Awhile ago the Huffington post, in its infinite wisdom, decided to publish a list of the “Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter“. Now before I go any further, I have to say that, despite stroking the ego, these lists mean very little – a new one comes out every week or two and it’s a standing joke amongst the clouderati to compare rankings and laugh when we do, or do not “make the cut” for a list. I’m not even going to link to the list itself, since it was pretty much linkbait of little value.

But something resulted from the list that was kind of interesting. A week or two after the list came out, I received the following email:

Mr. Ben Kepes,

Your TOP 100 Cloud Computing Experts On Twitter Recognition Preview is now available.
As Published In: The Huffington Post, August 2013.
The plaque is $159 plus S/H.

Regards,

xxxx

Attached to the email was an image of the plaque (gaudy huh?).

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Anyway – before anyone thinks for a second otherwise, I didn’t even considering buying the thing. Just hanging it up, let along paying good money for it, is pretty much the definition of what it means to be a douchebag. But I wonder if the plaque company isn’t missing an opportunity here. Instead of sending out what is essentially a phsishing email, here’s a novel approach the company could take. Select a few lists as a test and send plaques out to the people that made the list – select lists, and people on the list, who are obviously influential on social media (maybe the first ever real world use case for Klout?). It’s a fairly safe bet that socially active plaque recipients would talk online about the plaque and send a shout out to the plaque company – I can’t help but think that would be a far more valuable long term marketing approach than just bombarding list members with unsolicited emails.

The world of marketing is changing forever – traditional approaches just don’t cut it any more. (Oh and just in case anyone thought otherwise, no I’m not angling for the company to send me a plaque. For one I very much doubt they’ll see this email and for another anyone coming into my house and seeing the plaque hanging up would never let me live it down!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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