(Don’t miss the next update in this unfolding story…)
CONTEXT: I published this article before it was completely evident to me that Tosh Bilowski is indeed a fictional character. Some people spotted this ruse immediately, but I didn’t – and I suspect my experience isn’t particularly unusual.
CORRECTION: I made a mistake concerning the following text, which I’m marked with strikethrough formatting. For an explanation and update, see my followup posting.
(UPDATE 3pm MDT: Well, I guess someone over at Panasonic said “Ooops!” and is trying to backtrack. Since I posted this article, they’ve heavily re-edited This posting on the DefPerception blog, removing a story about how this “blogger” had an Indian mother and a Polish father, etc., and replacing those “personal” details with vague “wink wink” references implying that this is indeed a character blog. If you see that, bear in mind – that’s not how they were presenting this blog until just a couple of hours ago. Cute. Oh – and whoever’s moderating that blog never approved the comment I tried to post there, asking them about this.
(FURTHER UPDATE 7pm MDT: That DefPerception article I linked to above now bears a couple of comments which focus solely on technical issues. My comment, where I inquired whether the blogger was fictional, has not been published. Now, notice something – the names of those comment authors link to e-mail addresses. That’s pretty unusual, since usually comment author names link to URLs. However, Tosh’s name links to the blog home page – a URL. Again: Cute. …More updates, as warranted, will be in my followup.)
(And here’s Another update, Oct. 31)
This morning, in Blog Herald News, I stumbled across this announcement: “Panasonic Launches Blog To Discuss AG-HVX200 And HD” (translation: a new high-definition video camera and high-definition issues in general). This sounded interesting: a corporate blog that specifically targets video geeks. In my experience, video geeks have very high expectations, and they enjoy debate. I figured, wow, Panasonic would really have to prove itself to that crowd, and work hard to engage them. Not easy.
So I checked out the blog, DefPerception. I was initially pleased to see something that appears much less stiff yet more informational than most corporate blogs I’ve encountered. Panasonic apparently hired a video geek named Tosh Bilowski to write this weblog. On first glance he sounds knowledgeable, and he seems blog-savvy.
…Still, though, it always helps to get some background on the blogger to understand the blog – especially in the case of sponsored or corporate blogs. What’s his blogging track record, I wondered? So I did what any geek (including video geeks, probably) would do: since this guy has a pretty unusual name, I Googled him.
Nada! As of 8:50 am MDT today, zero results. No matches. I kid you not. Not for his nickname Tosh Bilowski, nor his full name Pratosh Bilowski
OK, that’s odd… Would Panasonic really hire someone to write a corporate blog who had no apparent online track record, at least under the name he’s currently using?
I did some further poking around…