Posted by Kate Phizackerley on 00:13

There's no doubt that a dashboard is a useful way of monitoring the world's online reaction to your brand.  I used to run two myself; one for a time for my own online presence, and one on Egyptology.  Sadly Pageflakes which I was using has become unreliable  (a euphemism if there ever was one) so I need to rebuild them elsewhere.

Into that market stepped Seth Godin of Squidoo fame with his Brands in Public initiative.  I like Squidoo.  I write there a lot and as a "Giant Squid" was one of the lensmasters invited to create dashboards for Brands in Public with the promise of $100 if they sold.  I was sceptical from the first and didn't take up the offer, but others did and 200 pilot dashboards were created for brands picked by Brands in Public without consultation with those brand owners.  Today Seth Godin bowed to public pressure and has pulled them.

The dashboard was, and remains a good idea, something I would recommend to any brand.  The Squidoo implementation wasn't market-leading but it was adequate, if over-priced.  (It's deficient in it's filtering of Twitter feeds to find relevant Tweets, relying (I suspect) on a simple word filter when contextual analysis is necessary.)   However the route to market was all wrong and clearly came across to some brands and many commentators as a strong-arm tactic to hold brands to ransom.  I don't believe that was the intent: but nonetheless it was an impression some formed.  The first rule of marketing of course, is that impression is reality (unless you can change that impression).

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