Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friends with the Colonel

Last night I received a Facebook friend request from Colonel Tribune. When I clicked on his profile, I initally thought it was just another "fake" profile that someone had created to give a Facebook presence to a celebrity or dead historical figure. After all, I'm Facebook friends with Derrek Lee and Kelly Ripa, too.

But after inspecting the Colonel's profile and Facebook activity, it became clear that this was not some college kid's homage to Col. McCormick. It is in fact a clever online marketing strategy being employed by the Chicago Tribune's online division. Rather than creating an impersonal Tribune account on various social networking sites, the Colonel serves as the Trib's "Web Ambassador" on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube. They have cross-promoted him in Redeye and must have someone closely monitoring his Facebook account, because every new friend receives a personalized "Thanks for the add!" wall post. Mine arrived this morning.

This is ridiculously clever and, at least for me, it works. I've clearly spent some time poking around Tribune content to see what this is all about, and oddly enough, I still want to be the Colonel's Facebook friend, even if he is just a portal to chicagotribune.com. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the newspaper hat.

3 comments:

Colonel Tribune said...

I've gotten compliments on my mustache as well.

If you're a sucker for the hat, check THIS out. Now you can have your very own.

Sorry I didn't catch this post before, but I'm glad I did. Thanks for the (digital) ink!

Colonel Tribune said...

Completely missed that link! Sorry about that.

Colonel Tribune said...

If you're interested, you should come to my next Tweetup. The last one was a lot of fun!

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