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Friday, May 06, 2005

Community Failure

I've recently been turned on to the idea of businesses developing communities around their products or services. When companies are open with their customers, and communicate with them, they develop a strong community of faithful consumers.
Today I felt like a community I've been a part of for quite some time failed me. See, I'm a huge sports fan, and I've counted myself as a member among the probably millions of the community of The Worldwide Leader in Sports. It all started when I came across an article about the impact of the NBA in Turkey by Chad Ford (we'll see how long the link works, it appears it may end up in their members only section). My wife's cousin is married to a current NBA player who got into the league by playing overseas, including Turkey. His success there lead him to where he is now in the NBA. I thought this might be a neat angle for Chad's story, so I wanted to send him an email. I searched all over the page for his email address, and was unable to find it. I poked around the website until I came to this.
Needless to say this is not a good way to develop community, and I was highly disappointed. I don't know how it's going to affect my loyalty to ESPN, and to many it won't seem like a big deal, but I wanted to contribute to the community today, and my effort was blocked. Maybe I'll poke around SI.com tomorrow or FoxSports.com and see if either of them are interested in hearing my two cents because that's the kind of community I want to be a part of.