#Amazonfail and a coincidental job advert

This post was originally going to be entitled ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ and simply put up the image below but felt like it deserved a bit more than that..

Reading this is probably the best place to start.. then come right back..

I’ve been keeping half an eye over the weekend on the steadily building #Amazonfail which is incidentally the top trending topic on Twitter and there are this minute more mentions than even Easter. (For an example of it’s talkability factor, in the past hour there’s been a further 700+ mentions since I carried out the original search.)

Amazon PR Week Job Posting

It’s starting to also garner mainstream coverage now as the traditional press catches up but it is something as far as I know started on Twitter and then made it’s way through the blogosphere shortly after.

What’s happened since then? #Amazonfail was being mentioned 4 times a second barely an hour after the first tweet. A petition was started (which over 15,000 people have signed) a Google Bomb took place, and no I formerly had no idea what one of them was either but it sounds pretty damaging. A Facebook group ‘Boycott Amazon’ has been started. A poll was created with the question being ‘Can Amazon redeem/repair their reputation after #amazonfail?’ A list has popped up featuring all the affected titles – here. Some internet hackers are claiming it’s all their doing whilst the names and numbers of the Board of Directors at Amazon HQ have been published. The CTO has been also been ‘unmasked’ (and remains quiet on the whole debacle). Clearly, this is an issue that’s not going to just disappear overnight.

I’ve rounded up a few posts below. One question that everyone at one stage appeared to be asking was do Amazon have a PR manager in the UK or otherwise to deal with freak happenings like this? The advertisement to my right that I coincidentally spotted in the back of the most recent issue of PR Week would suggest otherwise. I put up the picture on Twitpic and soon after @girlonetrack (an affected publisher) retweeted it to her followers.

A few questions for you..

Do you think this is going to affect Amazon’s reputation at all? Has their silence thus far helped or hindered the situation? What do you think their response should be?

Roundup –

Blogs and Twitter coin Amazonfail by Wall Street Journal

Amazon feel the web’s wrath by Zoe Margolis

Amazon sees censorship decisions magnified through the social web magnifying glass by Becky McMichael

Amazonfail – Easter PR Disaster by Matt Churchill

Amazon = FAIL by Alas, a Blog

#Amazonfail – Timeline of WTF by Anastacia

Amazon Follies by Mark Probst

AmazonFAIL discussion thread at Metafilter

Amazonfail: A call to boycott Amazon by Edward Champion

Amazonfail – Malice or Bumble by Jessica Gottlieb

Amazon has removed it’s customer based reporting of books by Brutal Honesty

Amazon blames a glitch by Los Angeles Times

Celebrities tweeting backstage at the Oscars, taking us closer to the action than ever before.

A side note – This was first written on Feb 24th but left as a draft and because I suck, unfortunately only now, in March have I picked it up again. I pondered scrapping it entirely as the currency of the article may not be as prevalent now but I still believe it brings up some interesting issues for discussion. It may also seem sensationalist alluding to the fact that now we have Twitpic we don’t need the paparazzi but this simply isn’t the case. I’m certainly not saying this is the end of the print medium, merely musing around it’s future and how it can combat the immediacy of the web.

Hands up who didn’t watch the Oscars, are going to watch the highlights at some point or who instead chose to read an article on the likes of BBC.co.uk for example which featured amongst other things all the winners? Along with all the above I read on my travels home this evening in the London Paper who rated the celebrities walking down the red carpet by who they thought wore the best and worst outfits. It’s clear we’re a nation who love celebrities and how they live their lives. We clamour for what dresses they wore, what they ate and drank, what freebies they got and who they mingle with. Before, we used to have to guestimate and imagine what it might all be like back stage.

Not any more.

Now we have Twitter. Now we have Twitpic.

It’s as if we’re there, a front row seat, you can almost smell the excitement. This is where the print medium will never be able to replicate the immediacy of user generated content and blogs. Celebrities are now even sticking two fingers up to the paparazzi themselves. How? They are snapping pics of themselves and their fellow celebrity mates and putting them up on the internet, for free. Yep, for free. Don’t believe me? See a few examples below.

It wasn’t just photos that slebs were creating though.. Using the Qik video online service, Ashton Kutcher posted two amateur videos during the party, one of P Diddy dancing to Prince’s Kiss and another of Demi Moore. He also published a clip of the couple relaxing at home before the party.

The postings humanised the stars, who are typically seen only in an immaculate, staged environment. We’re seeing a side to them that we would never normally have seen before.

Moore, meanwhile, published two pictures from her Oscars party, one modelling her backless black dress and another with Kutcher.

“I am so tired 2day & my feet R killing me from dancing but I think it was rockin’ shindig & everyone seemed 2 have a gr8 time! Nap time?,” Moore wrote once the festivities were over.

As the night dragged on and more alcohol was consumed, Combs decided to run a bubble bath.

“I’m holding an oscar rt now and takin a bubble bath!!!! God is great!!! Let’s go people,” Combs wrote on his Twitter page.

Hollywood reporter Ryan Seacrest tweeted his observations from the red carpet, including that Kate Winslet was nervous before the show (“she clinched my hand so tightly”) and that Mickey Rourke wore a picture of his dead dog around his neck.

“Ever wonder what happens if someone has to go to the bathroom on the carpet? Theres a portapotty behind the fan stands. Now you know,” Seacrest wrote.

Jane Fonda penned a few tweets herself throughout the evening, praising Hugh Jackman’s good looks and said she loved the documentary Man On Wire.

“Well, Heath’s winning and his family accepting on his behalf made me cry,” she wrote

Other celebrities particularly active with Twitter accounts include Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elijah Wood, John Cleese, Michael Phelps, US President Barack Obama, MC Hammer and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.

Bringing online and offline together rather brilliantly, O’Neal recently had lunch with several of his Twitter fans after posting that he was at a Pheonix diner.

What I do find fascinating about the aspect of immediacy is that for example here this photo was at it happens posted within the last few minutes (and nearly 4,000 people have viewed already). It shows me in black and white who is on a programme that isn’t on until tomorrow and somehow because of that I feel more compelled to watch Friday Night with Jonathan Ross because it’s as if I’m part of it all now.

Below are a few images that are public for all to see via Twitpic. Some are from the Oscars, others are from celebrities in general. This is simply a cross section of what’s around from a very brief search and am sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Any that you think I’m missing that deserve a mention?

NB – I thought instead of merely updating the numbers below which were up to date as of Feb 24th, the increases are visible in brackets.

Bruce Willis just chilling out 44,240 views. (+5,794)

Russell Brand & Jane Goldman 29,957 views. (+1,609)

David Walliams 25,441 views. (+1,154)

Publicly berating the paps 24,460 views. (+5,763)

Ashton Kutcher. 22,425 views (+24,752)

Jonathan Ross 22,473 views. (+1,250)

Danny Wallace & Eddie Izzard 22,079 views. (+1,037)

Chris Martin 19,492 views. (+987)

P Diddy holding two Oscars in the air. 19,292 views. (+20,133)

Wossy’s Study 18,075 views. (+1,222)

Tim Lovejoy & Danny Wallace 3,961 views. (+429)

Richard Bacon 3,766 views. (+885)

Links for further reading –

Mashable -And the Oscar more most social media buzz goes to..

New Media Strategies – Oscar Night Buzz Report