Apparently the press release will be dead in 36 months time as declared by Peter Shankman this week at TIMA. Leaving aside the absurdity of a phrase that “if your clients can’t send their message in 140 characters of less, it needs to change’. I think we should have a think about consequences.
I know that there is a fine history of public predications being completely and utterly off the mark, Bill Gates on memory needs, IBM chairman Thomas Watson on how many computers the world would need in total or DEC on the complete lack of need for home computers, but at least they were made in good faith. Somehow I can’t help but suspect that the plethora of claims about whatever being dead/dying/or at least having man-flu aren’t quite made in the same vein.
In fact, I’m seriously starting to get ticked off with people making unsubstantiated claims and feel that they should be called on it if their predication doesn’t come true. The reason I get ticked off is that we’re still trying to create greater understanding of social media, what it is and what it can do for individuals and businesses. If people outside the echo chamber are constantly seeing such foolish claims made on social media’s behalf it makes creating that understanding that much more difficult. It also makes social media proponents seem like we’re desperate, making such far-fetched claims makes it seem like we’re trying to hard and therefore that social media is really inconsequential. We know that is not true and should be working on accentuating the positive aspects not making it out to be the digital version of Kali.
Way back in 2003 when England had a decent rugby team, David Campese, a man equally fleet of mouth as of foot, repeatedly predicted that we wouldn’t win the world cup. After we did so, beating Campo’s home nation 20 – 17 to do so , he took part in a stunt for Ladbrookes and walked down London’s Oxford Street wearing a placard admitting that the best team won.
Yes, it was it was a stunt and yes he undoubtedly got paid for it but at least he publicly admitted he was wrong.
So I think that any blogger who makes a wild predication such as the press release will be dead in 36 months, or cartoonists who predict newspapers will die within two phone upgrades, should be called on it, and forced to do a similar walk of shame at an industry event, SXSW or LeWeb3. Alternatively they could display a blog badge admitting that they made an outlandish claim purely for the google juice and promising not to do it again.