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thesis #1 of the famous cluetrain manifesto reads:

markets are conversations.”

read how the company, a service providing web-based RSS aggregation, seems to live that principle at its best:

dec. 1st: bloglines is launched in six more languages, among them german. in the announcement they ask to “let us know what you think”.
dec. 2nd, 11am: bloglines is free (so far) and has become the site i use most throughout the day. the german version appears to have been translated by a native-speaker lacking extensive internet experience. too literal translations. i feel this is a chance to say ‘thank you’ and send them one page of feedback, including well grounded wording suggestions, using their standard feedback form.
dec. 2nd, 5pm: kate from bloglines support answers with a short mail thanking for “the feedback in regards of our new german version”. (note the correct relevance on the subject of my feedback.)
dec. 3rd, 10pm: mark fletcher, CEO and founder of bloglines (and of yahoo groups before that), writes me an email asking some clarifying questions and thanking for the “terrific” feedback.
dec. 7th: a new german version of bloglines is pushed out, featuring almost all my suggestions, about 15 changes, among them: “ausschnitte” is now called “ablage” (main navigation), “dies clip-bloggen” has become “ablegen/bloggen”, “dies emailen” now is “per email versenden”, “abonnement” is now called “abo”, “blogrollen” (sic!) is now called “blogrolls”, etc. two important suggestions of mine haven’t yet been implemented (eg. “share” still translates as “teilen”, which is wrong) but i’m confident they will.

note to myself: whenever founding your own company, try to listen to your customers the way mark fletcher does!

update dec. 14th: the tab “share” has been renamed to “blogroll” in german. i had sent mark some options (“ver√∂ffentlichen” and “blogroll”) and recommended “blogroll”. all the other suggestions have been implemented, too. cool.


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