Archives for posts with tag: block

546cbad19dbf8fc449d1d013aaaab9f553704d34_m

Everybody in the marketing world talks about community. At one point, community had a real meaning. We used to live in places that felt like communities. We interacted with other people in our neighborhood, talked to them daily, our little place in the world had the feel of a community. The little store next door. The neighbor we chatted with for a few minutes. Kids driving their bikes down the street. Block parties. Remember those times?

When we started to develop digital landmarks, we created communities grouped around shared passions. And we called those ‘online communities’. That felt real because people lived in those places, sought them out actively and particiapted. It had a communal feel to it.

Over time, everything changed.

The word ‘community’ became meaningless.

Suddenly, any message board, Facebook page or Twitter feed was called a community.

Let me give it to you straight:

– A Facebook page with a lot of ‘likes’ is not a community. It’s just a Facebook page with a lot of ‘likes’.

– A Twitter feed with a lot of followers is not a community. It’s just a Twitter feed with a lot of followers.

There’s a huge difference between a community and an aggregation of people with weak ties.

You can live in a neighborhood and never talk to your neighbors, never know what makes them tick, never care if the store next door will survive in tough economic times. All these people are just neighbors. Nothing more. Just because you live in the same neighborhood (in real life or on your social media platforms) doesn’t mean you’re part of a community.

Community is about a shared passion. Community has context. Community consists of meaningful interactions. When you develop all of these, you have a community.

Communities can’t be created.

People create communities, and unless you have some secret sauce I don’t know about, you can’t create people. You can build digital landmarks and social platforms for people to create their own community. You can develop the infrastructure. The passion, love, heart, blood, sweat and tears is up to people. Not you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

56ef3801d825a031222ba45073b5e822e763edf3_m

Maureen Dowd published a piece about verbal abuses and the sprawling gutter of our Internet experience.

“Evgeny Morozov, author of “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom,” told me Twitter creates a false intimacy and can “bring out the worst in people. You’re straining after eyeballs, not big thoughts. So you go for the shallow, funny, contrarian or cynical.”

“Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” says technology amplifies everything, good instincts and base. While technology is amoral, he said, our brains may be rewired in disturbing ways.

“Researchers say that we need to be quiet and attentive if we want to tap into our deeper emotions,” he said. “If we’re constantly interrupted and distracted, we kind of short-circuit our empathy. If you dampen empathy and you encourage the immediate expression of whatever is in your mind, you get a lot of nastiness that wouldn’t have occurred before.”

Brands have real problems dealing with the bottom feeders

It’s easy to filter out $%#@#@ words, delete spammers, racist and sexist comments. But it’s hard to deal with a disgruntled customer that turns into an abuser once he hits the keyboard.

While I believe that customer service is the new marketing by being public and transparent, I also believe strongly that nobody has to put up with abusive behavior.

Lifetimes ago, I worked as the Station Manager for United Airlines at Heathrow. At last 5 times a day, I had to deal with First/Business Class passengers that assumed they bought the right to turn into a combination of Omarosa and Nikita Krushchev when they purchased an expensive ticket. I saw affluent, normal-looking people open up their suitcases, throwing the content all over the terminal. I saw adult men with beautiful business cards taking off all their clothes because they were enraged that we dared asking them questions about their luggage (Years after Lockerbie.) They weren’t allowed to board. And they swore to call the CEO of United, the US president and the Pope. And they claimed never to fly to United again. Just to show up next day, answering all questions, being polite, doing everything to get on that plane. Because they needed to go from A to B. They had status. And they realized they acted like jerks.

It’s easier being a jerk on the Web

Insert the Social Web. Suddenly, anybody can create a blog about their negative experiences. You can slam brands all day long. You can use your social Klout to get your way. Brands should react to justified complaints. But they shouldn’t run scared of their loyal customers when they turn into jerks.

When disgruntled customers turn your Facebook page into their playground of negativity, block them.

When angry people own your Twitter stream by spamming it with their bad experience, block them.

Make sure to develop procedures in advance to deal with these customers. Things happen. Get in touch with them and offer an opportunity to resolve their issue in a more appropriate environment. But don’t become the hostage of your own social platform.

You didn’t develop a Facebook page to get abused. You developed it to engage with people, understand their concerns, help them. Don’t let others turn them into their abusive playground.