These petitions just aren't doing it for me. So I deleted my Facebook account. Actually, they won't let me delete (only "deactivate"). So they're probably still selling my data.
I'm just not OK with the new Facebook marketing practices, or their efforts to 'lighten' them. Or the way they've handled it. To me--and this is solely my own take--this business model doesn't qualify as "innovative". More like creepy, arrogant, annoying and nothing I would say any good things about.
And I would never, ever, not for all the money in the mint, advise my clients to follow such practices. It's socially irresponsible marketing and that bell is a bugger to un-ring. So instead of signing petitions and the like, I've deactivated. To be sure, I tried to delete.
But you can't do that.
So I guess you can never opt-out of Facebook? (Seems consistent at least.)
What's really telling? I went to delete and it gives me a whole host of "Why are you leaving?" options to choose from. Ten of them. Not a single one cites the privacy issue. And wouldn't you think that maybe, just maybe, Facebook might have seen even one of the millions of posts, articles and comments that are railing against them and add that as an option? Uh, nope.
Wait, we all know that, most of the time, people won't take time to comment--or explain why they're discontinuing their use of brands...so wouldn't they want to know the percentage of user attrition over these practices? Um, nope.
Rest-assured, I will continue to (actively!) participate in the marketing community through my blog, your blogs, community-oriented programs, contributing at The Daily Fix and, of course, my new home over at Twitter (which I'm thoroughly enjoying). I'm not "going" anywhere...it's just that I won't be on Facebook. Too bad as I was finally starting to get the swing of it and I liked leaving some silly messages on your walls.
Insofar as the "reason for leaving" submitted to Facebook, I wrote this under "other":
"My reason for leaving wasn't mentioned in the 10 options above...how can that be? So I'll give it here: you need to keep focusing on your users, instead of focusing on how to manufacture WOM (otherwise the WOM that is created becomes a lot of angst and jokes about you, see?). And making us opt-out is nearly as laughable as it is deplorable (opt-out was a 90s fad; it never will come back "in style").
But if you guys actually do read these, then here's my biggest tip: You did a really good job of creating value and innovating through opening the platform (bravo!). But trust is a high-ticket item to win back. Unfortunately most don't learn this...until after they've lost it. (tsk.tsk)"
Valeria wrote a well-researched piece (it's like a portal to all recent news on FBook, truly worth the read) and in it she hit on this:
"Let me spell it out for you: if you push a recommendation unknowingly (you are being broadcast), or are being compensated to give it, is not the same as sharing a review because you are passionate about a product or service and they exceeded your expectations. I think we can do better than that. The true holy grail is one that will manage to help market and sell products and services and at the same time respect that the people it seeks to engage can think for themselves."
PS: And yes, I still feel the same way about loaner cameras. Some things just never change :-).
PPS: A great article--from last month's Fast Company--portending this intentional decision is here. It's actually a great article on the value of opening networks. The problem? Here's the info. right from the mouth of their newly hired marketer:
"It is only day 67 for Palihapitiya at his new job when we sit down to talk, but he already sounds like a true believer. While cagey about details, he isn't shy about the potential he sees for targeted ads to fill Facebook's coffers. He madly sketches on a notepad, drawing a fine distinction between demand fulfillment (I want a cheap ticket to Hawaii. Now!), which the Internet has become quite good at, and demand generation, the shape-shifting set of marketing messages that conspire to get a consumer to want something. That, he says, is where he sees serious money on the table. "Facebook users are more engaged with each other," he says. "Aren't you more likely to be interested in what your friends are doing?" Google, which focuses by and large on demand fulfillment, is a $160 billion company. "For every dollar that goes into fulfillment, there are hundreds that are spent on generation," he says, particularly by the big brands. So what could Facebook be worth? Five times Google? Ten times? "Could be," he smiles."
Sorry Facebook, you'll have to "conspire" without this marketer. I'm going to focus on creating value for customers--so that they authentically "buzz" about offerings--instead of treating them like commodities.
PPPS: Oops, almost forgot! In the last 24 hours my purchasing history entails: (2) MP3s from iTunes (one was an old Psychadelic Furs tune, the other was by the Pixies), (1) tube of Colgate toothpaste and (1) Kashi granola bar. Colgate and Granola bought offline, at a local NYC deli with the brand name "Deli".