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Why you can’t stop the bad stuff

February 18, 2009

A colleague of mine brought up an interesting idea on the Eric Mower and Associates internal blog

He said that:

WordPress, the blog hosting service, is resisting attempts from Canon to have them remove the Fake Chuck Westfall blog that one of its users maintains, a satire on Canon’s Technical Information Advisor Chuck Westfall that proclaims “Canon Camera Guru – Ya Better Recognize!”

The Fake Chuck Westfall blog appears to be a parody of the once famous Fake Steve Jobs blog, which for a while, was the darling of the internet.

On our blog (it’s internal, so there’s no link to it — we use it to talk about issues of the day with each other), we talked about the potential of a site to lampoon brands. Some think it’s a little frightening. I think it’s exciting. So while admitting that this all hypothetical what ifs, and things might change on the specifics, here’s what I think.

To me, this is a lot like the “what if they say something bad about us” question that comes up in social media. It’s a lot like the guy who sued the other guy on Yelp.

I think it wrong to try to make it go away.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live
Image by feastoffools via Flickr

I think the smarter thing to do for Canon would be to invite the person to a meeting. To laugh at the joke. To engage. Want some proof that it works?

Look at Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin was singularly responsible for making Saturday night Live relevant again. The Tina Fey Saturday Night Live satirical bits were as hilarious as they were damming. What did Sarah Palin, the emerging brand do? Did she try to get them to stop?

No. She went on the show. She laughed with it.

Is Sarah Palin going on SNL the same thing as Canon trying to shut down a blog? In my mind, they are both brands being lampooned, and both want to protect their image. One goes shut down. The other joined the conversation.

At what point are we going to realize that ‘shut down’ mode isn’t even a card in our hands anymore?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2009 11:03 am

    Great blog post. Great train of thought. Insightful and smart. I agree 100% with you.

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