Monday, April 20, 2009

#amazonfail presages much crowd-sourced tsuris to come

A week ago, I mentioned #amazonfail - the recent unpleasantness where Amazon took thousands of gay and lesbian books off the ratings/listings available in the general search (they remained available in full searches) due to some cock-up with tagging that meant they were treated en bloc as "adult" even when the material was relationship, not sex, based.

I had some sympathy for Amazon. Jeremiah Tolbert has a more practical take on it in Twitter Will Murder You While You Sleep.
Do something bad, catch the attention of Twitter, and don’t respond for several days. This is a recipe for total and utter reputation anihiliation.

So how do you avoid this? Well, nimble companies should not be threatened by Twitter’s awesome might. The faster you fill the void of information, the more quickly Twitter as a whole will move on to something else. It probably doesn’t matter what you say. All you have to do is acknowledge it. Say, “We see the problem. We don’t know what’s causing it. We’re on it. Thank you.“ And then keep people updated. The lack of response is as important as the mistake.
He's right, y'know.

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I sometimes mention a product on this blog, and I give a URL to Amazon or similar sites. Just to reassure you, I don't get paid to advertise anything here and I don't get any money from your clicks. Everything I say here is because I feel like saying it.