Maytag Crosses Popular Blogger, Gets Spun Dry

Last week, Jessica pointed out the United song and the effects on social media.  The songwriter made a song about his complaint with United, put it on YouTube, and received over 5.6 million views.

In this InformationWeek article, Heather Armstrong, the blogger of Dooce, put her complaint with Maytag washing machines on her blog.  She has over a million followers on Twitter.  The article points out that while Heather is relatively unknown, she is a celebrity among her readers.

Within hours after posting her complaint, multiple companies contacted her to fix the problem.  Whirlpool, Maytag’s parent company, sent a repairman that day.  Another company offered her a free washing machine, which she donated.  When Heather posted the complaint, several companies saw this as an opportunity to be the hero and steal the show.

The article points out how it is easier to become an internet celebrity and have influence:

To a certain extent, what happened to Maytag is nothing new. Stand-up comedians, talk-show hosts, and other celebrities have been praising and condemning consumer products for decades.  But the Internet and social media make it easier for people achieve the level of celebrity that gives them clout that can damage companies.

Companies have a difficult task.  They can’t ever really be sure whether the complaining guest will be the next internet meme or if the guest actually has that much influence in their internet community.  It’s unsettling that someone could create such havoc.

Read the InformationWeek article here.

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