It turns out that the girl known as lonelygirl15 who published her video blog to YouTube is a fraud. The whole thing was exposed as a marketing ploy by a crowd known as The Creators. The Sydney Morning Herald posted an article yesterday detailing how the popular video blog was discovered as a phoney. The Creators explained that the lonelygirl15 project was intended to introduce web users to a new "art form".
Whatever the theory behind this project, the whole thing smacks of efforts in the past to use the viral nature of blogs to promote a commercial product or service. In almost every case these efforts have failed miserably, exposing their perpetrators to considerable backlash. It isn’t so much that these efforts have a commercial goal. I think the bigger problem is that they abuse our trust by intentionally misleading us. As the Center for Citizen Media blog put it:
The entertainment industry is not known for its ethical behavior. This is just one more example.
It’s also another demonstration of the skepticism we must increasingly bring to the media we encounter. People like the ones behind this stunt make it hard to trust anything we find online, at least until we have some reason to believe its authenticity.
The blogosphere is based on the premise that bloggers ought to be honest and authentic and a similar premise applies to video blogs like those published on places like YouTube and Google Video. If your marketing department decides to publish a blog or vlog to promote your business then be honest about it. Publish the content and see if people take to it but don’t lie to them.
(Source: Duncan Riley)