Twitter Dangers

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by DuaneJackson, Mar 11, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DuaneJackson

    DuaneJackson UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,527 1,118
    I posted a few days ago about the power of Twitter as a marketing tool.

    Well, here's a story on the dangers of twitter.

    I posted earlier today about a site I know of that have produced a great little product linking OSCommerce to KashFlow

    Someone I talk to on Twitter (and infact got a mention and a link in the other thread) is dahowlett.

    We had the following conversaton. Now bear in mind that as far as I am aware, I'm just having an inconsequential conversation on Twitter whilst going about my day - not being interviewed, not being asked for a formal response to anything

    This is in reference to a claim somewhere on the site I linked to saying we have 15k customers. dahowlett is well aware of my blog post a few weeks back saying we have 2,500 paying customers.

    AndI thought that was the end of it.

    But a little later he posts:

    If you click through then you'll see a post on his blog which is what I think they call "a hatchet job"

    I'm quoted out of context and made to look like I'm sayng all sorts and giving flippant answers. Obviously if I was asked for a considered response (to the actual questions posed on the blog and written next to my "responses") I would have answered properly.

    To confirm the malicious intent, he later posts on Twitter:

    and

    The moral of the story? Be careful how you respond to questions on Twitter, even if they are from people you may consider to be "friendlies"

    I think it's meant to be teaching me some sort of lesson about our very public 'battle' with Sage.

    But this is a guy who doesn't get marketing. His response to me about one of my most popular (and deliberatley controversial) blog posts - "Why are designers not good at business" - was along the lines of "Why don't you just get a designer in and stop moaning about it?"

    Luckily for me his blog is only read by people in my industry (competitors, etc) and is of no interest to my potential customers. And those that do read it are bright enough to see the post for what it is.

    But it could have been worse for me if it was done by someone with a decent size readership of relevance to me

    Don't say you haven't been warned!
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2009 By: DuaneJackson Member since: Jul 14, 2005
    #1
  2. PointandStare

    PointandStare UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    940 192
    Why are you giving out confidential company info to a complete stranger?
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2009 By: PointandStare Member since: Apr 20, 2008
    #2
  3. DuaneJackson

    DuaneJackson UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,527 1,118
    What's the confidential info? The user numbers? They're in the public domain - no secrets there
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2009 By: DuaneJackson Member since: Jul 14, 2005
    #3
  4. PointandStare

    PointandStare UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    940 192
    Ah. OK. Apologies then as I wasn't aware.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: PointandStare Member since: Apr 20, 2008
    #4
  5. DuaneJackson

    DuaneJackson UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,527 1,118
    No probs. I'm happy for the numbers to be out there. That's what's a bit annoying about the insinuations in that blog post. I think I'm quite transparent about these things

    Speaking of transparency, he doesn't say he owns 10% of a direct competitor to KashFlow called FreeAgent Central (an excellent product for freelancers/contractors btw, but look our for Crunch soon too). He occasionally mentions he owns a "tiny" piece of it - but a tenth is a big piece in my book
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: DuaneJackson Member since: Jul 14, 2005
    #5
  6. faststaff

    faststaff UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    247 34

    I do like the "Tax Timeline" on their Video. Very good idea.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: faststaff Member since: Nov 8, 2008
    #6
  7. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    Duh? The facts speak for themself. Deal with those and we can have an intelligent conversation.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #7
  8. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    What 'facts'? You've said yourself that carrytheone has posted 4 different sets. You say 20K+ but that's way loose. What are 'we' supposed to believe?
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #8
  9. faststaff

    faststaff UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    247 34
    How is any company - or individual, as I suspect that is more your motivation - reasonably expected to control everything written about them or their company?
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: faststaff Member since: Nov 8, 2008
    #9
  10. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    Duane - you can slag me off as much as you want but the bottom line is that I am not a vendor but an observer/analyst in this field with 30+ years' experience. Argue the facts rather than trying to diss me down on innuendo. You do yourself and your company no credit trying to argue otherwise.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #10
  11. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    KashFlow has an API to which companies can develop. That's fantastic stuff and to be welcomed.

    I have long argued (like 20 years) that companies who offer that type of facility have a duty to manage their ecosystems. Those that don't inevitably end up with problems. check what happens around Sage and SAP as examples. Duane's response indicates a laissez faire attitude. It will come and bite the company. I've seen it many times before.

    That can be parsed in many ways. Misrepresentation of numbers for example is a folly. KashFlow should be managing that information and brushing it aside as he did in the public domain is foolish.

    Remember that people place trust in their vendors, so if the numbers are wildly exaggerated then they can be fooled in the process. Customers don't like that.

    My position is clear - vendors need take responsibility. The fact this is a nascent and growing market does not exempt anyone. If anything, they should learn from the mistakes of the past.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #11
  12. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    14,858 2,117
    What's posted on Twitter becomes public domain. What's posted here becomes public domain. What's posted on Facebook becomes public domain. Once something is posted online, it's almost impossible to take it back.

    We live in an age where we post information in a casual and impromptu manner, and anything can be taken and used for good or ill. I've known solid interview candidates be cast aside because of something learned about them online. Similarly, I've gone into meetings when a potential customer grills me about something found online. We're living in the information age, but we can't control how that information is used. Some companies hire full-time image consultants who browse the 'net every day to ensure the company's image looks good, but you and I can't afford to do that.

    Personally, I don't worry about it unduly because I'm not in a position to control it. I confess to being a little sparing in what information I provide online, but even now I probably say more than I should about some things. So be it. We rise and fall based on the reputation we have with our partners, customers, and other stakeholders. If they are satisfied, their opinions will win out in the end.

    With this issue, though, Duane, I'd resolve it privately. There's little point in airing frustration online because that just adds fuel to the fire.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
    #12
  13. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    100% agree.

    Duane has made a series of inflammatory public statements which he believes are great for PR. No problem with that and as an industry insider it's always good fun.

    Fact is that customers don't find this kind of thing useful in making buying decisions. They're far more interested in knowing how one service differentiates from another. That's something I've tried hard to get Duane to understand. His company has a great service and it's getting great recognition among buyers and developers. That should be enough.

    Why then is it necessary to keep sniping at whomever offers a critique? Surely the best path is to recognize the validity of what's said, ignore the rest, take advice and move on.

    Trying to shoot people like myself is a road to nowhere. I have no axe to grind but will be put on the back foot if a vendor offers a pugilistic position as the opening gambit.

    Show me where you're strong, show me your differentiaton, show me where you add value. Everything else is PR.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #13
  14. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    14,858 2,117
    These are lessons we learn over time - which you already know because of your experience.

    From my knowledge of Duane from these forums, he's a very open person, which is to be commended, but, as companies grow, few can remain that open. A comment made in good conscience but outside a formal 'press release' procedure can be misinterpreted. It's such a shame that the openness and honesty that Duane exhibits does not carry forward to large companies, such as SAP, that tend to control information tightly. As you point out, laissez faire is anathema to them.

    I'm not a user of Twitter, but it appears to be more a social site than a business site. I can understand why Duane gave out information openly, just as you would down the pub one evening. There's a level of trust in social groupings that we don't display in the business world. Lesson learned, I suppose.

    Still, for what it's worth, I continue to admire Duane's openness and willingness to call things the way he sees them. It will be a shame if he's forced to filter everything he says through a rigid vetting process.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
    #14
  15. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    14,858 2,117
    In his shoes, I'd probably be looking to have a 10% stake in both. :)
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
    #15
  16. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    I too admire Duane's openness but sometimes I think he is naive in the way he presents. It's not a bad thing until he shoots off at the mouth with zero facts to back his position. That's where he is at right now.

    As to SAP - trust me: I'm on their case. I'm one of their charter blogger prrogam people and an SAP Mentor - ie I am one of <100 out of their 1.4 million crew of community members afforded that honour. In short it means I know my ****

    Check the SAP SDN network to see what I say.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #16
  17. PI Guy

    PI Guy UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,495 191
    it's only polite though to ask if you can quote someone IMO.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: PI Guy Member since: Jun 20, 2006
    #17
  18. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    Not if they're in the public domain...Duane is well aware of that. He uses off the cuff statements himself.

    As I said before - wanna play with Big Boys? Then play by Big Boys rules.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #18
  19. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    14,858 2,117
    I don't mean to cause poor Duane heartburn by asking this but, since you're making your case...Why did you post "anyone else fancy giving a vendor a good slapping?" Isn't that a little mercenary?
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
    #19
  20. dahowlett

    dahowlett UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 0
    Good question: Duane wants to dish it in the dirt stakes....so why not see if others want to bat back? That might be foolhardy on my part but there comes a time when listening to constant competitor bashing gets a tad boring.
     
    Posted: Mar 12, 2009 By: dahowlett Member since: Jan 13, 2009
    #20
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.