Friday, July 27, 2012

The Tale Of #fap2012 (Or How NOT To Tempt The Fates Of The Internet)

.:Let's Give A Big, Hairy Hand To #fap2012!:.

Yesterday, a little thing I found myself involved in ended up going viral.

Gee, has that ever happened to me before?

It all started with an innocent question I noticed on my Twitter timeline...

Really? Really?!?

So after looking at the hashtag incredulously, I realized that it was a real thing: Franchise Asia Philippines 2012 is apparently a huge international convention about franchising, which, of course, holds a lot of value for local and even foreign investors in the Philippines. I mean, all things considered, it's actually a pretty cool endeavor, and there's even an important segment there about social media and digital marketing, with some of the most credible experts in the country today.

Unfortunately, for the people behind this, their credibility comes into question when they forget about the first and most basic rule about the internet: if you set yourself up for the lulz, then lulz will be had.

Well, no, it's obviously not rule 1 of the internet, but it does undermine credibility somewhat for a supposedly net-savvy and net-inclusive event to be completely oblivious to the unfortunate implications of calling your Franchising seminar "FAP 2012."


No, really, guys. Unless this was deliberate, it was a misstep that betrayed a lack of familiarity with the internet. Thankfully, you had speakers who were not necessarily dense to the implications of the hashtag, but the organizers did themselves a major disservice by being completely oblivious to opening Pandora's box. Furthermore, the fact that shortly after trending, you had to change your hashtag only indicates that you really had no idea what you were doing in the first place. It's sad that #franchiseasia had to be used, instead of riding the (unfortunate) wave of your popularity (for all the wrong reasons), which is the very same mistake BaYo did when they scrapped their campaign altogether.

Why can't more people be as savvy as Christopher Lao, who played off his infamy into a crowning moment of awesome. That's how you make lemonade out of lemons, and sadly, the people behind FAP 2012 didn't quite get that.

Which is too bad, really, because the hashtag trended long enough for people to notice, which is more than can be said for the #franchiseasia hashtag. There was very little discussion past yesterday, and you could see that nobody was pseudo-transcribing the goings-on at FAP 2012 anymore. No wonder it wasn't too difficult to actually hijack the entire hashtag the first time around.

Come one, come all! We're all classy people here.

Sad, but hey, I'm sure that the seminar was still a success, no matter how much their credibility took a hit. By now, spambots have all but overtaken both hashtags, so it's practically moot at this point. Rico Mossesgeld and Carlo Ople were very quick to make blog posts about the misadventure, while I was still quite busy on Twitter, trying to make a case study out of the whole thing, and of course, giving the whole social experiment a hand. And yes, you will pardon the pun. Because you've been inundated with a whole bunch of them from the get-go.

It'd be interesting what they plan to do for FAP 2013, and what the Winter Armada of North Korea plan to do in 2012 as well.

Well, I guess that's all the hard news we could indulge in for a day. Next time something like this comes on the internet, you know we'll be there to prematurely make comments about the sticky situation we'd be immersed in.

But really, they should've seen this coming.

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