Vivanews: Head in sand not a solution


Something interesting happened in the Indonesian Twittersphere recently.

Shortly after Unspun and the Indonesian Tweeps gave their thumbs down to Vivanews’ Twitter Blasts (see previous post here), and Unspun as well as Mavericknetwork blogged about it, Vivanews went off air in the Twittersphere.

Why? Ju

Image from Orangscale.net

dging from  the comment left by an anonymous visitor in Mavericknetwork, it could be that Vivanews was actually listening and, as he said, learning (which is a very good approach – promote the guy if any of you at Vivanews is listening to this). Of it could be that my pal with the good looks, Mirwan Suwarso sent Unspun‘s post to Vivanews marketing Director.

Mirwan

Whatever, it is some measure of indication that Vivanews, as opposed to so many other businesses, is at least is aware of the chatter about it on the Net by removing their Twitter account.

But is pulling out a good idea? Thomas at Orangescale.net questions the tactic with this posting:

VIVAnews Deleted Its Twitter Account. A Smart Move?

Not following VIVAnews doesn’t make me stop reading people’s comments about it. There are some blogs brought this Twitter account into discussion. Today, I noticed that @vivanews_com account had been deleted by the account holder. Maybe, it’s because the Twitter users’ (especially in Indonesia and its followers) responses.

Now, the question: Is it — deleting its Twitter — a smart move? Is it the best option? I think, it’s not. Let’s figure out why the account was closed.

  • VIVAnews wanted to get another account, and announce it as its official account. When it was published, I couldn’t find any link of it at their site, or something mentioned that it was official.
  • They (people at VIVAnews?) want to do it better in the future.
  • They want to “remove” people’s comment.

I think, rather than closing/deactivated its account, the account holder should stop the auto-update and show that they’re listening. They can do it by removing its feed(s) from Twitterfeed. Then, they give respond also via Twitter. Why? Because it’s the medium. They can ask for feedback, and how they can make it better next time.

It can be a better counter for the negative comments on Twitter. If they think that closing account will remove the negative comments, they’re wrong. It’s still accessible in Twitter database, unless people who wrote tweets delete them. See these screenshots: one and two. Those screenshots were taken, even the referenced account has been deleted.

Now, will they join Twitter again? I’m curious.

Unspun agrees. If Vivanews wants to make an impact in Web2.0 they must realize that they are either part of the Conversation or they can be toast. Clamming up and putting their head in the sand is Neolithic by today’s standards and is no longer an option. A good example of why this is so lies with examples discussed in the excellent book The Truth about SEO by Rebecca Lieb.

Lieb gave the example of the bicycle lock maker Kryptonite and Dell in Chapter 4 of the book, Your Reputation is On the Line. Somewhere around 2004-5 both companies got into trouble, Kryptonite for selling an expensive bicycle lock that could be opened by a cheap ball point pen and Dell for incurring the wrath of uberblogger Jeff Jarvis.

Both companies were trashed on the blogosphere. Yet if  you Google them (at least until twhen the book was written) you see two different results. The negative stories from those days still haunt Kryptonite in the first two pages of Google. (This is no longer the case today – I just checked – perhaps Kryptonite learned as well). Google results for Dell were different – searches for “Dell Hell” were relegated to the umpteenth page of Google search results.

The lesson here? When confronted by a PR fallout on the Net, don’t put your head in the sand and hope the bad things said about you will go away. On the contrary, these bad things will stay around forever in the Net unless you do something about it. What companies in trouble should do is to be part of the Conversation and help shape or steer it so that the chatter is about things positive and meaningful to you and your Net stakeholders.

Now, if Vivanews was really smart, they should revive their Twitter account, apologize for the slip up, maybe even ask the audience what news they would like to receive in Twitter and be part of the Conversation. Unspun would think that this is crucial for Vivanews since it, presumably, at some time wants to be seen as a purveyor of information in the Web 2.0 (and beyond) era.

Hmmmm…maybe they should send their marketing/PR person to (get ready for shameless plug of an event Unspun‘s office is organizing) the PR and New Media Workshop being organized by Maverick’s New Media Division?

Also read: Toni’s news at navinot: Kita adalah Anak Manja Dunia Digital

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Agree, it’s just too bad that they deleted the account. I hope they won’t let this moment of “being the good guy of the net” slips away.

    I’m sure they are still monitoring this blog :D. See, netcitizen is supportive at it best. Even by its most harsh critics.

    I’m loving this post. Thumbs up, Unspun!

    PS:
    Dear Vivanews, if they hate you it means they care about you. They watch you. You’ve got a bunch of customers. Turn this to profit 😉

    Like

  2. second to Toni!

    Everything on the web is sort of ‘recorded’. You can only cover bad publicity with better ones in the future.

    Kobe Bryant once had a rape allegation. Paris Hilton got sex tape. 😛

    Like

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