Why Nikon’s Facebook ‘epic fail’ wasn’t really that bad

Major fuss today over on the Facebook page of Nikon, after it posted a status update that enraged many of its followers.

The Japanese camera company’s fans took offence at the suggestion that equipment was more important than the photographer.

Nikon received almost 1500 comments, many of which blasted the company for being too concerned about their own equipment and not caring about the craft of the actual photographer. The word ‘fail’ appeared a large number of times.

But was it really the awful ‘integrity suicide’ that many commenters suggested? I’d say no for the following reasons:

1) Nikon is a brand that sells camera equipment – why else would you follow them? Surely, they’re going to use their Facebook page to try and encourage people to lean towards more Nikon kit. OK, so their words were a bit hamfisted, but they were essentially trying to get people to talk about Nikon products. That may not have been the greatest use of social media, but fans complaining about Nikon trying to ‘promote’ Nikon are very misguided.

2) The number of complainants were very small. At time of writing, Nikon has around 841k followers on Facebook. Of that number, only 0.17% left a comment and not all of the roughly 1500 comments were negative.

Admittedly, you never want to get bad press as an organisation, but it wasn’t exactly widespread condemnation.

3) A slightly more semantic point on the original post. Agreed, Nikon shouldn’t have dissed the art of the photographer, but if it’s all about the person, why doesn’t everyone use a disposable camera to take photos? Why do snappers need to shell out on the equipment and lenses that Nikon were trying to promote?

Interestingly, what this does highlight – yet again – is how fraught with difficulty social media can be for commercial organisations. People want to follow their favourite brands, but it seems as if they don’t like them being too important and opinionated.

Nikon did post an apology, but it took them 15 hours to do so – pretty poor. It really shouldn’t have taken them that long to react to a crisis situation. To be honest, that was probably their biggest faux pas.

Ultimately, though, they’re unlikely to lose that many of their followers and in a couple of months, most people will have probably forgotten all about it.

Why it’s stupid for companies to ban Twitter and Facebook

According to the latest research almost half of companies ban their employees from using Twitter and Facebook at work.

There will be many people who agree completely about this. It “reduces productivity” being the usual activity levelled at over-sharing workers.

This decision baffles me for two reasons…

Continue reading “Why it’s stupid for companies to ban Twitter and Facebook”

Cheat – that’s 30 on a triple word score

Scrabble boardThe perils of Scrabulous on Facebook were highlighted to me recently by a former work colleague.

“I’m taking a break,” he said when I challenged him to a game, “since someone pointed out how a lot of people are cheating.”

Chastened, even though we’d never played and he wasn’t accusing me, I replied, “Well we’ve all tried out combinations we weren’t sure about and pressed ‘Submit’, only to be told it’s an invalid word.”

My challengee kindly pointed out that this wasn’t what he meant and indicated that people have been using certain anagram-style sites to find good words from the combination of letters on the rack.

My best mate and I talked about this recently on a night out in the pub. He brought up a great Woody Allen piece of writing called The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers where two people spar during a game of postal chess.

Their game ends when one suggests playing ‘postal Scrabble’ instead. The exchange ends brilliantly with this:

I shall make the first play. The seven letters I have just turned up are O, A, E, J, N, R, and Z—an unpromising jumble that should guarantee, even to the most suspicious, the integrity of my draw.

Fortunately, however, an extensive vocabulary coupled with a penchant for esoterica, has enabled me to bring etymological order out of what, to one less literate, might seem a mishmash.

My first word is “ZANJERO.” Look it up. Now lay it out, horizontally, the E resting on the center square. Count carefully, not overlooking the double word score for an opening move and the fifty-point bonus for my use of all seven letters.

The score is now 116—0.