When technology writer Dennis Howlett accused SAP of spamming him a year ago, his accusation was rebutted by one of their social media strategy team. Fast forward and we find that same strategist changing his tune.
Lesson: You can dismiss critics as cranks or curmudgeons and you may be right, but it's better for your sanity and your business if you take an objective look and see if they have a point. After all, they're on the receiving end.
There's also a lesson in the episode itself which only really caught my attention since it contrasted so much with the praise heaped on the SAP Developer Network 2003 in my current reading, The Power Of Pull.
Whereas in 2003, SAP were seeking to engage the opinions of their customer base, in 2009/10 they seem to be back to pushing information at them. I don't know if I'm right, but I suspect this may have something to do with the lingering pre-eminence of sales staff who are remunerated on revenues rather than the more intangible customer support service. Continued sales are the ultimate goal of all marketing, but when sales starts to drive marketing you are going to run into problems.
Lesson: Sales occur when the buyer wants to buy. So when the going gets tough, tough it out. Don't default to lowest common denominator tactics.