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    1. Even though I sympathize completely with 37Signals ruffled fur … the line “hoisted on our own petard” is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages. This blog post is an exceptional example of top notch damage control. They hit back with brass knuckes, you smiled with missing teeth, complimented the puncher, and are trying to make good.

      As a community manager and open innovation evangelist, I’m taking notes on this whole kerfuffle.

    2. Thanks, Jeff! Means a lot!

    3. correction … “hoisted on a petard”. How in the world did you come up with that?? Brilliant.

    4. You guys did an amazing job of defusing the situation and responding to the problem quickly. Great work!

    5. +1 to you.

      You’re trying make a business. They were trying to make news.

      Nice response & good luck. It’s a shame they’ve not been chivalrous (to continue the medieval analogy) enough yet to give you your dues.

    6. Amy Muller

      @Jeff. Our Eric is a right wordsmith he is. I guess it’s that journalism background.

      And for those who have no idea what it even means: http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19960808


    7. Hello Eric, a humble and yet great way to address such a contentious issue. (You must be from a different planet)

    8. Although I initially understood the motivations behind the blog post by 37signals, I have very, very much appreciated your quick and collaborative answer.

      This is a good example of professional and open reaction to critics and complains.

    9. The banners that got added are a good step, but don’t even come close to addressing the problem completely.

      A page got created for our company on your site. We have no way of knowing if it was by a customer or by one of your employees. Which user created a page needs to be visible, or folks are going to assume you did.

      In the chat yesterday, you guys kept repeating “90% of pages are made by employees”; that certainly wasn’t the case for us, and I’m of the opinion that 90% of all “90%” statistics are made up on the spot. Especially when there’s no documentation.

      In any case, zero notification from you guys was sent to us. It wasn’t until a customer mentioned the site to us that we discovered what was going on. I believe this was the root of what got 37signals so upset.

      I still haven’t heard a good explanation for the reason why the “Company URL” field is non-editable in both the management and admin interfaces, and is locked to point to the page on your site for our company. Our logo, pointing at your page, and there’s no way to edit it.

      Comments on your site indicate that emailing Eric, is the only way to change what that points to. (You offered to do so for a poster, I’ve emailed you, we’ll see if you respond..)

      I’m sorry, but the actions don’t line up with the rhetoric.

    10. Brian, the displayed URL isn’t locked. You can display whatever you like in the About section. You can also edit the logo. Just upload a different one. I haven’t seen your email yet, but I’ll check again. I’m always available to help: eric [at] getsatisfaction [dot] com.

    11. Heh, and now here in his open letter, Thor is saying that *80%* of new pages are made by employees.


      Obviously, I doubt this stat without data to back it up.
      Regardless of what the actual percentage is, if a page is set up by non-employees, you need to be doing due diligence and making sure the company knows about the page.

      By not doing that, you’ve surprised and ticked off the people most likely to be in charge of the purchasing decision with regards to your services.

    12. @Brian: We agree that we’re nowhere near done dealing with this. Lots more changes are on the way–some planned, some coming out of this discussion.

      Historically we have tried to reach out to companies, but the problem is that most companies (at least on the software/startup side) either do not publicize their direct contact, or have catchall email addresses that are sort of black holes. I have a vague recollection of one of us sending an email to Omnigroup because a.) we’re fans, and b.) it was one of the early companies added. Most of these messages that we sent are ignored. Most companies that respond to companies that are started by their customers do so because they are pinged by google alerts, technorati, etc.

      You *can* change your company url, but we just realized (thanks to you) that the captions are confusing. Up at the top is an uneditable link which is your Get Satisfaction url (i.e. getsatisfaction.com/omnigroup), and down at the bottom are any other links you want to include, such as main company url. These are all editable and deletable.

      The logo should be easier to turn off, but you can replace this with an invisible image to turn off logo entirely. I can do this for you if you like.

      As for the 90% number–it wasn’t always this way. When we started the number was closer to 40%, and has steadily ticked up since.

    13. Brian,

      To clarify: I have historically reached out and contacted a large number of companies — in particular ones that are added by customers, but as Thor says, I don’t often get a response. Actually, it is quite rare that I do get a response.

      Also, we have been getting about 80-90 new companies added each day, on average, and the vast majority have been added by company owners (who also simultaneously “claim” it as the admin). I’d say the 90% number is probably higher from my own personal observation as the person who reviews and approves these company listings. But, that’s really my anecdotal observation.

      Hope this helps.

    14. You’re whole business model is around brand infringement. 37Signals was right in everything they said and you should just be happy they don’t take legal action.

      I hope you do take the comments to heart. 37Signals is a company whose business model you should admire. They have it going on.

    15. Wow, I get that companies need positions, but Jason is outta line. I’m a big fan of 37S and GS, use them both actively, so its no fun to wade the marsh.

      Every-thing’s been said, but here’s the bottom line. The burden of getting support falls on the person requesting it. Who cares if the logo or company info is there. If you leave Basecamp and go search the web for customer support, then yah, might not be the real thing. Same as all of the Nike merch I’ve seen in Vietnam, you gotta check your sources to know if its real. The other clear president is the legality of brand protection. You have to actively protect your trademarks to keep them. It seems like a close parallel; you need to actively meet the needs of your customers to keep them happy. Yes this is a polarizing issue, but I would think a web-minded company would embrace any medium that someone approaches with, even if they used the side door with the sign that says “Use the front entrance please”

    16. I’m just a voyeur in this situation, my only contact with GS is using their product via RescueTime’s support forum (officially sanctioned by the company in this case), and it seemed to work great.

      The part that smells fishy to me is GS’ claim that it was resolved by a simple change by a copy editor.

      If you employ professional copy editors, it makes it more likely that the original language was calculated. Also the original language favored GS by making companies feel like they should jump on board or risk looking like uncaring brutes. If I owned GS I would prefer the original language if I could get away with it.

      I also am astonished that GS would *ever* use another company’s trademark or branding in any way, or allow their community to upload 3rd party corporate logos, etc. If this is indeed true, perhaps you should fire a few of those copy editors and hire a decent lawyer?

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