I just read an article on GigaOm about Facebook (Techmeme caught it too) app vendors being up in arms because Facebook’s new spam control was too strong and knocked out a bunch of legit apps. It isn’t just Facebook, we read these stories constantly about various Valley companies. Mostly they are companies that don’t have enough grey hairs so far as I can tell. Twitter is another one that keeps thrashing around.
I don’t get it. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately telling various Marketers that Marketing is a Product. It has a UX, you want to delight your prospects with it, yada, yada. I guess I need to be telling Product Guys that Products are Marketing after I read stories like this. They can be A/B tested. They can be trialed. You don’t have to roll out changes wholesale and wait to see who screams, and then frantically roll back what doesn’t work. In fact, it’s much better if you don’t.
Look people, in an online / social / connected / mobile / viral / cloud world, the distinction between marketing and product blurs to the point of being nonexistent. It all carries a message and a User Experience that either strengthens or weakens your position. And, it is all Tragically Knowable.
Talk to your customers. Listen to your customers. It isn’t hard to do. You’re supposed to be Social Networks for Heaven’s Sake. Once you get good at it, you’ll realize it’s actually a lot of fun.
Why screw around with your entire audience and momentum when you could do some tests and do what’s right? I don’t care how brilliant the wunderkind at the top may be, they are wrong sometimes. Save us poor customers and prospects the pain. Life is short, we don’t need any more pain, and we’d like to get on with just loving your products if you’d let us. Quit doing stuff that was Tragically Knowable.
(Cross-posted @ SmoothSpan Blog)