Each piece of media is presented visually using a thumbnail image.

Clusterrs can be viewed chronologically or by popularity of content (number of tweets including the same media URL). Users can consume the media directly in Clusterr, as well as use Clusterr to share the content (through tweeting or re-tweeting) or by saving the media into a Custom Clusterr and then sharing that cluster with their friends. Additionally, Clusterr functions as a Twitter client, allowing users to send tweets with or without media directly from the web site.

We started Clusterr on the web, however our simple yet effective design was created specifically with cross platform applications in mind. Currently Clusterr is in development for the world wide web (Currently in Private Beta). We have also just begun cross platform development for smaller and larger screens. Cluster is the brain child of Kevin Pereira (Host and Executive Producer of G4′s Attack of the Show and Women of the Web) and Joshua Krane (Co-Founder of G4tv and formerly G4′s SVP of New Media and Interactive) and was designed and built lovingly in Los Angeles.”

What does that mean?

Clusterr takes the hassle out of your social media and twitter streams. Instead of having hundreds of links that will redirect you to another website Clusterr provides a way to view this additional information in one place without the need to click on each link. With Clusterr you can easily view all media files buried in your twitter time line, this includes videos, pictures, web sites, and music. Clusterr is similar to TweetDeck. TweetDeck has the ability to have pop ups for digital media, whether it is a picture from yfrog, twitpic, or another place or a video from youtube that when clicked on overlays it on top of your twitter stream. Unlike TweetDeck Clusterr has all the media on one screen where it is easy to view and access.

To simplify this here is a short demo video of Clusterr showing what it does and can do. I am unable to embed the video despite my best efforts.

Clusterr is not a replacement for twitter or twitter clients, yet.

Currently Clusterr doesn’t contain a feed, but maybe it will in the future? But what it is capable of doing is resolving all the links that are included in each tweet to something that is manageable. By using Clusterr I no longer need to click on every other tweet since there is a link it will show me what that link is.

An evolution? The Future?

This is not the big thing for social media, but rather it is another tool to better utilize the current social media. Clusterr makes managing your twitter feed easier similar to HootSuite and TweetDeck. But it doesn’t replace them, not yet at least. Being a beta version a final verdict can’t be stated yet but here are some add ons to Clusterr I would like to see in the future/ full version.

  • Integrate with Facebook and other social media streams to be an all in one place
  • Allow to tweet and update profile/status from the site
  • Include a feed with the rest of the tweets not just ones with links - Now included
  • Have a better preview of what Clusterr is, screen shots and a sample video
  • Faster uploads, not waiting an hour from time tweeted to seen

I will continue to use TweetDeck because I have my columns all set up and most links and items will pop up on screen without a redirect with one click. Clusterr has a lot of possibility depending on the social media integration in the future.

Edit: Update on Clusterr

Wonderful customer service, tweeted a problem and got a response in very little time, and the response was helpful. You are also now able to tweet from Clusterr which is a major plus, still can't see a time stamp or delete seen items. Clusterr has been very helpful in saving time and allowing me to read more tweets and see more content.

Addition Edit (8/12/2010):

Clusterr has been continually updating and adding numerous features including some that I have suggested in this post. I am still loyal to TweetDeck because that is what I am now use to, but I have been logging in and checking out Clusterr almost everyday and like how it is developing and where it is going.

Are you interested in trying out Clusterr? What do you see as the next evolution in Social Media? What would you like to see added to Clusterr to make you want to use it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hollywood Remakes = Easy Money?

Hollywood and the film studios are finding it hard to come up with new and original content.
Similar to the South Park episode where Butters as Professor Chaos is trying to impose his evil plans on the town of South Park but every idea he has is not original and has been done by The Simpsons as seen in this clip. Being original is not longer easy with almost 100 years of films having been made coming up with something original is difficult to do. Even the critically acclaimed James Cameron masterpiece Avatar is not without some backlash of how it is not original. The main controversy is that Avatar is a rip-off of many other films/ comic books. With original content being all but gone many film studios are either making comic book/ novel movies, making numerous sequels and prequels, and remaking old "classic" movies.
Original movies have uncertain fates.
A new film runs the risk of being a flop and losing money, something studios wish to avoid, so they are taking less risky films that are likely to flop. This leads to more "remakes" as stated above which are already know so require less marketing for awareness and will already have a following/fans who will see the movie. Some film franchises continue to make sequels (Most horror films, Saw, Friday the 13th....)
Excessive remakes and sequels devalue the franchise.
Similar to most businesses a brand or franchise can be devalued which hurt the returns. But with Hollywood franchises don't have much staying power and remakes don't harm the sale of the original on DVD or bluray. With the lack of staying power it is understandable to "strike the iron while it is hot" so they can get the most out of franchise.
Remake the classics but at what cost.
Lots of movies are being remade most recently Nightmare on Elm Street which made a decent amount at the box office but many critics have said its not as good as the original and receiving bad reviews and ratings. The ratings don't seem to matter to the studios as long as it makes money at the box office but why not do both? Some individuals even on Twitter continue to say how Hollywood is destroying their childhood. There are numerous bad or average movies that can be remade that can be better then the original. The problem with remaking flops are they usually flopped for a good reason and a remake might not fix those reasons.

Should Hollywood continue to remake classics? Do you like having your childhood remade? What movie(s) would you like to be remade?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

5 Easy Ways to get me to follow you on Social Media (Twitter)

My followers on Twitter have been steadily increasing, mostly with spam bots and people I have no interest in following or don't know. That and my twitter time line (Twitstream) is pretty full especially when I get to it at lunch break. Usually I don't have time to read all the posts but I do click on a few of the people I follow to see what they posted. A few that I always read include Coalesce, FitMke, Tom Snyder (triveraguy), and Jim Raffel. The reason why I check these 4 before any others is they tweet great content and links about Marketing and Social Media and for Fit Milwaukee they offer great tips for running. They pertain to me and my interests and are not cluttered with a bunch of Foursquare check ins or blip songs. This list is also great suggestions for Follow Friday.

Now on to the ways for me to follow you and to get my attention

  1. Follow me first- This is a basic start, but just because you are following me doesn't mean I will follow you back. I follow about 1/3 of the people who follow me mainly because I don't have time to read thousands of tweets. I also only check my followers once a week to see if I have any new followers.
  2. Have a logical reason to be following me- If you are following me you should be doing so for a reason.
    A. Are in my geographic location (Milwaukee or Appleton, Wisconsin).
    B. Have a common interest whether it is video games, sports, G4, Olivia Munn (OMFG), or some other commonality.
    C. Like my awesome, witty, hilarious tweets. Which I am sorry have been lacking a lot as of late.
    D. Or most importantly are in the marketing or a similar industry.
  3. Don't have half your tweets be from apps- I had a hard time wording this but in lament's terms don't have most of your feed be filled with foursquare check ins or similar programs (gowalla) and to a much lesser extent songs from Blip or what video you rated on youtube. Now don't get me wrong its fine to use these apps and post where you are or what you are listening to I just don't want that to be all you do or tweet about.
  4. Have quality tweets in your timeline- This goes back to point 3 but if you are a new follow the last 20 or so of your tweets determines if I am going to follow you back. Comical tweets are great for a follow but tweets that have information and something I can learn from is best. Have a reason for me to follow you.
  5. Have a conversation with me- Reply to one of my tweets let me know you are following me and reading what I tweet. Let me know that you exist, this is one of the main ways I follow you.
Do you have any other ways or rules for following someone? Do you agree with this list? Do you follow me on twitter? Do you have someone who I should be following?