How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Relinquish Control (21 Jun 2005)
Relinquishing control is becoming a requirement in all aspects of Internet businesses. Customers demand RSS feeds so that they can have information brought to them, on their time, and in their tool of choice. Tags and folksonomies shift organizational control to users. Customers are generating content on message boards and blogs. Craig Newmark of the shockingly popular Craigslist regularly polls his membership on core issues of his business.
Relinquishing control is a scary prospect because it diminishes certainty. With control comes predictable outcomes that you can bank on. But in this increasingly complex, messy, and option-filled world, we must acknowledge that our customers hold the reins. Attempts to control their experience will lead to abandonment for the less onerous alternative. What we can do is provide the best tools and content that they can fit into their lives, and their ways.
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