— blending the mix

How can Homer Simpson slow the growth of online communities?

“Doh! Another headline grabbing post from an unknown blogger” I hear you say! But, listen up:

The huge viral success of [tag]The Simpsons[/tag] (whilst capturing the attention of many people) runs the risk of alientaing the very people to whom it is intended.

Text messaging took off in the UK over 7 years ago and went ballistic thereafter. To many teenagers, text became as credible a way of communicating as calling to older generations.

BUT, then something happened. Marketeers decided to start capturing and then sending promotional messages by SMS and they made the mistake of invading the personal space of the target market.

And I think this is where we need to be careful. Watermarked or not, Steve Rubel forgives Sky for not having indicated it was them who ran The Simpsons video, but they are treading a fine line.

Mention your name and be seen to invade the private space of millions, but don’t mention you name and ensure clever placement of other ads at the same time (print, online, tv, dm), enjoy the coverage only then to be ousted as a fake after the event.

Which is better…or worse? As we say in Yorkshire, it is better to be hung for a sheep as a lamb!
Look also at the two screenshots from [tag]myspace[/tag] too:

Private “public” communities are being poluted by advertisers keen to integrate into these communities. In this particular case, as many of you know, people need to be approved to be a friend, and I wonder just now much cash or discount the more popular members of the community are being offered to add their new “friends” to the top of their lists?

Imorral? I think so, and maybe the communities will think so too…let’s face it, if these types of communities are all about friendship, flilrting and meeting people, would you add a stranger who is nothing but an advert with nothing to say?

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