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Human Companies are Trustworthy Companies

I was poking around Flickr early on a Saturday evening, when I came to their do more with your photos page. It points visitors to places for doing cool things with Flickr photos, like making photo books, stamps, and DVDs.

Then, I noticed the URL:

"Hmm," I wondered, "What happens if I change the URL?"

I was rewarded with this:

... which brought a big smile to my face. Little easter eggs like this put a human face on a company, reward curious visitors, and make customers more inclined to spread the love about the company.

Why spread the love? Because a faceless corporation wouldn't waste its time making a fun easter egg, but a thoughtful person would. And who would you rather trust with your business, a faceless corporation, or a thoughtful person?

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Comments (Post | Latest)

1. Brian Ivanovick said on Dec 21 2005:

I think Flickr has the luxury of being all fun and goofy because it fits with the brand. You're right, in this case, it makes me want to use their product and support them more than I currently do. (Which is not at all.)

My point is that not all businesses should do this. I wouldn't feel nearly as warm and fuzzy if I was online banking and my bank's website said "pay what smartypants?" I want them to be all cold and business-like because they have my life savings in their hands!

2. kareem said on Dec 21 2005:

Ha! Good point.

I still think it's possible to put a human face on a bank, though. Here's an example: I went to the Bank of America recently to cash a check, and it was an unpleasant experience. The room was cavernous, there was no music playing, the light was dim, the tellers were behind bulletproof glass, and the staff was unhelpful.

Since the tellers weren't helpful, we walked across the street to Wells Fargo, which had cozy furniture, christmas music playing, warm lighting, friendly and helpful staff (the guard pulled up a chair for me to sit in because I was standing!), and no bulletproof glass.

It comes down to corporate culture, and certainly depends on the industry you're in.

I'd still argue, though, that people want to do business with people, rather than faceless corporations. Anything that can be done to make your company seem human (whether it's fun easter eggs or a welcoming environment or something else) is a Good Thing.


Hi, I'm Kareem Mayan. I co-founded eduFire, an online video tutoring company.

I've done time at ESPN and FIM.

I advise WorldBlu, helping them build democratic companies.

I moderated a council for Creative Good.

And, I helped bring Barcamp, a technology un-conference, to LA, which is where I live. I am now living and working in cool cities around the world.

More about me.

Opinions stated here are mine alone.

Contact: blog -at- reemer


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