Much of the online universe woke up last week to discover Google was involuntarily disclosing the names of their email contacts to the world, and if there’s a lesson here, it could be this: Making wads of money on other people’s content doesn’t necessarily render you omnipotent.
For marketers, there’s also a larger lesson.
Within hours of first seeing Google Buzz (I didn’t like what I saw and turned it off), I received two emails from online marketing “experts” (note the quotes); both were positively glowing about Google Buzz, and neither seemed aware of the firestorm brewing – or of the privacy risks to their clients.
Simply put, it’s never been easier to pass information to an audience.
Which is a poor excuse for passing bad information to that audience.
Especially if that audience is paying for your expertise.
Succumbing to social media’s “get it while it’s hot” time pressure entails some real risks – especially for marketing consultants.
After all, we’re supposed to know this stuff.
Which precludes recommending (or hyping) services solely because they’re a trending topic on Twitter.
It also forced me to ask myself if I ever recommended a product or service to client without wholly knowing the ramifications of that endorsement.
And sadly, the answer is yes.
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.
UPDATE: The Good Morning Silicon Valley site offers up a compelling argument explaining how Google might seem surprised by the frankly predictable reaction to their Google Buzz fiasco…