Where has the professionalism gone?

I found out about the FeedDemon Newsgator deal because I was looking through my feeds yesterday catching up on news. The first thing I did was check my email to see if there was some sort of announcement from Nick. Nothing. The next thing I did was contact a couple of people who I know have TopStyle licenses but do not use RSS aggregators. If I hadn’t told them, they wouldn’t know. They aren’t happy since some of them went through this same thing with HomeSite. The next day Nick makes a post, starting off with this:

Yes, it’s true: NewsGator has acquired FeedDemon and TopStyle, and brought me on board in the process.

Perhaps my age is showing (I’m not 40 yet) but to me, that is so unprofessional. Clients should have been told first, period. Not everyone uses RSS. Not everyone would think to look in the places the news was announced. What happened to professionalism? When money is exchanged it is a business transaction and there should be some professionalism in how things are handled. It’s great to integrate blogs into the business environment but it shouldn’t be at the expense of professionalism and catering to client needs. There has to be balance so business owners can properly conduct business.

Let’s take a broader example…if your mortgage was sold to another company, would you want to find out about it directly from your bank or on the web? If your employer changed hands, would you like to find out about it from your employer, the new company or on the web? If you have a Bank of America or Wachovia account would you like to find out about the recent security breach on the web or from the bank directly? See the pattern?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Nick and I do believe that he thinks he’s doing the right thing but that doesn’t excuse not formally notifying clients about this change. Especially since this is the second time some users are going through this.

I also want to say that I feel that Newsgator handled this in a professional manner. They have a press release on their site, they have FeedDemon added to their current offerings (as coming soon). For Newsgator clients, they did exactly what they were supposed to do and I commend them on that. Other sites reported it because Newsgator has a formal press release on their site. This missing piece is that Nick should have had one on his site, the day before not the day after, since FeedDemon/TopStyle users are the ones that are facing the biggest change.

I’m hoping that business owners remember their clients and put their needs first. Clients deserve to be informed first and their questions answered. Happy customers will spread the word and give all the publicity a business needs.