In the web 1.0 era, taking down a website was no big deal.
People visited. People viewed. People left. People returned to find the site had gone. People shrugged. People moved on.
Not so in the web 2.0 era.
People visit. People view. People leave comments or contribute content if they’re allowed to. Hopefully, the community’s creators respond, and a dialogue is established. People leave. People return to find the site has been taken down and the community that the creators had tried to entice them to sign up to has been broken up without their permission having been asked (or their even having been told), or their having been offered an alternative home.
People get mad.
This assumes that any people had chosen to subscribe to or participate in the platform in question, of course. The last time I checked (30th November 2009), GoInsulin had received 351,830 channel views, had 641 subscribers, and had uploaded 8 videos since its launch on 29th October 2008.
At that time, if we view channel views as a measure of success for the purposes of argument, Sanofi-aventis’ GoInsulin was the biggest pharma channel on YouTube, with over 2.5 times more views than the next largest channel at the time, Johnson & Johnson’s healthchannel (138,416 views on 30th November 2009; 221,742 views on 12th July 2010).
On discovering that the GoInsulin channel had been taken down, I began to wonder how those 641 subscribers (one of whom was me) felt.
There was no need to ask how Johnson & Johnson felt about it, of course. Having just been gifted the title of ‘biggest pharma channel on YouTube’, I imagined that they felt pretty good about the whole thing.
Not so the former GoInsulin subscribers, I suspected. Would they consider themselves to have been pumped and dumped? How would they feel about Sanofi-aventis’s next attempt to engage with them in the future? What was wrong with the channel that they had signed up to? Didn’t it speak to their life as a person with diabetes in 2008? What made it fit for purpose then, but necessitated its being taken down now?
Of all the tweets published in this discussion on a hot and sticky Friday afternoon, I especially agreed with this next one 😉 :
Sabine Kostevc was one of a number of participants who thought to make an observation along the following lines:
Dennis Urbaniak was listening. Here’s how he responded:
This is another salutory lesson for pharma that every action within the social web has a consequence just as it does anywhere else, and that relinquishing control does not mean that due care and consideration for communities should also be cast aside.
If anything, the industry must look to redouble its resolve in this area if it is to be taken seriously by the constituencies it wishes to petition if it wants to be regarded in a kindly manner by them when it reaches out again in the future.