After I wrote my last post on “ghost posters” – writers who post in the social media for someone else, I got mostly supportive comments both to my own post and to the idea of ghost posting as a sign of the times, although a few considered any form of posting for others unethical and a form of fraud and deception. The remarks ranged from some writers who felt they had another career option to pursue to those who wanted to hear from the real writers or not at all.
My own view is that ghost posting is much like writing a book, speech, articles, blog, or even answering letters for others who don’t have the time, interest, or ability to write the material for themselves – though ghost posters commonly write only short paragraphs or 140 word Tweets to post on the myriad social media sites. I even wrote a song about all this called “Ghost Poster” which is being recorded in a few days, and here’s the link. Ghost Poster Song I’m planning to animate the song in a video, too.
Here I wanted to cite some of the mostly positive reactions I got that were posted in LinkedIn. First some of positives:
“Ghost Poster! A new career path. How ingenious.”
“That poem is funny!! It would only be a matter of time, I guess, before ‘ghost’ posters began to emerge and make money, because there are so many social media sites. It’s almost impossible to remain constant and visible on all of them for folks who need to remain active. Only thing…seems like it would be a very boring job.”
“I don’t see a thing wrong with ghost posting as a way to earn a living because you’re right – it is no different from the work being done by myriad ghostwriters and speechwriters out there. As you stated in your blog post, it’s only academic ghost writing that should really be frowned on….So I say to you a hearty…do whatever you have to do to earn a living as long as it’s legal and moral and right for you.”
“Interesting…I’m playing with all that too and am thinking the easiest way would be to write a series of contributions and have them posted for me, but then make sure I tap in at least once a week maybe?! Exploring possibilities…definitely want to keep it ‘real’!”
“A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do when a girl’s got to do it. All you can do is offer and the folks who think it’s a good idea will be happy to pay you, no doubt.”
“Companies hire social media people all the time to get their message out on social networks. Why shouldn’t a busy individual?…The important thing for both company and individual is that the voice and ideas reflect the goals and personality of the company and individual.”
“I think it’s fascinating to see the new types of work that are being generated by the revolution in publishing…This is the first time I heard about ghost posting and I think it is wonderful! Let there be as much creativity and innovation as can be in this new climate of publishing.”
“It is common practice in small businesses (about which I know a lot) and probably in large corporations (about which I know little) to assign the “social networking blog” job to an employee who devotes their business hours to it…Just another form of ghost writing, but certainly it is in wide practice.”
And now the negatives:
“I have to agree with those who cry sham and fake. At least to a point. Twitter and other social media like them, I expect most of them to be ghostwritten. Yet it is somewhat of a disappointment to know you are probably not dealing with the real deal…There are a lot of areas where ghostwriting is the norm. Such as speechwriters and celebrities. And why not. A lot of the celebrities didn’t gain their fame by writing.”
“What a terrifying idea. While it may work to sell books, it is totally destructive of the underlying best purpose of social media, to create authentic interpersonal relationships that would otherwise be unavailable. Were I to learn that one of my fellow authors were doing something so basically disingenuous, I would do my best to tell others to not buy that writer’s work as it could no possibly have either good art nor good karma, only craft(iness).
“This controversy is very interesting…I have always said that unattributed ghosting is unethical although it’s an accepted practice in the book biz. Now ghosting has reached the outside world and ordinary people agree – there is something inherently deceptive about ghostwriting…There are many companies that hire bloggers but that’s different. You’re writing for a faceless corporation, not an individual.”
So there you have it. The many different types of responses I got so far to my blogs and postings on LinkedIn about this subject – mostly positive, but some very strong negatives.
So what do you think? I haven’t done any ghost posting myself yet and probably won’t, since I specialize in writing books, articles, and scripts for myself and clients, though I was considering hiring someone to post what I’ve written in different places.
Gini Graham Scott, PhD, is the author of over 50 books and a speaker/seminar leader, specializing in social trends, work relationships, professional development, and writing and publishing books. Her latest books include THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING; WANT IT, SEE IT, GET IT!; and USING LINKEDIN TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS OR YOURSELF. She also helps clients write, publish, and promote their own books and find publishers and agents through Changemakers Publishing and Writing. She has a publishing company Changemakers Publishing and writes screenplays, both her own and for clients. Her Websites are athttp://www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com and http://www.ginigrahamscott.com.