Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trending Topics - WWE: Sucking the fun out of Twitter - [a case of the summer]

For those of you wondering (and I'm sure there are many), I will be continuing my [a case of the summer] features until the official end of summer.  So, the week of September 16th will be the final installment of each feature.

Anyway, you'd have to be living under a rock to miss WWE's rather obsessive peddling of social media.  Honestly, it's relatively harmless stuff, usually just an annoyance or nuisance.  But at the end of the day, they're a company that needs to get their name out there, and this is a great (and for the most part, free) way to do that.  So I don't begrudge them for that.  However, what I do hold against them is the fact that, at times, they completely suck the fun out of the whole social media thing, particularly with Twitter.

I'll be the first to admit that I was reluctant to join the Twitter craze, but the truth is that it's a completely unique community that gives you unmatched access to celebrities, athletes, and even companies.  It still amazes me when I send some famous person a tweet and they write back as I think to myself, "I was just watching you on TV!"  Not to get all fanboy-y, but that's a pretty awesome feeling.  And it's happened with wrestlers, too.

And that's what's truly fun and awesome about Twitter.  You have guys like Kofi Kingston and AJ and Natalya and Eve and Zack Ryder and even grumpy pants CM Punk opening themselves up and interacting with fans.  We're truly getting a glimpse into their actual personalities, and we're given an opportunity to interact with them in ways I never thought would be possible.

But unfortunately, WWE can't leave well enough alone, as apparently putting a little graphic on the bottom of the screen for trending wasn't enough.  One second we're getting a glimpse into these characters' real life personalities, and the next second about 10 different Superstars "coincidentally" start tweeting about all of the contributions Triple H has made to the business or CM Punk kicking Lawler in the head or Big Show getting fired.  Or one second we're seeing AJ being her charming, humorous self -- and the next she's making official matches for Raw during the show.  And this actually defies WWE using Twitter to get people to watch Raw, or are they using Raw to get people to go on Twitter in order to get breaking information?

There's three hours of Raw, two hours of Smackdown, an hour of Superstars, their Saturday morning TV show, there's, there's WWE WWE really under the impression that people are flocking to Twitter to see these guys in character?

And again, there are some things I do understand in order to keep the intrigue of their show.  I understood why they took AJ and Ryder off of Twitter when they were selling their injuries.  I understand why they teach their talent to use pre-approved hashtags when promoting an event (this actually really does make sense).  And I also understand why they wouldn't want guys acting like they're best friends in "real life" while they're feuding on TV (and guys like Ryder and Ziggler have mastered this....they're tongue in cheek in their interactions, so younger fans probably think they legitimately don't like each other, while older fans appreciate the friendly barbs thrown at each other).  But instructing the Superstars to tweet certain things (some of which DO defy their character) in order to push a storyline that is already being shoved down our throats on TV?  That just completely sucks the fun out of something that can be an amazingly powerful promotional tool.

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