Sunday, September 6

Stalk Exchange

So far, my stalk portfolio includes the Deseret News, the LDS Church, and HSN.

At least, those are the ones I know about.

After a few snarky comments about the way a certain local newspaper chooses to portray current events, my visitor tracker did indeed show that someone from that newspaper visited my blog. Several times. And the next day, a visitor from the LDS Church cemented my fate: an in-person visitor at my door the following Saturday. The ultimate result will probably be eternal damnation.

That I also commented on a ghastly ring a certain cable shopping channel was selling, sure enough, a visitor or two showed up from their site as well.

Rest assured there's plenty of love to go around.

Corporate folks are always interested in seeing what the public is saying about them. As an example, studies show that companies who use comment cards "...produce distorted information that reflects extreme responses rather than the experiences of most guests. One study found that comment cards produce results that misrepresent guest satisfaction up to 60 percent!" That report regards hotel clientele, but can be applied to just about any market where a company deals with the public.

So, too, are comments sections on websites - not everyone is going to leave a comment on a company's website, positive or negative. And while you can always call a company to voice your complaints, there's always the chance that whoever you talk to can actually do something about your problem.

Consider this exchange from dooce's Heather Armstrong during a much-ballyhooed exchange last week (from

"Finally, during one of her many long conversations with customer service, she floated the nuclear option: "And here's where I say, do you know what Twitter is?" she wrote. "Because I have over a million followers on Twitter. If I say something about my terrible experience on Twitter do you think someone will help me?" The customer-service agent assured her that it wouldn't help; Armstrong tweeted anyway—"DO NOT EVER BUY A MAYTAG"—and by the next day, a Maytag executive was overnighting the parts she needed to get her washer fixed."

Yes, dear reader, corporate America is listening to what we're all saying. That I have just 47 followers on Twitter, and only a few hearty souls who read my blog (though my readership did rise by 500% after my snarky Deseret News comments, if only for a short time) and Heather Armstrong has a 1,000,000-plus followers, THEY are all listening, too.

May your stalks rise, too, fellow bloggers, twits, and tweeps. EVERYONE'S listening.

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