Golden Voice…Updated

I used to think of myself as the kind of guy who has his ear to the ground, doesn’t miss a trick (at least when social media and digital shizniz happens), but I clearly missed the boat on this one. When I saw the video for the first time it was at just over 4 MILLION views in 2 DAYS. From the time I left work to the time I showed my girlfriend the video had over 5.3 Million views. This morning the number hovers just under 10 million.

3 Days.

10 Million.

That’s just nuts.

Whats more is this video has a touching story attached to it, with an awesome resolution. Makes you smile from the inside kinda thing.

If you want proof of the success story, check the CNN site:here

Happy New Year and all that, promise to get this back on the road soon!


…albeit a very belated one (I’ve been busy, and this is the first thing to get de-prioritised when that happens)

I guess this is more for posterity than anything ground breaking, but there were a few developments that happened after the Golden Voice video went viral…

Columbus Dispatch, the people who recorded the original video, got all butthurt jealous that they hadn’t got a slice of the viral action, and so decided to file a copyright infringement claim to get the original video removed (notice how the above video no longer exists…you can read the official Dispatch statement here)

By the time the video got culled, it had gained 13,828,995 views, over 56,000 comments and over 100,000 ‘likes’. The Genii at the Columbus Dispatch then started their own youtube channel and re-uploaded the video probably thinking ‘Yeh we’re so clever, now that viral stuff is going to happen to us!’

How wrong they were.

The channel and the video BOMBED. Hard. With only 17,000 hits or so and more dislikes than likes, they were bombarded with people flaming them for issuing the copyright infringement claim.

This was followed by people picking up the story and being equally critical on their actions across the blogosphere. In particular the articles at post advertising and prTini are good summaries of how it all went down, so go check them out if you want to read more.

The story, of course, involves more than the cretins stupid people at Columbus Dispatch. The human element remains, and I’m afraid it isn’t the happiest of endings to the happy ending. Turns out Ted is off to rehab after a whirlwind of events that even the least cynical people would have suspected might happen. Read the Jezebel post entitled: 10 Days In The Breakneck Rise & Fall Of “Golden Voice” Ted Williams. I, for one, wish him all the best.

I guess at the end of all this we can say two things:

  • One, The Columbus Dispatch, like a lot of ‘old media’, really haven’t been reading their social media bible, and acted irrationally and instinctively in removing the original video. They turned what could have been GOLDEN PR into what was fundamentally damaging to their brand. They should have stepped back, looked at the bigger picture, heck even consulted a social media agency, but they didn’t. Epic. Fail

  • Two. Sensational video and a touching story don’t hide the ugly truth behind drug addiction. Ted was a recovering addict, but an addict all the same. It’s not Ted’s fault that he relapsed, and given the circumstances it’s really not that surprising that he did. Was he given the protection he needed from his past? Would he have accepted it had be been offered it? who knows.

    At the end of the day it’s a story of new beginnings, but with a heavy dose of reality. At the same time, it’s a PR /social media (case study) dream. This is a perfect example of how bad things can go for you, and how quickly, if you underestimate the medium and method with which a story is being delivered. Social media is social, the paradigm of ‘news’ is shifting. Ignoring this fact and continuing regardless with litigious and old-hat ideology is what sets the dinosaurs from the…er…(what came after dinosaurs)…crocodiles? (that’ll do). It’s effectively social-web suicide.

    The problem, now, is that social web blunders reverberate to the core of a brand’s identity. The Columbus Dispatch shall be known for a long time as the idiots that took down Golden Voice.

    Share Button