Addicted to novelty since 2001

Consumer Activism on the Web

Back in August, Tod Maffin did a piece on review blogs and the rising power of the Web-enabled consumer. He intereviewed me about a post I’d written entitled The Asshats at CIBC Visa. If you Google ‘CIBC Visa’, my post is the third result. As a side note, I’m proud to report that I’m responsible for the term ‘asshat’ being approved by the CBC’s word police.

I’ve got to confess: I’m really dig the consumer power this site gives me. I do my best to be responsible in criticising companies, but I really dig how blogs can make your complaints public and (relatively) permanent. There’s a profound difference between sending off a fiery snailmail letter to some customer service manager and publishing that letter on your website.

One particularly powerful example of this is Digital Photography Review. They’ve got great search engine woofie. So much so that when you search for ‘Nikon D70’, you find their review ahead of Nikon’s site. Their review is positive, but imagine if it wasn’t? How many lost sales would that amount to?

Here are some entries which, judging by searches at least, consumers are reading:

They’re not all bad, either:

7 Responses to “Consumer Activism on the Web”

  1. Derek K. Miller

    I note that, except for ICBC, none of your positive posts actually contain the organization in question in the title, while the negative ones all do. So people are more likely to find your negative posts than your positive ones.

  2. Eh... not so much

    Actually, on both Google and, you’re #2! Good work!

    Darren Barefoot: Exposing asshattery to the masses.

  3. Melanie Watts

    I agree. I still remember the phone call from some MEC person, prompted by you, about the difficulty I was having with a backcountry ski binding.
    long before blogging my Dad was writing letters complaining to companies about bad service and products. His letters resulted in ample compensation to the tune of free hotel rooms free meals etc.
    like the good daughter I am, I follow in his long missed footsteps.

  4. Darren

    Lincoln: Whuffie, schmuffie. Doctorow should have spelled it like it sounds.

    Carlos: About time. That’s a pretty recent site, from the looks of things–February, 2005 is the earliest date I could find.

    Ironically, their website hasn’t solved my initial problem–where do I buy these shits in Vancouver?

Comments are closed.