Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Harnessing the power of networks

In celebration of the third birthday of Connectedness (officially Friday but I can't wait that long) and in tribute to the power of networks, I want to honor the dozens and dozens of unhappy Sears customers who have turned my blog into the #1 Sears customer relations website. That's right, if you Google "Sears customer relations" there is only one website ranked higher than mine, and it's the Sears Investor Relations site--a mistake, clearly--so I like to think that my site is the true #1 Sears customer relations site on the Internet.

How did this happen? It's all about "harnessing the power of networks," baby! One day I posted a story about a bum refrigerator (with a happy ending no less) and three years later that post has risen through the Google ranks, gathering comments with ever-increasing network power. Now I am host to 31 tales of Sears customer woe (and counting). By the way, that does not include the emails I get regularly on this topic.

Within this experience is an important lesson in the reality of "harnessing the power of networks." No matter how well I learn this lesson, though, it fails to soften the sting of knowing that my broken-refrigerator story is the most popular page on my blog by a factor of two. This does not feel like it is burnishing my SNA-guru credentials.

Still, it could be worse. Thanks, everybody, for not posting anything illegal on my site (unlike Digg).

Connectedness year #4 promises to be our best, most network-harnessed yet!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2007 by Connective Associates except where otherwise noted.


Jack Vinson said...

Happy blog-o-birthday tomorrow, Bruce.

Bruce Hoppe said...

Thanks, Jack! BTW, as is typical now, within the last 48 hours I have received another Sears tale of woe (quoted below), so now I am up from 31 to 32:

"I had a problem with placing an order with the sears summer catalog. They charged my credit card but never delivered the product. After calling and getting the run around twice I was told the vender canceled my order. I guess they forgot to let me know and credit me my money. After having a fit they said they would give me a 5% discount on my next order. I guess they think I'm stupid."