The power of the people

20 04 2009

speech-bubbleNever before has it been more evident how strong the voice of the people is online.

Are you a dissatisfied customer?

Do you feel that you have been treated unfairly?

Is something really grinding your gears?

The online space now provides a platform or sounding board for anyone who has something to say  – to an audience of  millions.

Last week the recent #AmazonFAIL controversy erupted, with The Church of the Customer blog detailing how the event unfolded in 24 hours.

Thousands of enraged and offended members of the public – took to the online arena to voice their dissatisfaction at Amazon’s actions. Within hours #AmazonFAIL was being discussed about in hundreds of thousands of blog posts, forums, groups of protest had been set up within social networking platforms such as Facebook, and customers across the web were calling for a boycott.

By the next day Amazon had released a statement, blaming a cataloguing error and that they would rectify their mistake…

(Update: April 16 – Twitterers have since revealed that “Amazon has been gradually censoring over the past year” )

Company’s are now being held accountable for their actions, but how they react to the online discussion may further damage their reputation or repair it.

When Facebook changed their Terms of Service, thousands of it’s users voiced their concerns, and consequently the social networking giant was forced to review it’s changes.

Abbey Klaasen had a great article on Tuesday about “How to Weather a Twitterstorm”, which details how essential it is for companies to respond to their mistakes swiftly and carefully – and be honest to their customers.

Domino’s faced a monumental task or repairing their world-wide reputation, after the actions of two of their employees, meant that many would never be likely eat a pepperoni pizza ever again.

Even social causes and injustices which once may have remained unknown or unheard – can now organise support within hours. Moldovan activist, Natalia Morar discovered this over a week ago, when over 20,000 supporters arrived  to the protest after posting on Twitter and other social networking sites.

The web works toward allowing people’s right to Freedom of Speech to be exercised wherever  they are, whatever their message.