Remember Web 1.0? No? Oh, maybe you are too young. Or maybe it’s just because it didn’t happen.
You know, it seems similiar to the very first Star Wars movie. It was always called „Star Wars“, for more than 20 years, until „Star Wars: Episode I“ was released in 1999 and so the first movie became „Star Wars: Episode IV“. Similiar to that, when the term Web 2.0 was introduced, everybody started to call the old (and gone) WWW the „Web 1.0“.
What did we have back then, in Web 1.0? Well, the Flash Player. Oh yeah, that animation tool that became a RIA platform and than finally died even before Steve Jobs did. It was full of bugs which were always reported to Adobe. In specific cases over years because Adobe sometimes didn’t take any action to fix those bugs. Even if they were true security issues and could make your PC vulnerable.
But there was one good thing about bugs in WWW 1.0. Back in the days there were certain rules: If you find a bug, you report it to the responsible company, institution or programmer. And then you wait. A certain amount of time that makes sense. E. g. three weeks or months until a bugfix is released or at least you receive an answer.
If this time goes by and nothing happens (except that the world turns further and you breathe on) you were „allowed“ to publish your own warning. Which may become negative publicity for the concerned product’s producer.
And what do we do today? If we find a „bug“ (or something that we think could be a mistake of someone else) we shout it out in our social media channels! Twitter and Facebook preferred. Let everyone know that you found a real scandal. YOU are a true investigative journalist and everybody has to hear you because YOU talk about the world’s REAL problems.
Do you? Or is the download of your newest program simply not working because your local hard disk is already full with lots of crap? Is the latest app some company offers your fo free not working because the Android version of your smartphone still is a 1.x or 2.x and thus deprecated and not supported anymore? Are you not able to do what you want to do with your computer or smartphone because you never read any dialog boxes that appear on the screen?
Did you check all that? Are you really able to say: „It is not my fault“? Then why don’t you send a private message to the responsive institutions, e.g. an e-mail or a private Facebook message to their social media team. Or use a contact form (my employer has got one on his web page). And if you don’t receive a proper response within a resonable time, then – and only then – go public.
Okay, I have to admit: I did things like that, too. Tweeted complaints about an airline because they had weird signs in front of their check-in desks at Zurich airport with tiny, tiny little letters that tell you where to go – but only if you read them with a magnifier. And it makes sense: If you complain in public, the companies are a bit more forced to react in some way because they are under the public’s survey. (In my case, @airberlin sent me a 50 EUR voucher for one of my next flights. I haven’t used it till today and it’s still pinned to the board in my kitchen).
But I am willing to learn and these days, before complaining in public, I think about the importance of my problem for the whole (online) world. In most cases I have to realize: „Nah, not interesting.“
But if you ever find some problem that is really worth complaining about in public, please follow these three very easy rules:
- Learn how to write properly!
Have you ever seen posts of those people that are angry wisenheimers but not able at all to write just one sentence without any mistake? Yes, that’s the good AND the bad side of the internet: Everyone is allowed to publish their stuff. No matter how weird it is written.
- Check and double-check if your problem is not caused by your fault!
I already told you what I mean. You cannot view a website if you are not online. You cannot pay online if you don’t have a credit or debit card, a bank account or are simply totally broke. Your website will look crappy if you print it out on paper.
- Be and stay polite!
You know, even if you found out that something went wrong, please keep in mind that every product is created by humans, and humams make mistakes (they are allwoed to, even by the bible). So they are not ********* or ******* if your app (or whatever) doesn’t work properly, but still humans. Show a little respect (even @blickamabend did).
The last point is the most important one. Because if you stay cool and friendly you will receive an answer or a solution pretty much faster than in case you behave uncomfortable. Sometimes, you may even get an answer by the CEO of a large company.
And if this happens then you know: they really understand Social Media!