TiVo comes to senses, kills PayPerPost marketing effort

In what is very welcome news, it seems that TiVo and/or their PR firm has killed the PayPerPost marketing effort that I savaged them for last night. Unfortunately, I’ve been busy today so I haven’t had a chance to try to contact TiVo yet, but Dave Zatz beat me to it. He just dropped me an email to say he’d contacted TiVo and their PR firm, and while they have no comment it is clear the program is dead. And to confirm that, just an hour ago posts started appearing in the PPP forum that posters have been asked to pull down their posts and videos. It looks like the coverage here, Davis Freeberg’s article posted in his blog, Seeking Alpha, and ZatzNotFunny, as well as coverage at Read/Write Web, and Valleywag (and perhaps more) got to someone sane.

TiVo – Thank you.

It seems this may have been a simple misunderstanding – maybe TiVo got some bad advice from a marketing company and didn’t understand the kind of reputation PayPerPost and astroturfing have in the blogosphere. A lot of companies have made missteps trying to market online, I’m just glad that TiVo pulled the plug on this one so quickly. That seems to indicate someone in control over there gets it and realized what a blunder it was. Of course, now every time I see some funny TiVo-related video on YouTube some part of me is going to wonder if it is genuine or some cynical viral marketing campaign, and that’s a little bit depressing. The bell cannot be un-rung.

This just reinforces what I’ve said before – TiVo needs to appoint, or hire, someone to be in charge of online communication. Just as Sling Media hired Dave Zatz to be their blog liaison. TiVo needs someone who is responsible for communicating with bloggers, who knows the online communities and markets, knows what behaviors are acceptable in the social environment online, etc. Stop treating bloggers like second-class citizens – embrace them like Sling has. Clue us in on announcements *before* they hit the wire, just as you do for the mainstream press. Have someone responsible for fielding questions, so we don’t have to bug people who have other jobs to do. Get someone to update your blog with real news – or, failing that, just take it down. The abandoned blog is just sad. In other words – just find someone who ‘gets it’, and get out of their way.

TiVo, you have an amazing resource in the form of your user base, advocates, and fans. Don’t squander that. And don’t callously exploit it either – it is a depletable resource. Work with and nurture the community. You’ll find it can be a very constructive relationship.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
This entry was posted in TiVo. Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.zatznotfunny.com Dave Zatz

    I think you and Davis were instrumental in explaining to TiVo why PayPerPost might not be the most acceptable form or blog/YouTube/Internet outreach. Nice job!

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ megazone

    I’m not sure how much my post/rant helped, but if it helped at all, I’m glad. I love TiVo – I wouldn’t spend so much of my life hunting down news and blogging about them if I didn’t. So it is without malice when I call them on blunders like this. I just hope they learn from it and do better in the future.

  • MickeS

    Is that second to last paragraph a job application? ;)

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ megazone

    Someone said something similar in response on LJ:

    A while back I did pitch something like that to TiVo, around when Sling hired Zatz. It didn’t go anywhere.

    Now – I don’t think I’d do it. I’ve been blogging about TiVo, Sling, et al for too long now. If I went to work for TiVo I’d no longer be able to blog about them the way I do – I’d be under employment agreements, NDAs, etc. And, like it or not, there is always going to be a reluctance to say something bad about your employer, even if you officially have an OK to do so.

    Plus it could be an issue with my blogging about Sling, especially now that EchoStar is buying them.

    If TiVo made an offer, aside from having to consider all the usual (pay, benefits, location, etc), I’d really have to think about giving up blogging. And I’ve found I rather enjoy it, so I don’t think I would.

    And after all the things I’ve said about TiVo, good and bad, working there might be a bit awkward.

  • http://hdtivo.wordpress.com/ HDTiVo

    It would be awful for you. You are far too capable to fit into what that organization has become.

    The closest person to what you describe that TiVo has now is basically a horse’s ass. ;)

    TiVo has destroyed a lot of its good will over a long period of time. There is not so much as we might think anymore.

  • http://hdtivo.wordpress.com/ HDTiVo

    Above I was trying to quote

    And after all the things I’ve said about TiVo, good and bad, working there might be a bit awkward.

  • http://techicservices.com Mr. Leslie McDermott

    Please add a time stamp to the blog post dates

    Les McDermott

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ megazone

    I’ll consider it – any reason in particular you’d like the time stamp?

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ megazone

    Leslie – I added the time stamp.