celebrities Archives - Harris Social Media

Video killed the cartoon star: Disney’s social media disaster

on Sep 01 in branding, celebrities, fun stuff, marketing, reputation management, social media, trends posted by

Donald Duck is sure to be mad with what Disney has done to his classic cartoonsI just love those classic cartoons. You know, Roadrunner, Sylvester the Cat, and, of course, Disney’s famed cast of characters.

But Disney have made a big mistake trying to “modernize” some of their classics, notably Donald Duck, in a series called “Blam!” The videos provide a voiceover that humorously points out Donald’s misdeeds and mistakes in a way that Disney evidently presumes is palatable to today’s youngsters.

Unfortunately, Disney’s misguided effort has fallen, true to cartoon form, flat on its face.

On YouTube, comments on one video, unimaginatively titled And Another Blam! go the whole way. Here’s a few:

  • ahermit Annoying and insulting. Whose stupid idea was it to do this?!
  • BrianSchultze There is a special place in hell reserved for the person who approved this. 
  • sbl195207 …I had no idea that my childhood was being raped.
  • r3dk9 This is the worst thing. Ever.
  • electrojones This is spectacularly lousy in every way. 
  • FrankieSmileShow Oh my god. What the fuck is this. This ruined my day.

And so on. Not one of the 157 comments (at the time of writing) can be in any way construed as positive.

And serious bloggers (well, as serious as they can get) are lambasting the effort left and right. Cartoon Brew says “ These Blam! episodes, which are probably named so because the viewer wants to blam their head off after watching them, destroy the spirit of the Disney cartoons and over-explain every joke to the point where it becomes unfunny.” The 103 comments on that post are similarly unimpressed with Disney.

Cartoon forums such as Animationforum.net are also buzzing with negative response to the Blam! videos. 

Could Blam! be Disney’s big social media disaster? Disney’s heading over the cliff, but its executives won’t be laughing about it.

Popularity versus influence: what’s the difference?

on Aug 12 in business, celebrities, social media, strategy, thought leaders, trends posted by

What’s the difference between popularity and influence? Is it important? Brian Solis has an insightful article that highlights the differences and why we should be interested.

It’s easy to get bogged down in numbers. How many followers do I have? Is your Klout score more important than your Twinfluence? How many clicks did I get on URLs that I tweeted?

Just to clarify for those that have trouble wrapping their head around the concepts(I do!): You can be very popular (a lot of people know you) but have low influence (they don’t care too much what you have to say). Or your popularity can be low (few people know you), but you can have strong influence (they listen to what you say and act upon it). For example, Tim Berners Lee, who invented the Web has undoubtedly had a huge influence, but hardly anyone knows who he is. Practically everyone on the planet has heard of Muhammad Ali, but his influence is not very strong.

So where do numbers fit in? Let’s look at an example. On Twitter Brian Solis has about 62,000 followers, whereas Guy Kawasaki has about 265,000 followers. So Guy is more popular than Brian. But I have never commented on articles tweeted by Guy whereas I’ve commented a few times on Brian’s articles. So for me, Brian is more influential (using his definition).

Personally, popularity has never particularly interested me. So after three years on Twitter I still have only 945 followers. But I hope that among those that know me, I have some influence — so that a good proportion of my Tweets are RT’d, for example.

My baseline is simple: to provide value (to my Friends, Followers, clients, whoever). By providing value one’s influence will grow, and presumably popularity.

For social marketers, the next step is to evaluate the motives and needs of different users to categorize them as influencers or popular users (let’s call them celebrities).

For example, a business that wants to increase brand awareness might want to target celebrities. The business is not necessarily interested in a call to action so being known among celebrities with a large audience is likely to achieve goals faster than being known among influencers who have a smaller audience.

But say the business has a campaign to promote a special. They have a call to action (e.g. “buy my widget”). Now they will want to connect with influencers whose followers or friends will likely act.

My guess is that we will see a refining of user definitions and categories based on data. The influencer/celebrity dichotomy is too simplistic for targeted social marketing. We will want more sophisticated models that incorporate the various dimensions of user online behavior to ensure our messages have the greatest impact.

Is John McCain’s daughter a slut?

on Oct 17 in celebrities, politics, trends, Twitter posted by

The LA Times reported yesterday that John McCain’s daughter is causing a “media firestorm” after posting a picture of questionable taste to her Twitter profile.

Apparently, the picture in question was a close-up of her (fully-clothed) breasts. For someone less in the public eye (or whose father was less so) this would be a meaningless gesture that might get her followed by a few more horny guys, but not much else.

But did Ms. McCain miscalculate (unintended alliteration alert!)? Or was her exposure, intended to, well, expose her?

There are two points here:

  • First, we hold our politicians (and their families) to a higher standard than others, and rightly so. So Ms. McCain’s behavior is certainly ill-judged, as she tried to deflect the idea that she would be seen as a “slut.”
  • Second, it is easy for the barely known (sorry about the ghastly pun) to get to semi-celebrity status overnight by doing something a bit controversial or out of the norm. That’s the power of social media in the world today. We’d better get used to it.

Firing Britney’s Asshole Social Media Manager

on Jan 14 in celebrities, social media, strategy, Twitter posted by

Thought of the Day, Jan 14, 2009

Being dubbed “Social Media Manager” here at Capstrat, it would be easy to take offense at a comment by “Facemelter” (whatever that means) posted to a blog article about the recent hacking of high profile celebrity accounts on Twitter. But Facemelter does not have a clue what he is talking about. The article describes confusion among Britney Spears’ social media team, including putative firings. Facemelter suggests that any ‘asshole’ social media manager “would have scoffed at” not using Twitter as part of a social media strategy. A social media strategy will take into account the intended audience, the behaviors of interest, the medium in which the conversation is taking place and then, but only then, the tools to communicate with that audience. Such tools may or may not include Twitter, or other microblogging platforms. Before diving into Twitter, a business must consider the ROI, the cost of not doing alternatives, and the appropriate messaging and responses. Then and only then, would a social media manager, asshole or not, recommend using Twitter.

“The only way to prevent the attack would have been to not use Twitter in the first place, which of course, any asshole dubbed ‘social media manager’ would have scoffed at.”

— FaceMelter
Comment on “Turmoil Inside the Britney Spears Twitter Empire

Twitney Spears: Twivia?

on Jan 12 in celebrities, panconsciousness, quote of the day, trends, Twitter posted by

Thought of the Day, Jan 12, 2009

Uh oh! The entertainment industry has discovered Twitter. The recent hacking of high-profile Twitter accounts highlighted the Twitter activity of various personalities, including Britney Spears. Love her or hate her (I tend to the latter camp), the thought of Britney on Twitter suggests that the medium is fast opening up to the mainstream media, if not the public at large. Many deride Twitter as a fad, or only of interest to geeks and bloggers. The initial response is “I just don’t ‘get’ it!” I have blogged here before that the importance of Twitter is that it is a mirror of ourselves. It is what we make of it. If someone wants to follow Britney’s trivia, so be it. But more importantly, such uses of Twitter suggest that it meets a deeper need. To connect, to communicate, to share information — all ever-increasing needs in today’s hyper-complex society. In this light, I see Twitter as a societal phenomenon that manifests the collective conscious (panconciousness), and gives insight into the zeitgeist. Britney’s as much a part of that as any of us.

“Pop singer Britney Spears uses the [Twitter] Web site to give fans updates on her whereabouts around the world. On Dec. 14, 2008, the star Twittered while on tour, writing “I love Japan! I think all the tiny cars are so cute!” On Jan. 5, 2009, Spears’ Twitter account was reportedly hacked, and an obscene message was sent to the singer’s fans.”

— ABC News

Celebrities ‘Twitter’ to Connect

What do basketball, rap and Twitter have in common? Shaq O’Neil

on Nov 21 in celebrities, quote of the day, Twitter posted by

Quote of the Day, Nov 21, 2008

“We already know that Shaquille O’Neil is a great basketball player, an amazing rapper, and one of our greatest actors. One has to wonder, however, does this Renaissance man’s plethora of talents extend to wordsmithery? The short answer is: Yes. Shaq is also one of America’s most talented living poets. I submit to you Exhibit A: Shaq’s Twitter feed.”

Bloggers dominate Twitter

on May 20 in business, celebrities, thought leaders, trends, Twitter posted by

Sixty of the top 100 Twitter users are bloggers. The analysis takes the top 100 Twitter users as measured by the number of followers. In April 2008, a list was created from the website Twitterholic, which ranks Twitter users by the number of followers.

According to my categorization, the breakdown for the number of users in the top 100 is as follows:

Blogger      60
Corporate   25
Celebrity*    5
Developer    5
Twitterer      4

*Includes politicians. 

Of course, the number of followers is only one measure. It does not necessarily indicate the usefulness of the Twitterer. I am working on a different measure that will provide another metric to evaluate usefulness. 

One caveat, the list is in flux. Barack Obama was recently toppled from the top ranked position by Leo Laporte. (As of today, Twitterholic appears to be malfunctioning—the usually high ranked users are missing from the Top 100 list.)