Dr. Mariann Hardey

Digitally on.

Speaker, Writer, Academic.

Durham University Lecturer.

I do stuff for the BBC.

Feminist & lovely.

Slanguage of social media

Intriguing and stupid

June 2011

Chasing the waves of brand presence via social media is one thing. Icons of innovation these are not. I'm writing a paper this week that models the echo-effect of social media and the less than subtle consequences for communications and management. The obvious reveals: Strabucks has a brand page on Facebook (yawn) and Nestle' still haven't learned how to control or curate their PR (double yawn).

Prepare then to do battle over suffixes, and a race for branded onlne handle

ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers state 'We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.'

They have also provided a revenue2.0 releasing plans for unlimited interweb suffixes. Dot.com? So 1995. Why not .Coke; .Prada; .Heinz; .yournamehere. Yup, you can see that if you're CocoCola you're very likely to want to continue the brand across all domains. I wonder if say a Brian from Sunderland had enough £s would be allowed to purchase .coke for himself?... My geek informantts reliably inform me that the current twenty-two gTLDs ( that's generic Top Level Domains to you and me) will be expanded to unlimited allowing .anyperson or .anycompany to purchase their name.

Notwithstanding the immediate effect; an initial rush as a digital land grab for names, this may also mean that I need to sharpen my echo-effect model. Others still feel stuck in the dark ages with The Wall Street Journal,reporting that new rules 'could also cause anxiety and disputes... in safeguarding brands and identities in cyberspace.'

Cyber what?... oh, yes that space. Well since digital is more social than space, it is likely that who you say you are and what you call yourself will be of even more importance in the future.