Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Riding the social wave: socialmediatoday

I can't help it but I'm again going to cite David Armano. Not even going to kid about not getting paid for that and not owning any Armano shares or such, but he just carefully picks his monologues and dialogues and he picks them darn well I must say.
Having said that, his post on why he's not writing a book at the moment mentions the phrase riding the social wave and I think that's a very eloquent way to describe what an increasing amount of people and institutions are doing at the moment. So I copied that

Regardless of my feelings and thoughts about that, it's a free world out there and, at the end of the day, it is a question of demand and supply for being led by the nose. And regardless of what they say about the oldest profession in the world, being misled and tricked certainly is the oldest market in the world
My personal grunt however is towards Social media today where I subscribed over a week ago. I was seduced by thousands of views and hundreds of ReTweets on an average post. Yes, I admit it, I was tempted, and I fell for it. I thought "Gee, I finally found a huge audience for the messages I want to share and build upon", that will be just great!

So I dropped my RSS feed into the site and immediately all of my posts were sucked in at once - that was a surprise but well none of them were published yet, so not a problem

I picked my finest post, carefully modified it ever so slightly, added tags, and pressed Post. I had read something about posts being moderated and / or picked so I waited.
And waited.
And waited. And nothing happened. So, I started to look around:
  • For a Help button. There is none
  • For a FAQ button. There is none
  • For a Search button. You can only search posts and people, even when logged in and working on your posts
  • For other users online. You know it's strange, but for a community with 15,000 members there's usually not more than 2 or 3 of them online
  • There was only one single option left at that point:
I clicked the button Contact Us
But that turned out to be a mailto: link so my email client was opened. Not really 2010 and far from social, but it certainly is a way to disclose your email address. Then again you can subscribe by email to posts so that shouldn't have come as a surprise. Anyway, finally, I sent them an email. And, after hearing nothing for an entire day (not even received a receipt confirmation), I also sent them a message on Twitter

That was 5 days ago. Still, I haven't heard a thing. The day after I sent out another message, and another. A day ago I sent out another message, but I've stopped hoping for any response. I've seen a few ReTweets by other people of my questions to Social media today, so being unable to contact them, Unregister, Cancel your Account, or anything else that comes close to normal 20th century behaviour must be not all that unusual

Listen, Social media today. With a site, awareness, attention and support like this, you are really very bad publicity for social media. You don't engage, you don't listen, you don't react, you don't have people, you just don't exist. All you do is post and (at times badly) tweet about that. You should relabel yourselves to SocialmediaWayBeforeYesterday, okay?

Update 4 February 2010: it isn't clear but I'd very much like you guys from social media today to remove all my posts, all my data, cancel my account, and let me know that that happened. Because there's no way I can do any of that myself, and because I don't want to seem to support you in any way whatsoever. Thank you
Update 26 February 2010: After Mark's comment on February 9th there hasn't been communication from Socialmediatoday but I've noticed I couldn't log in anymore. Also, I haven't been getting unsollicited emails anymore (even explicitly unsubscribing to that didn't stop them from coming, so something must have changed on their side).
Finally, Feedburner stopped reporting what they label as uncommon use so I contacted Josh again yesterday and his response was "everything should be straightened out".
Not really redefining the meaning of comforting there, this closes the socialmediatoday chapter for me - and I'll always be unsure whether I'm one of those currently 15,830 faceless "members" that can't unsubscribe from socialmediatoday, thus holding up the myth of a widely supported community

2 reacties:

mark lazen said...

Sorry you had a bad experience with us Martijn. We really do value all our contributors, whether we publish the work they submit or not. In a perfect world we would acknowledge all submissions, but unfortunately, the volume of material we see makes that impossible.

As for our response time--I do see one email that we missed. Your second attempt was sent on a Saturday. Our support team is a Monday-Friday operation, and we responded on the Monday. Sorry about the first one. We're human and we made a mistake.

As for our interface for getting help--I agree, it's suboptimal and that's something we're working on improving.

We'll let you know when your account has been fully removed. Because none of your posts were published on our site, none are indexed for public external search, and all will be removed ith your account.

mark lazen, CTO, Social Media Today

Martijn Linssen said...

Thank you Mark, and thank you Josh for answering the emails since this Monday

Good to hear that you're human, that makes two of us then, and glad you want to improve on the Help interface; that will increase consumer satisfaction I think

I appreciate your elaborate response here, thanks! I have good faith that you'll remove my account along with all te posts, will patiently wait for that then

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