May 7, 2007

Let’s talk…

Filed under: marketing, talkmarks — Simone @ 12:59 pm

…or we will keep on talking without you.

Just in case you don’t know, this key (as far as I know it should be a key to de-crypt HD-DVDs) was first published on Digg some days ago. Digg then removed the post after a cease and desist declaration.

Funny how MPAA (or, even better, RIAA) can give us many insights on how not to conduct a conversation with your users. At this stage I don’t want to argue if publishing the code was right or wrong in the first place. But MPAA doesn’t understand that we are discussing, and most importantly they don’t even bother participating to the conversation.

Well you can’t stop the conversation, as the link above clearly states.

So let’s have a look at what were the results:

  1. the code is still there;
  2. the volume of the discussion scaled up several levels, so a lot more people noticed it (I’m sure I wouldn’t have known such a code existed – I have no idea whatsoever how it could be used – if it wasn’t for the discussion that followed the removal from Digg);
  3. the whole thing was depicted as MPAA wanting to kill your freedom of speech (again I’m not trying to judge who’s right or wrong here);

On the bright side:
You may wonder what happened when Digg removed the code. Well, Digg users were so upset that the same code was posted again and again hundreds of times and repeatedly removed, until finally Kevin Rose (founder of Digg) decided to keep the stories, even if it meant facing legal issues.

Kudos to Kevin and the Digg crew, this really is talking (I consider talking as a listen + speak activity) to with your users at the deepest level. I guess they won’t let you down.

Is this branding or what?!?



  1. I agree that we should spend no time in discussing whether it was proper or not to publish the code. The code was going to be published by someone. And not eventually. Exactly at that time. And again, for as long as there was even a slightly, individual interest to do so.
    That’s one of the news on the web: if even one single individual in the world has a will to publish something (whatever it is), he has the means to do so.

    This, together with other signals, is leading me to the considerations that only a few years ago we were all damn wrong: when we said that we were about to live in the “Economy of Ideas” we completely misunderstood what was going to happen.
    We can’t live in an economy of ideas, because an economy is by definition built on valuable assetts that are traded in exchange for currency.
    And ideas are for free.
    Any piece of idea, may it be a codestring, a composition, a suggestion, is litterally out there for free.
    There’s plenty of talented people willing to give away their best creative contributions in exchange for…well…recognition? Enthusiasm? Or just the satisfaction of seeing their inventions come to life.
    That means that ideas are not a strategic asset.
    And if your business model is based upon selling ideas, then, well, you have a problem.
    (Of course that’s only valid for most categories of ideas. If we think at specialized sectors, like pharma, the most brilliant scientists would never give away their contributions for free. But then you see P&G’s Connect+Develop: they post problems, whoever gives them the right solution gets a shitload of money. Thousands of brilliant contributors, none of them in their payroll, you only get to pay one of them)

    Comment by EsseA — May 9, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  2. Fair point, but this isn’t about the code-publishing, this is about why this whole thing was so big. I dont’ know whether such a behaviour was legal or not, and most likely it wasn’t. But as you say anything can be put on the internet, so it all boils down to a simple question: why did THIS discussion was so loud, when you never come to know 99,999999% of the stuff that is on the net? My explaination sounds like this: Some people thinks MPAA is a bunch of fat, rich people that just don’t give a damn about their users and is ready to sue an 11 year kid if he used 1 minute of Cinderella on a movie he made for school. I don’t know whether this is actually true. MPAA doesn’t want to talk with me. They want to talk TO me. And to do so, they scream as loud as they can by putting a crappy ad before any freaking DVD I buy. Can they sit down and try to discuss? Yes, but they don’t.
    You know what? I guess it’s just tough to have a conversation with people that just refuse the idea that he/she could be wrong.
    I don’t agree to your point on ideas. Actually, in a world where everything is extremely easy to publish, your ideas are the most important asset you may have. The thing that changes is that not only your commercially-valuable ideas (like patentable ones) have a value. Your opinions on how a DVD-cracking-code should be threated could be the reason why somebody takes you or leaves you. There’s a thousand Digg clones out there. People don’t stick to Digg because it has the best technology or the best UI, they stick because Digg has an ongoing conversation with them, as Kevin Rose proved just a few years ago.

    Comment by Simone — May 13, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

  3. See, I don’t see that as “ideas”. That’s an attitude. And attitude will keep mattering. Actually, it’ll matter even more.
    Because ideas might not.

    Comment by EsseA — May 13, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  4. Famous Inventors

    Famous Inventors

    Trackback by Famous Inventors — August 8, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

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