Ubermarketingguruguy Seth Godin has sold a gazillion copies of his books, and has had his e-books downloaded ten gazillion times. The trouble is, according to Jeff Jarvis and Doc Searls, that they (his readers and customers) hate the format his e-books are in.
“Seth Godin is the god of listening to your customer, giving your customer what your customer wants, giving your customer something extra, making your customer feel special. But for some reason, he refuses to give many of us customers what we want: HTML. I ranted about it again and again. No response then.” (the full rant from Jeff)
“Have I made it clear I hate .pdfs? I do. Says here ‘our PDFs don’t suck.’ Because they’re beautiful and ‘a joy to read.’ Excuse me, they do suck if what they contain isn’t also on the Web in relatively ugly but open, unowned, nonproprietary, standard and non-infuriating HTML…” – (the full rant from Doc)
So, Seth does the right thing and replies, publicly. Unfortunately, he completely dissed his customer in doing so.
“Anyway, we use PDFs because they’re a lot more booklike. They read better. They stick together when you forward them. They print better. I know they’re not in HTML. There are 6 trillion other web pages to choose from if you want that.”
Wow. Translation: “I’m going to keep doing things this way because it’s better for me this way, and you, Mr. Customer, can go somewhere else if you don’t like it.”
We here at The Social Customer Manifesto would also like to humbly point out that this page is created with 100% HTML, for the convenience of those customers who prefer it.