Monday, January 05, 2009
I kissed a cloud agent (and I liked it)!
I humbly consider myself to be an unashamed capitalist, but also a responsible technologist. So while I don't think twice about exploiting the possibility of spreading awareness of my products and making a buck off of anything, I try and exercise a bit of pragmatism in how I manage my systems and digital resources. Yep, I'm a walking contradiction, the very personification of oxymoron.
Feel free to throw tomatoes...now. :-)
Anyway, I noticed something very clever happening to my Twitter account this morning. Seeing as how we're now in the middle of the NFL playoffs, I started following ESPN's feed, establishing the relationship connection on my smartphone right before I went to bed at 1am. When I woke, I noticed that only a few minutes after taking that action, Fox Sports' Best Damn Sports Show Period started following my feed.
Why? What in the wide, wide world of sports (pun somewhat intended) would Fox want with me, some schnook from Guam? My instant reaction was to check out BDSSP's feed, and liking the frequency and humor in its posts I started following it, making myself part of their digital pipeline. So they got me - hook, line and sinker.
The sequence of events, I thought afterward, were too linked to be chalked up to mere conincidence, and thought it smelled awfully like the result of some algorhithm. Llike Chris Pirillo, Fox's number of friends almost equalled its number of followers, further adding to the suspiciousness.
I surmised that BDSSP is using a cloud agent of some sort to monitor the stream of ESPN's followers, and when detecting profile changes to that feed, auto-follow any new members, enticing them to follow it in return, building traffic for itself. The prospect of this guerilla marketing tactic literally had me salivating. To me, this is genius in three parts:
- Awesome use of the Twitter platform
- Downright shameless in promotion
- Slick in its abilty to piggyback off the larger ESPN's legion of followers
Might this be a new evolution of viral marketing, being a maturation of word-of-mouth giving rise to deep linking, giving rise to social network-driven promotion, giving rise to programmatic propagation of digital media? It extends the metaphor of a virus spreading, triggered by a deliberate/accidental action on the host's part.
But again, this is just a theory I had. Maybe it was purely happenstance. If this is truly the end result of some cloud agent, I'm blown away and duly impressed. Really, really clever, Fox.
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