Allstateinsurancesucks.com is mentioned in this article as the # 1 corporate complaint site:
Posted May 13, 2007
What's Up?: YouTube, MySpace are forces that need to be heeded
What's our world coming to? We can answer that in two words: YouTube, MySpace.
Both are neologisms ? new words created to describe breakthrough concepts such as e-mail and spam (here, we are not referring to mystery meat) and made-up words coined to make older items (mothers-in-law, for example) sound more contemporary.
Neologisms are also phrases that have meaning only to those who use them; for instance, corporate types who keep saying "bottom line" when the topic has nothing to do with bottoms, or "at the end of the day " when it's not even lunchtime.
And then we have YouTube and MySpace, two powerful marketplace forces smart companies are using to invite online communities into their fold. This is the "consumers as co-creators of value" business model at its best. When it comes to your company's products and services, who better to define "value" than your customers?
If your online communities are happy with you, they'll build loyalty no big-bucks marketing campaign can ever do. On the flip side, if they have a complaint about you, they'll tell the world about it.
Nowhere is this done better than on allstateinsurancesucks.com. Unfortunately for Allstate, it's the corporate complaint site rated No. 1 by Forbes.com. Launched in 1999 by a disgruntled Allstate policyholder, the site made it to the top of Forbes' list just three years later. To make things even worse for Allstate, Forbes' ranking is based on six rather amusing criteria: ease of use, number of posts, anger level, frequency updated, relevancy and ? buckle your seat belts ? entertainment value.
YouTube and MySpace, both Web 2.0 technologies (another neologism), are social-networking tools that give new meaning to "grassroots." Both have paved the way for putting choice in the hands of consumers. And both are adding significant value to the cross-generational workplace and marketplace.
Online communities are connecting 24/7. They're dishing on everything from White Castle burgers to White House politics.
For companies, encouraging consumers to do what comes naturally?speaking up ? is a smart thing to do. And since you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em. Or, at the very least, invite them to authentic conversations online.
That's what Lego accidentally did, and with amazing results. Within three weeks of launching its first programmable robot kit, Mindstorms, Lego learned that a thousand raving fans had downloaded the company's Mindstorms operating system, improved it, and then shared their work online. When it was time to upgrade Mindstorms, Lego let go and outsourced the creative process to a panel of passionate fans. What a great way to build a community online.
And then there's the YouTube world of politics, starring Barack Obama and John Edwards ? both with fab hair, charm and charisma in spades. There's also Tommy Thompson, whose hair alone has turned off the entire next generation. To Next Gen'ers, he looks staged, stuffed into his suit like a Johnsonville sausage. Obama? He's casual. He's cool. He's transparent.
Important issues are getting hashed out online today. Problems are being solved, ideas are being shared, and companies are being fed or starved by online communities connecting in authentic, powerful ways through words, ideas, pictures, music and video. Invite these online communities into your space and watch what happens.
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