Monday, May 23, 2005

How NOT to woo webloggers: Seattle Meetup example

This might be of interest to PR folks or Mass Comm students:

Here's an example (Apr 05) of how not to woo customers who are webloggers. Apparently, a Meetup.com employee was deemed to have insulted the Seattle Webloggers Meetup group by saying they were "belly aching", i.e. complaining about the fees.

Then someone discovered who that person was. So another meetup.com employee stepped in and managed to sooth things by participating in the conversation. The post ends with this quip, on what Meetup.com can learn from the experience:
Be open with your customers about what's going on. Speak with one voice. And never, ever insult your customers if they're webloggers.
The comments that follows the post are even more interesting. They are worth the time to read.


Rambling: In an earlier post I was grumbling about how Meetup.com was asking the group organiser to collect a fee or pay for it. Deadline was 15 May '05 for the payment.

The deadline came and went. The SG Bookcrossing meetup group is still there, except that the role of meetup organiser is defaulted to nobody. Now the message says:"This group is closed until someone steps up to be the Organizer."

The next person who wants to sign up as Organiser will have to pay a fee. Other than the Organiser, no one else can send out mass email alerts.

I don't know who will fork out USD $19 per month (SGD$31 per month) to sustain a bookgroup in Singapore, when there are free tools like Yahoogroups that offers similar features.

Bookgroups aren't really that hot in Singapore, unless maybe bloggers like mrBrown and XiaXue are organisers. Or maybe I would be proven wrong, that bookgroups are sustainable (I hope so). If you know of any, let me know.

I wonder how many meetup.com organisers pay the fee. Will Meetup.com still be around? In a situation where there's a good substitute for the "product", meetup.com pricing policy will only drive a large portion of its users to another competitor. This is a real-life case study in economics, business strategy, and Public Relations in an online environment.


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7 comments:

  1. I still can't quite figure out what happens at a bookcrossing group meeting. Do you meet up and play hide and seek with the books? Or is it more like a regular book club? It's been ages since I logged into my bookcrossing account. I wish I was as diligent with my book ratings as I was with movies on IMDB.

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  2. Hi Wandie,
    This was what I learnt from the more experienced Bookcrossing members:
    1. You register yourself at bookcrossing.com for an account.

    2. Get a "unique BookCrossing ID number" (BCID), print it and label the book.

    3. You "release" the book (or pass it).

    4. Person who picks up the book goes to bookcrossing.com to make a journal entry by keying in the BCID.

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  3. Sala lah! I already have a bookcrossing account and I've infact released books before. I'm just wondering why meeting up in a group has anything to do with bookcrossing

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  4. Oops, sorry. Well I guess we wanted to have a book discussion, and just happened to incorporate bookcrossing concept with it. It works, so I don't care! :)

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  5. Yahoo Groups is still free. Why not try that? You can start polls on which day /location is suitable etc.

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  6. So, where's the photos for the bookcrossing event?

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