I have been a bit frugal will my posts over the last few weeks. This is mostly due to the large number I posts I made during Lotusphere and a need to recharge my blogging batteries. However a small altercation has broken out on Ed Brill’s most excellent blog that is worth bringing to your attention.
A ‘trade’ website – SearchDomino has been emailing its subscribers a competitive offer for ‘migration to a modern platform’. The inference from the advertiser is that Domino is not modern. This has stirred up the teacup in no uncertain terms with a frank exchange of views between SearchDomini’s editor, Ed, subscribers and non-subscribers with some very interesting points raised around editorial independence, commercial imperatives and loyatly to readership.
My view is that this type of advertising is most likely to be a waste of time, subscribers to this type of website tend to by ultra-loyal geeks who are the least likely to jump on some sort of migration band-wagon simply because of a cheeky email. If they are already being forced down that route then sending or not sending such an email is not going to make a lot of difference.
A more fundamental question is – is it ethically ‘ok’ for the publishers to piggy-back competitive messages on the back of a highly aligned readership? As can be seen from the dialogue those who are offended can easily ‘switch off’, those who can’t be bothered probably have junk filters switched on (I do) and those who can be influenced are weak brained and can just as easliy be influenced the other way.
IBM has deep pockets, if it is really is bothered by what it perceives as potential damage caused by this competitive campaign then it can embark on a similar strategy – invest in a aggressive campaign to the SearchExchange reader base and win some business back!