Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ryan Johnson at Livescribe is starting to spamming my blog (and others)

On Tuesday Ryan Johnson posted a comment on my blog:


I’ve read your blog post of the Pulse smartpen and wanted to share some new commercial and demo videos that we just uploaded to the Livescribe YouTube channel: From now until 12/31/08, you can get 5% off a Pulse smartpen at by using SCRIBE5A50 at checkout. Thanks, and enjoy the videos!


Fair enough – a little bit of promotion for a device (the Livescibe Pulse) I actually liked and have suggested to others. I decided not to delete the comment (and instead posted a reply). 


Two days later he posts the exact same comment on another post on this blog. That was not a good decision. This demonstrates a cookie-cutter approach to Internet marketing. There are ways that smart companies can embrace social media and user-generated-content. This is not one of them.


I checked to see if Ryan actually works for Livescribe. His LinkedIn and TED profiles indicate that he does. I hope whatever search tool he is using to monitor blog posts alerts him to this message:




Social media is a conversation. Your current approach to Internet marketing misses the mark. It goes so far as to do your company a disservice. It insults current customers. You are demonstrating that you are not really reading blogs. You are not engaging in conversation.


You have just motivated me to research the number of blogs you have said the exact same thing on. So far Google tells me there are five, but I am sure the number will grow. Please stop and try something different. There are some great books and courses out there that explain how to embrace social media. Follow good advice and become part of the conversation.


Your company has a great product. Please don’t alienate your customers

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Comments on "Ryan Johnson at Livescribe is starting to spamming my blog (and others)"


Blogger Tiffany said ... (December 17, 2008 2:29 PM) : 

I know about Livescribe's interns that they've got promoting the pens to students, and I'm actually friends with one of them (not Ryan, although I'm assuming my friend knows of him). What would you think if his comments had been different and actually addressed the specific blogs/articles?


Blogger James Moore said ... (December 17, 2008 2:42 PM) : 

Ryan’s comments were copied and pasted onto blogs purely based upon a keyword search for “Livescribe.” The effort was amateurish and annoying. The nearest real world analogy I can think of is leaving flyers (for a high-end product) on the windscreens of cars -

I think the Livescribe Pulse is an innovative product. Ryan’s efforts resulted in a disconnect.

Ryan could have fixed this in several ways:

Addressing the article (as you have suggested)
Responding to my comments
Explaining his role in promoting the Pulse

My reaction would have been positive if he had considered these options.


Blogger Tiffany said ... (December 17, 2008 2:55 PM) : 

Yeah that's what I've been trying to avoid because no one likes spam... My best friend has the same position as Ryan with the company, so I've been trying to help him out. It really is a good product, and I'm glad I got one. It's fun promoting something I actually appreciate. Thanks for your tips!


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