New York, NY–
Less than two weeks after About Last Night formally debuted at Tech Crunch’s Disrupt NYC convention, the promising new mobile app has already been compromised by a user none other than Scumbag Steve:
Since Steve joined the site, he has crashed hundreds of high school parties using the app’s event information; consequently, About Last Night has been unable to retain many of the early adopters who joined after NYC Disrupt and prior to Scumbag Steve’s disruption.
This is not the first time that Scumbag Steve has dampered young-adult-oriented online fun. In fact, researchers in the University of Michigan’s Science, Technology, and Society Lab recently published a review paper suggesting that Scumbag Steve and others in his demographic (25-27 year old douchebags) have been and will continue posing a marketing dilemma for social media marketers: specifically, online social platforms are finding it impossible to market their websites to the teen/young adult market without inadvertently attracting scumbags and douchebags to their services. The problem with scumbags is that they subsequently turn-off the intended teen/young adult demographic from such a service, leaving many websites and mobile applications with only Scumbags in their user bases (see Scumbag Paradox, published January 2012 in Science.)
This screenshot is another example par excellence of the Scumbag Paradox as it impacted ChatRoulette:
Interestingly, the authors of the paper point out that not all technology companies suffer when their brands become associated with Scumbags. Historically, software companies such as Dell have found that the Scumbag persona makes an excellent marketing spokesperson:
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