Last month I was thinking about brandjacking and linked over to a very interesting article on Jeremiah’s blog. Meanwhile, back at the start of January things went a little crazy on Twitter with not only news that brand/personality accounts were being hacked but also that people were apparently registering accounts under famous names they had no connection with – a variation on cybersquatting, I guess. And there were all kinds of inappropriate things being said…
What’s more, how do you know if @alansugar is the real Sir Alan of Apprentice fame or someone having what they think is a laugh?
It’s another example of where online and offline go hand in hand. The (perhaps unlikely) White Knight advocate seems to be Jonathan Ross who’s started phoning round his mates asking them if they genuinely are on Twitter.
You have to provide an offline solution (ie a phone call) to establish the reality. You have to issue an offline rebuttal (in Britney’s case, for example) to explain the situation.
For me these example show:
(1) Your online and offline people need to be working together. Reputation issues know no boundaries. You need to be monitoring and understanding the digital space because there are people talking already about you there– or even pretending to be you. Is it harmless or do you need to act?
(2) The power of advocacy – Wossy is a Twitter advocate (and an advocate for his mates) and is generating a positive story. It’s much more compelling that he’s doing it. He seems to have been converted to being a Twitter advocate by Stephen Fry– that’s the power of peer-to-peer recommendations.
(3) You have to rely on the security of the services you use but it’s a good idea also to use strong passwords and change them regularly.