Tweet Twitt Twout

September 8, 2009

I love reading other people’s blogs if I have the time to spare. Even if I don’t, actually, since reading another person’s blog  is one my favourite forms (and there are many let me tell you) of distraction. The other day, instead of working on a writing project I’ve been avoiding, I found myself on Dooce’s site. If you haven’t already, see my Blogroll at the bottom of the page if you want to check her out. Some of her posts can be rather long (not unlike this one) but that doesn’t scare me.  And because I hadn’t clicked on her blog for a few days I had a lot of catching up to do.

I read her post from August 28th where she rants about the new Maytag washing machine she recently purchased breaking down, and the hell she lived through trying to get it repaired, or replaced. Her brand spanking new machine quit on her after about a week. And, she laid down a fair amount of dough for it, too.  She has a new baby and the last thing she wanted to deal with was any laundry related issues. As a matter of fact, she bought a new machine specifically to avoid dealing will any major or messy laundry related mishaps. The only thing going through the spin cycle at her house was her head from the mind numbing reactions (or non reactions) from the company’s “customer service” to her pleas for help. Her attempts to get it repaired went on for over two months. It gets to the point that she is so miffed by the ordeal she decides to hit Twitter and Tweet about it. Big deal, right? It wouldn’t be a big deal if I Tweeted (or Twitted? Do I capitalize the verb To Tweet? I have no clue about these things.) about something . But she has many, many people following her on Twitter (I don’t Tweet or Twitt by the way – at least not yet). About a million people or something crazy like that follower her chirping on Twitter. The post on her blog I’m referring to got over 2,000 comments just to give you an idea, if you don’t know who she is, of the shitload of people who, at times, might leave a comment on her blog. Check out the amount of comments I get to see the gaping difference in volume. The number of people who comment on a blog is much, much less then the number of people who are actually reading it. What I’m trying to say is, a lot of people follow Heather Armstrong and/or Dooce. When she posts about something on her blog, or tweets about something, a lot of people (who may or may not like what she’s saying) take note. She was recently named one of the most influential women in the media by Forbes Magazine. Anyway… Most of the comments I read on that washing machine nightmare post (and I read only a random few) were supportive but one of commenters said they felt she crossed a line by using Twitter to beef about the lack of service she received from this company.

Uh…  I don’t think so. In my opinion she had every right to out (would that be Twouting?) the situation on Twitter. If she was making the story up (which I highly doubt she was) or trying to maliciously defame the company without cause, that is an entirely different matter. But what does a consumer, who feels like their getting a more productive response by talking to the wall, do? Not always, but often, the mighty dollar speaks louder than words. And, when you’re dropping several hundred of them you expect the product to at least… work, no? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if it is… make it work, replace it or me give my money back.

Between blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. these days it’s smart business to remember we all have a voice – even though some voices can be heard well over the dim roar of others. In these pontificating times, that’s something we should keep in mind. You never know who you’re talking to. The company never realized the person they were jerking around had a voice – a very loud voice. Most of us speaking our minds the way Heather Armstrong did would generate a mere ripple, at best. But she made waves out here in the cyberocean. In a way, she was speaking for a lot of us. I wonder if that person who commented on Dooce would have felt Heather stepped out of line if she had raved about the company on Twitter. Is that okay? If you’re happy with a product go ahead shout about it. But if you’re left feeling dissatisfied you’re supposed to keep your mouth shut? It’s like reverse advertising.

So, when you’re out shopping and the sales clerk asks what drew you toward or away from their product you can say, “It was something a little birdy told me.”

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