I admit this is a bit of an unfinished thought so feel free to jump into the comments and finish it with me but I have been walking around with the notion of influence on my brain and wondering if there is such a thing anymore?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Most of this stems from my impression of the Kevin Smith vs. Southwest airlines incident
[Disclosure: I am a self identified Kevin Smith fan. To put that into context, I was one of the very few who saw Jersey Girl in the theatre and have chatted with KS more then a few times at Comic Con and the Toronto International Film Fest as well as have listened to every Smodcast since the beginning...yes a fan.] and what has happened since the initial event.
I am not going to bother with giving you a re-cap of what happened because others have done it better than I would but if you are in the dark on this you can read this great piece by Caroline McCarthy from Cnet or any of these articles.
As someone who is pretty sensitive to weight issues I was initially drawn to this story [thankfully I still have 4 inches on the old airplane seatbelt to work with so my interest wasn't from personal experience] and after the initial salaciousness of it I became instantly drawn to the outcome...and by outcome I am curious to know if this will actually hurt Southwest in any way. I say this because the airline industry is unique since it has a bad reputation already and I doubt that this is going to hurt it any further. The interesting thing to me is because Kevin Smith has a million followers on twitter and if his [in my opinion, deserved] outrage going to get people to not fly Southwest?
We keep talking about how the "power" has shifted from the company to the consumer because people have a voice and while I agree with this and appreciate it I wonder if people will actually give up something they love because someone on Twitter told them to. The last celebrity boycott I can remember was Howard Stern vs. Snapple and while that was a very different time, history has shown that he was able to hurt the company.
So I ask you..With more and more people collecting a million or more followers on Twitter or any other social network are we moving to a place where the people delivering the message...as well as the actual message will become a commodity with people not listening?