I’ve finally hit a tipping point. I was reading the headlines in PlanetLotus.org this morning and the content immediately set off alarms.
Having been on both sides of the fence so to speak – both as a customer who wasn’t connected to the “yellowverse” per se and as someone who now has a network of peers who are business partners and leaders in the Lotus community, I can see how the average customer may be totally confused by what they read here.
There are headlines posted here prior to product release date that allude to features or entitlements. And these postings are such that the tone implies the author is privy to information that hasn’t been posted publicly yet and that they speak as an expert.
This is exactly what concerns me. What is the point of signing a non-disclosure agreement and agreeing to be a business partner or a beta participant if you’re going to disclose confidential material? Yes, I understand that at a point during a beta program, participants are encouraged to blog about their experience with the product. But this goes beyond that. How is the average customer supposed to discern what is fact and what is fiction?
Perhaps it comes down to ethics. What is the motivation for blogging? Do we as bloggers on Planet Lotus post to draw attention to our ourselves, our companies or services? Or do we blog to relay what we consider to be important information? Or are we blogging for the “betterment of the community”?
And if you’ve been paying attention to the latest announcements by Amazon regarding their new Kindle Tablet, it seems this same sort of behavior happens in other “communities” other than just this one. Bloomberg scooped info on the Kindle prior to the announcement. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-28/amazon-unveils-199-kindle-fire-tablet.html
At one point I blogged about what headlines would make blog post go “hot” on PlanetLotus. And perhaps my headline got your attention as well! Some of those same suggestions still seem to be true. As readers we’re naturally drawn to a sensational heading or title. We can’t help it!
Perhaps my point in writing this is just a call out for bloggers to remember that what we write is public, searchable and printable. And that we should fact check before we hit publish.