SXSWi2008, Day 2: Social Network Coups: The Users are Revolting!

Panelists: Jessamyn West, Gina Trapani, Jessica Dzwigalski, Annalee Newitz

[aside] – I came to hear/see Jessamyn, who completely rocks! But the panel was good, too.


three kinds of user revolts:

  • anarchist-style pranks
  • grassroots protests
  • op-ed/open letter from high-profile users

Discussed some Digg revolts:

  • paying people to Digg your page
  • the HD code thing

Dzwigalski (Jessica Linden):

  • Griefers – tax revolt in July 2003
  • CopyBot protest, Nov 2006
  • Resident-Created IP rights campaign, 2008
  • “if you’re taking our avatar, your’e taking our identity”

Jessamyn West (Metafilter):

  • Outline
  • how they handled a sexism brouhaha at metafilter

Trapani (Lifehacker):

  • talked about an ad that their users didn’t like
  • It was an ad featuring naked bottoms… they didn’t like “mooning their audience” – interesting way to look at it
  • Readers said the ad contradicted the nature of the site (ie., it’s supposed to be safe for work)
  • interesting questions – when do you listen to your users?
  • 2-3 dozen emails about a single issue – that got them to notice it and change