So today I receive an email, subject line "your expertise is requested". The sender? Slideshare. Now, if you read this blog regularly (and, yes, I know that I haven’t been blogging muchly in recent times), you will know that I am an avid user of Slideshare. I have clocked up nigh 100,000 views with the various decks from my talks that I uploaded.
So far, so good. It sounds quite right, doesn’t it? I am a regular (and early) user with a fair number of views. Sounds reasonable that the company operating the platform would be reaching out if they want to carry out some research into improving their product. I reckon I am in the sweet middle of their user base: not one of the rockstars but not one of the infrequent users with few views either.
The email then goes on like this:
"We are inviting you for a survey to find participants for an upcoming study. […] If you are selected, you’ll be compensated for your time (our thank-you gift to you!)."
There is so much wrong with this sentence that I even find it hard to start! Here goes:
I am invited, they say. What they do not say (or not in so many words) is that they are "inviting" me to do their work (find participants). Unpaid. Right.
If selected (what? is that a price?), I will be compensated for my time as a "Thank. You. Gift." Are you effing kidding me? A brief look at your very own bloody site would have shown you what I do for a living (and I’m afraid I am yet to hit levels of wealth that would allow me to do all this for free). Slideshare is owned by LinkedIn where I am also quite active and have a fairly large network there as well as a profile that LinkedIn considers "All-Star" (I think this refers to the tender love and care I applied in completing the profile rather than my actual achievements).
So the data LinkedIn / Slideshare hold on me suggests that they have a pretty darn exact image on who I am (professionally). And they *might* compensate me for my time *as a gift*? Really?
What they achieve is a few things:
- They give a hoot about me as a customer;
- They demonstrate that they are other careless or incapable when it comes to communicating with me;
- They show their utter and complete disrespect to their users (since when is compensation a gift?).
- They show they have not understood the first things about customer relationship management (which, particularly in the case of LinkedIn, is somewhat irritating);
- They piss me off so much that I write this post.
Grrrreat! Mission accomplished then.