A couple of months ago I posted a little something about our new site, Email-Geeks.com.  In that post I stated;

“Not all companies allow users to talk about the products their company uses, regardless if they like or dislike the tools.  Because of this we allow reviewers to select to post anonymously at their discretion.  Allowing reviewers [to] select to post anonymously opens Email Geeks to reviews that we possibly could otherwise not obtain. We know who the reviewers are, and, short of a subpoena, their secret is safe with us.”

What wasn’t included is that Email-Geeks.com uses a double opt-in for those wanting to post reviews.  It’s not foolproof; locks are for honest people.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me explain a couple of things to a vendor that thinks we’re living in some sort of Brave New World….

An unflattering review was recently posted on Email-Geeks.com.  It’s not the first time and it most certainly won’t be the last. 

The honor of receiving the first unflattering review goes to Silverpop.  Did they bitch?  Whine?  Moan?  No; they have too much class for that.  To me, that says a lot.  And guess who has the honor of of receiving the best review in a contest we’d run in January?  Silverpop.  And guess who is the most reviewed vendor on the site to date?  Silverpop.

I’d guess that most prospective clients will pay more attention to the fat part of the bell curve than the ends.  On the other hand, if I were an ESP I wouldn’t be looking at this so much from a “someone hurt my feelings” point of view; I’d look at it more as “where can I improve and better serve my customers”; but that’s just me….

Anyway, just like Email-Geeks.com lets users review email vendors, and just like it lets viewers rate the reviews, it allows viewers to report reviews that are offensive or contain blatantly misleading comments.  If you’ve ever read anything that I’ve ever written you know the bar for “offensive” can be pretty high, and who is to say that one person’s experience is misleading – it’s their experience, after all.

So I received a couple of complaints within a minute of each other saying the same thing.  I don’t know what that means.  Is it an attempt to make me feel contrite or did they just hit the submit button twice? I don’t know….  Since the complainant thought they’d be cute by sending it from “anonymous@” their organization (no double opt-in to report) and because I really really want to respond, I’ll just do it here.  Fodder from heaven….

The complaint stated:

How can you be a valid resource with anonymous posters making commentary with no validity to back them up. You are setting yourselves up for failure by allowing this baseless activity. Try approaching the vendors to provide client contacts to make this a more reliable resource, and blocking commentary by potentially disruptive vendors.”

What makes Email-Geeks.com a valid resource is that the reviews are not filtered by vendors; they come from real people that have really used the product.  The vendor doesn’t get to control who the references are anymore. 

How dare you suggest that a user’s opinion is invalid and baseless because you don’t like it.  Is that how you treat all of your customers?  Or just the ones that say something you don’t like?  Or are the ones that have had bad experiences unreliable resources, or something? 


And what hubris to think that some nefarious competitor has nothing better to do than to post an unflattering review about you; get over yourself.

And by allowing users to have a voice unfiltered we’re setting ourselves up for failure?  Interesting since you don’t really know what we consider success.  I’m sorry, but you don’t make the rules.  What was that I was just saying about hubris?  I’ve got to say, though, if this complaint is indicative of how they interact, well….

They must have missed that part where I said,  Allowing reviewers [to] select to post anonymously opens Email Geeks to reviews that we possibly could otherwise not obtain.  Why?  Because vendors don’t give unhappy clients as references.  Duh!  But that’s their point, really, isn’t it?  And I guess they also missed the part where I said, We know who the reviewers are, and, short of a subpoena, their secret is safe with us.  In their defense, that’s not posted on Email-Geeks.com, but it is posted here, and there links to here.

And do you know what?  Nobody is stopping them from asking those same clients that they feel are qualified and representative of their users to post reviews on Email-Geeks.com, but I guess in their anger and haste that thought totally slipped their mind. 

Good thing that I could point that out to them here since they didn’t complain from a real address that I could respond to privately.  Don’t thank me; I’m a giver.

So who do you think should control the conversation?  The vendors or their users?  Or is it shared?  What email vendors do you use?  Good or bad, have you posted your vendor review on Email-Geeks.com yet?