Tuesday, March 28

Shame(ful) Game

This meme was posted on the Instagram by Wolftooth and then quickly reposted by the keen-eyed Anna Schwinn faster than a cheetah with something to prove:

Well, shit.  As someone that owns more than a few products from this company... feelings are stirred.

This post and the backlash went down over the weekend, which brings to mind the whole Small LBS David VS Specialized Goliath that ended with this awkward hug:

Let's face it.  As much as everyone wants to hate on Specialized, it's very easy to believe that an intellectual property attorney on retainer got heavy-handed doing his job on a Friday, and the next thing you know, Mike Sinyard's phone is blowing up like a supernova... on a Saturday.  Damage control on your day off has to be an unpleasant task.

So anyways, the original post goes up, the "I'd hit that" bros appreciate it, and the two (three?  four?) parties offended strike back (rightly so) on the social medias.  The image is taken down... time passes... an apology of sorts

Some are okay with that, some want more, some like me are confused about having feelings so this is strange.

A long time ago (in the Internet world it would be considered so), a buddy of mine was asked to be the "social media manager" for a company that was trying to basically revive its brand image by aligning with outdoor enthusiasts.  I think it's safe to say he wasn't an overwhelming fan boi of their products (which used to be proudly made in the US, but moved manufacturing facilities China in 2002), but it was a paying gig.  He had the keys to their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook... and to top this all off, he was hired through a marketing company and not the actual company he was promoting.

So it's safe to say the company was "removed" from him to a degree but still letting him take the wheel anyways?  Not a whole lot to the vetting process IMHOMO.

Eventually, the company didn't feel like he was representing them in the manner which they wanted (I thought he was doing a great job), and he was relieved of his duties.  I'm sure he misses the extra money, but his conscience is probably breathing a lot better.

My point being this.  Social media has gotten way too important for a company's image, and once something's out there, it's out there forever.  Every Tweet, every Gram, and every FB wall post... and all your comments.  The internet does not forget.

So when you're handing out the keys to the party barge, don't just give them to anyone.

Everyone wants to drive the boat, but that doesn't mean they should.

I'm willing to bet an amount of money that I can afford to lose that the person in charge of all the ducks being in rows at Wolftooth wasn't wasting his time Gramming images of cogs and marketing social media fluff.

He trust(ed) a person to push out content just as he trusts some other person to make sure that the toilet paper is stocked in the employee bathroom without having to check for himself every hour or so.  This guy who Grammed the meme dropped the ball and left his fellow employees with virtual shitty assholes.  Now the whole office smells like mud-butt, and nobody's happy just because one employee didn't do their job very well.

What really sucks is that I'm pretty sure that a 25yr old me would have thought it was funny.  I probably would have shared it as well.  What can I say?  I'd barely been exposed to the world.  Hell, I used to put cutup bologna on my iceberg lettuce salads... and I thought that was fancy.  I was the definition of myopia.  It took years for me to shed most of that small mindedness.  Exposure to different people and ideas.  I've had to grow, and hopefully I will continue to do so.
But to expect that we're all on the same page?  Dunno.

I'm just glad I didn't have any real access to the internet until I was in my late twenties (I think).  Even so, I've done plenty of dumb shit since then that I'm sure if you looked hard enough, it would come out if I ran for president.  It might make me look bad, but that's apparently not important if you just want to be the leader of the free (to treat people like shit) world. 

Times like these, Internet justice is swift and quite harsh.  I hope I never cross the line too far and find myself at the pointy end of it.

Because I still make mistakes aplenty.

I mean I did post this image once (or twice... or three times):

A still from a promotional video produced by a professional mountain bike team and featuring one of their pro riders that left me wondering just when does one cross the line of using sex to sell or am I admiring the beauty of the human form of an athlete or am I just a pervert for noticing a nipple and I need therapy?

That might be all I have to say... or not.

Follow up;

Posted on Wolftooth social media around 2:00PM

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