I've been using
My association to these links was not positive, actually I was almost
Also a detractor, when I would land on a page shortened by ow.ly, and then click on a link within that page to move on to other pages; problems would ensue. An interesting article or blog post I wanted to share would become additional work. Even when I would attempt to remove the ow.ly bar to see what the address was, I would be taken away from the page I was then on, and left all the way back on
It became such a nuisance, I even stopped clicking on ow.ly links for a while, no matter how much respect I had for the person sending out the link, or how interesting the tweet sounded.
Early on, when I discovered that these ow.ly links were being produced by Hootsuite, I believe I mentally blacklisted Hootsuite as a
As time went on and my needs changed, and I became more tolerant on
Over the past year, I've come across many people who were outspoken about their dislike for the shortcomings of the ow.ly links. Despite all the feedback, it took Hootsuite quite some time to deal with the shortcomings of their URL-shortener. At one point, a few months back, I noticed Hootsuite gave the option to the reader to permanently disable the ow.ly bar from their browser, but that wasn't what people wanted.
It took about year, and many upset twitterers for Hootsuite to get to today's move. I was very pleased when Hootsuite announced that they are permanently removing the ow.ly bar from the shortened links...
Hoootsuite is a terrific application. Folks behind the product are obviously savvy, innovative designers and technologists. I don't think Hootsuite's resistance to deal with the ow.ly bar issue was technical, hence I have to conclude complacency.
If you search the
Now you will ask "well, all is fine and dandy, but what has this got anything to do with your title, What Business Owners Should Learn from the Hootsuite's ow.ly?"
Okay... Here's what any business owner should learn from Hootsuite's ow.ly journey:
1) Listen, Monitor, Analyze
Being in "
2) Acknowledge Feedback
I have not seen Hootsuite acknowledge any issue with the ow.ly until today when the change was made... When people have anything to say about your company, brand, product or service, it's a good idea to acknowledge what they are saying. Saying nothing doesn't make feedback and complaints go away. If you own the kind of business where you cannot acknowledge each and every client's feedback, it may be a good idea to send a broadcast email to your clients, or to do a blog post to acknowledge that the feedback is heard.
3) Announce Plans
Hootsuite did not announce any upcoming changes to their clients or to the
...and, last but not the least:
4) Don't Let Success Get in the way of Excellence
Again, Hootsuite is a great app, and plenty of folks (including myself) used it despite the ow.ly shortcomings. I'm sure Hootsuite's overall success as a product may have gotten in the way of recognizing the shortcoming of the URL shortener. As a business owner you have to serve your customers' needs; nobody cares about how brilliant or successful you are, if your clients are not satisfied and you are not giving them the best possible products and services.
A Bill Gates quote comes to mind:
" Success is a lousy teacher. It seducesSo, as a business owner, don't let your success get in the way of continuing to aim for excellence.
smartpeople into thinking they can't lose."
* * *
Back to the ow.ly changes: Thanks to the recent changes to Hootsuite's URL shortener, I can conveniently shorten my links right from Hootsuite without having to worry about the user experience of people both in and outside of the online communities I live and work in every day...
posted by Ky Ekinci
Co-Founder, Office Divvy ™
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
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