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How Do You Feel About Being Sold as Part of a “Community”?

How Do You Feel About Being Sold as Part of a “Community”?

by Frank Roche on August 10, 2009

in Business, Social Media

groucho[Photo credit: Triviatribute]

I would never join a club that would have me as a member. –Groucho Marx

I’m being sold.

My name. My picture. My birthdate. My interests. My links. All of it.

I don’t like it one bit.

I quit.

I Joined a Club With Rules I Agreed To…
I joined a social media “community.” I did it because someone I know and have met in real life was one of the founders of the club. I entered all the information it requested, including my birthdate and a whole set of profile questions.

I never participated much in the club, but every once in a while I’d stop by and take a peek at what people who sorta kinda do what I do were saying. But I paid a lot more attention when I read that the club was being sold to the highest bidder on eBay.

…but I Didn’t Agree To Have My Name Sold to the Highest Bidder
Seriously, the social media “community” is being sold on eBay. That means all that information I put on there, including some things that I probably should have had the good sense to hold back in the first place, is now on the auction block. Who do you think would buy something like that? Not someone who I agreed to, or know.

I Quit
I don’t like being sold. I joined that club because I understood a certain set of rules. I knew the founder. I spent days brooding about it. Then I quit. (NB: I still like the founder, but I cannot express how strongly I feel that it’s a wrong decision to sell names. I don’t want selling social media communities to become the norm.)

I removed my name from that club. Scrubbed it out. I don’t know the bidders or the future buyer from Adam’s off ox. They won’t know me either.

HR Implications
I didn’t like my name being sold. Now it’s not. Imagine how employees feel during reorganizations. Or an acquisition. Multiply how I felt times a thousand. When you’re part of a community, you understand the rules. When those rules get changed, you have to let people know what the new rules are.

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