Founders Message and Appeal: Community Dynamics
by Pete - Posted Sat February 24, 2007 @ 11:47 AM
I recently posted the following letter to the home page of "15-Minutes of Fame." The topic is so important I'm reposting it to my PFB blog. I will make every possible effort to respond to any feedback you provide on this topic:
I am the founder of PlanetFeedback. I'm writing to share my thoughts regarding some of our community dynamics; especially "comments".
This site was founded in February 2000 with the goal of respecting and empowering the consumer voice. Our mission statement makes this clear and unapologetic:
"We will help consumers reward companies that serve them best. Consumer feedback positive and negative is inherently productive. Consumers want value, and they will provide loyalty in return. We are committed to making that exchange easy,frequent and rewarding."
This remains our goal and I daresay it is more important than ever. Embracing the consumer is hardly "anti" business. In fact, as a marketer trained at one of the largest corporations, Procter & Gamble, I can assure you that businesses today are embracing the consumer voice like never before. Companies recognize that consumers have greater control and power and they are beginning to pay attention.
Our "comments" serve the objective of expanding and enriching the conversation around our letters for the benefit of all visitors. We're not looking for a pipeline of "happy-grams" nor are we looking for uncritical consensus. We welcome and encourage debate and we deeply value the power of diverse voices entering the conversation.
We've received many letters from customer service representatives who've noted that some of the best suggestions and solutions for how they can better address the issue raised in the letter emerged in the comments. Some even use the comments for call center training and brainstorming.
This leads to my request of every community member. Let's keep our great conversation constructive and value-added - always! Let's also hold each other accountable for the highest quality dialogue. Criticism is fine but personal attacks or comments unrelated to the letter at hand have no place on this site. If you feel compelled to attack because you suspect letter-writing abuse, excessive "freeloading," or personal identity manipulation by certain letter writers, hold your fire and just let us know.
Recently, quite a few first-time visitors have been leaving the site in total disgust because they've been presumed guilty before they finish
their first sentence. That's not what this site is about. Our site's default behavior is to respect and listen to the consumer voice. If any of you have issues with this approach, the beautiful diversity of the web presents many other options like "CustomersSuck.com".
I absolutely love this site, and like so many of you, want it to be something truly great -- something we can all be proud of.
Thanks so much for listening.