More noise than signal

Failures in New Media

Given that you are, apparently, on the Internet, I’m going to make the assumption that you know about Twitter. It’s fairly popular these days, and all.

There are some inherent challenges in limiting yourself to a mere 140 characters when trying to make a point, which some believe to be part of the fun. It can, however, come back and bite you on the ass. I followed noted photographer and broadcaster Scott Bourne on the ol’ Twitters, at least until checking out his behaviour after posting this little bon mot:“I’m consulting with a wedding #photog studio selling against a studio doing $500 weddings. Our new ad – “We fix $500 wedding photography.””Fine. Except he was taken to task by a number of people over the Twitter wires for playing a little fast and loose with the details. The underlying assumption to all of this is that the more money paid for a service or product, the better it is. Life, of course, is rarely that simple.

Value is a product of both cost and quality, and there’s no way to know whether or not the five hundred buck shots are significantly better than the (one would assume, otherwise we wouldn’t need the responsive ad campaign) significantly more expensive wedding photography he’s hawking. There’s no way of evaluating this from the frame of a 140 character tweet, so it comes across as reductionist and unpleasantly snobbish.

If you need any more convincing that cost != value, the Oppo/Lexicon Blu Ray fiasco described at Audioholics makes an enlightening case study.

Others found more to question. Folks starting wedding photography businesses, offering comparatively low rates to get a portfolio together, hoping to gain a foothold in a competitive market read it as a direct insult to their professionalism, and it’s easy to see their point of view. Many took him to task or sought clarifications.

Scott Bourne’s response? He called them trolls and blocked them.

I don’t doubt he’s a busy man and just wants to avoid multiple 140 character slagging matches. However, a better way to do this would have been to not throw the stones in the first place, as between that and refusing to answer any criticism at all he comes across as a massive ball of wrongheaded egotism. Which isn’t much of a brand to build for yourself.

I’m not, contrary to what you might expect having gone to the bother of writing about it, really all that bothered by his statements and it wasn’t the primary reason I hit the big Unfollow button. It was, however, the reason I reviewed his recent contributions and found them largely to be plugging his own website articles which I’ll read anyway, so essentially he’s an inefficient manually powered duplicate of his RSS feed. Hence he is consigned to Twitter digiblivion.

I’ll still listen to the podcasts, though. I’m not mental.

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