(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/New York Times)
A wise person once commented computers, machines and the like will only be as inspired and intelligent as the wise humans who create, utilize and manage them.
At this point we should probably consider walking back enthusiasm towards receiving consistent, high-quality intelligence and inspiration from the Internet and, by extension, the human race.
At least when it comes to asking the Internet for creative advice.
Last Friday an investor group led by former U.S. National Soccer star Landon Donovan opened up a poll on their Soccer City San Diego Facebook page asking the Internet to select the ten best prospective names for their prospective Major League Soccer squad.
The name with the most votes at this writing is Footy McFooty Face.
By a wide margin.
If this has a familiar tone it comes as a result of your remembering last year the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council asked the Internet to come up with an intelligent, inspirational name for a multi-million dollar British Navy research ship.
The winning name was Boaty McBoatface.
By a wide margin.
No, the R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface is not going to be hitting the high seas anytime soon. The R.R.S. Sir David Attenborough (named after the famed naturalist) will be once it completes construction at a shipyard in Liverpool. However, one of three high-tech remote controlled yellow submarines just began its first mission a few days ago bearing the very name of Boaty McBoatface…and one of the “Boaty” trio may ultimately achieve the first-ever under-ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.
(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/The Guardian)
Indeed, the British Science Ministry threw cold water on the idea of having a $240 million-dollar vessel named Boaty McBoatface…agreeing instead to honor (?) three robot subs. They obviously decided completely rejecting the very Internet they solicited creative advice from was not the best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is of course the point here. How many more times will marketing and social media “experts” sacrifice themselves into the deep end of the Internet pool soliciting creative advice?
Consider within this decade alone:
Singer Justin Bieber’s people rejected the Internet’s selected destination for his next world tour – North Korea.
Austin, Texas officials passed on renaming their Solid Waste Services department the Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts (after the lead singer of the band Limp Bizkit).
Slovak officials balked on naming a pedestrian and cycling bridge near their border with Austria after action movie star Chuck Norris.
Mountain Dew drank in the early responses towards selecting a name for their new apple-flavored beverage and promptly pulled the plug on “Dub The Dew” after “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong” took the lead.
Many more examples exist. With recent ones resulting in the popularity of Boaty McBoatface and Footy McFooty Face…face it…humans still have not learned asking the Internet for creative input often brings more heartburn and humiliation than help.
On a couple of occasions those who solicited the Internet for its opinion did try to make lemonade from lemons:
The singer Pitbull actually went ahead and honored the Internet’s selection for a Walmart location to hold one of his concerts…in Kodiak, Alaska.
Singer Taylor Swift and her sponsors donated a combined $50,000 to Boston’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf after becoming the Internet’s selection to host one of her concerts. Each student was given a free ticket for her next local appearance.
And in the case of Boaty McBoatface not only do three submarines now bear that proud (?) moniker but the U.K.’s National Oceanography Centre has designed both cartoon and life-size inflatable versions to educate children about marine research.
(Image Credit The Natural Environment Research Council/Metro News)
The Internet was constructed by humans (not God or Amazon as was previously rumored). It only makes sense it would showcase the most superior intelligence humanity can offer…as well as display the wackiest, most mischievous, silliest and supremely outrageous behavior humanity can provide. When you ask open-ended creative advice of the Internet diverse feedback is logically what one should expect.
I do wonder since queries of the Internet continue maybe at least a couple of these marketing and social media “experts” are doing this on purpose. You know that old adage…there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Is it possible these examples of creative advice are precisely what they’re looking for by continuing to inquire of the Internet?
Nah, nobody’s that intelligent.