I bet that, by now, you’ve all heard about Barrack Obama’s recent incident on Myspace. If you haven’t, here’s the summary: Way before Barrack Obama declared his candidature for US president, someone else, Joe Anthony, created a myspace account to promote Barrack Obama at www.myspace.com/barrackobama. When Obama got into the race for the presidency, he naturally wanted a myspace account and his people contacted Joe Anthony and they started working together to optimize the profile – which grew to have 160,000 friends. Later, the two groups fell out of sorts and Barrack’s camp offered to buy rights to the profile. Joe Anthony asked for $39000. Obama’s team didn’t like that and asked myspace to hand over the account, claiming that they should have rights to Obama’s name. Myspace complied and handed over the account to Obama. This created quite a storm and bad press for Obama. Obama and Myspace are working hard to find a solution. As it stands now, Joe Anthony will get back his account (with all the 160,000) friends but under a different name. Click here to read the full story.
I find this incident quite funny and very unnecessary. In my humble opinion, Barrack should have paid the $39000 – I think that’s pocket change for a US presidential candidate. SMO Blog puts it best: “When your running for president, isn’t it worth the $39,000 to secure your MySpace profile without the flurry of bad press? Plus you risked alienating a talented and devoted new media savvy supporter along the way… $39,000 strikes me as cheap and probably more than that has been spent in crisis management already.”
Some lessons we should take to heart from this incident:
- New media matters. Treat people online with as much respect as you would offline. Do not underestimate the value of the internet.
- Secure your brand online NOW!! Yes that means going out there and getting your myspace and/or Hi5 profile, youtube account, url, and whatever else before a cyber squatter does.
- You don’t really own anything you put up on sites like myspace, blogger, Hi5, tumblr etc.