Has the Web Increased Corporate Responsiveness?

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Adobe has vowed to modify its new Photoshop terms of service in response to user complaints regarding a particular term that gave Adobe a non-exclusive license to each user photograph uploaded to the system. The story sounds somewhat similar to Facebook’s responses to users’ privacy complaints regarding news feed and beacon. Hopefully this increased responsiveness on the part of corporate entities signals a web difference.

4 Comments

  1. kparker

    March 31, 2008 @ 12:52 am

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    So I’ll play devil’s advocate.

    I’m not sure if this is really a web difference. While the web may make consumer responses to company practices percolate faster than they did in the pre-web world, is that really a difference?

    I guess if the speed or number of incidents increases by orders of magnitude, it might be. If companies have had to completely rethink the way they process and respond to consumer feedback maybe that is a web difference. But if this only an increase in frequency/speed?

  2. skass

    March 31, 2008 @ 9:12 am

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    While the frequency and speed of such incidents are part of it, I was really referring to the ability of consumers to communicate and organize when they see a problem with a commercial product. That’s what I think is driving this phenomenon, especially as companies see what happens when they ignore such constituencies.

  3. kparker

    March 31, 2008 @ 9:33 am

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    But haven’t people always organized and given feedback before? (I don’t know maybe they haven’t…)

    Ralph Nader would probably disagree at least!

  4. skass

    April 1, 2008 @ 11:42 am

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    Certainly they did, but not on the same scale. Think about it – before the Internet age, if you wanted to communicate with a large corporation regarding one of its products or policies, your best option was to call the company or send a letter. In either case, it would be difficult to find others who support your position – at least not without substantial effort on your port. The Web lowers that effort bar because you can find others who are in the same boat instantaneously. Just pick some product you dislike, add “sucks” to the end, and click search. Chances are you’ll find some people out there that agree.