Godin’s Brands in Public idea hits a snag

Picture 38The launch of Seth Godin’s “Brands in Public” service through Squidoo last week has created quite a bit of conversation.

Brands in Public describes itself as the ultimate (unofficial) web dashboard featuring everything you need to know about what people online are saying about a brand – then encourages you to add your own comments for “debate” and join the conversation through “shout out” forums.

It’s actually a really fascinating site.  Brands in Public even proactively set up more than 200 brands just for the launch of the project.  But they did make a couple of mistakes.  First, they failed to ask the brands for their permission.  Second, they told the brands in order to maintain control of their dashboard they would have to pay $400 per month for the service.

While companies obviously recognize the importance of monitoring online conversations about their brand, turns out they don’t really want to make it quite so easy for the rest of us to read up on them in such a concise “unofficial” manner – and be required to pay for it.

Godin has quickly back peddled and agreed to remove the brands that were created without permission but will maintain the website as an opt-in.  Several high-profile brands remain active on the site including Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Ford Motor Company.  Visit Brands in Public to read more or to start a brand profile.  Visit Seth’s blog to read his apology.

(EDITORS NOTE:  The site pages for Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Ford Motor Company have all been removed since the original posting of this story.  The following links still remain as of 9/28/09 – Home Depot, Allstate, Molson and Mini Cooper.

Click here to visit Brands in Public