Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 19th Dec 2012 21:23 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Derek Powazek exposes the meaninglessness of the already overused tripe 'If you're not paying for the product, you are the product'. "But we should not assume that, just because we pay a company they'll treat us better, or that if we're not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers. We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect. And we should all stop saying, 'if you're not paying for the product, you are the product', because it doesn't really mean anything, it excuses the behavior of bad companies, and it makes you sound kind of like a stoner looking at their hand for the first time." Nailed it.
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Wishful thinking
by weland on Thu 20th Dec 2012 10:02 UTC
weland
Member since:
2012-02-19

This is a case of wishful thinking on the modern Internet. It's also a case of rambling, since the phrasing "if you aren't paying for it, you're not the customer, you're the product" doesn't have anything to do with the respect every customer deserves. It just describes the simple reality that, if you are getting a service for free, the company obviously can't live on offering that service. The company has to live on something else -- and in the particular case of Facebook & co., it lives on what users *do* with that service. Which really is exactly what it sounds like -- what users do is what Facebook sells.

> But we should not assume that, just because we pay a company they'll treat us better, or that if we're not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers.

True, but then again, when you're paying, you have at least a minimal reasoning behind asking for the respect you deserve as a customer. First, because -- given that you are paying -- you're a customer, which you aren't when you're not paying. Second, because most human beings are evolution-trained not to be complete assholes and therefore don't complain if a free beer isn't exactly the beer they wanted.

> We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect.

For every technology-educated "we", who sees blatant breaches of privacy as lack of respect, there's swarms of pretentious hipsters for whom respect only new gizmos in Farmville or whatever animated hysteria has caught up recently. When there are so few users who would hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect that losing them wouldn't cause too noticeable a dent in their sales, it kind of becomes difficult to do it.

Edited 2012-12-20 10:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wishful thinking
by Lennie on Thu 20th Dec 2012 10:32 in reply to "Wishful thinking"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Did you also read the other 2 articles:

http://powazek.com/posts/3250
http://blog.pinboard.in/2011/12/don_t_be_a_free_user/

If you had read all 3 articles, you might find that organisations should have a business plan and they should be very clear about what that is and what their plan is when they grow.

I think that makes a lot of sense.

Reply Parent Score: 2