Is Indiana Social Media Going to the Dogs?

Is Indiana social media going to the dogs? Well, not yet it isn’t–at least if you pay attention to social media in Indiana.

Right now, social media peeps are voting in the 2nd Annual Indiana Social Media Summit.  And, interestingly enough, the Twitter account for the mascot for Butler University, @butlerblue2,  was nominated for the  Summit’s most influential social media dude in the 2010 contest.    Except there was a slight problem:  Turns out that since  @butlerblue2 is technically a dog and not a dude, he was disqualified and taken off the ballot.

That’s right. Disqualified. Even though @butlerblue2  made the point that “You do know that a ‘dude’ actually does my tweeting, right?” and even provided pictures of himself using Twitter.  I mean, we are talking here about a dog that has his own blog and his own email. And, he has more Twitter followers than I do! And if you read his Twitter feed, you will see that he is really quite the conversationalist.  If that  isn’t dog dude discrimination, then I don’t know what is.

And while it seems that @butlerblue2 is handling being disqualified from the the ballot with his usual good grace and equanimity, the whole situation certainly gave me paws pause. Some of the most attention- grabbing and influential ads that I recall have featured animal mascots such as Morris the Cat and the Taco Bell Chihuahua. 

And if the category is the most influential, shouldn’t it be the influence that actually matters? After all, we all know who the man behind the curtain really is.

Case in point:    Mashable.com recently did an article on the Top 10 Digital Advertising Innovations of 2010.  Number one on the list? The Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, whose commercial ad and series of follow-ups went viral on the web. In the follow-ups, Mustafa posted video replies on YouTube to customers’ inquiries from Twitter. According to Mashable, Mustafa only responded to 180 inquiries. One of those video follow-ups was to a question from a dog that I happen to follow on Twitter, @theblacklab.

 That video, embedded below, has had over 100,000 views. And with that kind of a response, that makes me think that social media going to the dogs may not be a bad thing at all.