Warning, this is a rant. It’s somewhat appropriate to the YMM cause, as it covers a marketing blunder (much like yesterday’s Sony story) but if you aren’t interested, ignore the post.
Today in my YouMakeMedia email inbox (editor at youmakemedia dot com!), I received an email about a site called “StupidVideos” launching some incredible new service. My first thought was interest, I always love to cover companies when they launch new versions or products, and when the project is something exciting, I’ll cover it and let my thoughts be heard. If it’s not exciting (or at the least, interesting), I pass and ignore the email.
This case, however, is different. The “new service” being launched, that StupidVideos claims is so exciting isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world.
StupidVideos is launching an e-card service. Yes, e-cards, the bane of many an inbox, are finally coming to StupidVideos.
I don’t want to be too harsh, but frankly, e-cards are nothing new! They’ve been around since the dawn of the web, from sites like Blue Mountain Greetings (and those silly little obscure flash sites that you don’t quite remember). They’re annoying, always Flash, and always corny. Always.
The service’s e-cards are incredibly lame too, it’s just a normal flash video embed, a la YouTube, with a bit of custom text under it. (I won’t do the justice of linking, you can look the site up if you’re interested) If I wanted to send a friend a bit of StupidVideos holiday cheer, I could just send the video’s URL and put the text in my email. Not only is this service incredibly redundant but it was a waste of somebody’s time. Further, it’s a feature that’s been on YouTube for quite sometime (albeit without the fancy backgrounds and such). YouTube (and other video sharing sites) has long had the option to send videos to others via email. They didn’t feel the need to send an absurd press release, what makes it different for a site like StupidVideos?
Next time you PR folks spam my inbox with your robotic press releases, make sure your product is worth it. I’ve gone over several products in advance of release or at special request from the company, and in these experiences it’s been great because I’m speaking to someone at a personal level who’s confident in his or her product. Here, I’m speaking to someone in PR (which, no offense, isn’t speaking – watch a White House press conference and you’ll know what I mean). This PR person can’t evangelize. He or she can’t answer my specific questions with a passion for the product. He or she is just a pawn for the project. Web 2.0 isn’t about press releases and professional marketing teams, it’s about passionate creators communicating with passionate consumers.
Erm, did I drift off topic a bit?
Editor’s Note – Special YouMakeMedia podcast with Nicholas Reville of the Participatory Culture Foundation coming this week!