Thursday, November 10, 2005

Character blogs are pseudo blogs

Character blogs are pseudo blogs

[This is an exact replica of a post I published at Blog Core Values.]

Character blogs are lies.

They violate several of the nine universal blog core values, such as authenticity, passion, transparency, honesty, relevance, and integrity.

For example, a Talking Moose is irrelevant to ice cream, it is not an authentic spokesperson, it can't have any legitimate passion about anything, it's opaque, dishonest, and insincere.

Can a rational company sincerely believe that a phony personality is a good spokesperson for them? There are many problems associated with this concept.

If a stupid company has to "make up a character" to deliver their message, something is wrong to begin with.

This is the sign of a lazy, arrogant, user-unfriendly business.

They are too lazy or ignorant to find a real advocate, an actual satisfied user, or a genuine and real corporate spokesperson, like the CEO or Sales Manager. How about a Customer Service department head?

Every business has a logical and actual spokesperson who can interact with consumers via blog comments and email.

Why a fictional character?

As Amy Gahran has said, it can be appropriate in rare cases. Ronald McDonald or Mickey Mouse could have a blog, and still represent the organization accurately, in an expected and fitting manner.

We must be careful that "story" is not a clever euphemism for "untruth" or deliberate falsification to sell more product to unsuspecting nit wits.

The fictional character "pretends" to use the product, or to be an expert, spokesperson, or representative of the company. Or the character is irrelevant, which is another strike against using it.

Consumers are not fooled so easily anymore. And they don't like to be jerked around.

Very few consumers are seeking entertaining "stories" at a business blog.

Most of the time, they seek information, product specifications and model comparisons, order forms, contact channels, staff profiles and credentials, company news, implementation advice, professional expertise, or a way to convey a question, complaint, suggestion, or appreciation.

When they want to converse with an organization, they generally don't wish to speak with a Talking Moose, Animated Elf, or Phony Personality who has unreal adventures that never happened.

For a character to say they traveled to France and discovered some great recipes, this is the height of insincerity, arrogance, and stupidity.

Tell the CEO to get off his ass and do what the fictional character claims to be doing. Then, with a real CEO having actual adventures, you'd have a good basis for a blog. True stories about real events is the way to establish credibility.

Character blogs in most cases are Pseudo Blogs, not a "new, creative" twist on blogs. I'm not saying, "stifle your imagination". What I am saying is this: don't use a blog for stupid purposes that violate consumer trust and marketing savvy.

Consumers don't like automated recorded messages when telephoning a company.

What makes anyone think they want to interact with a cartoon or other figment of the imagination?

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Bad Habit Brota said...

If I was Ronald MacDonald, my blog would go something like, "I can't believe people still eat this crap. Don't they watch Dateline?"

And if I was Mickey Mouse, I would blog all about how Michael Eisner spends his nights bathing in hundred dollar bills with hookers and school girls.


steven edward streight said...

I like your blog's new post "social [something or other, "development"?] of the geek". I inserted a poignent comment astringent thereabouts.

Bad Habit Brota's bad habit is...?

Oh heck no.

Zafufilia said...

Hear! Hear! Fresh insight. Thanks, as ever.

steven edward streight said...

Fresh only to new fans, zaf.

I've kicked this pseudo blog around the blog a few times before, and it involved Microsoft's Robert Scoble, Hugh Mcleod, Paul Tinbasher Woodhouse, and many other top bloggers.

We swarmed and derided the Gourmet Station blog, the Moosetracks talking moose blog, and a few other idiotic instances.

This post is just a clarification, based on how Dave Taylor mentioned in his blog how the issue has arise again.

G. Randy Primm said...

on a parallel track, is there any way we can rip microsoft bob out of xp? i'm getting really fried by those freaking popups asking me -telling me - shit i already know.

steven edward streight said...

Since I use Firefox as browser, I don't get many pop-ups from anybody.