Adam Orth, Microsoft Creative Director, Bombs on Twitter

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Posted on by Zach Billings
Categories: Social Media Case Studies Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adam Orth is one of the creative directors at Microsoft studios. He’s not the top of the chain, but he IS important, and he should be aware that his words have weight. Unfortunately (for Microsoft and his own career) he performed a major faux pas on Twitter last night. Let’s take a look at what he did and investigate how your small business SEO can learn from the mistakes of one of the biggest companies in the world.

The controversy began when Adam took to Twitter to discuss the next iteration of the Xbox. There were rumors flying that the machine would require an always-on internet connection, the same always-on philosophy that resulted in a lot of initial strife for recent games like Diablo III and Sim City. While Adam didn’t confirm or deny the always-on rumors, he was sure to be as condescending as possible to his fans and followers. Check out this sample of Tweets from his feed yesterday:

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Somehow, Adam Orth thought it would be a good idea to argue with the general public. If there’s one lesson to take away here, it’s that you NEVER ARGUE WITH THE PUBLIC. Even if you think you’re right, even if you know they’re wrong, you still have to remember those basic tenants of customers service and, at worst, walk away with a smile.

I’m willing to be charitable and entertain the idea that this entire exchange was meant to be tongue in cheek. Even if that’s the case, it still shows a stunning lack of common sense. You’d think the creative director for a huge company like Microsoft would understand that you can’t hear sarcasm online. You also can’t hear inflection or laughs or any of the other social indicators we use to show that we’re just playing around.

We’ll watch this story and see how it plays out as more people hear about it, but the backlash against Microsoft and Orth is already intense, with two separate posts making the front page of Reddit’s /r/gaming. In case you’re wondering, /r/gaming is a subreddit (a forum, essentially) that has nearly three MILLION subscribers (and is seen by large amounts of non-subscribers), each and every one of whom is in the target audience for Microsoft’s new console.

So, what’s the over-under on days until old Orthy gets the axe?

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