Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arabia 2.0 Censored



Slightly late, however we made it. Web 2.0 is the buzz words at most organizations in Arabia. Every Tom, Dick, and Harriet want to lead their company into the new global digital era (and rightly so). This conversation is taking place in some of the most advanced board rooms in Arabia.

We need to make customers feel that they are part of our development process and get their feedback on the things we do.

The first proposal; be it from the board, the marketing team, or the ad agency is generally a blog. A very simple proposition, a basic website that is almost free to develop and easy to upload articles to. Sounds like a great idea, let’s do it. We will mark it as very urgent, and need to have it up in two weeks – it’s about time.

During the development process, one of the key decisions that need to be taken is whether to allow comment moderation (meaning; can customers directly upload their comments or do they need to get prior approval from the blog owners). Does this mean that anyone come on my blog and tell me F$#%@ you? No way! This should not be tolerated, we will need to review the comments before they are published on our property. This is generally the first flaw in Web 2.0 adoption within Arabia. This will apply to all things open social, and not restricted to blogs.

The premise behind Web 2.0 is Transparency (also known as radical transparency, and transparency tyranny), this implies that you need to be confident with your offering, and trusting of your customer. It is also very necessary to get your customers on board. I don’t know about you, but I can care less about helping out a company and giving my opinion, if they want to scrutinize the comment before it is public, and possibly reprimand my actions. The price of fame you get from the web is transparency (be it for personal or business gain), and negative comments are the risk directly related to the positive comments reward you would get.

Instead of trusting the community, which as we saw globally has made the likes of Wikipedia through crowd moderation; Arabia has decided to follow a Database marketing approach where we offer users a free ringtone in exchange for their personal information and constantly send them spam messages whereby they can only reply to us, and most of the time we forget to include the opt-out hyperlink forcing them to take our verbal diarrhea.