Why Would You Ever Want to Outsource Your Voice?

Chuck Palahniuk doesn't tweet for himself.

I had intended to write a post about how unfortunate it is that one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk, doesn’t do his own tweets, because I wanted to share, enthusiastically, that I love his new book, Damned. My immediate feeling, upon reading the little bio on his Twitter account, which points out that his account is managed by Dennis Widmyer, was that it stunk. Here I am, yet another paying member of the “cult of Chuck,” and the idea of me telling Dennis this is about as useful as me turning to the person next to me at this conference and saying, “I really love Damned. It really has a great texture.”

But then there’s Ashton Kutcher

I just read that Ashton Kutcher is giving up the running of his own Twitter account. This all came because he said something that accidentally turned out to be bad. But this is nuts, right? He has developed a voice online, where people want to interact with him, and he’s willing to turn it over to people on his staff?

Why would you ever want to outsource your voice?

Your blog, your social media presence, all this online stuff – it’s your voice to the world. Say what you will about him, but Kanye West did it right. He bypassed any reporters, any PR people, anyone that got in the way of him wanting to have his say unfiltered, and he brought his voice to Twitter to apologize to Taylor Swift.

There are so many situations where you don’t get a voice, where you’re not able to communicate in a way that others might see or hear what you’re saying. You have so many opportunities to be invisible and unheard. Why would you give away your few chances to actually be heard and on your own terms and in your own words?

Keep Your Voice

I feel the same about companies who use others to tweet and maintain their social presence. It’s not a model I am fond of, because to me, it’s setting up a relationship-by-proxy. If you want ghost-writers for your blog, why not just identify them as “staff writers” and call it good? If you want a Twitter account that’s not your voice, then talk in the 3rd person and never as if you’re that person.

But no, I’m not especially down with the giving away of one’s voice. Why are some people, do you think? Why is it okay for Chuck and Ashton to hand their voice over to some other person? Not enough time? Too big? There are few exceptions to my thoughts on this, the Dalai Lama being one, and who knows? Maybe I shouldn’t even give him a pass, but I’m a recent convert to Buddhism, so maybe that’s why it’s okay.

What are your thoughts?

And Chuck? Ashton? Please take back your voice. Please?

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  • MarkNV

    I actually disagree .. I’m a small business owner and I use a service to manage our twitter and facebook updates.  I think it doesn’t make sense to hire someone to write for a “person”, but when it comes to business, you can effectively work with a company to help build your online identity.

    We have a dedicated representative with a company called Ghost Post (http://ghostpost.com) that we work with almost daily.  She is an extension of our business and possesses the knowledge and technical know how that we just don’t have.  When it comes to businesses, I say using a trustworthy outsourcing solution is the way to go.  They’re consistent, affordable and so far, have had great results.

    Mark –

  • http://www.CrazyAboutChurch.com Charles Specht

    Your voice is what you have.  It’s you.  If you outsource your voice, you’ve lost yourself.  And no one will listen to you ever again.  Or at least anyone that really matters, that is.

  • Sylviacyj

    I cannot accept ghost-writting either! It’s unethical in my mind. Maybe they are too busy or afraid of saying something wrong so it is okay for Chuck and Ashton to hand their voice over to some other person. However, these action will hurt their followers after all, since the reason they follow somebody is to see a true people and know his or her own thoughts. I click “like” or follow celebrity on social media because they can give me direct way to approch that person, seeing how actually the person behave. But if the twitter account is not runned by the ghost-writer, everthing will be suspect to me. Also, I hate cheating! If the celebrity or politic is busy, he or she can point out that his/her account is hold by authoried person or team like Obama’s twitter team, and then I can accept those messages in another way.

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