Unclear on the Concept: People Complaining about Comcast Monitoring Social Media
July 25, 2008 11 Comments
The New York Times has an article today about Comcast using social media to respond to customer complaints. Comcast is definitely at the forefront of this move to engage customers out in the wild. Comcast’s efforts have previously been documented on ReadWriteWeb. New York Times coverage helps move the concept, and Twitter, closer to mainstream adoption.
What caught my eye in the NYT article is that some people are concerned about Comcast doing this. They feel like Comcast is acting like Big Brother. According to the article, 20 year-old Brandon Dilbeck blogged about his dislike of ads on Comcast’s programming guide. A Comcast representative found the post (Google blog alert perhaps?), and responded to him via email.
Hey dude! Your blog had some impact! Isn’t that cool?
Well, no. The blogger apparently thought it was weird:
Mr. Dilbeck found it all a bit creepy. “The rest of his e-mail may as well have read, ‘Big Brother is watching you,’ ” he said.
Here’s what I don’t get. Blogs are publicly available. Anyone can find a blog and comment on it. Sometimes, your blog posts result in actions you wouldn’t have expected. This is the power of Web 2.0.
If you’re going to write publicly, how on earth can you be concerned about Big Brother? Sure, if Comcast had monitored his email or phone conversations, that’d be Big Brother (and illegal).
But to air your concerns publicly and have someone from the company read it? If you’re concerned someone would actually read your post, then don’t blog. I’m actually surprised this 20 year old was concerned. The Gen Y folks are supposed to be pretty open about everything in their lives. Maybe Mel McBride is right when she made this comment on FriendFeed with regard to Facebook:
I’m just getting tired of dopes buying into the surveillance of their personal history, daily activities and personal associations as a “convenience” – wake up people.
Social media: If you write it, do it or video it, people can find it. That’s the great opportunity for all of us.