By Nathan Rudyk
While surfing for a social media workshop later this week with the marcom group at Ottawa software giant Cognos, I happened on a fascinating video blog by Kevin Krutz, a Philadelphia (Temple University) film student, courtesy of fellow blogger Andy Carvin.
The most recent entry starts with "The following has been posted with the consent of the Krutz family."
The video blog viewer sees a small bathroom where a man is making a wireless call on the big white phone. It's Kevin. Two buds, one with camera in hand, are in party mode. One asks Krutz to star in his video. Another wants him to get up and out so he can answer his own call. The buds soon discover that Kevin's committed Elviscide and is bleeding from the head. They drag his motionless corpse off camera as they panic about what to do. We then cut to a montage of the deceased's life set to music "in memory of Kevin". It's a convincing death scene and remembrance of a video blogger.
However, Kevin's Last Call is a well-crafted, low-budget, media-potent hoax. It has potential to travel from the blogosphere to the mainstream press in record time.
It's also a timely wake-up call to marcom people, alerting them to the newfound power of social media. Worried you might be Michael Moore's next target? Don't bother. Spend your time thinking about Kevin Krutz and his kind. They have the imagination and irreverance to make life ... interesting. It's easier to sue an indie movie producer with a few million bucks than it is to silence a penniless student with a sense of humor, or mission, or both. Their relative financial states will also rule the degree to which each one will be willing to "cross the line" as Krutz did.
You'll have to learn how to roll with it, keep your organizational cool, and yes, harness the social media phenomenon with equal determination, mastery and cleverness. If you don't, you'll be spending a lot of unnecessary time talking into the big white phone!