Often when I go to digital events and conferences I can help but wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time and scream “I TOLD YOU SO!” in the faces of those who were adamant that the Internet was a toy and a fad.
Alas, I don’t have a time machine. But some times events happens that makes me think that I am doing the same mistake now as these non-believers did back then.
Such an event happened at SalesForce‘s recent CloudForce conference here in London where I joined a break-out session by the social sentiment company Radian6. The presenter wanted to show how the Radian6 product helps companies filter social comments and identify the ones with the “loudest megaphone”. He proceeded to show a YouTube entry made by a beautiful young woman going by the screen name “JuicyStar07”.
When the presenter said the words “JuicyStar07” there were several semi-naughty grins from the audience who assigned some sexually charged undercurrents to her screen name and the presenter was quick to state that the video was PG.
The presenter continued to play the video in which JuicyStar07 was talking about her Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 bag and he brought to our attention that the video had received a stunning 2,000,000 views significantly more than the audience of most printed publications. Think about that for a second: More views than most newspapers have readers! How’s that for reach and influence?
Everybody instantly sobered up. No more naughty winks from the audience and we all realised the sheer scale of the reach this single video have. The presenter then posed the question: Shouldn’t Luis Vuitton reach out to JuicyStar07?
It highlights how easy it is to miss the real value of content produced by digital natives simply because of the presumptions we project on to what we see. We saw a young person seemingly rambling on about fashion nonsense. But the truth is not only does she know what she’s talking about, she also has a large crowd of loyal followers who are naturally suspicious and largely immune to traditional advertising. She is the future of product promotion.
Is the Google+ common name policy missing the value as well?
Is the name “JuicyStar07” intended to be sexually charged? I don’t know. Maybe it was when she came up with the screen name, who knows?. Fact is: It does not matter.
What matters is that changing her screen name would be PR suicide and I am convinced she is aware of this. Some of her fans may not recognise her as Blair Fowler but they all know and want JuicyStar07.
These were my thoughts at the time. I’ve since learned she is blogging under her real name as well but it still raises yet another issue with the whole utopian Google+ real name policy which my colleague Rick Mans has covered in another blog post. Sufficient here is to ask: Do Google really want to risk losing somebody like JuicyStar07 and her 2,000,000 views in a crusade to force them to use their real name?