Today I had a motivating coffee with a close friend. Much of our early conversation was about SMART MOBS the book. Both of us really itching to push boudaries and take product and service concepts concepts well beyond the boundaries outlined in the book; to give SMART MOBS a business building edge.

Then it is not unusual for Tom and I to reflect on stories, the scenarios we write and exploring different concepts as we go. It's an update. We are both passionate about the challenges of the future. Then we discover some fragment or item we have never shared, playing with some new concept and model. Today one emerged as I was hunting for yet another example of how the blogging / publishing community might revolutionize the customer service business.

ANTIPORT traces to 1999. I remember writing it - sort of pounded it out. It was meant to fly in the face of today's customer service practices. Antiport suggests that smart mobs can run customer feedback systems. What's more perhaps today with a more object oriented web the costs and programs maybe ready to enable it!

I beleive it was brash and bold then. From marketing PR to seeding a community for customer feedback. Let me know what you think. I'll be watching to see if anyone registers www.antiport.com this time round.

Imagine: January 21, 2003 (updated) News headlines around the world…...
Antiport Flys New Format for Landing Consumer Feedback
Today the largest mass registration in the history of Internet names took place. The top 10000 companies worldwide have a new conscience. Today, Antiport.com spent $1m and registered 10000 urls including antiibm.com, antitoyota.com, antige.com, anti….anything important…and they plan on making a new business out of customer complaints. What’s more they are giving the business away!

Marketplace for Customer Feedback
So how does it work? Antiport is a new marketplace, the market for customer feedback. Antiport began by giving away 10000 opportunities to take over the customer feedback function for the largest companies on earth. Each antisite will run a similar franchised feedback model capturing and reporting on key customer feedback. The antisite will pay five percent of all revenue received to Antiport. Antisites are all employee owned and gain shares and vest over three years in the Antiport based on the volume of organizational and community feedback they support. As this feedback network grows, so will the value of Antiport shares. Antiport appears to have adopted the successful SAIC ownership model. Potentially anyone can register an unregistered anti-site and working to the open standards gain approval and membership. This may become the ultimate recruit yourself business.

Handling the complaint virus!

But it doesn’t stop there. Antiport is simply anti bad services and products. And the best remedy isn’t just forgetting about it but making problems transparent. When you register a complaint with the relevant antisite, as a consumer you get some additional choices; you can share it with a “pass this one on” list of your friends or contacts, you can also add to that the “activist list” automatically forwarding your complaint / request to a random sample of interested parties. Then there is the follow-up list. Having put in a complaint you can follow similar items, etc. Each one provides metrics, and a call back to the community for discussion and remedies. This is because the founders believe that these “cold viruses” will make poor performance transparent. As consumers we can expect better responses. Companies that fail to respond will probably end up on the anti-port black list. Now would you buy a product from one of those? It’s rumored that deals with bizrate, epinions, revbox and dealtime are also pending.

Lower Costs, Improved value creation
With the announcement 25 fortune 500 companies announced from today that their feedback functions were outsourced to these new antisite consumer communities. In reality their customer service departments just started their own businesses. Long term the new services are expected to provide customer feedback for a lower cost. So now, for the first time those receiving the complaint will have ownership in running it down and reporting on it and getting a remedy. Now that’s a lot better than just $10.00 per hour. More importantly Antiport just redefined their job. They are no longer there to hide company problems (How much sooner could we have learned about explorer tires?) but to benefit each of us. No wonder we will leave them a tip --- and that’s different! What happens when it is a pleasure to make a complaint? Now, just think how their shares of the most valuable information on earth will appreciate as consumers adopt this simple new approach. We expect Antiport to be come the news portal for all major consumer complaints.

Antisites all agree to provide for the customer information they collect to their originator for free (eg antiibm.com to ibm.com). Additional customized data required by the company will be completed by Antisite customers at current costs. Additional revenue comes from selling the information to competitors, selling advertising for competitive products, a commission on legal remedies, and running new industry community feedback groups.

For the community too
For smaller companies there are even bigger benefits. A number of groups are registering anti-sites for a collection of local community businesses. For example three people expect to handle all consumer complaints for the businesses in the town of Lafayette California. They are just using the same infrastructure the larger companies use, but there are some twists too. They are providing a follow-up sales service to local contractors, so feedback on their performance is captured. It’s rumored that the best community in the US award will be announced starting in 2005. What’s more it is tied in with scorecard.org.

Of course it won’t be easy for them to get off the ground. But if you interested and you’ve got a company you think need reforming you best get acquainted with Antiport. The educational materials, on-line training and control systems are all there for you to get qualified and started. Register and hold your Antisite today!

Antiporters will also participate in an audit system exchange, thus learning from other industries and other problem solving situations. Thus at it’s core it provides a Peer to Peer model of learning and collaboration. Interestingly, it may well be the first business that requires no offices anywhere! The core web system is completely web enabled, reducing communications costs.

The antisite approach is currently available in 13 languages and confirmed operable in 56 countries.

Marketplace for Customer Feedback

Centralized feedback market, - one number- guaranteed follow-up
Distributed Structure Distributed scalability
Transparency - Viral – rapid visibility,
Ownership structure owned by knowledge workers directly involved
Marketplace speeds learnings and provides new opportunities for solutions / community
Industry groups possible – shared learning and new standards
New panels possible

As consumers:
Feedback is used not buried, more likely to improve products and services.
Enable the powerful telling of real stories.
Viral structure will take “bad” feedback to a new level!
Creating a consumer conscience!

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