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15 October 2008

Comments

Kat

I think this is funny. Alas, I am not a Twitter Fan - but cute, none the less!

Jay Fienberg

imho, #debate08 has been more or less a total free-for-all--the humorous, barely on-topic tweets have been its one saving grace. So, in this case, I'd say that Popeyes read the community right, and contributed at its highest level (skewed humor with irony and self-deprecation).

The issue, in general, is that advertising inserted into a real conversation is pretty much the lowest form of participation--it's essentially anti-participation / anti-conversation. But, not all interchanges among a group of people are real conversations. And there are forms of group participation that are way lower than advertising (e.g., individuals offering streams of inane political party slogans wrapped in abusive insults).

So, one should want to participate at a "high level" of a group's interchange--and what that is, is going to be different for different groups at different times. But, the more impersonal and un-conversational the group's interchange, the more likely an impersonal advertisement made by a group member is going to fit in just fine.

Devon Persing

I completely understand the insertion of businesses and organizations into social media.

However, I can't see the addition of the hash tag as anything more than trying to plug the product into a topic that a lot of people are following, and that a lot of people feel strongly about.

It's not nearly as bad as the company actually declaring a political position, which they clearly stayed away from, but I totally agree that they basically inserted a commercial into a forum that should be commercial-free.

Laura

I don't have a huge problem with businesses being part of a conversation, which is what is happening here - it's a funny little *relevant* phrase they've injected, it's not 'buy chicken dinner for $2.99.' And if they only do it occasionally, then it's not all that offensive.

If it becomes every other message, it's a problem. If it becomes not relevant to the conversation, it's a problem. But to insert a little humor in the hopes of getting someone to follow your full Twitter stream (which I'm assuming contains at least a little outright advertising) doesn't seem too bad.

But most companies will never in a million years show the kind of restraint necessary to keep this kind of thing at a reasonable level. Plenty will start injecting irrelevant ads into tagged conversations - because they don't understand the medium and because they can.

So when they start abusing the system en masse, which they will, someone will build an aggregator that follows tags but allows you to 'bozofilter' companies/people who abuse tagged conversations with irrelevant tweets.

Popeyes Chicken

I don't think we should egg on those who batter the system with tasteless tweets. But the Bonafide One just adds spice to the conversation.

Laura

I made the conscious decision to incorporate two event hash tags to spread an Amber Alert 2 weeks ago. Since I was at one of the events and since it was a greater good kind of a thing, it was not that much of a stretch. But it's a slippery slope.

Popeye's stuff is hilarious, and to me a company is welcome to play in such a forum if they are contributing something useful.

Companies *will* catch on though, and find ways to commercially "pollute" what we now see as "pure". I see Twitter as highly self-healing though, and believe that brands behaving like that will quickly find themselves with no followers and/or blocked.

Time will tell.

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Jim Benson

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Jim Benson is a collaborative management consultant. He is CEO of Modus Cooperandi, a consultancy which combines Lean, Agile Management and Social Media principles to develop sustainable teams.

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