From the monthly archives:

May 2010

A sonnet by Sarah Gilbert and Mara Collins

Sarah Gilbert (“mama, military wife, writer, cooker of inconvenient food, photographer of life, finance geek, keeper of chickens, beginning farmer”) posted a poem called oil leak: a sonnet.

The final couplet:

‘Twas me, and you, our thirst, indelicate
gulping, our leak, our spill, our oil-stained foot.

It’s Memorial Day. Sarah’s husband recently deployed to the SouthWest Asia perma-war zone. She writes in short bursts of 140 characters or less here, and in longer form in many places.

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We regretfully admit that something has happened off of the Gulf Coast. More to come.

With that laconic tweet, on May 19th BPGlobalPR emerged on twitter. Today, ten days later, the account has 83,000 followers and has posted about 130 tweets. The humor in these tweets ranges from bitterly ironic to sophomoric, but the picture painted is one of a clueless multinational corporation trying to use social media to control public opinion. Naturally there’s also a BPGlobalPR Facebook page.

The REAL British Petroleum has a much broader PRchitecture in play than the one created by the satirists presently hacking the BP brand. BP has a twitter account, and you can find them on Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. (How are those pictures of oil soaked pelicans working out for you, Tony?) The BP twitter account was created on April 16, 2009. In the last year they have attracted about 8,000 followers-less than 10% of the satiric site’s following, and most of them since the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Less than 50 of the 320 tweets from the REAL BP were posted in the year before the oil spill. Most of these earlier tweets linked to the deadly prose of corporate press releases attempting to build the brand value of the franchised ampm convenience stores. British Petroleum’s first tweet, humorously enough, was this befuddled posting:

BP’s ampm offers free cheeseburger samples on tax day Release Date: April 13, 2009 16:13:51 CST

The tweet, citing a 4/13 press release, came the day after the 4/15 tax day promotion. They’ve gotten a lot more sophisticated since then. Here’s a more recent effort:

A New Day Dawns for ampm’s Fresh Breakfast Lineup: Burritos, Empanadas, Croissant Sandwiches Help Morning Menu R.. http://bit.ly/7rn9a

More effective and certainly more poignant, I think, is this BPGlobalPR tweet calling for broad public support posted earlier this week at the peak of public concern about the oil spill:

Please text 20222 to donate hot dogs to the BP Corporate Memorial Day Picnic. #bpcares #3dayweekend

Opinions on how BP can use social networking more effectively? You can express them here:

BP p.l.c.
International Headquarters
1 St James’s Square
London, SW1Y 4PD
UK
Phone: +44 (0)20 7496 4000
Fax: +44 (0)20 7496 4630

AND, you can get one of their snazzy BP Cares t-shirts here:
http://www.streetgiant.bigcartel.com/

* * *
Related linkage…

Gulf Restoration Network
BPGlobalPR Billboards (Catastrophe is a strong word. let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie-daisy.
BP President: We are Responsible

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A big chill

May 27, 2010

It’s hard to put a dollar value on a dead sea turtle. Impossible, actually. Estimates of royalties owed to the US taxpayer for the lost oil amount to around $35 million. Chump change. Lurking somewhere offstage is the specter of a liability cap. Seventy-five million dollars per oil spill? Still chump change. The Deepwater Horizon [...]

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Blog, blog, blog

May 25, 2010

I can’t write here, I can’t write there. I’m stuck in some kind of Seussian tech-warp. Lacking motivation, time, energy and talent, still I soldier on. If I can’t keep this blog current, the reasoning goes, then perhaps I shoule build another blog that will be better, fresher, more engaging. For instance, Class War is [...]

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Awwww….

May 20, 2010
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Facebook, environmental disaster, and the unending war

May 14, 2010

There has been quite a bit of energy given to the matter of Facebook privacy and customer relations lately. Some friends are pulling down accounts. Bill Meloney drew the curtain on his Facebook account on May 1. A few others are quietly disentangling themselves and may make public announcements later. I have spent way too [...]

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Orrefors or Kohler

May 11, 2010

I’ve been on a binge. I found out that I’m powerless over Facebook and Twitter, easily addicted to Cyber-socializing in general. I know that there are only about eight people who read this blog with any frequency. This is a big improvement over 2001 when I had zero readers and only a vague clue about [...]

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Writing is like riding a bicycle

May 11, 2010

No matter how long since the last time you did it, you better wear a damn helmet because you’re likely to start out a little wobbly before you crash and smash your skull on the pavement.

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