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October 11, 2008

Social Networks Aids Crime

Attention CSI writers. Real life is stranger than fiction and the two following examples involving Criagslist prove this.

From Cnet just last week. Man robs Armoured truck and uses decoys dressed as himself recruited via Criagslist to be around the scene as he escapes. He escapes via an inner tube down the river! They may have been filming a new season of Prison Break :) Another link here with a video.

I love this story! Can you imagine pulling this off but not being able to tell anyone!

And this one from March 2008 where an ad announced the contents of a house were "free for all" as the owner had to leave suddenly. The owner returns early to find 30 people taking stuff from his house!

I love this too. It's like the ultimate prank and cost's nothing.

I remember when for Mission Impossible 3 they were running their Easter Egg hunt / ARG (info here) and one code was hidden on Craigslist. I posted an entry to my blog at the most obvious spot (but the wrong answer) and got heaps a traffic. It got taken down 2 days later. Not exactly at the same level of these guys but an example of how you can easily hijack a promotion running on social networks.

Are there other examples of this in which a social network has been used in a nefarious way? I was going to try and claim the term Crime 2.0 but it's already been used. Here's one blog which sums up what I'm thinking.

"I'm just waiting for reports of shrewd criminals that monitor Twitter, Jaiku or Facebook to see reports like "I'm going out of town for the weekend. Ciao" and use the information to break into some poor geek's house. It wouldn't take a genious, that's for sure."

So keep that in mind when you next tweet that the people following you might be doing so for the wrong reasons.

October 4, 2008

First, largest, most successful & viral

When writing a press release in the advertising industry its hard not to claim something using the following terms

"First, largest, oldest, most successful & viral"
and sometimes using more than one of these in the same release.

What I want to know is does everyone believe what they read or do they do as I do and call bullshit? If so why isn't there any fact checking being done? I've seen some claim to be the "most successful online campaign for XXXX" and agencies call themselves "largest XXXX XXXX agency" or "the first XXXXX agency in XXXXX".

Blatant use of the word viral is the easiest to put a stop too. If you are writing the press release before the campaign has been launched then describing it as viral is like calling it award winning before it's won any awards. Julian mentions this here and here.

I'll admit I've done it myself with both Bannerblog and Soap. Each time I knew it was bending the truth. But I'e made sure to put and end to it lately. I guess we work in an industry build on deception (read: BS) and there is no honour among thieves.

If you see a blatant exaggeration of the truth from an advertising agency please send it my way and we'll try and make this a regular fixture.

September 21, 2008

McCain Space

And I thought the election in Australia over did it with all the Facebook groups and Youtube channels

While I was in Brazil I asked if elections had been taken over by the web yet and it was a resounding no. No politics online yet. Are there any other examples of politics being bitten by the social media bug?

September 17, 2008

3M and corporate stealing of ideas


Here's a recent example of how trying to save a few thousand dollars ends in FAIL for the brand. What a simple problem to avoid.

Someone should be fired. I wonder if any agencies have paid the originators of ideas that they have appropriated.

I heard EA paid the creator of the original video that sparked the video response below. Good karma there. It shows you don't even need to be fast. The response was 12 months after the fact.

Cannes Twitter Article

Rather than actually write 500 words about "what it's like to be on the Cannes jury" I just edited my twitter feed down. I was a Twitter doubter but doing this at an event with significance seemed like a good use of the technology. It was a pain though. Every time we went anywhere I'd be on my phone looking down not interacting with people. It also cost me a bomb in SMS fees (damn international roaming).

You can read this article and the others on Campaign Brief's new digital version. Free until the end of the year.

Campaign Brief Article

I'll be following Cherp to see how an agency can just specilize in Twitter. Why not Facebook or Wikipedia?

This had me thinking of new guys on the block The Population.

Note: Claims of "firsts" are never fact checked when it comes to PR from advertising agencies, which is weird as an industry we're the ones most likely to bullshit.

You can read about the 4th Pure Social Media Marketing Agency to start in Australia and get insights from one of it's founders Julian Cole. The Population is backed by Photon so there's no shortage of good minds, clients and cash there.

This would be be similar to us at Soap spinning of an "advergaming agency" which we coudl probably attach a first to that aswell (well in Australia at least) but that would feel limiting. I guess Social Media Marketing is such a broad term and the Population will be mostly consulting and outsourcing any specific production required.

Does anyone else know of any nice marketing companies utilizing new technology or buzzwords as their business model?

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