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Last week ripples spread through the social media blogosphere concerning the apparent demise of Strumpette. Strumpette was a blog designed to expose hypocrisy and bad practice within the PR industry – especially related to social media practice. It ruffled many feathers, some of which arguably needed ruffling. However, the manner in which it went about its business was controversial. Strumpette claimed to be written by Amanda Chapel – a glamorous, 30 something ex-PR exec and while it was widely known that this was a front, Strumpette itself never did quite enough to establish that Amanda Chapel was an obvious vehicle for parody or to make it clear who sat behind Amanda – unlike say the various characters within Private Eye. While some of Strumpette’s attacks were prescient and well (if forcefully) argued many spilled-over into spite and vitriol.
Fear and loathing aside the rise and fall of Strumpette will be an interesting footnote in the development of social media because much of what it did could be seen as aligned with its defining characteristics. Despite its desire to de-bunk social media as such it swam in its stream, both in terms of being a blog and extending its tentacles through Twittering, Facebook and extensive blog commenting. Ultimately though its behaviour was deemed unacceptable and many dismissed it as a “troll” thus contributing to its demise.
However, there are lessons to be learned from its relatively short life – hence why it merits a slot in this week’s 15 minutes.
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