Chapter 8. What Are People Saying about You This Instant?

"Who the Hell ARE these People?" was the heading I put on a blog post in late 2009. In it, I showed a stock photograph and asked my readers: Who are these young, happy, pretty, multicultural people with great teeth and even better hair who hang out with notebook computers in sleek and modern conference rooms on B2B company web sites all over the world? Who are these international inhabitants of virtual corporate locales?

I went on to describe the stock images that adorn many corporate web sites: The problem with the "B2B happy multicultural conference room with computer shot" is that it has become a cliché. This kind of image is so overused it has become meaningless. These models don't look like you. They don't look like your employees. And they don't look like your customers (unless you run a modeling agency). Because these models don't look like you or your customers, it is insulting and demeaning to everyone (your employees and customers especially) to use these shots on your homepage and throughout your site. After posting the piece, I also tweeted "Who the Hell ARE these People?" with a link to it.

Who the Hell ARE These People?

The reaction was immediate. The first retweet (when someone forwarded my tweet to their followers) came within seconds. Soon many people were tweeting and retweeting, pointing their followers to my post. The first hour averaged one tweet every two minutes. Additional tweets throughout the day drove ...

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