I know I had a good rant yesterday about a certain Vanity Fair article, but I also wrote a letter to the editor. Since I know my ranty side can be a bit…much? — I thought I might try a more rational approach. Here’s what I sent.
It’s easy to look at the anger, snark and hurt feelings that were more than apparent across Twitter and the blogosphere yesterday as some sort of Twitter geek defense mechanism.
But if you look at it more closely, what you’ll see is a missed opportunity.
Vanity Fair posted that article online in addition to including it in the print edition. In doing so, I’m sure the editors hoped it would reach and build their Twitter followers and the VF reader base as well, both online and in print.
After all, print media is changing and an online presence has gone from being “hip” to a must in order to expand the brand.
I’m even willing to bet the goal was to reach out through the 6 women in the article, and their collective brands and marketing efforts, to their audiences. The numbers are mentioned in the article – right in the beginning — 6 women who, collectively, have over 5 million followers.
5 million followers.
Any person, group, leader, with 5 million people paying attention to what they have to say would be considered a force to be reckoned with in the “real world”.
So, here’s what I don’t understand…
Instead of taking the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of each of these women, and how Twitter factors in, pretty much guaranteeing a positive buzz for Vanity Fair Magazine, the author chose to write an article that trivialized the accomplishments of each of these women and the value of Twitter in general.
Which means that, instead of having 5 million people saying good things about Vanity Fair Magazine and the VF brand in general, you have 5 million people discussing about how Vanity Fair screwed up and just “doesn’t get it”.
Here’s where you don’t understand Twitter — and it’s what I consider the real missed opportunity.
Each of those 5 million people has followers. Each of those people might comment and, in doing so, spread the word to those who follow them. To quote an old commercial. “They’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on and so on…”
And each of them is going to reinforce a negative instead of a positive. Which, I’m sure, was not the intention.
I do have a suggestion, though, and I hope you’ll consider it. Because I know something else about Twitter that you don’t.
Twitter users are forgiving and will, if you give them a chance, use their powers for good.
Find another angle?
I’m asking in all sincerity. Take this experience, write about it, get someone who understands Twitter to write it (maybe even one of the women in the article?) and give Twitter another, deeper look?
5 million people.
The exponential possibilities are endless.
Thanks for reading,
Geek Girl Diva