Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pink Doomed

An old standard in Austin politics closes up shop today and I hate to see PinkDome.com go. I have the pleasure of calling it's author a good friend and I know his satirical humor will be sorely missed in the capital and elsewhere around town. I know that his feelings about the Terry Keel/anonymous blogger debacle had something to do with his decision to call it quits, but his insanely busy schedule and real life job are what probably drove that final nail.

Mr. Pinkdome and I have discussed how the blogosphere is changing before our very eyes. What once was a scene filled with early adopters and anonymous authors chit chatting about what mattered to them, is slowly morphing into just another marketing vehicle to be exploited. Conversations will be less organic and more ad driven. Readers will be left with the question "Is this real or am I being marketed to?". On the political front, blogs have always been partisan in some fashion, but now politicos are putting together complicated and often covert social media outreach campaigns designed to "infiltrate" and hijack conversations and networks to influence readers opinions. Clearly this isn't a new tactic, it's happened all along, but it's scaled to ridiculous proportions these days.

The irony here is that I am one of those marketers who exploits social networks for the gain of my clients. My only personal saving grace is that I typically do it for socially aware, advocacy-focused companies who are saving the world (UNICEF) or promoting very serious human rights issues (HRC). Even if I were working for more retail-focused clients, I would recommend the very tactics I lambasted one paragraph up. Clearly my drive for success on behalf of my clients is much stronger than my personal blogging ethics. I am a walking dichotomy.

Nonetheless, looks like the first victim of this new media storm I've helped create has now been eulogized, and I do hate to see him go.

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