For background on the Cooks Source magazine fiasco from last week, see my post here. For today’s update, see John Bredehoft’s post: The new Cooks Source tactic – blame Facebook, and praise the non-existent Western New England Food Bank.
Lots of other posts on the internet have analyzed the half-hearted nature of the apology. I have two observations to contribute.
Cooks Source is now a victim of copyright infringement — In addition to blaming Facebook for most of the problem, the magazine now claims to be the victim of copyright infringement. How could that possible be? The items posted on Facebook (which appears to be the Facebook previously controlled by the magazine and not a spoof site set up by someone else –trust me, you need to check out the background described above!) are the old copies of the magazine. The Cooks Source web site now says those postings were done without their permission and therefore constitute copyright infringement. On the other hand, these were available at the start of the fiasco, according to a variety of postings, which makes it hard to grasp how they could have been hacked. My point is the apparent perp of copyright infringement is claiming to be a victim now.
Speed of response in social media era — One particular lesson to be learned is the importance of moving fast compared to the magazine’s horribly slow response time. This statement from Cooks Source today is their first substantive response I am aware of. This thing started about mid-day on Thursday, 11-4. Thirty six hours later, at the time of my first post, thousands of bloggers had been pounding Cooks Source repeatedly for a long time. This was beyond viral on Friday evening –what is the word for when something is an order of magnitude beyond viral? After approximately 5 days of saying nothing, the web site reports a sort-of apology. That is an eternity in the social media age. The lesson we should take to heart is that when there is a disaster, you had better give a real apology and you had better do it really, really fast.
The apology on the Cooks Source web site can be seen here.