I had intended to write a post about how unfortunate it is that one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk, doesn’t do his own tweets, because I wanted to share, enthusiastically, that I love his new book, Damned. My immediate feeling, upon reading the little bio on his Twitter account, which points out that his account is managed by Dennis Widmyer, was that it stunk. Here I am, yet another paying member of the “cult of Chuck,” and the idea of me telling Dennis this is about as useful as me turning to the person next to me at this conference and saying, “I really love Damned. It really has a great texture.”
But then there’s Ashton Kutcher
I just read that Ashton Kutcher is giving up the running of his own Twitter account. This all came because he said something that accidentally turned out to be bad. But this is nuts, right? He has developed a voice online, where people want to interact with him, and he’s willing to turn it over to people on his staff?
Why would you ever want to outsource your voice?
Your blog, your social media presence, all this online stuff – it’s your voice to the world. Say what you will about him, but Kanye West did it right. He bypassed any reporters, any PR people, anyone that got in the way of him wanting to have his say unfiltered, and he brought his voice to Twitter to apologize to Taylor Swift.
There are so many situations where you don’t get a voice, where you’re not able to communicate in a way that others might see or hear what you’re saying. You have so many opportunities to be invisible and unheard. Why would you give away your few chances to actually be heard and on your own terms and in your own words?
Keep Your Voice
I feel the same about companies who use others to tweet and maintain their social presence. It’s not a model I am fond of, because to me, it’s setting up a relationship-by-proxy. If you want ghost-writers for your blog, why not just identify them as “staff writers” and call it good? If you want a Twitter account that’s not your voice, then talk in the 3rd person and never as if you’re that person.
But no, I’m not especially down with the giving away of one’s voice. Why are some people, do you think? Why is it okay for Chuck and Ashton to hand their voice over to some other person? Not enough time? Too big? There are few exceptions to my thoughts on this, the Dalai Lama being one, and who knows? Maybe I shouldn’t even give him a pass, but I’m a recent convert to Buddhism, so maybe that’s why it’s okay.
What are your thoughts?
And Chuck? Ashton? Please take back your voice. Please?