Thursday, March 27, 2008

Freedbacking

Is anyone Freedbacking?

Freedbacking means putting free feedback (for example suggested improvements to your favourite or not-so-favourite products and services) into your blog or webpage, in the hope that this will be picked up and acted upon by the companies responsible.

This term was coined by Chris Pirillo, and described in a Wired article in June 2006. [Are You Freedbacking?] At that time, there were 400 hits for this word on Google. There are currently around 10,000 hits.

In the scheme of things, that's really not much. Even Wikipedia doesn't have an entry.

At the time, some companies declared that they would be tracking posts that combine the word "freedbacking" with their own company or product name. For example Bloglines. (Hello Bloglines, are you there? Sorry to wake you up, but maybe there's something for you in the next paragraph.)

What I'm missing is any sense of a closed feedback loop. If there are product improvements that were actually triggered by freedbacking, it would be useful if the companies responsible acknowledged this and thanked their supporters for their input. Or is freedbacking a complete waste of time, like sending emails to blackhole@somevendor.com?

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