In the darker corners of the Internet, making light of tragic circumstance is a commonplace occurrence. There are countless Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Flickr groups and more that are completely devoted to mocking all forms of human existence in as cruel and heartless a manner as possible. Cyberbullying continues to be a huge problem in our schools. Offending anyone with a shred of human decency is part of what the Internet does best—just look at the comments on any given YouTube video, if you really want to see the dregs of humanity.
I think we are all so desensitized to this sort of behavior; this surge of confidence that relative anonymity grants to the darker angels of our nature online, that we only really notice it and talk about it when a public figure does it. Kenneth Cole’s use of the violence in Egypt as a “clever” way to promote his latest line of shoes and accessories didn’t really surprise me. I’d already seen far worse jokes than his throughout the social sphere over the last few days. But the response and outrage that followed did interest me–I was glad to see it so quickly condemned by so many.
Proof that the Interwebs are made up of far better people than soulless YouTube commenters calling Jessica Simpson fat for the umpteenth time is just what the doctor ordered. On to the Jots!
InKConsiderate – Scott Monty – If you hadn’t heard about the incident with Kenneth Cole yet, Scott has a terrific roundup, complete with screenshots of the controversy. He asks the same question I asked myself, wondering who will be next to attach their brand to a trending topic in a completely inappropriate manner. Considering some people really do believe there’s no such thing as bad publicity? I think we can count on it. “To me, it says that he understands the publicity around this historic moment and he wanted to capitalize on it. Expect to see some PR fallout from this. If he’d like his brand to be part of a trending topic in the future, I’d suggest either picking a hashtag that aligns with his industry, or purchasing a Promoted Trend. I wonder if this was a glaring exception or if we’ll see other marketers starting to take this leap?”
Figuring out Quora – Bill Sledzik – I broke down and joined Quora, knowing all along that it will likely end up being another social platform that I sign up for but never use. I haven’t used it yet, but Bill’s post makes me a little more curious to check it out. Read on if you want to learn how Quora might be useful to you. “When it reaches critical mass, Quora could be a useful crowd-sourcing tool, provided the right people find your questions. So, again, be sure to use topic tags. I’ve also decided to follow everyone who follows me, something I don’t do on Twitter. A larger network should lead to more responses to my questions. We’ll see.”
Twitter Branding 101 – Todd Defren – I love a timely topic! I was just discussing this issue yesterday regarding a client Twitter page: do we use a photo of the organization’s leader, or do we use their logo? My opinion is the same one Todd and the very smart folks at Shift came up with: it depends. “Personally I identify with logos as well. It’s brand recognition. I don’t like Comcast or Pfizer more because they have a face or several faces (which can be confusing in itself!) associated with their Twitter handle. People identify with meaningful content, messages and customer service. That’s my two cents.”
SEO Matters, No Matter What – Andrew Hanelly – Still confused about how SEO works and why it’s important? This post is for you. Andrew uses a terrific metaphor to make the case for good search engine optimization efforts, and why we should all be thinking of them when setting up shop online. “SEO forces you to go through the exercise of mapping out your content and the hierarchy of categories, topics, and ideas. It also forces you to pinpoint the focus of any piece of content you create (and helps you avoid creating aimless content written to a general yet non-existent audience.) If you apply this filing cabinet metaphor at the granular level, major ranking factors for SEO have practical applications outside of “getting more traffic from search” that improve a user’s experience with your content.”