Facebook Keeps It Real - Commentary on Story2Oh!
Ali Barrett, Simon Beals, Devon Ross and Jory Goudge had their profiles deleted on Facebook this week.
Several CaseCamp attendees were “friended” by Ali Barrrett or Simon Beals prior to the event. Although
Gollick Golick disclosed their fictional status on other social networks, she admittedly didn’t disclose that information on their Facebook profiles. Many of them felt duped and questioned the lack of transparency. Others felt it was all in the name of artistic expression and that made everything okay.
Facebook’s terms of service are very clear when it comes to user conduct. In addition to other terms that may have been violated, members agree not to “impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity”.
Although I questioned
Gollick Golick on her lack of transparency and she addressed my concerns in person following the presentation, I didn’t complain to Facebook. I suspect there may have been those in the room or Facebook representatives who did.
I’m the first to admit the creative on Story2Oh! was brilliant and engaging. The production quality of the videos was top notch (maybe even too professional for YouTube, but I digress). Compelling content is certainly essential but when it comes to social networks and other forms of social media, TACT is key:
Story2Oh! character profiles on Facebook were anything but transparent and in my opinion, therein lies the crux of problem. Particularly on a service that so many rely on to mediate their real, non-fictional relationships.
What about you? Do you think when it comes to the arts and other forms of creative expression in marketing campaigns, we can push the envelope, and, disregard trust, accountability, credibility and transparency in the social media playground?
As you can imagine, folks at CaseCamp and across the blogosphere have wildly differing opinions about TACT in this particular context. These include:
- Using the Net medium to tell medium appropriate stories by Glen Farrelly
- Brave New World (Not Fully Distributed Yet) by Denis McGrath
- Some of my best friends are imaginary by Saul Colt
- Deleted by Facebook by Jill
GollickGolick (creator of Story2Oh!)
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There are three things I wanted to share that relate to this.
- Alternate Reality Games (ARG), a tactic used by some marketers as well as artists, rely on participants walking the line between real/not-real. There might be some lessons and best practices from this space.
- Penguin Books UK is doing some interesting things with online storytelling via their project We Tell Stories. One of their stories include blogs that are character-driven and not identified (on the blog) as fictional. Another good example to look to.
- Last year we had a piece on Character Blogs. Opinion varied wildly on that as well. Some of these characters were better known that some of the ones in Story2Oh! - does that matter? If they start on TV, are we more forgiving?