Postcard from The Staterooms-on-Thames: Outsourced and ‘Ghost written’

Dear Reader,

Twitter is awash with social media mavens who think they know more and think better than others.  The fact that many of the social media mavens may be American is inevitable. But the Brit ‘marketers’ are catching up fast with their snakeoil.  They have set themselves up as ‘mavens’ or ‘gurus’. Most of the ones I have come across don’t blog or their blogs are dull, don’t write entertaining tweets and don’t appear to have anything of any value whatsoever in terms of advice.

I am pleased to announce my Merdu du Boeuf award for webfuckery. This award is not given to an individual – it is awarded for a ‘concept’ .  The concept to win this, my first Merde du Boeuf award,  is OUTSOURCING TWEETS… or as the ‘gurus’ call it TWoutsourcing.  My attention was drawn to this ludicrous idea by fellow blogger Peninsulawyer – so Hat Tip to him.  He also tweets.

While I expect busy or cretinous celebrities (sometimes a celebrity may fall into both categories)  to get their memoirs ghostwritten , I really do not see why lawyers get serious law blogs ghostwritten (This is pretty close to fraud for it may mislead the reader about the lawyer’s ability and competence) and I certainly can’t see why anyone would want to pay someone to do their tweets for them – unless, of course, they are going to bore for England about their goddam products.

Oliver Jones is, obviously, an enterprising chap. He has set up  The Legal Marketer to help law firms get work.  He is prepared to tweet for law firms.  His argument is remarkably simple.  He says twitter is no different from an advert whether online or traditional print – so it is perfectly sensible for a law firm to get a ‘professional’ to do their tweeting for them. He does admit that twitter has other, social, uses.  These are are of no interest to law firms who simply wish to market.
I have no problem at all with advertisers – quite the opposite – they sponsor and help pay for the resources that my online magazine Insite Law provides for free.   I have no problem at all with law firms who use twitter simply to market their services. My remedy is simple – I don’t follow them.  If they follow me and I don’t like them or I am feeling capricious,  I block them.  Sometimes, if I am completely roaring on Rioja while tweeting…  I even report them for spam.  I know a lot of lawyers are a bit wet behind the ears when it comes to marketing their firms – but I can’t imagine they are daft enough to let a marketing firm loose on twitter on their behalf – unless, of course, they write all the tweets at a partner’s meeting for the month and send the list of tweets to the ‘guru’ to post at intervals!  Now.. that would be really daft, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some law firms are thinking of doing just that!

Mr Stone may have have succumbed to ‘Twitter selfimportanceitis’… I quote…

I read one tweet where somebody said that if they found out somebody was writing it that they would stop following!

Oh the sacrilege! That person probably thinks that because there is the lack of just one person tweeting, then a message is lost – there may be a brand behind it. Well the computer that you are typing on there… Neither Mr Hewlett or Mr Packard actually crafted it himself and moreover the channel that you use to tell me about your life is making someone some money somewhere so play the game, and be thankful that you tweet because you enjoy it, not because you have to.

I am, indeed, thankful that I tweet because I enjoy it and not because I have to!  Good luck to Mr Jones and the law firms who wish  to twoutsource to him!

Almost inevitably…

Twitter Sparks Its First Libel Action

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kurt Cobain’s widow, singer Courtney Love is at the center of a libel suit due to her angry Tweets against her former fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir. According to a libel claim lodged by Simorangkir in Los Angeles Superior Court , Love carried out “an obsessive and delusional crusade” of malicious libel against her on Twitter, adding insult on MySpace and other websites.

And talking of libel… I received a tweet  from @IkenCEO a fellow twitter user asking for my view on Carter-Ruck representing the ‘good guys’ for a change with the comment… ‘that’s not on message’!

My own attempt to ‘twoutsource’ my tweets yesterday when I was recovering from overdoing the juice on Friday evening was met with this…

The reference to @DavidWrightMP was to Wright’s ludicrous attempt to say that his twitter account was hijacked when he tweeted about the Tories being scumsucking-pigs. This may well be true – but it irritated Eric Pickles, Conservative Chairman, so much so that he wrote to complain that Wright may have broken the ‘Ministerial Code’.  It also gave the Tory bloggers and tweeters something to get even hotter under the collar about.

Tory bloggers. gawd bless ’em, are almost wetting themselves with excitement at the prospect of a new Tory era – and they may well get it.  William Hague has, cunningly, been writing in the News of The Screws for two years (Paid / unpaid?) to get in touch with the Conservative Party’s working class side.

The NOTW reports today…

GORDON BROWN is deliberately wrecking the country to sabotage an incoming Tory government, William Hague has claimed.

He accused the Prime Minister of taking Britain to the brink of bankruptcy to leave a mess for his successor. Mr Hague warned that Mr Brown had given up all hope of winning the election and resorted to planting economic booby traps. In an amazing attack, David Cameron’s deputy likened Labour ministers to a retreating army “poisoning the wells” as they fled. He said: “If he had actually planned to leave the country in the worst state possible, he couldn’t have gone about it better.

Good, however, to see that humour and romance are not dead over at Eversheds…. RollonFriday reported on this Email sent to Eversheds staff…

Sent: 12 February 2010 15:32
To: Department staff
Subject: Roses are red…..

Violets are Blue,
I’ve done my timesheets
How about you?

Big Brother Bank Accounts

Guido Fawkes and Ian Parker-Joseph alerted me to the latest brilliant plan from George Osborne – well, I assume he was involved in the ‘plan’, given that he appears to be Shadow Chancellor of The Exchequer.

The plan is simple…. let the taxman have direct access to everyone’s bank accounts so that they can tax you at source. I had a bit of fun with Ian Parker-Joseph yesterday, tweeting that I thought this was a good idea to help struggling companies!  I was in that sort of post-hangover sardonic mood. Ian is a Libertarian – indeed, until recently, Head of the Libertarian Party UK.  He is absolutely right, of course, to say that this is not a great idea.  Guido Fawkes agrees…. “If HMRC has an electronic trojan in your bank account it will move on from deducting from your salary to taking a cut of your eBay sales and tracking all your financial transactions.  Do you want the government controlling your bank account?  That is the ultimate goal of tax collectors the world over since before even the Doomsday Book…”

Given the way MPs behaved when they tried to suppress Freedom of Information requests on their expenses – it is, perhaps, likely that Osbore and others at The Laurel & Hardy Institute of Fiscal Studies will have ‘second thoughts’ should they be elected in May.

Well… the gulls are shrieking, the cormorants are diving for eels… and it is time now, for me, to sit outside a cafe on the King’s Road – at the World’s End end – and drink black coffee, smoke some Marlboros and read the papers.

Have a good week..

Best, as always


2 thoughts on “Postcard from The Staterooms-on-Thames: Outsourced and ‘Ghost written’

  1. The idea of outsourcing tweets does seem funny to my mind but perhaps this is because I view Twitter in what may be a very personal light.

    For me, twitter is about communication. In theory therefore, I don’t think I would mind if someone was having their tweets ghost written, as long as the tweeter was accessible. In other words, I choose who to follow on the basis of their responsiveness. That is because Twitter for me is about being able to reach out, with my ubiquitous and sometimes dubious, 140 characters, to people all over the world and see what they think and why they think it.

    This does mean that as a tweeter, I require a certain level of honesty if someone is selling a product and as long as their message tallies with the intended one, I don’t really have a problem with it although I can see legal problems arising if selling techniques don’t match the product. Yet, therein lies a paradox. Most firms using Twitter churn out their message rather than tune in to the tweetstream. As a result, I generally, like Charonqc, don’t follow them because I find them a bore.

    As for celebrities outsourcing their tweets, perhaps once again because of the way I view twitter (an accessible, almost grungy form of communication designed, to my mind, to create direct contact – which is obviously something it has evolved into and may not have been intended at the start) I would consider that a waste of tweet space. Twitter’s value for me, lies in its real time touch ethos combined with a very personal element which is implicitly demanded in its intimate and compact style, from its limited characters to its neat little links and diddy avatars.

    Ultimately, I use Twitter in a combination of ways; to have fun, raise awareness of the work I do and to get feedback. It allows me to connect with what’s going on around me and to get feedback too.

    My personal message to businesses therefore would be: If you want to sell your brand in silence, take out an ad. If you want to connect your brand to a stream of consciousness and all the potential that implies, tweet responsively and responsibly!

    (The author of this tweet would like to re-iterate that these are her personal views and that they have not been tampered with by ghosts, goblin sharks or poltergeists).

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