WHY THIS POST IS COOL: Real Time Branding Realized after I finished and Tweeted this piece I buried the lead. What is COOL about this near real time conversation is what it can teach anyone interested in branding in the digital age. Customer service happens in real time now. Brand husbandry is communal and real time. See if you don't find the passions, ideas and inputs here illuminating about YOUR website, brand curation or social marketing. MartyScoop.it Rocks Here's Why post is still among my most read post (along with Why Hunch.com Rocks).
Then Scoop.it changed their interface and blew up real good.
I created a post on my Curation Revolution Scoop.it feed: Likes and Dislikes About New Scoop.it UI that prompted some cool interaction summarized here with my comments in blue:
Guillaume Decugis, Scoop.it CEO
(1st Post 6:00 This Morning)
Hi there. Just discovering this post after 11 long hours in a plane. A few short comments:
- as with any change there are always some getting used to and what mattered to us was the benefits on the long run
- as with any major release, there will be adjustments. In particular the 2 points you have marked as "losers" Marty will be addressed. We heard you (and others too).
- we're not arrogant and we're listening: we just can't be everywhere... We replied to all feedback we received on the new release on feedback.scoop.it as well as comments on our blog. I missed this thread so far and got it through Robin (thanks!)
No Worries Guillaume I was tired, it was late after a long day. Should have kept my powder dry. Good general rule for me is no communication after about 10:00 since I lose any sense of humor (lol). Now I have Bob Marley on and am much more mellow :).
- we did get user input beforehand and asked dozens frequent users not only for feedback but also to try out the new version through an early access. We apparently missed some of you on the list, really sorry about that... No punching intended. Honestly. But there will be a next time so don't be shy : if you'd like to have early access next time, make yourself known (open a ticket on feedback.scoop.it).
Not a big "open a ticket" kind of guy life being vastly too short, but as long as people I trust (Brian, Robin, Michele, Susan, etc...) are involved I'm well represented.
- Our team had lots of exchange with these early-access users and the feedback was very positive. Some problems were reported of course (Robin and I had several long exchanges on Search for instance - thanks again!) and it helped fix them. Our Search for instance has been completely revamped for this release in light of Robin's constructive criticism.
We will continue to innovate and sometimes we will break things or make mistakes. But we'll always listen and hopefully find good solutions.
Uber-curator and one of the founding fathers of web content curation.
Robin on Scoop.it
Robin's Post at 8:22Robin Good (Today, 8:22 AM):
Hello Guillaume and thank you for your kind clarifications.
I'll be honest and sincere.
I think the main point, we as users are making, is that no-one among us got any clue, request or check relating to the features that have altogether disappeared from one day to the next.
Most of my late night frustration was with the lack of inclusion. Scoop.it is a community curation tool. I've gotten to know Robin, Michele, Mike, Gerrit, Susan and many others because the tool creates a sense of fellowship and tribal identity. If Robin doesn't feel included then NO ONE DOES and that can't be good.
Asking us to join something or fill out a form is goofystupid (no offense). For me the question is WHAT is Scoop.it? Is it the code or what WE DO WITH IT. Remove Robin, Michele, Brian and 5 other people and your tool is just code like five other tools. WITH those people Scoop.it is a special PLACE. I understand you are scaling and personal touch is getting harder, but I remember the first email I got from Marc and it was real, smart and supportive. I wouldn't advise losing that touch or the key actors on your stage. I come for the PLAY not the theater :). And I feel included WHEN THEY DO.
I was contacted only to provide feedback about the search quality results and the new interest-graph based interface.
This ain't enough connection by half.
That is what disappoints most passionate and loyal users like Marty, MazOX, Timothy and many others who have not yet had the opportunity to discover this thread. Things that we felt useful and we used heavily were suddenly taken away from us without reason or explanation. In the name of having this new interface, we have lost some of the features which had become essential to our workflow.
Robin is on it here. It was dislocating and got more so as the day went on.
That's what feels so frustrating to us.
I never realized that I was going to give up all these features, and considered the new interface only as a means to try the new interest graph.
If you only looked at my usage stats you would have seen that every single day since the introduction of the new interface (in beta) I have systematically switched back to the old one, specifically because those very features were not accessible anymore.
Wow, that is telling. Note for future, if you see a power user switch back you aren't there yet (lol). I'm making that note for our work at Atlantic BT too.
If I knew or even remotely imagined that you were going to take them off, I would have told you in one split second.
In that direction would have been helpful to receive from you a clear text-based document informing, those in the community who you ask feedback from of the new features coming and the features planned for cancellation.
You would have had then proper feedback on this matter much ahead of time.
Overall I am quite disappointed myself, mainly because I am, like the others in this thread a passionate and eager user of Scoop.it.
We users are not all equal, and each one has different and peculiar needs. We understand that not all these needs can be satisfied. But to see features that have been very useful and dear to us, being taken away suddenly without any apparent reason for us, is not comforting nor exciting.
We, and I say this hoping to interpret the sentiment of the others, would much prefer much greater attention to this "listening" process. If we are to be your most loyal users and best marketing agents by way of our dedicated use of Scoop.it on a daily basis, you should have the duty to truly listen more attentively to our needs and to make double sure that when you release something new we are all going to be enthusiastic about it.
This idea of LISTEN BETTER is a key one Guillaume and you aren't there yet (again no offense). Forums and forms and BS are not consistent with your community, tool or branding. What you are suggesting sounds all IT and not human and so not consistent with what you've created. DISSONANCE KILLS BRANDS and your moves have introduced some (personally I HATE it when that happens). You have to walk among us, know who we are and CARE.
I get life is overwhelming and crazy. I know you have a tiger by the tail, but the fastest, and I MEAN FAST, way to lose the tiger is to believe that you are listening well when you are NOT (been there, done that LOL). I've seen BIG BRANDS, established brands get punished by the appearance of indifference. Think of that, they weren't really indifferent THEY JUST APPEARED INDIFFERENT.
Your responding to this tread is good and a big PLUS. I also don't want to sound threatening since I know how hard what you are trying to do is since I've failed at it at least twice (lol). I go back to my original idea, form a "Buzz Team" of people who use and love the tool and represent the rest of us. Give this team real jobs. Ask for feedback, ask them to carry your communication to the community.
Go Wikipedia on this and you win. Go proprietary and indifferent and you lose. Appreciate your responding, but ACTIONS matter. I know I am saying things you already KNOW, but, caught as you are in the tornado, I can tell you that you aren't really acting on what you are hearing yet. Form a band of brothers and let us live vicariously through them.
This was clearly not the case.
As it was not also in previous updates and releases, giving me an increasing impression that, beyond the generous availability to fix bugs and errors, the company behind Scoop.it was not really in tune at all with its key users and their true needs.
Too few questions asked, too little exchange. This is the impression I am getting from this last release.
If others heavy Scoop.it users have strong opinions on this issue, they are welcome to comment and express their tale on this matter.
The issue is not: Scoop.it is bad, because it took away all the cool features we loved so much. The issue is: is Scoop.it really listening or is it only saying so? (again: I am not referring to Scoop.it generous and always timely availability to fix and correct tech issues and bugs - made exception for the display of images in Facebook which is a very frustrating and long-standing problem - but only to key strategic decisions as the ones just taken with the new interface changes).
Robin is one of my favorite geniuses because he is SMART but yet a real mensh too. I love what Robin said here as it was more articulate and accurate than my late night rant. The other day I gold Robin how HOT it was here in North Carolina and he told me a three sentence story about Rome that made me FEEL cooler. That is the kind of man he is and if you are not already following him it is a MUST to do so.Before Guillame's next post Stewart-Marshall shared this insightful comment.
Stewart-Marshall on @Stewartmar and on Scoop.itI'm a relative newbie, so perhaps don't feel as strongly about the old features viv-a-vis the new ones. However, I did miss the leaderboard - but I now access that by the link http://www.scoop.it/leaderboard/users (when I'm logged in, of course) instead of from dashboard. So at least I do still have that "feedback loop" that Marty referred to. But since it's still there, it just a matter of providing a button to click on the dashboard :-)
WOW, cool, brilliant idea from Stewart.
@Robin: understood. And as I said, we're going to put these two features back. Because we are listening.
Again, innovating means moving fast and sometimes breaking things or making mistakes. We clearly should have had Marty, MaxOz and others among the testers and we're going to include them next (+ others). We also sometimes hesitate about features and don't get very clear feedback from the community. So we try. And adjust rapidly after.
Now this is a GREAT response Guillaume. You've had your coffee now (lol). This is in fact PERFECT and instructional for anyone in a similar "crisis". You remind us of what we already know, you are ROCKING and ROLLING, but you don't use it as an excuse. Instead you pledge to do better. Great humanity, great listening and way to come back in the 3rd round :). This statement is consistent with your brand. This statement is something every startup entrepreneur reading this should WRITE DOWN and remember.
Overall, you won't miss these 2 features more than a few days. Promised!
I love this promise too. It is dangerous, but shows courage and that you are all in. Well done here too.maxOz (Michele Smorgon)
9:35 my favorite Aussie and another UBER curator Michele Smorgon added to her previous post (I've put her in line response first)
I would also like to continue with this discussion further.
Firstly thank you Robin, I really appreciate you candidacy. Marty thank you for initiating this discussion, takes "balls".
There are some good things to having the Big C Michele, though I've rarely been described as "shy and retiring" LOL :).Guillaume, I believe others should be included, no matter how heavy a user they are.
Maybe send out a questionnaire to all users containing old features & new changes / features with a tick button? We may then obtain consensus of what should remain. These are the "Scoop.it Community" and as such should be the main consideration. Thank for your previous responses, however fixing what Robin or Marty or Stewart or Susan or myself is not the answer. Everyone wants to feel part of this Community, but may not be able to express their views as easily. Put these questions to all the Community, proactively not reactively. Thanks for your time and hopefully your ears.
This is why I am not so secretly in love with maxOz. Michele's spirit and curation is about inclusion, empathy and care. The best curators so so because they LOVE others. There are very good curators who are in it for ego, but they are capped at some point. Not Michele. Michele's grace and beauty comes through so clearly in her active curation as it does in this note. Here is Michele's first note not long after I started the controversy (lol).July 11, 10:51 PM):
Marty, I'd like to thank you for the mention and more importantly I concur with your sentiments wholeheartedly!!! And to Robin's comment below, I think I am as upset and more than Robin.
I cannot see the benefits at all to the scoopit community.In fact to the contrary, we individually have become isolated from our scoopit friends and it feels on site very introspective.
Why was the design changed? What was the purpose of the design change and yes Community Members should have been polled to find out what works and what doesn't, before changing.
I think I'll stop my rant now and just let you kn ow it took approx. 5 minutes for me to find this post so I could comment.
Robin comes in next with .....
Robin Good (Today, 9:57 AM):|
"Proactively and not reactively" is really a great advice. Thank you MazOz.
Stewart-Marshall thank you so much! - that's the URL that makes me happy again. http://www.scoop.it/leaderboard/users
Guillaume: Roger. I trust your word and I appreciate your willingness to improve Scoop.it on this front.
Then another favorite Gladys Pintado recooped the conversation to her Community Management Around the World feed.
Next another favorite menchi friend Brian Yanish (another UBER curator and way up there on the leaderboard we all can find again thanks to Stewart :).
Brian Yanish, CIO MarketingHits.com
Today, 11:53 AM): First off thank you Robin for letting me know about this discussion and Marty for "curating" it.
I am glad that the topic about the leaderboard is being discussed.
Search engines like Google have made the Internet competitive by giving or taking away both ranking and traffic and in the long run has made it work very financially positive for them.
There were days where I was checking the leader board as much I was as I was checking my topics, I'm glad to hear I am not the only one. Lol
Guillaume, I've got you in my sights, I'm less thousand away from you now. Lol
As far as the other new changes made within Scoopit, I can see why many were made, from a new site visitor standpoint. We all want a new visitors to stay on the site longer and explore our topics, and maybe even join. The one thing that trending topics did for me is made me aware of new high-traffic topics.
Agree with Brian, my initial post pointed out several "winner" ideas. Generally I find the new UI more visual and so more engaging. I think Brian is right that new users are going to take to it like ducks to water.
Now on to what I like to call the eBay effect, where the company that owns the site doesn't realize that both the power users and the little guy have invested their time and in many cases their money into building their own little place within the site. With today's analytics tool, like ClickTales and others a site owner can really dig deep into what is working on a site and what is not based on real numbers.
At least ScoopIt is working work hard to make changes to their site with the benefit of all in mind, not like many other products that I've beta tested.
Good post by Brian. He is always smart and helpful, another highly recommended follow.
@Brian - so now everyone knows why we removed the leaderboard: you were just about to pass me by and I couldn't tolerate it ;-) Just kidding of course... Thanks for your comment. And yes, we'll keep innovating!
@Michele - You're right and there's obviously more we can do on that front. We don't have a process for feature removal (but again this wasn't part of the plan... and they're coming back soon!). But we do have what I feel is the equivalent of what you suggest in our feedback forum: http://feedback.scoop.it Everyone can suggest an idea on that forum and everyone can vote for any idea. Though of course, we also pay a lot of attention to what our top users suggest (some of you actually suggested some ideas about giving more visibility to content that inspired this release), this Feedback forum has a strong influence on our roadmap. As of today, we've had 103 ideas completed that were originated from there.
Ah, G you were doing SO GOOD don't drop the ball now :). Here is the rub on a feedback forum - it creates a false sense of security. Truth will never be found in a "feedback forum". I appreciate your pointing it out and having one. That is great and as much as I am about to run it down, having one allows me to do so (lol). Believe me when I tell you the first riot I would start if you didn't have one is that you don't.
When you are marketing at this level 1% will share anything in your forum. 10% will vote on what the 1% posted and 89% will ride for free or not care. My "feedback forum" is Robin's scoops, Michele's empathy and Brian's humor. This is the only feedback forum I have time for, the only one I would ever care about since I've been marketing stuff for way too long to wade into anything remotely called a "feedback forum" even tough I understand others will (the 1%).
Important for you to understand about at least one strong thread of your community. We are REBELS we are self reliant and supportive of each other. You can reach us by proxy via people we know and trust, but you will NEVER get us into a "user feedback forum". Doesn't work that way. We don't work that way.
You might think I am an outlier. I may be, but I am not nearly the outlier Michele, Robin and handful of others are because they tower over me in skill, passion and brilliance. I'm just a working man's rebel, have been so all my life :). Faith Popcorn said something that is so important to Scoop.it's future I wish I could frame it and put it up on your wall.
Popcorn, an author and brilliant marketer, said, "People don't BUY brands they JOIN them." I've written about Scoop.it, told anyone who will listen and LOVE it like the French brothers and sisters I never had. I put on my beret, sip wine (the only time I drink btw) and toss my fist into the air with Scoop.it tattooed there.
This level of LOVE is the brand advocacy we all seek and you have. Now here is the trick, once given such a passionate love by an active tribe of REBELS can really help your cause. You don't even have to LOVE us back, but you do need to INCLUDE us. I don't mean me personally I am already drowning, but MICHELE and ROBIN and 5 others would be a good idea.
Think about it for just a minute. Instead of requiring me to do something I wouldn't do if I was dying, spend 5 minutes in a feedback forum, I get to hear about what you are up to from people I trust and you are your brand ambassadors. Better right? Easy too and CHEAP I bet you get more help than required with some special badges, a THANK YOU and sharing the funky t-shirts I bet you already create for your team.
Feedback forums are fine and, ,as I mentioned, I would clobber you if you didn't have one, but you have a chance to SAVE THE WORLD. Don't respond to such an opportunity with the usual suspects. Empower those who already love you, don't smack us again and listen better (or just listen to our proxy avatars those brand ambassadors who are part of your extended team).
Thanks for being so responsive and if you are still reading this so dedicated (lol). You, Marc and your entire team should know I only fight for things I love. Time is much too short to do anything else. You guys will be fine and rock on.
To all my friends who responded I love you guys. I know the L word isn't really common usage but I head into another round of chemo tomorrow, so F**K It. Love you all and can't repay the value you create in my life, not possible :).
Atlantic BT (been working on this for hours, so best to link to my amazing employers who had the courage to hire a crazy rebel like yours truly LOL)