The Onion's Pitch-Perfect Parody of Social Media 'Gurus'

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"Using your brains to think of an idea and your skills to implement it? That's the old model."

The Onion is not the first to take a dim view of social-media marketing, but it is the funniest.

In the latest installment of the satirical newspaper's TED-esque 'Onion Talks' series, a speaker describes one of his company's recent coups:

Let me show you another example: Our firm was hired to expand SpeedStick deodorant's Twitter footprint. But they already had a Twitter feed -- and we of course had no original ideas. So we hired a separate company to create thousands of fake Twitter accounts designed only to follow SpeedStick. We were able to increase the number of accounts following SpeedStick from 300 to 900,000 in less than a week. And the best part is, all of these accounts were robots -- so we didn't have to tweet anything, because nobody was reading it.

The inevitable conclusion?

Ideally, real human users will leave social networking altogether, and all that will be left will be thousands of robots, talking to each other, who we can then advertise to.

For The Onion's earlier take on visionary entrepreneurs, see here.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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