According to a New York Times article, The Hand That Controls the Sock Puppet Could Get Slapped, sock puppeting is "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company."
Just this past weekend, in fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an inquiry into the sock-puppetry of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, who posted shamelessly under a pseudonym to boost Whole Foods and bash Wild Oats – their only relevant competitor and now the target of acquisition – by Whole Foods.
Pass the Cheez Whiz®.
Sadly, this renders unctuous a medium once filled with promise. But we mustn't toss the baby out with the bathwater. Nor must we abandon the dream that new media enable even a small, comparatively quiet voice to soar when it speaks the truth. In technology, smaller companies like Progress can aggressively challenge the giants like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft – because a focused message about disruptive innovation can reach out and grab the attention of even the giants’ customers.
Don't stoop to Mackey's and Whole Foods' practices. Speak. Sign your own name. But speak.
Good products aren't based on which company's the loudest, or how many items are checked off on the features list for that matter. Providing the best solution to a particular problem will win the day. No new media necessary for that message.
SOA What? Sharpen focus on the business problem you face and are trying to address. Buy the solution you need to solve that problem. Don't buy a bunch of extras you don't need because they're part of the package. They may sound like a good deal but the best deal is the one that meets your needs today.
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