Meg Whitman may think she’s savvy in the world of technology, and perhaps she is, but it is not something transferred to some of her campaign staff. Earlier today I saw a blurb on reddit, where a Tweet had been sent designed to bolster her standing in the eyes of those who pay attention to that sort of thing, but instead, it lead to a video on YouTube of a Japanese guy, dressed in drag, and playing an 8-string bass.

It really was quite entertaining, but it had nothing to do with her campaign for governor – or so one would think.

And then came the article from InfoWorld

California gubernatorial candidate and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman might rightly claim tech savvy as one of her skills, but that knowledge hasn’t trickled down to her campaign staff.

In a recent Twitter update sent out to Whitman campaign followers, Whitman’s press secretary included a link intended to take clickers to a site with an endorsement from San Diego County Police Association. Instead, the link took them to a YouTube video titled "K-ON Fuwa Fuwa Timebass" featuring a bespectacled, long-haired Japanese man dressed in a pink tutu and thigh-high stockings, rocking out on a bass guitar in a bedroom.

The Tweet, which pushes the 140-character limit, reads as follows: "SD Cnty Sheriff Assoc says @Whitman2010 4 gov! RT: @Murphy4MegNews: CA Cops get it: Jerry Brown is too soft on crime."

Presumably, Whitman’s press secretary Sarah Pompei somehow botched copying and pasting a shortened link from Bitly, a site similar to Tiny URL, through which users can freely condense long URLs to concise, Twitter-friendly forms.

A copy-and-paste error is understandable and forgivable. What’s curious, though, is that as of noon Pacific on Oct. 20, the Whitman campaign had not yet removed the offending Tweet, which went up at 4:40 p.m. Pacific on Oct. 18. Perhaps the campaign decided the publicity — the video is up to nearly 900,000 views — was worth the ridicule?

The lesson in all this is that as more organizations –  whether political or commercial — come to rely on social media such as Twitter to reach their audience, they take pains to ensure they’re using it properly. It’s far too easy to make one’s brand or candidate look, well, a little ridiculous (if not worse) thanks to a momentary lapse in judgment or computing ability

What’s curious is that anyone with something on the line, such as a governorship, might want to check some of this stuff out personally. Barring that, putting someone in charge that has a clue would be a good idea.

This is the world of big people, and mistakes are costly.

It’s a shame that good help is so hard to find. But they will probably play it off as sabotage, or something similar.



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