Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Skype Finally Offers Compensation for Outage

You have to give Skype credit for eventually doing the right thing and compensating its premium customers for the recent outage.

I moaned on Monday that Skype had dropped the ball by failing to offer any kind of compensation for the 30+ hours outage. While the majority of Skype users get the service for free, some, like me, actually hand over cash for premium services. I whined…

How about some token of apology? Maybe some free credits? I ended up having to take client calls via my cell phone – any idea how expensive that is?

Today, I received the following email…

Hello

Podcast – Managing Your Online Reputation

I recently chatted with Anna Farmery about the importance of online reputation monitoring and management. Anna has an excellent podcast series and you can catch my thoughts on the topic by listening to episode 104 of The Engaging Brand.

Here’s Anna’s summary…

Andy talks us through what is a leadership brand, how you can manage it on-line, the importance of article writing and also how to create a successful blogging platform. Managing your career is so much more nowadays than keeping your resume up to date and Andy explains how to ensure that your talent gets noticed on the internet.

Thanks Anna!

eBay Drops the Ball with Skype Crisis Communication

Om Malik rightly asks where was eBay’s management during the recent Skype outage? For a company that supposedly understands the value of web communities, it failed to ease the concerns of Skype users who went 30+ hours without service.

Ebay CEO Meg Whitman, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, and other Skype management made no statement, gave no assurances to their community, leaving their PR agency and the blog to keep people informed. Of course, this led to even more speculation, rumors and innuendoes.

Sure their words wouldn?t have brought the service online faster, but it would have made it clear to Skypers that eBay?s management cared. Skype President Henry Gomez has background in corporate communications, so he should know a thing or two about crisis management communications.

Company Blogs Bring Radical Transparency

Business Edge has a great article on how company blogs–especially CEO blogs–can be used to communicate with stakeholders.

The article is packed with valuable insight and pretty much summarizes the benefits–and potential pitfalls–of a corporate blog.

Dell has particularly impressed me with their radically transparent approach to corporate communications. When Dell laptops started bursting into flames, it was Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, that published the video online.

“Our legal people and others were e-mailing and calling and asking me: ‘What are you doing? This is bad. You can’t do that,’ ” Menchaca says of his post on the Direct2Dell blog last August. “But I said: ‘This is what blogs are about. Everything has changed. We have to be transparent and honest. People are talking about this, they’re posting these images, we can’t ignore it. We have to deal with it directly.’ ” With the backing of founder Michael Dell, Menchaca weathered the internal storm and, as it turned out, won accolades not just from Dell customers, but from the business community over how the company managed to stickhandle around a disastrous public relations event.

Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter Supporting Barack Obama?

Whether it was a practical joke by his daughter, or an act of rebellion, Rudy Giuliani’s facing an embarrassing situation. According to Slate, Caroline Giuliani’s Facebook profile indicated she supported Barack Obama for president and not her own father.

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On her profile, she designates her political views as “liberal” and?until this morning?proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).” According to her profile, she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it.

While the chatter should fade away over the coming months, it will be interesting to see if this story ends up on the first page of Google. A year from now, Giuliani could lose a few votes if searchers dig up that story.

Online Harassment becoming a major concern in Australia

Many people are concerned that the Internet and Social Media are difficult to control, and an Australian woman, who was a victim of identity theft and harassment online, has spoken out this week.

When men started calling, emailing, texting, and even turning up at her door, Cathy (not her real name) became aware that a bogus MySpace profile had been set up in her name. The site detailed her personal information, alongside suggestive photographs and explicit text, asking anyone interested to contact her.

It’s not clear how often this kind of thing happens (she thought is was her ex boyfriend), but with 3.8 million profiles in Australia alone, it’s likely that there are many more cases like this, though MySpace insists that it does not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Social Networking is Not Always a Popularity Contest

Now that I have just about every popular social network profile under the sun, I wanted to share an observation: Having a social network is not just a popularity contest.

Sure, the younger you are, the more you may want to be liked and show-off your popularity – that’s part of the reason why MySpace has become so popular. Once you get out into the real world (boy do I sound like my parents), you’ll realize that life is not always about “he who has the most friends wins.”

Take a look at where popularity works and where it doesn’t.

Twitter – there’s no harm in letting countless numbers follow your Tweets, but do you really need to follow the micro-updates of people you don’t know?