I’ve just been listening to a programme on BBC Radio Four where there was a man from the Sherlock Holmes Society of London talking. He spends part of his life dressed up as Watson, playing the Victorian, fictional character. Alongside 65 other members of the society he recently went to Switzerland where he spent a week in character. During the interview he was asked if this was different to people who spend their life online in some imaginary world. Of course, it isn’t. Many people online invent characters they would like to use. They become these characters on their blogs, in chat rooms, even on their web sites. Some people would have you believe this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. But it is normal. Some people pretend they are Dr Watson at the weekend. Some become an online character. Others play golf, imagining they are really Tiger Woods, others go to football matches and shout their heads off, while at work they are very quiet indeed. In other words, we all inhabit several worlds in our heads. The fact that the Internet allows us to expand on our imaginary worlds is not the problem it has been cracked up to be – it is normal. However, if you are doing Internet marketing and you don’t allow your potential customers to take on imaginary roles in some way, you may be reducing your sales potential.
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.