Archive for ‘ethics’

January 11th, 2009

Why current Twitter tactics for brands are now starting to bore consumers (and me)

by Laurent François

Many guys predict 2009 as the Twitter year.

Cool. So what?

Many brands, PR agencies etc. start following bloggers on Twitter. And guess what: it does not work pretty well. Here are the reasons why:

  • getting in touch with a brand whereas you did not ask for that is not a natural process
  • I usually don’t follow institutions or brands. But I follow spontaneously people I know, I want to know or that someone suggests me
  • I sometimes follow event-accounts, in order to be aware of what’s going on, what’s “live”, and to know who’s in the room I am

Something is missing in the current tactics I experience as a blogger:

  • brands or agencies contact me without giving me anything in exchange
  • their accounts are just a press releases sender

Why would I follow them? I’m now even bored when I receive again an email saying “*** is now following you”.

So, what should agencies or brands do?

They should be embodied by someone: it’s more powerful to be followed by an account executive or by the startup’s CEO than by a logo. You want to know someone, you want to experience the conversation. You want an authentic relationship, you don’t want to talk to an automatic server. You need to show the value someone will get if he/she gives you time.

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January 9th, 2009

(love) story of the day: a tweet to marry him!

by Laurent François

Grant wrote probably the tweet of the day: he proposed @film_girl to marry him. And she said yes.
In terms of storytelling, and on how you can make your own story…public, it’s such a big step. To be followed.

December 31st, 2008

"Torches of freedom", storytelling and social media

by Laurent François

I’m currently reading Edward Bernays’ book, “Propaganda”. Ed Bernays is the father of public relations and spin.
And he develops many examples, like the “torches of freedom” during Easter Parade in New York City, 1929.

At the end of 1920s, American Tobacco company was claiming that if women don’t smoke, it means that they miss 50% of sales.

So, how to make the opinion support the idea that smoking is good? Good question, rational answers would be: no way! Unless cigarets become a symbol of women sexual freedom.
That’s what’s happened. Creating a divide of opinion, it’s already influencing.

What’s the point? That in causes like in literature, there are good and bad stories. Good news is that we now can say and claim through online expression when we don’t agree.

Happy new year.

December 30th, 2008

Digital life after death: are social media ready for this human stage?

by Laurent François

Digital life after death…It can appear like a morbid thought, but hey, isn’t our digital presence a kind of new capital that our relatives could inherit? Here’s a question by JD Lasica:

“What becomes of our online life, conversation, possessions (copyright), etc. after we dies? French law has taken this into account for digital content protected by intellectual property. But what about conversations, family photographs and other items?”

This video is pretty interesting: it displays some recent examples of how people dealt with death online, how parents managed their kids’ patrimony etc.

It’s astonishing to see how unready to death our social media are: no possibility to easily share all our accesses to someone we trust, no rule for that on Facebook. It’s like we were timeless, whereas only our ideas and digital footprints are.

Finally, social media are just following some Western attitudes towards death. I’d like to quote an analysis of Philippe Arriès’ book, The Hour of Our Death :

“hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Ariès shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century—how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives—and points out what may be done to “re-tame” this secret terror.”

I’d like to know more about what other cultures think of social media & death. I haven’t found any relevant thing in English and / or French. If you have an idea: comment ! :)

December 15th, 2008

Sexting media: teenagers’ reputation at stake

by Laurent François

ABC News gave great insights about what we call “sexting“:

“If a boy meets a girl or has a girlfriend on summer break he comes back and shows all his boys the [naked] pictures he’s been sent. No one gives it that much thought really,” says Younger.

The dangerous combination of teenagers behaving provocatively and impulsively is not new, but the accessibility to the technology is. With cell phone cameras, they have been handed a tool so easy to use for some it’s impossible to pass up.

Funny? Not really, because the repercussions can be pretty dangerous for the teenagers.

How come ?

Now, when you text someone, your device is connected to the web…So the tremendous thing to do is to tease someone and publish the photos…on any social networks, just to share with your buddies.


IRL, we call it sexual maltreatment. In virtual world, which has consequences in real life, it can lead to:

  • offending reputation
  • breach of trust
  • psychological trauma

What used to be just a provocative manner evolved: there will be digital footprints “forever” of these affairs in search engines, ghost accounts etc:

“The survey by Girlfriend magazine found that four in 10 readers had been asked to forward a nude photo of themselves via multimedia phone messaging, known as MMS.”

So what to do?
Probably also teaching kids what is at stake when they use all these new media. And explaining why they need to be extremely careful with their online stories. Because it must belong to them.

Some might call it literacy. Or just responsibility.

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