Monday, August 22, 2011
An Apology… Of Sorts
Some of you will have noticed the little social media experiment I conducted earlier today. If you didn’t then here’s my post. To be blunt and to the point, it was a total fabrication (apart from the first paragraph).
I don’t have a close friend in the National Party, and the story about there being a delegation of MPs going to Key was a lie. Not that the idea of it occurring is entirely implausible.
Shame on me. Shame shame shame!
So why did I post something so obviously false? Well, it was all to see if anyone would take seriously a political rumour being fanned by someone with an axe to grind against the subject of the rumour.
What I really hoped was that a journo would fall for it. A number of them trawl the political blogs for stories or angles, and it was reasonable to assume a few might have seen my post. Alas, the phone didn’t call, and nor did anyone in the media quote my blog.
So not exactly an unqualified success, but nor was it a total failure. My blog’s traffic is particularly heavy today (although not all of it's to do with that post - just most), and at one point I had more hits in an hour than I normally get in half a day. I got mentions on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
I even managed to catch the odd blogger out. I should feel bad for inspiring a post by another blogger denouncing my hypocrisy, and yet I feel only a sordid pleasure. Inside all of us lurks a little corner of evil.
So it does show that you just need to post a silly story about a friend who said something about someone, and they all come running to read what you said.
I would hope that most people would be less credulous, but on the other hand I can hardly blame people if they take seriously what I write. I should be flattered, I suppose.
I suspect I have committed some sort of breach of trust (in a non-legal sense of course—I would never be foolish enough to admit legal liability for something) that will see me horsewhipped out of the Bloggers' Club, and my readers will probably be wondering whether they can trust a word they read here in the future.
On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine my undertaking another experiment of this kind in a hurry.
So please consider this a plea for forgiveness. And next time I write something quite so fictional I’ll try to put in a few more obvious clues, so that if you don’t get the joke you’ll only have yourself to blame.
Now please feel free to denounce my shabby/stupid/childish behaviour in the comments section. I can take my punishment.
And then I'll tell you the rumour I've heard that Gerry Brownlee is actually a woman.