How to Alienate Your Customers In 140 Characters or Less

Last week I attended a launch event for Clear at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg.  Despite the open bar, free food, and promises of free devices with free service, I initially had no interest in going — and I’m not the type of person to turn down an open bar (or, for that matter, free food).  Amusingly, my lack of interest was due entirely to the marketing firm Clear hired to “promote” their event.

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Stay Classy, PennLive

Jersey Mike posted an outstanding comment today that I wanted to call out for the attention it deserves.  You can read the entire comment here, but the part that I really want to point out follows:

One: don’t be disappointed in the people who wrote negative comments about this story. You, as a PN employee, should take this issue up with the higher ups because the “Comment” sections of this site and the forums are CHRONICALLY littered with negativity. If there are ten items posted in a day, you can bet your bottom dollar that nine of them will have diatribes from armchair quarterbacks who know all of the answers but have no other outlet than an unmoderated and anonymity-encouraging site to express themselves on.

This has been a MAJOR issue with the Advance Media sites for some time now. So, essentially, if you’re going to take the comments about Mayor Twelve Percent’s son to heart, you must view all of the other comments equally the same.

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Your Comments Aren’t Anonymous

UPDATED 2/27/09; read the bottom of the post for more details.

I just found this interesting post over on Topix Chambersburg:

http://www.topix.net/forum/source/chambersburg-public-opinion/TCB69SLLD4383GT6N

Quoting from the article:

The company that owns and operates the York Daily Record/Sunday News readers’ comment posting Web site will release the identities of people who anonymously posted comments to a story about the stabbing death of Andrew Wright, according to sworn statements Friday in county court.

Prosecutor Timothy Barker informed Judge Thomas H. Kelley on Friday that an attorney for Topix LLC said the Internet Protocol addresses and personal information of the posters “has been preserved” and will be turned over when the company is served with a subpoena by the York County District Attorney’s Office.

This isn’t really news, but it might be a wakeup call to people who post comments — especially the trolls on PennLive.  When you post a comment, photo, video — really, anything — on a website, your IP address is logged.  What this means for the non-technical crowd is that someone with valid legal tools (such as a subpoena) can find out what you posted, even if you use a fake name and throwaway email address.

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