Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Online Media Engagement Gone Rogue

I receive atleast 10 newsletters on a daily basis. I don't remember subscribing to any of them. I am definitely not interested in the content. I have got into the habit of Mark multiple and Delete so often that I run the risk of missing out on important mails.

As a user, I have seen a lot of websites use different tactics to get a user to subscribe. Some subscribe you be default unless you specifically tick the tiny box saying "I do not want to ..." during the Sign Up process. Some want you to remember to untick that box if you don't want a weekly mailer. Some others subscribe you by default without first asking for your permission. I have often wondered if an unsubscribe link in the mail is all it takes to protect user rights in the internet space. You would say that sending emails is not privacy violation, but it's never just one email. If you registered using Facebook, the website sometimes automatically adds your Facebook friends to your network on this site as well and shares your updates and activity to them, again unless you specifically ask to remain private. The Privacy Policy states the websites' approach, but it is frankly quite verbose and written with the intention of keeping the site's interest above the users.

I can imagine that online engagement is increasingly difficult with shortening attention spans of consumers and increasing number of options of every kind. However, does raking up the number of likes or the number of your newsletter subscribers translate into raking up of the millions. If anything, this approach annoys the user. Let your content offering do the trick and use the social media as a tool only to reach out to people, but please don't smother them.

Reminds me of Huma Qureshi telling Nawazuddin Siddiqui in GoW-2, "Permission leni chahiye naa".


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