Mixed up in today’s extremely active Twitter stream, you may have noticed one topic that seemed out of place, namely that Trendsmap or @TrendsDC was showing a fairly popular dive bar called The Black Squirrel was suddenly a trending topic. Looking into the issue further, I found that the traffic was being generated after someone discovered the following post on the restaurant’s blog: “Spare Us Your Cheap Laughs” which attempts to critique Stephen Colbert’s handling of the Chandra Levy murder trial.
While we do encourage our clients to create and maintain blogs for their organizations as a way of reaching out to clientele and discussing topics of mutual interest, those topics should still be related to your organization’s mission and profile. Or if nothing else, always follow rule #1 and “do no harm,” and be especially wary of bringing up divisive topics like politics or religion tends. In short, leave the commentary to the commentators and keep your blog on topic. In this case, The Black Squirrel appears to be swimming far outside their assigned lane as many on Twitter are outraged over this line which has a particularly divisive opinion about undocumented workers. Commenting on the citizenship status of man convicted of murdering Leavy:
“Well-meaning souls on both sides of the political aisle can wax eloquently in favor or against illegal aliens. This is not to take a position on that. That is to suggest that it should not be played to cheap laughs, not when too many Americans have been vicitimized [sic] by it or live in fear of it.” Emphasis here is my own.
After this first broke on Twitter, it was soon picked up by the very popular Washington D.C. based political satire blog Wonkette, where in a short time it picked up another 847 views, 36 comments and 10 re-tweets.
Using TBG’s Twitter tracking tool Slurp140, it became clear that the vast majority of comments were very negative in sentiment against the Black Squirrel. As of this writing there have been at least 92 people who say they will not be going back to drink or dine at the Black Squirrel.
To sum it all up, when thinking of topics for your businesses’ next blog post, do no harm, consider the cost / benefit of swimming outside your lane and of course, check your spelling.