Why all the secrecy? A story of attempted brand jacking.
So the past two days I was at ASAE Tech ’09. Awesome conference. I completely rocked out with my geek out, tweeted like crazy, my head I think at one time exploded from technology overload.
But then something started to develop…
There was a twitter account (@Tech09) that was the “official” ASAE Technology Conference tweeter. It sent out updates the whole time, letting us know what was going on. Cool, but we all wondered who the heck was behind this account. So of course we asked. No answer. Asked again. Again no answer. It ended up becoming a running joke over the course of the next 24 hours. Eventually it came to the point that as a participant in the Twitter Stream I started to get a little angry at the fact that my association* was not being transparent & real with me, pretty much the #1 rule in social media.
So in reaction I brand jacked** them. That’s right, I registered @Tech2010 and @ASAETech10. I had originally tried to steal @Tech10, but I had been scooped on that one by someone’s personal Twitter account. The intention was to hold the brands hostage (all in good fun of course!) until they revealed the identity of the mysterious @Tech09 tweeter. Well they finally revealed what ended up being a group of people who tweeted and so I will delete the accounts. I do have a few questions for ASAE though…
1. Why the secrecy? It doesn’t make sense, in fact you just proved that you don’t have the openness and honesty to participate in this space. YOU are supposed to be the leader in the association world. A group we can look up to. Well, when you don’t play by the rules the rest of us do, I doubt whether or not you should be there. (I’m hoping that doesn’t come off as arrogant, but I think you get what I’m trying to say, Jaime Notter said it better than I am able to)
2. Why is it a group of people? That I don’t really understand. All the tweets are aggregated by the #Tech09 hashtag, so why not have them tweet individually? If the bios reflect who they are (or maybe the put the ASAE logo in the corner a la @lauraoatning) we would get that these are broadcast tweets from ASAE. Trust that we are smart enough to figure it out, or do something simple and change the account names to “ASAE[name]” or something like that. I mean hell, most of us are early adopters, I think we get it.
3. Why didn’t you engage more in the conversation? The broadcast to conversation ratio of tweets was highly disproportionate. Twitter is about a conversation, it is about sharing with each other. I just think there needed to be more direct responses. Having someone who was attending the sessions (like Lisa Junker – @ljunker) yet is still an employee of ASAE might have been a better choice to balance out the ratio. Lisa and I tweeted with each other when we figured out we were in the same session so we could meet up after it ended. Had a great little conversation and then went our separate ways. From my experience conversing with Lisa on Twitter, she gets it. I don’t know if I can say the same thing about @Tech09.
Ok, enough negativity. They did do some things right. They answered our concerns about the WiFi connection being spotty, they told us what was going on. It was a fair attempt at tweeting. I think maybe I hold them to a higher standard b/c as Chris Sacca said “…ASAE is indeed an association of associations. Awesome.” I just want ASAE to be an awesome tweeter.
*Disclosure: Currently I am technically a lapsed member of ASAE b/c my individual membership expired 12/31, but my association doesn’t renew until 1/31, so by Monday I should be completely reinstated.
** Brand Jacking: Stealing someone’s name or brand on a social media tool before they get a chance to claim it.
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Tags: ASAE Tech 09, Brand Jacking, Twitter
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