Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Viral feedback

I've read and re-read the article 'The Age of Viral Feedback' by Umair Haque at Harvard Business.

Here he asks how companies are feeding the system to generate the correct feedback in today's modern connected world.

So here's a fundamental question every decision-maker should ask: what are you feeding feedback with? The same old toxic industrial era junk? Or stuff that makes people, communities, and society better? Are you feeding viral effects with stuff that enriches, or stuff that impoverishes?

My thoughts are that a lot of companies still haven't learnt to listen yet, let alone deal with the feedback. What do I mean by this? Well a lot of them are still living by the 20th Century method of communication (e.g. focus on the message and ignore the feedback, hoping that the signal-to-noise ration you can generate is greater than those who are complaining).

But this works less and less in a world where news isn't just around until people eat their chips*, it now stays out in the public domain far longer! Today (negative & positve) feedback can have a greater and longer-lasting effect of the brand and finances of an organisation than ever before. Blogs stay written, reviews link to products for their lifetime and customer support forums keep the postings of their members far longer than the problem persists.

So, has feedback (or links from feedback) become the longer lasting currency of the new economy?

*This is a reference to when people used to eat their fish & chips off of newspaper, before they started printing them with water-soluble inks. However, I'm sure the inks back then used toxic substances, but it doesn't seem to have done anyone any harm right?
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