OnLive and Communication in the Age of Social Media

What can OnLive teach us about communication in the age of Social Media?

Last night the gaming Twitterverse went into riot mode (well polite murmurings), as a single tweet from Brian Fargo announced that OnLive was no more effective that day. This was based on an anonymous email he had received that said

“I wanted to send a note that by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist”

From that rumours started to roll. OnLive was filing for bankruptcy. All employees were being laid off that day. IDG reporter Martyn Williams was even stood outside tweeting that he was seeing people leaving carrying boxes.

Of course websites put together hastily created reports. Kotaku, Engadget and others adding their spin on the downfall of OnLive.

What was OnLive doing during this? Not much. A couple tweets about their inclusion in the new Vizio Co-Stars TV Box and a short comment about not commenting on rumours but they are fine.

By the end of the night (day) it all came to a head. Finally OnLive released a statement.

The had been bought out. Yes there would be staff reduction, but OnLive was still alive.

So, what does this show you about communication in the age of social media? It is fast. It does not wait for facts. It does not wait for press releases. It rolls at its own pace.

All of the nonsense could have been stopped with a single tweet from OnLive. “Stay Tuned, big things are happening”. But they will say their hands were tied because of business things, which in this day and age really should not be important.

Now a cynical person would say that this was all very well planned. Just think how many people would have dusted off their old MicroConsoles or logged in to OnLive for the first time in months. They just stirred up more publicity than they have enjoyed since EuroGamer 2011!!

Communication has changed. Social media has made reporters of everyone. Research and facts are now seemingly for the weak and the slow. If you want to control how the media is talking about you, get a REALLY good social media manager.

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