Friday, 22 March 2013

What we can learn from The Onion about the fickle nature of social media…

One day they love you, the next day they leave (ahem), unfollow you.

Seeing as this is a blog about social media slip-ups, it is impossible not to talk about The Oscars Onion debacle on Twitter this week. Everyone else is talking about it, so why not add more rubber to the tire fire?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this and get yourself caught up...

Yes, despite what Miley Cyrus believes, “can’t” is in fact not the real "C" word.

Firstly, I’d like to point out what most media outlets have neglected to mention: The Onion’s twitter account has not only retained its over 4.5 million followers but has added some 6,000 new followers since the fiasco was first picked up by major media outlets.

I’m not going to play the sage and say whether The Onion has acted right or wrong throughout the course of this perceived public relations crisis. However, I will make a couple of surface level observations, in the form of a Top 2 List (just because Top “__” Lists seem to the be all the rage these days):

1. We all must learn to exercise prudence in the real-time world that is social media.
Everyone’s had a status update or tweet (sometimes done in haste, sometimes crafted in a state of drunken rapture) that they would love to take back.

There must be some vetting process in any good social media strategy –whether it be in regards to professional or personal accounts. I don’t want to hear about every single initiative that a company is involved with, nor do I want to know that you are going to the gym and your max weight is 400 lbs, bro.

2. Sometimes controversy in the world of social media is not necessarily a bad thing.
Since Sunday, overall mentions of The Onion have spiked according to social media analyzers NetBase, suggesting that new communications methods are blurring the line between notoriety and fame in the digital realm.

Perhaps we are harkening back to a time where any publicity is good publicity, or as Oscar Wilde famously said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Maybe we should ask young Quvenzhané for her opinion on that.


  1. I'm confused.. what is this "C" word if not can't?

    1. I am still wondering the same thing - Graham forgot to close out the post and let us know...

  2. I couldn't agree more...some people have nothing better to do then post every moment of their waking lives! So annoying!

  3. I agree this is unfortunate. I just remember that sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Tis a fact of life.

  4. great post - i agree, a little controversy is sometimes a good thing, especially if it nets you 6,000 more followers...

  5. The Onion is the best.