Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have car companies really learnt anything from Toyota?

Last week I blogged about how Toyota had launched their social media listening site called Throughout the social media world this was seen as a positive move to claw back the reputation of a leading global automotive manufacturer.

However today I was prompted to do a little investigation after following the Twitter stream of Neville Hobson who was attending and speaking at the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association 'New Influencers Workshop':
Brilliant suggestion by @thomaspower to auto co's: aggregate all conversations
on a convo domain, eg, #mipaa

Yes, this is a brilliant suggestion and one that I would have been surprised had not been already adopted by other motor manufacturers or their PR agents. At the very least this sort of activity should be in planning, given that it took Toyota and Tweetmeme only a few days to put the Toyota Conversations site up.

So I took a quick look at the [company] domains available in that industry. I therefore found that the following domains were available to be purchased (e.g. they have not already been bought, a good indication of what they have planned):
    (agreeably Vauxhall is a UK-only GM brand)
    (so that scratches that thought)
I could have checked more...and maybe I will after this post.

Now I could forgive all these, as this was a Toyota-specific issue that they have dealt with via the social web. But you'll be even more surprised to know that this domain is also still available:

For those that are not aware, Lexus is the prestige brand of Toyota. It would seem that even the parent company hasn't reserved this domain yet for its own PR purposes. Are they really that sure they won't need it in the future, given what has happened to their main brand?

I take no responsibility for these domains being taken by domain squatters or brandjackers following this post. All domains mentioned are available as of 15:45 on 31 March 2010.

When does social media become stalking?

I'm all in favour of real-time social media. Using Twitter and Foursquare tells my colleagues, clients and friends where I am, plus now Plancast tells everyone where I'm going to be in the future. It means I get more personal with contacts and also tells my wife where I am and therefore my likelihood that I'm going to be home to help with the domestic duties.

But hang on... where do you draw the line between following someone on social media and stalking them? And aren't I by constantly broadcasting my: location, thoughts and intentions just encouraging this?

Things are even getting a little to personal for my liking. For example you can now use the new Sleeping Time tool to find out the most likely time a person doesn't use Twitter and therefore when they sleep (and its assessment is about right!). What's next?

The issue of providing your status updates to Twitter and other geotagging and location-based social media was highlighted last month with the development of This site shows when people are away from their homes and therefore when they could be burgled. The developers claim it was doing a social good by 'Raising awareness about over-sharing', but it has subsequently closed due to a security backlash, however it did bring the subject of telling everyone where you are all the time to the fore.

Has social media gone too far and openned up our lives a little too much now?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Old school advertising is getting left on the shelf

I'm glad its not just me that thinks the old days of advertising going all the "talking but no listening" are dying out.

This commercial sums it up for me:

The standards for company influence

Who are the people that have the most influence on your company's brand, reputation and sales? How can you identify those that play the biggest role in the success of your business?
These are simple enough questions to ask, but need a lot of thought and information to answer correctly.

I've been looking at the role of customer influence now for a few years and have seen various ways of finding, showing and measuring influence, but have yet to see the definitive and 'industry standard' way of doing this..... I guess its for the reason that it is complex.

You see its difficult to agree on a standard for influence, not just because every product or brand out there has a different profile in the minds of the end-user, but also because different business people (your managers and stakeholders) will want different figures or metrics:

1. eCommerce department
They want to find out which influencers create the most revenue on your site, either directly: (actual customers) or indirectly (people they encourage to buy, via whatever means)

2. PR department (Brand / reputation)
They want to identify those that have a positive or negative sentiment (at a particular time, for a particualr product or service) or are more likely to pick up on what yoir company does and report / blog / tweet / etc. about it.

3. Marketing department (Search Engine Optimisation)
They just want to reverse engineer the whole Internet to track back links from other sites to yours and to then see the traffic and search engine "juice" this provides.

With each of these different bodies wanting different measures of influence, is it any wonder there's been no standard way of measuring it yet?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Join the conversation, or else...

As a lot of brands have found out that their customers (current, lapsed, potential,, etc.) are a social bunch. They've also found that if you have a brand and don't give them a platform to vent their concerns as well as their praise, they go and create one anyway. And these days, given the ease with with anyone can create a Facebook fan page or similar place, there will be a dozen different conversations going on about the same topic in next to no time.

But several brands have found that it is wise to not just join the conversation, but to provide a central place where discussions about them can be had.

Toyota, following the recent recall troubles it has had, decided to team up with to create: This is a site where you can see all social media buzz about the ongoing issue as well as Toyota's own ongoing information.

Nokia have done a similar thing with their site where they have turned a blog into an entire communication platform including video & podcasts as well as some fun applications.

However UK fashion retailer ASOS have taken this one step further with Launched earlier this month, the site allows you to quickly see the aggregated Twitter messages from people and brands in the fashion industry, including ASOS's competition. This is a bold move to try and curate not just its own brand messages, but those of the entire online fashion communication space.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Politico interview is a US-based political news website that shows how to combine old-school journalism with the always-on culture of the Internet.

Started by two ex-Washington Post reporters John Harris and Jimmy Vandehei, its not a lightweight journal, but gets into the serious subject of political reporting. However they have managed to 'own the morning' with their speedy turn-around of stories and understand that the life of a topic is no longer days but hours (or even minutes).

Does it work? Well they are in the top 10 US national newspaper websites according to Nielsen Netratings!

Here's the recent video interview they did for CNN:

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Times Online annouces its paywall

News International, owner of the The Times and Sunday Times newspapers has announced that its paywall in June, only a few months away.

Following a relaunch of both online properties in May and a period of free usage to registered customers (presumably to build up the potential user base) users will then pay £1 for a single day and £2 for weekly site access . However no further details of other site subscriptions have been main available as-yet (e.g. Quarterly or Yearly).

Further questions are obviously going to be answered as this date draws nearer, such as will the sites continue to support advertising alongside articles or do so in such an overt manner?

The fact remains that there are a number of other alternatives all watching to see: if Mr Murdoch's plan will work, if the same monetisation scheme is applied to other NewsCorp properties and if their own site traffic rises as a consequence.

Here's a link to the article on The Times Online, although please note that from June it will cost you a £1/$2/€1.5 to read it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Search Patterns

A guest posting today from Mark Walsh, as I am in a dentist chair in West London having some extensive work done. I've asked Mark to provide a review of Search Patterns by Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender:

Search Patterns is definitely as book for those who have a genuine interest in the subject rather than just a curiosity as it is very specific on the one subject matter, and at times does require some concentration to digest the content.

The book initially covers how search plays a part in our lives regardless of whether we use the internet or not. Although it’s an eye opener and good background, this does seem to continue for too long and I was left wondering when the book would really get started.

The book comes to life more once different search terms and results are covered and at this stage I did feel I was either learning, or having things pointed out to me that I already knew but had not necessarily observed consciously.

Mobile phones are covered extensively throughout the book and importance is iterated regarding aspects such as how search fields need to have suggested search to minimise use of the keypad, and search result pages have to cater for the smaller screen.

I do find that now when I use search, I am not just looking at the results but thinking much more about the types of results I am being presented with, the content in the result, what images or social network links I am also being presented with, and the page layout presented to support the device I am using to search with.

Mark Walsh is consultant Retail Systems Business Analyst and Test Manager, who is currently working alongside me on an eCommerce project for a major high street retailer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Geotagging and location-based services, the businesses benefit

There's a great old TV announcement that says "Its 10pm and do you know where your children are?" [Wikipedia link] that was used as a Public Service Announcement in the USA from the 1950's. But these days, in the age of Foursquare and Gowalla applications, the question to companies should be "Its business hours and do you know where your customers are?"

A year on from their launch, the two location-based services are gaining significant numbers of users (me included) as people live their lives both in the physical world and the real-time web. This form of augmented reality means that people carry on their daily activities but 'check in' online to physical locations to tell their friends where the are and unlock badges or pins, or even virtual gifts in the case of Gowalla. Both also allow their users to provide hints and tips about that location (e.g. "the coffee here is really good" or "don't order a seat near the kitchen in the Summer", etc.). Foursquare (who I predict to win out in the end as the more popular service)also allows regular visitors to the same location to become 'The Mayor' of the establishment. With the majorship passing between the frequent users this creates a social-based competitive element to the application.

So that's how its used, what's the opportunity for business?

Well a major benefit of tapping into this application is the ability to get instant information on customer habits (e.g. which regulars are visiting and how often), as well as being able to get valuable feedback from the comments made.

This is also not just a thing popular with USA techies*, location-based services have now come to the UK where department store Debenhams and Dominos Pizza have recently joined up with Foursquare. Debenhams large store on London's Oxford Street now offers free coffee to anyone checking in there on a Friday and the ‘mayor' gets coffee all the time. Whilst Dominos now offers free weekly pizza to every 'major'.

*even though at the recent South-by-Southwest [SXSW] event in Austin USA, Foursquare worked with some companies to provide specialist badges & promotions for them.

In fact, Foursquare are now actively encouraging businesses to sign-up to provide a Foursquare "mayor specials" on their dedicated business page:

So although its early days, with usage still restricted to the early adopters, its likely that these services will grow in usage over the next year. Subseqent integration with Facebook, Twitter and other services (e.g. where you say where you're going to be in the future) will only add to their quick adoption.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google and brands - keyword trademarks are allowed

So, its official. Google have won the right for anyone to use brand names in their search placement advertising. (See Google's official blog posting)

Today the European Court of Justice has ended the long-running legal battle between Google and Louis Vuitton, ruling that the Internet's biggest search engine can continue to show adverts for brand names in search advertising keywords that are not put there by the brand owners or their agents (usually the case when the product is a fake and the counterfeiter is passing off the product as real). So following on from my previous posts, this overturns the 2005 decision of the French courts who rules in favour of LVMH.

So will the Brandjacking now commence?

Oh yes! .... with the only saving graces for brands being that it still constitutes an infringement of the trademark rights if the advert causes confusion over the origin of the goods and furthermore the ECJ stated:

companies that use trademarked brand keywords to push sales must be more
transparent about who the seller is
The last remaining ruling now is whether Google is responsible for the content of ads stored on their servers, apparently a matter that should be left to the French courts. Therefore should Google be found to have a "neutral" role in just "technical, automatic and passive pointing to a lack of knowledge or control of data" then the matter will be well and truly resolved.

My thoughts are that as the system for delivering this is automated, we'll see Google win this as well. But experience shows you can never really predict what the French courts will decide.

So what does this mean for brands?

Well it means that officially brands do not own the terms that people search for them on the web and cannot stop others (including the competition or counterfeiters) bidding on them - consequently this raises the amount that has to be spent getting top billing on the right hand side of search results - if that is the brand's policy.

Its worth mentioning that Google already has very clear policies to prevent the advertising of counterfeit goods in its pay-per-click advertising system, but his ruling has now confirmed the position.

However it also potentially means that brands now have to police their own brand search terms to ensure the fake makers aren't slipping the odd advert in now and then.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where do you start?

Do you want to sell more via the Internet? Yes of course you do and why wouldn't you? This low cost, high availability medium is just great for selling packaged products and widgets of any size, flavour & specification!

But having an ecommerce / transactional website built and running for you isn't the end of the matter... In fact it's just the beginning! Oh yes!

The art of tuning your website into an optimised selling channel is a tricky one and sometimes a bit daunting. For example, if you've spent many months and thousands (or even millions) of £'s on a new online shopping presence, there can be the temptation to just leave it alone for a while and just watch it tick-over.

But to quote my friend Tristan Bailey's recent comment on the subject "if your site's not broke, you ain't looking hard enough". And I fully endorse this approach, as there is always something website managers can do improve their sites.

So when looking to optimise, what do you look at first?

Do you start moving imagery around on the homepage? Do you change the copy on those buttons in the checkout process? Or do you provide more content in the product section to improve Search Engine Optimisation efforts?

Well in my opinion it doesn't really matter, you need to do all three and everything else you can possibly think of as well. Doing nothing is not an option, you've got to test, test and test again... And each time with the scariest possibility that you will not improve your conversion rate but make it worse.

Just remember what you did, when you did it, try to find out why it caused the effect it did and always look harder.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creating moving pictures on the iPad

Following up on my posting on Tuesday,about Video and iPad, the killer content for magazines? I've now found the featurette about the making of this content for Viv, an all digital magazine.

VIV Mag Featurette: A Digital Magazine Motion Cover and Feature for the iPad from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Of particular poignancy to me is Andrew Gant's narrated comments about the content on the iPad being "living art" and "This is not motion for motion's sake. This is still print in spirit. Motion allows us to enhance the story, just like photography, but gives us the ability to take it one step further".

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Will iPad save books instead?

In a previous posting I discussed the hype around the potential saving of the publishing (newspaper & magazine) industry by the Apple iPad, which has yet to get an official UK launch date beyond "the end of April". This has led me to come around to considering another potential maket for the iPad, that of an ebook reader.

The iBook Store on the iPad has the potential to sell loads of books. Steve Jobs has already said that five of the six largest publishers — Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster— have all signed on to provide ebook content for the new tablet. In fact Mr Jobs himself said at the iPad launch:

“We think iPad will be a terrific e-book reader for popular books and textbooks”

So will the iPad be a major revenue stream for books?

'Well, not anytime soon' is my prediction. That's because of two things:

1. Suitability
You can't read an eReader in the bath, when you don't have power, when you want something light and tangible to idle away the hours, etc.

2. Total market share and the cannibalisation of sales
If you already have the paper book, will you want to buy the electronic version as well? I doubt it and besides, we've been burnt like this before when CD's came out in the 1980's... as the record companies so lovingly suggested we'd like to re-purchase our collections one final time at the higher quality levels. Also what happens when another "even better" ebook format gets released in a year or so?

I personally don't actually see ebooks growing to become a significant part of the overall book market in the short term. According to the Association of American Publishers, book sales increased in the last year in the USA by about 4% ($11.2bn). However, only about $170m, equivalent to about 3%, of those were ebook sales. But although this is an incredibly small part of the overall amount of total sales, the industry should take some consolation from the 177% growth in this figure over the last year. This growth was fuelled by the increasing availability of the Amazon Kindle, which really has beome the major electronic book distribution platform until the iPad was created. (Yes, I know you have others, such as the Sony eBook Reader, but these really haven't been that popular). Its also no secret that Amazon are worried about the potential for the iPad to steal their market share.

However the one thing that is more likely... is that the price of ebooks themselves will soon reduce in price. Their cost of production and distribution is so low (almost zero thanks to no paper & printing costs and online delivery) that a price war for market share is likely
Note: For more information on this, take a look at the maths done by New York Times in its recent article on iPad prices.

It could therefore end up that the price of an ebook is the factor that most influences sales and therefore the market share of each device. The question for Apple will be whether it decides to first squeeze publishers for its proportion of each (commoditised) sale or just goes for its cut of the overall market by under-pricing Amazon.

Neither of these situations looks to be a good thing for the book industry.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Video and iPad, the killer content for magazines?

It was almost 2 years ago I wrote a blog posting about how I saw video as the future of the Internet.

Now I've long believed that as the performance of viewing devices (from desktop PC's through to mobile devices) gets better and Internet bandwidth improves, then video will emerge as killer content for more than just TV stations and film makers. As the cost of production reduces, video will eventually come into far more popular usage for other media.

This video, showing the possibilities for new Viv magazine, gives some idea of the capabilities for linking copy and rich images & CGI together in the iPad:

Viv Magazine Interactive Feature Spread - iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

Fortune 500's use of Social Media

Following on from my post a few days back about the sorry state of UK corporate blogging, I was slightly encouraged by a recent report from our US cousins about the use of Social Media in the top Global Companies.

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has done one of the first proper studies of the Fortune 500’s adoption and usage of social media:

One of the best-known forms of social media blogging was measured and analysed. The report found that only 22% of the primary corporations listed on the 2009 Fortune 500 have a public-facing corporate blog and have actually posted in the past 12 months. This was an increase from the 18% who did the same in 2008.

However (and suprisingly) 35% of the same companies had Twitter account that had one or more postings within the past thirty days.

Monday, March 15, 2010

UK ecommerce site availability

The person I felt most sorry for the other week was not myself (despite some pretty intensive dental treatment*), but the Head of Debenhams Website Operations or whatever the exact role is at the department store giant. You see for several hours their flagship site was down during the Sale period.

This issue has occurred again, despite assurances of site improvements in 2006, when there were site stability problems and also when there were similar issues in 2008.
(That holding page has certainly been getting more than its fair share of usage over the years)

So rather than put myself in the shoes of that person at Debenhams, who would probably have had a molar drilled instead, I took solace from a report from the AT Internet Institute that gave the good news that:
British e-commerce websites have an average availability rate higher than that of the French, German and Spanish
It is perhaps worth pointing out that were not one of the UK websites tested as part of this test!

*one that left me dribbling for a few hours and something called "an inert substance" packing out the inside one of my teeth for a few weeks

Friday, March 12, 2010

iPad, the false saviour of the publishing world

"Apple's iPad is the second coming", "iPad is the saviour of publishing", "it will change our lives like the printing press"

Its a frigging big iPhone without a camera and the phone bit.... 'tis all

But in the weeks since Apple announced its iPad computer tablet thingy, the news industry, its viewers and (in particular) the Apple fan boys have been falling over themselves to talk about the fantastic potential of a square computer reader device that will restore journalism and in particularly the fortunes of newspapers and magazines.

This is perhaps summed-up best by this article from the New York Times on the week of the iPad's launch: With Apple Tablet, Print Media Hope for a Payday. This piece stated:
Apple may be giving the media industry a kind of time machine — a chance to undo mistakes of the past.
Oh dear... its all going to end in tears. Big droplets of salty false expectations that a device will save the publishing world from faltering advertising revenues by giving users a device where they will pay money to read content. (Need I remind you that salty water and computer equipment don't mix?)

Now, I'm sure I'm not the first to point this out, but won't the iPad come with either a WiFi or 3G data capability and a browser? So why will iPad users then decide to pay for a newspaper via the Apple store when they can browse the Internet for free and read the article there?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Social CRM

Social CRM or Social Customer Relationship Management is a topic I've been aware for a while now, mainly in the content of those I follow on Twitter and their blogs. However its not something I have previosuly taken the time to dig into, until recently when I noticed more mentions of it by people such as and
It therefore seemed to me that Social CRM is that hazy area where CRM meets the social web and it was therefore interesting to me to see what this means and how its helps companies.

Now 'traditional' CRM has its roots in the sales force automation and marketing automation (basically a bunch of rules about: when to contact a customer, what they have bought and what next to sell them) and wonderfully gives a 360 degree/holistic view of the customer (I've commented on this before back as far back as July 2008).

Whereas Social Media is a conversation with your customer - albeit this does follow a process - but one that can follow any number of outcome paths depending upon the situation, the customer and their sentiment towards the product and/or brand. So its kind of hard to see how this 'soft and touchy' approach combines with the rigorous processes of CRM.

To get to the bottom of this, there's a number of different definitions I found, including:

So, in my eventual view, I see Social CRM as the use of social media to listen and engage with customers and to link this feedback into a company CRM system to better understand customers general needs and identify & triggers specific opportunities for sale or reputation management.

Note: If you follow me on Twitter you will see that this definition led me to Tweet:

Realising that I've been talking about social crm #scrm for ages, but just never used that term....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Travel and Social Media - Part 2

It was over 3 weeks ago now that I attended to Tnooz Barcamp 2 following the Travel technology Show at Earls Court in London. It was then I promised in a short blog posting (written on the way home from that event) on the use of Social Media in the travel market.
This is that eventual article.

Now the main purpose of an company using social media must be to create a dialogue with customers (past, current and potential).

Top of all the social media use by travel companies must come blogs. The web log (hence 'blog) was meant as a living diary of things done, so it comes as no suprise that trabel and blogs go hand-in-hand. In fact blogs now contain thousands of travel commentaries and reports from travellers who provide open, eye-witness and contemporary review points.

I'll not try and list my own favourites, so here's travelblog's list of the Top 100 Travel Blogs this month:

Its therefore a little hard to understand why the Travel Social Nework 'Where are you Now?' ( isn't more popular than it is. However it seems that during 2009 new registrations to WAYN grew significantly and new registrations in the site reached nearly 10,000 in December.

And suprisingly some of the other social networks I would have expected to have been popular with travellers, such as Twitter and Flickr (the most popular photo sharing site, now owned by Yahoo). These two sites came comparatively low down the ranks of usage when compared to the giants of Facebook and video sharing YouTube in a recent Hotelworld survey;

So what's next for Travel and Social Media? Well... I've a hunch its going to involve innovations such as real-time geolocation based services (e.g., where you tell friends where you are right now) or even the new planning / event / location based service

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Social Media and the News

Last month Peter Horrocks the new head of BBC Global News told his new journalists to to use social media as a primary source of information.
"This isn't just a kind of fad from someone who's an enthusiast of technology. I'm afraid you're not doing your job if you can't do those things. It's not discretionary"

In instructing his researchers to use Twitter and RSS readers as essential tools for gathering news, the BBC is accepting that technology is changing the way journalism works and Aunty is obviously keen to keep pace with developments. To ignore social media is to ignore some great online resources.

Its therefore only a further mind-step away to consider what the next phase of social media and news is and one such step would be the Social Media Newsroom. By this, I don't mean the same dozen hacks all sat around re-inventing stories and perspectives (or a Pulitzer for the best Tweet), I mean a constant quorum of independent writers, freelancers and bloggers who are loosely attached to a central hub that curates content and provides greater impact than the individuals alone. This content is then pushed out via the same channels it is collected by, but with: views, additional information, further context, insight and other integrated data (e.g. linked government statistics, etc.). This is then all published to a central source (e.g. the newspaper's website) where it is further enhanced by comments, updates and feedback.

The Internet is now the only real distribution channel for a lot of newspapers who can no longer afford to publish their paper-based version. Peter Horrocks is correct to adopt this approach for his journalists now. Those that don't follow the best practices of social media may see their brands further marginalized online.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Politicalist moves forward

We're getting more excited about the prospective launch of the online social media political listening service we have called

Ben, our designer, has produced a great logo for the service and you can see it uploaded here:

As always, all feedback is gratefully received.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Publishing & social media

With the recent announcement that Condé Nast Digital Britain (their UK New Media division) has hired a Social Media strategist to elevate its digital brands online, I've got to conclude that glossy publishing seems to be taking social media more seriously these days.

Now you might say that with online forums and the ability to comment on all manner of articles in different Condé Nast digital titles, that they have been "embracing social media since the beginning" or other such stuff. But this is clearly an obvious step for them towards embracing the conversation online.

Yes other publishing areas have been getting into the benefits of social media for a while back. One obvious approach that takes the two to in a new direction is True/Slant, run by a former news executive at America Online who worked at a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal. It covers a wide range of topics, such as politics, culture, sports, business, health, science and food.

It launched with 65 journalists, or "knowledge experts," assigned to specific topics who are only paid a small amount, but the aim is that they each become a "minipublisher" under the True/Slant brand. However they are also offered a share of advertising and sponsorship revenues generated from their individual pages (and even equity has been mentioned).

The site has been running since April last year, but has been criticised for being boring (by Paul Boutin at The Industry Standard) but it has provided some insight such as when Facebook changes their account privacy settings, therefore exposing the profiles of Facebook's executive team. In itself a great piece of opportunist journalism...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Has blogging really made a difference

It was a few years ago now that I picked up my copy of "The New Rules of Marketing & PR" by David Meerman Scott, which really enthused me to keep writing this blog and maintain it's focus on new company communication methods and the open & competitive digital landscape they faced.

I dreamed of a transparent and constant blogging corporation that embraced dialogue with it's customers and avoided the Dell Hell situation with a crowd sourced team of company advocates and social media evangelists.

I realised that this new communication method had created a hybrid from the once separated silos of: PR, CRM, marketing and 1-2-1 digital interaction. I also realised that our American chums were more likely to get buy-in from their senior execs because... Well we're British and we don't do this open stuff with our closest family members, let alone the general public, but I still had hope that we'd get there eventually.

And now, several years down the line (and hundreds of blog posts later) how have we fared???
Well not very well it seems as 18 of the FTSE 100 companies had a blog and only eight of these are apparently proper blogs in the truest sense (allowing comments).
(Via research from The Group)

Oh dear... Is that progress?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad product reviews

I've recently submitted a bad review of a product I purchased online from

This was after a product I ordered from a company called Vanguard Tech failed to be delivered (I ordered a USB wireless adaptor and a USB CD Rom drive turned up in error. I then returned this, but my wireless adaptor never materialised).

You can read my review here:

Now its not often that I give bad reviews, believing that its better to praise a company or person for doing something well, rather than the criticise an individual or organisation. However, in this case I feel quite justified in criticising Vanguard Tech for their failure to deliver or even answer my emails.

And this claim of justification has got me thinking about why others such as myself post bad product reviews in user generated content areas such as the one I used on Amazon.... Its not just because we have a personal gripe against the company (sure, I lost about £10 which I would have preferred not to have done), its because I don't want others to suffer the same fate and would like them to order the right thing.... and perhaps actually get their product.

I therefore see bad reviews as contributing to the social sentiment about a product, in-turn shaping the greater view of the supplier or seller.