Monthly Archives: September 2009

Obama’s Comment on Kanye West Spreads Thru Twitter

By Peter K. Lam

Kanye West Disses Taylor Swift

Kanye West Disses Taylor Swift

If  you’ve been reading or watching some news the last few days, I’m sure you are well aware of the tasteless actions Kanye West did on stage while Taylor Swift was giving her acceptance speech. It was rude and disrespectful. Many have criticized West for what he did, even President Obama. President Obama was preparing to do an interview when the subject of West’s actions came up. President Obama referred to West as a “jackass” without really knowing what possible ramification that comment would have. Terry Moran, a former White House correspondent overheard what was said and promptly released a tweet which said, “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.” With tweets about President Obama’s comments running wild, they were deleted but it calls into question journalistic integrity and responsible use of Twitter.

A lot of people that use Twitter are the type of people who want instant gratification. This applies to those who tweet as well as their followers. Celebrities and regular users are pretty much able to say just about anything and not worry too much about backlash. Some celebrities have more impact on public opinion than others so when they say inappropriate things, the fallout not that bad. Journalists and politicians, on the other hand, must be very careful about what they say. The people who started tweeting about President Obama’s comment really should have thought things through before release the information to the masses.

With technology like Twitter, information spreads even faster than ever before. It only takes mere seconds after a tweet is released for followers to start commenting. That’s exactly what happened with the tweet about President Obama’s comment. Twitter is a powerful force in cyberland that isn’t showing any signs of fading popularity. As the user base grows and more professionals adopt the tool, guidelines should be in place to help prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Honda Gets Mobbed By Their Facebook Fans

By Peter K. Lam

Honda Accord Crosstour

Honda Accord Crosstour

I recently read a blog about how Honda’s Facebook fans reacted negatively to their new concept vehicle they are calling the Honda Accord Crosstour. Basically Honda release the images of the new vehicle expecting to get generally positive responses. Instead, the Facebook fans tore the vehicle a part and slammed it. The fans absolutely hated it.

This is the first time that I’ve heard about a business releasing information through a social network only to receive tremendous negative feedback. I’m sure other businesses have gotten into a similar situation but since it’s about Honda, of course there’d be a lot of buzz about it. The fans had absolutely nothing good to say. So how does does this impact Honda?

This must be a total nightmare of Honda. I’m sure they are used to receiving rave reviews about their vehicles so this backlash probably was unexpected but they’ve already released the information and the fans have spoken. At this point I’m not entirely sure what Honda can do to rectify the situation. Did they release the new vehicle information to a focus group first? How’d that group react? If they didn’t release it to a focus group they certainly should have. It would’ve prevent public humiliation via social networks. If the vehicle is not near finalization, Honda should really take this opportunity to ask the fans what they don’t like and hopefully be able to fix it before the car is put on the market for sale.

As I’ve said in the past, social networking has grown into a very powerful tool businesses can use to communicate to their customers. The reaction of the fans over this new vehicle should alert Honda that something is wrong with their product. Social networking has the ability to help business reach a wide audience but most only want that kind of coverage for positive news and not bad news. Because this information was release through Facebook, the news spread to the entire social network and people started to talk about it. I’m talking about this now because another blogger wrote about it and she was probably notified by one of Honda’s fans or she received the news thru a different medium of social networking. The lesson here is be careful of what gets posted online and also be prepared to deal with both positive and negative feedback because either could happen. The other thing is also to find any kind of useful information from this situation, good and bad, so that the problem hopefully won’t come up again.