Earlier this afternoon, Steven sent me a video. It was the corporate response from Dominoes to what was apparently a pretty embarrassing videoed incident that may or may not have occurred at a Dominoes restaurant.

I hadn’t actually seen the video in question.  It, as it turns out, involves those new sandwiches that are on special and boogers.

The videoed response compelled me to watch the original, because of the clear level of sincerity and regret that the corporate response was from Dominoes president Patrick Doyle. Watch for yourself.

Given the response, particularly if you weren’t familiar with the original incident, you likely had a lot of the same reactions I did:

  1. What was the content of this original video that made it so gross?  Was it 2girls1pizza?
  2. What’s the deal with this rash of corporate scandal?

The answer to question one is “no,” because it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was lead to believe by the response. Nothing I’d want have done to my food, but nothing nearly as bad as I expected.

The answer to question two is far more interesting.  Between #AmazonFail, DiggBarGate, TinyURLs are Evil, the Facebook crisis of the moment, and #motrinmoms, it occurs to me that social media is going to quickly gain a reputation for being the bane of corporate existence.

Dorrine Mendoza touched on it somewhat today in the comments to a piece by Steven Hodson entitled “The wrong people are promoting Social Media,” when she said:

Being relatively new to social media/networking myself, do you think that people like me don’t know we’re supposed to feel empowered? I find issues like #AmazonFail, Domino’s and the case of the mommy bloggers and Tylenol (Was it Tylenol?)* to be what another person described as, “storms in a teacup.”

I see the overall benefit, and even the power in the result. What I don’t understand is the motive. Why make such a big deal out of these things? Is it because for so long we’ve been taught (as consumers) that we don’t have any power and still aren’t sure how to use it effectively?

There are times, when I’m reading stories like the ones I mentioned above and I’m embarrassed to be a part of the social media community on one hand, and on the other, curiously hopeful.

* That was the #motrinmom’s fiasco.

For someone so new to social media, she makes a salient observation. In it’s infancy stages, we’re about as hyperactive and ill-conceived in our calls to action as the French were when they were hot for democracy, and ran around executing everyone they could find with a drop of royal bloodline in their body.

As I and others like Clay Shirky noted, much of the blogosphere went off half-cocked about the #AmazonFail incident.  It’s being alleged that Jon Engle’s case, which caused most of the weborati to unite and decry the DMCA as well as a number of stock photo outlets, that the case wasn’t as clearcut as previously imagined.

This is likely not to abate until the whole of society becomes so used to thinking critically about all the crazy stories that are pitched daily (targeted towards all our hotbuttons) that we have the good sense to call shens once in a while.

Essentially, until we become media savvy as a culture (New Media savvy, that is), we’re going to create a very unpleasant landscape for the corporations.

This is different than the first time around, when the ‘net was new.  The community was thinned, somewhat disconnected, and dominated by newbies.  This time around, the newbies and unsavvy are just as plentiful, but the tools in place are designed to connect them and make them strong.

My hope is that the always on nature of these new tools will provide a trial by fire.  The general populace needs to get burned a few more times by things like #AmazonFail or the whole Obama is from Kenya thing, so they’ll remember the lesson not to believe everything they hear.

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