Guest column: INTERNET WORLD: Taking the Mickey adds insult to injury

If you're planning to dazzle people, a good place to start is to imagine what would dazzle you yourself.

This is reasonable enough advice, I would think.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that I would even consider employing it myself if I were contracted to provide the content for, say, an Internet World 2000 "media breakfast" attended at 8am by a smattering of just-conscious IT journalists.

And especially so if I knew that on the invitation sent to these journalists the intriguing words "Our secret guest Hollywood Star will announce his new Australian Internet Site" appeared.

I would not, for example, reward these professionals for exceeding their normal hours of work with a fleeting appearance made by an actor in a silver Mickey Mouse costume who could not dance in time, or at all, for that matter.

I would understand that most, if not all, of those present were older than nine years old.

However, apparently I must be wiser than I thought. For at the said "breakfast" yesterday morning, I was greeted with just this.

Yes, "Mickey" was accompanied by two other faceless actors, one on either side, in matching silver suits and choreographic talent. And, yes, Mickey's "performance" was preceded by a four-outfit fashion parade wherein models of both genders strode up and down a catwalk wearing white, with small metallic badges and armbands affixed for presumed "internet" relevance, to keep people like me interested.

But this all made it no less a waste of time.

I went to this breakfast in the hope of reporting what it was that a Hollywood star might have said when launching their own website. The opinions of Hollywood stars are, to many people -- however frighteningly -- interesting. The grace with which an actor is able to move in a shopping-mall Disney outfit is, to many people, not quite as interesting.

This distinction, I would suggest, was not addressed by those in charge yesterday morning.

See, if you attempt to dazzle guests with a spectacle you secretly suspect may be underwhelming, there is a chance that your guests will laugh, and there is also a chance that they will take personal offence.

At the Internet 2000 media breakfast yesterday morning, with the help of the event managers, four models and three temporarily employed actors, I managed to do both.

Thank God, Mickey's appearance was only fleeting.

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