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What If Your Fans Create Faux Blogs?

One Degree is On Notice
_(tip o’ the hat to “shipbrook”: for the “On Notice Generator”:
One of the biggest no-nos of corporate blogging is creating a “fake blog”:, or “faux blog”: or “character blog”: (all the same thing really).
Blogs are supposed to present the authentic voices of _real_ people. And since made up characters or “amalgams” can’t, by definition be “real”, they are generally (and justly) considered the ultimate sign that “you just don’t get it” when it comes to the blogosphere.
So what happens when _someone else_ creates a character blog that people might think is _your_ doing?
This is not a theoretical question as we’re dealing with this right now at “Tucows”:

We’ve just started a “little viral campaign”: around the “much-loved”: Tucows’ “Squishy Cow”:
But an interesting thing happened.
“Joey”: our Technical Evangelist gave a squishy to someone last week and “he”: went crazy for it. He named it Shoshanna. He said he was going to make a blog for Shoshanna. “And he did”:
Shoshanna's Blog
Now you must understand, I’m completely lovin’ this. I’m hoping Amazing Shoshanna’s blog has a long and happy life. *But if anyone thinks that Tucows was behind this I’m screwed.*
Asking Shoshanna’s owner to take it down just seems wrong in so many ways. He likes our cows, he should be able to do “what he wants with it.”: It’s all good right? Well, not if the blogosphere starts thinking Tucows put him up to it.
So let me now say, officially and publicly that – other than giving him the squishy – Tucows has nothing to do with Shoshanna and her blog.
But we do wish her well in her travels.


  1. Fard Johnmar
    Fard Johnmar August 15, 2006

    How about asking the blogger to place a disclaimer on the front page of the blog? I think that’s appropriate if you explain that people may think the blog is sponsored by Tucows.

  2. Eden Spodek
    Eden Spodek August 15, 2006

    The Amazing Adventures of Shoshanna the Cow is a hoot. I’m not sure that I’ll become a regular follower but I enjoyed reading the current postings. I think it’s a great if the community promotes your product/cause/biz. It’s when they misrepresent you that it becomes a problem. As communicators and marketers, the challenge many of us are facing with Web 2.0 is the fact that we can’t control blogs and other forms of online conversation.

  3. scott brooks
    scott brooks August 15, 2006

    roll with it.
    it seems like the posts are done in a ligth hearted manner. What would bother me is if there was a person pretending to be something they are not. I can take the squishy cow thing for what it is. I wont read it if i dont like it.
    The fake person pretending to be a happy consumer ….that is the fake blog that i think is the problem.

  4. Kate
    Kate August 15, 2006

    Responsible fan bloggers will put a “not affiliated” notice on their site. A good example is Barq’s: The Blog with Bite. This is a fan site of Barq’s but is not an official coca-cola site. He has a disclaimer in his header as well as in his RSS feed.
    Now, what do you have to do to get one of those Squishy Cows!?!?

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