Yes, this is an actual screen.
Digital marketers, we need to talk about this. Participation is not always a good idea – indeed, unless it’s one of those magical concepts that simply works, most of the time it’s downright bad (seriously, Amoy?).
Participation is supposed to tick the ‘brand engagement’ box, one of the nebulous-at-best marketing metrics that’s very much in vogue in the digital era, and which can mean anything from clicking a static banner ad to playing a game on Facebook. It’s supposed to associate your brand with fun, interactivity, modernity. It’s supposed to encourage loyalty and advocacy.
But it almost always doesn’t.
See, the thing is that people are not very good at this stuff. That’s why there are super-competitive agencies stacked full of paid professionals to do it instead. You wouldn’t crowdsource advice for your tax returns.
The other thing is that there are always ingenious bastards ready to eviscerate even the most well-intentioned and most-controlled iterations. I’m talking the people who will always find ways to draw a giant penis – or, as EasyJet found out today, find even more inventive ways to cause grief.
In some ways, though, marketers who are guilty of oversharing just save the rest of us the trouble of knowing who is getting a bit too carried away with social.
So the PlayStation Network – PSN – has now been down for nearly a month. A quick background, first: at the beginning of April, the loosely-defined-but-potent online hacking group Anonymous took a few potshots at the PSN servers using a fairly primitive DDOS tool called the Low Orbit Ion Cannon. The software can be powerful, but against a mighty piece of engineering it was never likely to have much of an effect beyond making a few sites flicker under the load. Moreover, the attack was a simple revenge for a Sony lawsuit against hacker GeoHot, who had finally cracked the platform. So far, so impersonal.
Then a chap from Sony’s hosting provider spoke to Ars Technica, without permission from his superiors. He guessed, probably correctly at the time, that the hackers were ‘going to get bored’. And then he made a big mistake:
… The DDoS attacks have been underwhelming. The source characterized them more as an annoyance than an unstoppable force. They “annoyed our network engineers,” says the source, but are only of “medium strength.”
This was really, really dumb.
Poor Gawker. If this one doesn’t become a poster child for a redesign train-wreck, I would be astonished. Following sudden and drastic changes to the format of Gawker’s properties – that’s Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, i09, Lifehacker, Kotaku et al – audience numbers were sawn in half. Nearly 5 million users lost almost overnight – and it just keeps getting worse.
So Thorntons has issued its second profit warning of the year. Its second. Of the year. Apparently it’s gosh darn difficult to sell chocolate in the sun. And the snow. In fact, apparently anything that isn’t a perfect 12.7 degrees Celsius (that’s 54.9 farenheit and 285.85 kelvin, fact fans!) is enough to topple their entire calorific empire, leaving them floundering in the limpid pools of their demise.