Welcome to the world of social moaning...
Tom Murphy points this morning to a new venture from his "former colleague" Andy West. As Murphy used to wander the halls of Text 100, we can only presume that this is the same diminutive Andy West who, as we reported last May, left Text 100 under a small cloud and on the end of some acerbic comments from CEO Aedhmar Hynes, like this one:
"...his ability to charm is not just down to his ability to make friends quickly but also his reputation for going the extra mile. For a man with such short legs that extra mile was all the longer and therefore all the more appreciated."
At the time, we thougth Hynes was being a bit harsh. As it happens, since then, we've heard some stories about Mr West that make us think Hynes was well within her rights to have a little dig. But that's for another time. For now, West seems to have got up, dusted himself down and jumped on the nearest bandwagon. Welcome to Friction.TV.
I'll sum it up for you. It's a website where you can upload videos of yourself (I know, I know) moaning about things that annoy you. And then people can rate the videos, using a one to five star rating system. The website says, "All the best ideas are simple"...we say, "All the simplest ideas are someone else's..."
Actually, we might be being unfair. The idea isn't just to moan, it's about sparking a debate about something that you're passionate about. It's just that many of the video's currently featured (which seem to involve West, his family and his friends) start with phrases such as: "What really gets my goat is when..." and "I really hate it when..." and "Isn't it annoying when..."
Lots of them also seem to mention "Mr Blair" in the first couple of sentences. Hell, even Boris Johnson's on the site, posing the crushingly predictable question: "What on earth is Tony Blair still doing in Downing Street?" Here's West himself in action, spouting off about defence spending.
In fact, we think that West and his fellow entrepreneurs have missed a trick. Rather than spend their own time and money creating the site, they should have simply approached the Daily Mail directly and offered to "social media" its letters' page...
We do, however, see an opportunity for the PR industry. The website tells us that: "Our promise is that your content will not be edited in any way; nor will it be subjected to any censorship (so long as it is within the law!)" So, what you need to do is knock together a little video to which your clients can respond. Here are some ideas:
"What really gets my goat is when my power supply gets interrupted. If only there was a cost-effective solution to the problem..."
"I've been using the same Windows operating system for about five years now and it annoys me that there isn't a new version..."
"It really annoys me that I keep exponentially expanding the amount of electronic information I produce and yet I have nowhere to put the bloody stuff! Wouldn't it be great if there was an easy solution for storing it..."
"I'm a businessman with customers. I have relationships with them. I'd like to manage them, but..."
"I get so angry when little men try and make a quick buck out of social media by rehashing what's already out there..."
It's oddly compelling viewing though.