Feedback Loops

Apr 25, 2008
Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback is negative if B < 0.Image via Wikipedia

We’ve all heard the high pitched squeal that results from feedback from speakers. And I’m pretty sure most of you would agree that it’s annoying. It’s not something you want to hear.

Feedback occurs when a microphone picks up it’s own sound from the speaker. The sound gets trapped in a loop (microphone picks it up from the speaker, amplifies it and sends it to the speaker, where it gets sent back to the microphone, etc), which causes that annoying whine that we all know (and most hate).

The thing is, with the power of Web 2.0, it’s very easy to get trapped in our own ‘feedback loop’. The web allows you to amplify your voice. With blogs, podcasting, Twitter and all the other Web 2.0 tools, you can speak and be heard.

But social media is a conversation. It’s not a one way broadcast. Yes, the tools help to amplify what you have to say, but if you’re just trying to build yourself up, it’s not going to work. You’ll just get annoying.

Companies which blog and only plug their products aren’t going to get much value from social media. Companies which blog and listen to what their customers say back will.

Same for individuals. You’re more likely to gain from social media if you’re listening to what others say, and feeding off each other, inspiring each other. If you’re just amplifying yourself over and over, you won’t gain value, and you won’t be adding value either. You’ll just be making noise.

How do you keep yourself from getting trap in a ‘feedback loop’?

Asking for Feedback on Ads?

Mar 16, 2008

Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion recently suggested that companies should ask for feedback on ads.

I think it’s an interesting idea. And I can see where he’s coming from. But I’m not fully convinced.

To me, it seems almost like a Meatball Sundae. It doesn’t really seem natural. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t really imagine any ad that will make me want to put in the effort to go and leave feedback.

Maybe it’s just me. What do you think of the idea?

Who are you asking?

Feb 17, 2008

There’s been a lot of controversy lately about the English Premier League and the proposed 39th round of matches. They’re thinking of having an extra round of matches played overseas, to further the global brand, and allow fans worldwide easier access to at least one of the games. It’s an interesting proposal, in my opinion, but it’s not the proposal itself that I want to focus on.

The most interesting thing so far has been who’s been talking about it. The policy makers are the ones making the most noise about it (the leaders of the different associations – FIFA, UEFA, the FA, etc). The managers have said a bit. But I haven’t read much about the players’ thoughts on it. And while the fans have naturally had their say on forums and the like, I haven’t seen anything about fans being approached by officials.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely find it ironic. The ones that are (arguably) the most affected (the players), and the ones to whom the proposal is geared (the fans) haven’t been approached. And the policy makers and the people at the top are arguing so much over it.

For once, I think David Beckham said it really well, that they should “ask the fans, ask the players and go from there”.

Asking your customers (the people most affected by the policy) would seem to me to be the most logical thing to do, in any business decision or proposal. What do you think?