I went to check Smashing and there was a landing page put up instead appealing for readers to buy their eBook...
On the landing page it states:
- This page will be displayed for exactly 24 hours, not longer and it won't appear again.
- We won't allow Smashing Magazine to go out of business.
It looks like they need a bit of cash fast.
I like SmashingMagazine. Quality-wise it has extremely varying content, but there's plenty of quality stuff, too. I hope they can get past the financial bottleneck.
The website is back as before... though I do wonder why they chose to pull all the pages (perhaps for shock value and to draw more eyes and wallets). I do kind of wonder if it was the production and release of their book (as a first time publisher) which caused many of the expenses to put them in such a financial situation.
I saw a slightly different blog post advertising the ebook a few days ago. I had assumed it was a tongue-in-cheek peg to encourage people to grab the ebook, not an actual announcement of financial difficulties. :eek:
I'd put my money there as well, knowing SM. I'm seeing the announcement today btw. I'm betting they're setting a cookie or something to make sure everyone sees it. I can get back to the home page by removing the ebook.html from the address.
Ok, the update on SM is weird...
It started by SM blocking the site to users for 24hrs. I'd never have thought such a drastic step would be taken to "encourage" people to buy the ebook. Aggressive marketing..., to say the least.
Yep, a tongue-in-cheek thing that kinda backfired :rolleyes:
Sounds like the old "Buy this or we will have to close our doors.." sales tactic.
How many extra sales did they get? How much free publicity (e.g. this thread) did they get?
That Smashing Magazine stunt really angered me. I've always been a big promoter of their stuff in the past (especially their great new book) but seriously, talk about losing respect for their customers. You don't make claims about having serious financial issues, shutdown the website to push a paid for PDF that has old articles and then relaunch the website with a retraction disclaiming that there wasn't really much of a problem in the first place. If Smashing Magazine needed more money, why have they still ignored the thousands of pleas from their visitors to offer a PDF version of their book for purchase - for those who don't want a paperback book. It's insulting to their users to encourage such a scheme which act's purely in the capacity of "begging for money" and then upon getting lots of support from their obviously caring visitors they pull a 180 spin and throw out the trust of the people who gave them money out of the idea that the site may be under serious financial distress.
You want a public relations example of how not to run your website... use that for an example, because it seems clear from the mixed messages, poorly implemented scheme to get money out of visitors and then the aftermath (the barrage of visitor comments complaining that they were mislead - effectively a "pooch screw" of their client base), not to mention their inability to deal with the needs of their visitors has left a bitter taste in most peoples mouths. Yes they got free publicity (which has now gone sour), yes they got money (which will probably result in fewer future sales as several people stated their lack of trust in the brand will now determine their unlikeness to purchase from them in the future) but all in all, a very poor way of treating most of us that gave a damn about them.
And three months from now no one will even remember this
I do agree that it was a stunt that failed miserably, the site was never shutdown. I got to the site fine. They were using a cookie/session. I only saw the ad once after reloading the base URL.
I agree in some respects that the move was a bit...slimey.