An Open Letter to American Express

Ads still work – they do. I just don’t think they work half as well as direct community engagement and models well beyond the traditional click. I felt compelled to submit feedback on American Express’ Open Forum “beta” site. They’re trying, they really are – but I’m not so sure they get it.

You know, for all the buzz that FaceBook gets… I get far more value out of Twitter. The FaceBook “feedback loop,” much like the loop in other social networks, is a bit too much of a kludge – and I don’t ever feel like I’m in control of myself, my brand, my identity, etc. I’m certainly not in control of the way you sell advertising against my efforts.

And by the way, I’m not trying to compare Twitter (itself) to FaceBook. Twitter isn’t really a community or YASN – it’s an ad hoc assembly (a commons, if you will). I felt compelled to comment, if only to point out that the only other people commenting are spamming (check the user called ‘accounting’ on your ‘Go with the flow’ article, which is blatant SEO linking). This would indicate that… discussions aren’t going to happen about you or your product on your own site. Which is weird, because the whole reason you set up this site was to try to catalyze conversations… and… yet… nobody’s talking here.

Did you put these videos on YouTube? Have you spent any money on blogger outreach and community involvement? Maybe you should fund an open source project or two instead of… well, nevermind. Why don’t you give the community TOOLS to build their business instead of giving them a way to spend money on tools to build their business? Food for thought.

This was the video I happened to be responding to:

If they were a client of mine, I would’ve told ’em to put the video on YouTube – but that’s just me. At least I can embed it!