Wednesday, August 22, 2007
10 reasons why ghost blogs suck
Ghost blogs and fake Twitters pretend to be written by an individual, but are delegated to internal staff, a paid professional writer, or an outside agency. Other persons pretend to be that person who has the blog in their name.
Thus, what you read in a ghost blog, or fake Twitter page, is not the real thoughts and feelings of the blogger, but fake sentiments dummied up by imposters.
You are not reading that person's ideas, and if you post a comment, you're not interacting with the person you think you are. You're interacting with unknown strangers lurking behind the blog.
Ghost blogging violates the whole idea of the blog. Core values of professional blogging include Authenticity, Passion, Transparency. A ghost blog has none of the vital ingredients that make the blogosphere, to some degree at least, a Trust Web of peer to peer recommendations.
Ghost blogging is akin to those fake testimonials by celebrity has-beens, endorsing a product for pay, and not actual love of the product.
10 Reasons Why Ghost Blogs Suck:
(1) cowardly: It betrays the person's fear of flamers, trolls, sincere questions, and customer complaints.
(2) arrogant: Use of a ghost blog assumes the target audience is not worthy, not smart enough, or not relevant enough to enter into real conversation with the almighty exalted jerk who pretends to be the blog author.
(3) inauthentic: They're not expressing the genuine voice of the alleged author.
(4) disconnected: A ghost blog is indeed a just a phantom, a non-entity, an avoidance of true engagement with the public. Like a vapor, it just hovers in artificiality and pretense.
(5) illusory: A ghost blog creates the appearance of being the individual's self-expression, but there's no real substance to it, the individual merely seems to be there, but is essentially absent.
(6) insincere: To use a covert surrogate or team to communicate to an audience? That shows no sincerity in wishing to really enter a conversation with your readers.
(7) disrespectful: Anyone using a ghost blog is treating readers like they're stupid.
(8) exploitive: Taking advantage of a popular platform for intimate messaging.
(9) deceptive: It's not true, it's a lie, a false representation, trying to trick people into thinking it's really the individual blogging, when it's not.
(10) self-destructive: You do more harm than good with a ghost blog or fake Twitter page. Your message is "You idiots don't deserve a real blog. Just be content with this half-assed attempt to use a blog to attract unsuspecting readers. We are too elevated above you to condescend to your low level and try to understand your needs and problems. You fool! Buy my product."
A variation on the ghost blog is the pseudo blog or Twitter page that claims to be, not an individual person, but a company.
"DeltaAirlines" is an example of a fake Twitter page that pretended to be sponsored by, originating from, Delta Airlines. Twitter community members shamed and flamed the fraud, demanding that he delete his account. We never heard from that phoney again.
Solution for busy executives: You can delegate your blog to an employee, but have him or her write under their own name. Call it the [store name] blog, or give the blog some title relevant to your company, industry, or readership.
While it's best for the CEO to be the blogger for a company, you can assign the project to a staff person who has passion, expertise, insight. Just be honest about it.
Or you could let your marketing team polish up your blog posts, but keep the content as much "you" as possible. The more it's edited, the less natural it will sound, and the less effective it will be.
And be sure to interact personally with comment posters.