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The point isn't to compare the pop-up and people complaining about a hashtag or strategy -- there isn't really anything similar going on there, and I'm not talking strategy, I'm talking response / criticism. You personally feel that pop-ups are stupid, and you say so with no shortage of annoyance. Someone last night might have felt that #OscarsRTM was stupid, and they may have said so, with no shortage of annoyance. Why should they pull their punches when you don't? Because you're right, and they're not? I'm all for a more thoughtful dialogue about marketing in general. I hope your post helps get some folks there.
David, with all due respect (and I'm not using that backhandedly -- you have a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge in this space), I find the tone of this post and of your tweets last night to be a bit disingenuous. Looking at your tweet stream (beyond last night's run) for less than a minute, I can spot a critique right off the bat that doesn't pull any punches: "An unsolicited pop-up on a Website is like walking up to a stranger, saying hello, slapping them in the face and then asking them for cash." When you feel strongly about something or you find something annoying, you use strong words -- much like many of your colleagues do. But someone who uses a pop up on their website might be a little thrown by the ferocity of your analogy, and the meaning you added to their intent. Could you have stated it differently? Could you have suggested a better way to gather opt-ins that would be a little less disruptive? Could you have asked people who use them *why* they use them, and what kinds of results they're seeing? Could you have set up a debate on your blog with a "pro" to your "con"? Probably. But you didn't. Because you find pop-ups annoying. And you said so. And I don't think that's the only time you've expressed your opinion in a way others might find inflammatory or dismissive. Not because you're a jerk, but because you work in an industry where strong opinions are like Twitter accounts: everybody has one (with varying levels of success.) I think your frustration with the tone last night comes from the fact that a) you had a team working on RTM (something that was criticized); and b) you coined the hashtag (something that was criticized). It's perfectly natural to feel like everyone was piling on and veering into the asshole lane, especially given the bluntness with which people tend to express their views on Twitter... even to people who they count as friends and colleagues. That tone certainly isn't always called for -- in fact, you could make a case that it never is. But if you use that tone yourself when you feel strongly, is it fair to position what happened last night the way you have here? Even the tone of your post starts to seem a bit snarky at points, because you're annoyed. You position those who disagree with you as "cynics"... a Photoshop joke was made by a "genius". I think where you're at right now is where I think people were last night. And they're not responding that way because they don't respect the efforts of brands to explore opportunities, but rather because there was an *extraordinary* amount of focus on RTM after the Super Bowl. Did brands "win" with their quick thinking? Who had the best witty response to events? How could brands use "newsjacking" to their advantage? I saw no less than 50 blog posts about it tweeted or RT'd into my stream, all saying basically the same thing. When that kind of buzz erupts in a fairly "inside baseball" community, people get weary of the hype -- especially when it seems like folks are focusing on a rush of attention and publicity over providing real value for customers. But you know all of this. And you're not wrong that the level of criticism we display towards, and the way we respond to things we disagree with can have an impact on how valuable the discussion becomes. When we slam things, people feel slammed. It's tough to keep talking after that. Consider the possibility, though, that perhaps what you saw last night is where you are right now: people frustrated with what they see as problematic trends in their industry. They may not have expressed it well, but there's still something to learn in there, rather than just assuming they're all jerks who flip the bird at innovation and risk-taking.
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Mar 23, 2012