Why is online feedback so broken?

service on yelpConsumers have changed in the past 5 years, now they do more than consume, they create too.

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Foursquare and others have trained their Billion users combined in the art of publishing. The pursuit of Comments, Likes and Shares are at the heart of Consumer Publishing, and getting those Likes can sometimes be more important than being truthful.

When it comes to feedback, trying to write a sharable review is at odds with the needs of the business being reviewed. Constructive feedback is great for the business owner, but isn’t all that sharable. Controversial, sensational, emotional, hateful and provocative are better. Combine this with an unhealthy disregard for issues of liable, with Online Ratings and Reviews sites perceived to be a Safe Harbour for the reviewer, and your business can suffer very badly indeed, with little or no recourse.

Yabbit provides a channel for consumers to give feedback that is both discrete and constructive, giving the Business Owner the chance to follow up and diffuse any issues before they become public. By promoting Yabbit you encourage your customers to channel their feedback to you in a constructive way, saving your business from expensive long term brand damage.

A high price to pay…

After following a link suggested by a LinkedIn contact I visited Open Forum hoping to read about a recent interview with Sir Richard Branson.

When I got there I was given the option to sign in with LinkedIn, easy I thought…Open Forum

Luckily, I paused at the sign in page long enough to read the terms and realised that signing in with LinkedIn meant I would have to pimp out my beloved LinkedIn contacts… WHAT?

In exchange for access to this interview I have to provide Open Forum access to my LinkedIn contacts, worse still, let Open Forum communicate with my contacts as me! AS ME!(Just like my contact obviously had!)

This doesn’t seem like a fair exchange to me, not by any stretch. Unbridled access to over 1,600 contacts that I know personally and getting to masquerade to those contacts as me to spruik your company message, that would surely be worth many thousands of dollars, way more than the value of the content I suspect.

Time to look for another source of inspiration!

Twitter hash-tags have lost their mojo.


I spoke at iStrategy some time back in Melbourne and was blown away by the level of engagement from the Audience via Twitter, by far the most hash-tagged tweets I have ever seen. My iPad twitter ap was alive the entire time I was speaking with real time commentary about my presentation, can’t beat good-honest real-time feedback!

Only, it wasn’t.

I felt the entire time that Twitter and particularly the use of a hash-tag had lost its mojo. Previous when I have been speaking there has been a real balance to the Twitter feedback, some great, some not so great, and some just plain old brutal. But not this time. In fact, I don’t think there was a single tweet that could be euphemised as “brutally honest”. I suspect the medium is just too prolific.

In a conference of the size of iStrategy, which numbered around 300 delegates, there’s nowhere to hide and worse still there is a very good chance that the speaker you have just appraised will know what was said and by whom. And no one wants a possible confrontation!

As a speaker at the conference I wanted that brutal feedback, and I was looking for it real time to make adjustments to my session. But it didn’t come. I’d appreciate any suggestion that my talk was perfect, however I saw some sessions that were quite poor yet no negative tweets emerged!

I think we need to bring some anonymity back to twitter, at least find some other way to harvest the ugliest of commentary. Or accept that feedback is a gift, good, bad or ugly!