Unplug Your Nose
Some users are out to destroy you. Some users want you to fail. Some users would like to crush your business. They hate you. They hate your web site. They don't like you. They don't like your company. They are poisonous, vengeful, and twisted.
And they're smart.
"Evil" people are just as smart, if not more smart, than "good" people. Come on, you know this is true.
Unfortunately, what you think is evil might be perfectly good to someone else. Conversely, what you think is good, might be evil. To make matters worse, you cannot be a mind reader. And, you cannot please every customer. In fact, you will not be able to satisfy every customer. It is an impossible task.
That is why you must try to understand your users as much as possible. Both good and bad.
You really need to know who hates you. You must probe. You must seek out your evil users by their stench. They leave behind a trail that is hard to miss. Yet, many companies and web developers decide to avoid the smell. Humans seek to avoid what they do not like. But, mark my words, it is sometimes necessary to rummage through the garbage pile.
And remember, data can still golden even if it is hidden in dung.
They are many ways that users can be evil and twisted.
The important point is that there are many ways evil folks can wipe you out. I'm sure you are thinking of several evil users right now. You don't want to be totally paranoid, but prevention and a bit of intelligence can go a long way.
Like everything else in the world, there is usually evil lurking beyond the next turn. When people hear "customer loyalty" they instantly have positive feelings. Most companies seek to have customer loyalty. They want users to pay close attention to their work, their site, their moves. Customer loyalty always yields profit and repeat sales. That's the logic...
Yeah right. "Always" can be a dirty word.
Some users will be loyal to you so that they can crush you. So that they can make you feel small. So they can leak bad news to the press about your operations. Recently BlueOvalNews got into hot water with Ford Motor Company because they were telling the world about how bad Ford was. They were very loyal to Ford...but in an evil way. At least to Ford.
As I said above, folks love dirty laundry and terrible news. Train wrecks, plane crashes, and nuclear disasters make the nightly news. Broken marriages, criminal activity, and acts of violence are popularized in movies and talk shows. People eat it up. Evil is often cool. It attracts people.
Your web site is vulnerable to the evil users of the world. It is open to evil activity. It is a target rich environment, and if your armor is weak, people will destroy you. The bigger you are, the more people will be loyal too. Think about Microsoft. There are plenty of web sites and evil people watching Microsoft. (However, Microsoft has some insulation: money...and an installed base.)
Remember that "evil" is in the mind of your users. What you think is evil, might be good for customers. It is your job to understand what makes users tick. It is your job to turn the evil to good. Or, in some circumstances, let yourself be turned to the dark side.
Please remember that users stink. Seek out the putrid scent they leave behind. Pour over the garbage they try to hide. Hunt them down like dogs. They are evil! Yet, be cautious. You need to know who is really good and who is really evil. Judgment is difficult...
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