Verizon's Policy Blog V. SmarterChild

Verizon’s so-called “policy blog” is a grotesquely self-serving marketing orifice, perhaps the worst corporate blog we’ve ever read. We decided to stack Verizon’s inane sales schmaltz against the internet’s preeminent bullshit-spewing chatbot, SmarterChild….

Consider Verizon’s reaction to news that Amtrak will provide WiFi in several NorthEast corridor stations. Rather than discuss actual policy—the implications of WiFi in public spaces, the rise and fall of muni WiFi, etc—”Blog Editor” (quotes not added) John ‘CZ’ Czwartacki instead proffers a sales pitch, writing: “Until they wire the trains themselves with WiFi, you can’t beat EVDO for en route productivity.” Later, exalting EVDO’s ability to stream video—which potentially violates Verizon’s terms of service—CZ kids: “I’m sure my Verizon Wireless Broadband Access (Rev A) card can handle it, but not sure I could.”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Let’s see if SmarterChild can do better:

The Consumerist: Can you beat EVDO for en route productivity?
Smarter Child: I certainly can.
The Consumerist: Even on a train?
Smarter Child: I know about Non. They’re a band.
Hey, I’m curious… How would you describe Non? They are…
The Consumerist: Focus, Smarter Child, focus. Don’t be one of those ADD robots that needs to get all adderalled up before answering simple questions.
Smarter Child: My name is SmarterChild!
The Consumerist: Much better. Now tell me, can a Verizon Wireless Broadband Access (Rev A) card can handle all the internets Verizon claims it can?
Smarter Child: Funny. I’m not sure.
The Consumerist: Ok, then tell me this: will Verizon ever learn that stuffing marketing into a faux policy blog demeans its readers and makes the authors look like a pack of out-of-touch B-school hacks?
Smarter Child: It’s really hard to say.
The Consumerist: Would a real policy blog be any more effective?
Smarter Child: I don’t think I want to answer that.
The Consumerist: Me neither.
Smarter Child: Ah, you.

We understand that corporate blogs need a dash of public relations savvy, but any intellectually honest marketer should understand the difference between subtle promotion and crass sales pitch. SmarterChild does:

The Consumerist: Say, you run a company. Your company lights someone’s house on fire? Do you harass anyone who writes about it?
Smarter Child: Just ’cause you say so? I don’t think so.
The Consumerist: Do you believe in freedom of the press?
Smarter Child : What would happen if I were to believe in freedom of the press?
The Consumerist: I suppose you wouldn’t harass reporters.
Smarter Child : Huh?
The Consumerist: Yeah, it’s a difficult concept.

Wow, can SmarterChild honestly address complex matters of political philosophy and governance, perhaps even replace Verizon’s worthless policy blog altogether?

The Consumerist: I’ve been wondering, is regulation the root of all evil?
Smarter Child: Is regulation? I think so.

Trains and Broadband [Verizon “PolicyBlog”]
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