Dawn of the Twitpile

So, just when you thought all the potential uses for Twitter had been exhausted, along comes the online pig pile or, “Twitpile,” as I’ve termed it. A site called Fixoutlook.org has launched with the sole purpose of gathering complaints about Microsoft’s popular email application, Outlook. The site encourages visitors to levy their complaints via Twitter and tallies votes. The complaint is somewhat arcane. It calls out Microsoft’s use of the MS Word rendering engine for HTML email content. Yet, so far over 18,000 people have tweeted their concern over this practice.  Tracking Fixoutlook.org’s growth isn’t even as interesting as Ashton Kutcher’s competition with CNN to get to a million Twitter followers, but it does have some serious implications for companies and their brands if Twitpiling really takes off. It’s likely that one of two things will happen:

  1. Twitpiles will get serious attention in the marketplace and companies will be forced to respond quickly and publicly or face public defamation
  2. Twitter chatter will become static and no one will be able to discern any thing meaningful from it

We use Bullhorn Brainstorm to track the popularity of feature requests. Users get to post new feature requests, complaints and ideas. The most popular features get the most votes and our team uses the data to enhance the product and service. It’s a public channel we’ve set up for our customers to allow them to create their own tweetpiles (albeit a little more organized). It’s a great tool and it helps us identify deficiencies in the product all the time. Before it launched, there was a great deal of hand wringing. What if it exposes our warts to the world? What if our competitors use it against us? Ultimately, we decided that the information was going help us be better and the transparancy would be good for us. And, our competitors have nothing like it – perhaps they have more to hide?  Twitter has the potential to bring that kind of public feedback to just about every product and service under the sun. For staffing and recruiting firms, it could bring a wave of twitpiles from candidates:

Tweet, “ACME Staffing stinks” if they’ve wasted your time on an interview that went no where 

Most people would rather be in the driver’s seat, providing an outlet for both good and bad feedback, rather than letting the haters create their own channels online. So, if Bullhorn set up Bullhorn Brainstorm to help collect feedback from users, shouldn’t our customers do the same for their clients and candidates? Would you do it?

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