PainPoint is a new program available from, um, I think Microsoft or some start-up that maybe MSFT is about to buy, I didn't quite get the specifics. Like PowerPoint, it's fairly easy to use, but dumbs down thought.
PainPoint is a fabulous new interactive software tool that enables you to manage your customers with alacrity and simulated concern and leads to optimalization of suppression techniques for massive customer conflict.
Here's how PainPoint works -- it's proprietary but has lots of customizable modules.
1. To get started, conceive of a drastic and painful measure that will boost your bottom line, and have the austere brilliance and will to execute it flawlessly, without divergence. If you have trouble coming up with ideas like this, we have another software package, Machiavelli, which enables you to prototype and map various YouRule scenarios that will help you devise the right decision.
2. Announce the harsh decision on a Friday night before the weekend when you have only a skeleton staff, or the night before you yourself leave on holiday.
3. Close comments on your corporate blog, and siphon comments off to a forums, which is heavily moderated.
4. Let people howl and scream and carry on about your harsh decision. Have some minions periodically arrive and say soothingly they are listening, or they sympathize, but they are waiting for instructions. Let the forums go for 1500 -- 2500 -- even 3500 entries is not too many for a PainPoint thread -- promise you will "read every one" and sound as if you mean it.
5. Allow existing or newly-created inworld groups to vent, complain, hate, screech, spread disinformation -- but strategically select one or two very visible community members who symbolize the issue and knock them down hard if they use the "F" word or step out of line. Then appear to have succumbed under community pressure to be lenient on that community leader's punishment -- or to blame a subordinate for the penalizing and apologize.
6. Hold an impromptu fireside chat, and strike a pose of weary contemplation and burden with the world's problems, soliciting "help" in "solving our mutual problem" from your angry customers, whom you now treat as bosom friends at your hospital bedside.
7. Externalize, globalize, universalize the problem. The problem isn't, say, evil leaders with bad policies on food or health care who cause little children to starve, the problem is "global hunger" or "poor nutrition" which is like the weather, and has no address or agent. Externalized forces of Nature like "lag" or "networks" or "the Internet bottlenecks" can be invoked as an agentless phenomenon, much like a hurricane, that we must "all work together as a community" to solve.
8. Divide the community. Figure out which responses are the most radical, which are the most moderate, and which are your most conservative loyal sycophants thinking your PainPoint decision is "right," and then play them all off against each other. You can maintain 24/7 capacity with PainPoint, which can quickly pull key words and repetitive phrases for you, tag community members, red-flag rabble-rousers and portray to you in real time a dynamic "picture" of "where this is all going". Plant firmly in everyone's minds the idea that "some people" have overused the resources and broken the rules and "sadly" we will "all have to pay".
9. Remain starkly silent when some community journalists attempt to play "gotcha" and "hypocrite" and try to accuse you of the very thing that you are accusing the community members of doing. Remain silent for a good long time. Let them blog, rant, rave, post Flickr photos. On about day 3, come forward and say, "But those were never openspace sims, those were full-prim sims, it's merely that our Moles prototyped them and built them on OS sims and moved them."
10. Use PainPoint's sentence-generating feature, which enables you to move the slider on "Vague" and "Unspecific" and "Future Points in Time" to come up with "solutions" that can spread along a continuum of "Maybe, If You're Good" to "Not On Your Life, Even Until the Heat-Death of the Sun". Make it appear that you are making a reluctant and even sorrowful "promise" that in fact states nothing whatsoever.
11. Continue to seed through long posts, chats, groups, blogs actual phrases that say exactly what you will do, which remains unchanging and unswerving from your PainPoint No. 1 state, but swathe them in yards of cotton batting that makes it appear as if you *might* change your mind.
12. Issue another blog or two that makes it appear that you have "backed down" after "considering the painpoints of the community" -- but change nothing.
13. You've now got a set of data that shows the community's key painpoints -- numbers, tags, vectors, profiles. You'll see a rich set of cues that will show you a) who will break b) when they will break c) why they will break d) what they will break over. At this point, you may want to adjust *one little thing* unrelated to your original harsh decision. This might be something like "we will provide you with new ways to monitor your OS performance so you do not overload the sim," but without changing a thing about the new pricing structure.