Whose Laundry Is It Anyway: Part 2

by Marianne Richmond on September 9, 2006

In another laundry related social network, Whirlpool has announced an off-line social networking event they are calling Spin Cycle. Of course there is an online feature. The Spin Cycle theme is based upon the premise stated on PROMO that "One never knows the connections that can be made when singles get together to do the laundry." You know the one about "finding your match at the Laundromat."

As an aside, I have found it difficult these days to find a laundromat when necessitated by back-from-camp disgusting sleeping bags too large (and too disgusting) for at home washers and dryers. They seemed to have gone the way of the proverbial DoDo bird. But nonetheless….

Finding Your Perfect Match author Dr. Pepper Schwartz is the host of the events. There are laundry games. One is actually called, Find Your Sole Mate. And if you don’t, I understand you can still win Whirlpool Fabric Freshners and a copy of Dr. Schwartz’ book.

 Finding your perfect match, in love and laundry? They tell us that "there is a perfect someone and a perfect Whirlpool washer & dryer for you" and that if you are wondering why the "Whirlpool brand and Perfectmatch.com have teamed up, well, it is "to help you find that perfect match in both love and laundry." Of course.

Now, Whirlpool conducted a survey that had 350,000 responses and asked people if they were "folders" or "washers." The theory being that a "folder" would be most compatible in a relationship with a "washer." Now, being divorced myself, I admit possible bias on issues of compatibility, but the "folder" and "washer" theory does seem to leave out a rather large segment, "neither."

 Andrea Learned writing about the Whirlpool event on Marketing Profs Daily Fix says that Whirlpool found that "half of Americans consider themselves "washers," most of whom are looking for a "folder" to complement their lives." Well, it does say "consider themselves." Also, as Andrea points out, Whirlpool paid for the "laundry focused" survey and as we all know, research answers must be viewed in the context of the question. At the end of her post, Andrea wondered if matchmaking and appliances were a bit of a disconnect. I would say so.

And the target? It would seem to be single people since it is about finding your perfect match. On their web site they say, "home-owning bachelorette or the head of a blended family." The head of a blended family? I thought blended family meant what resulted when two formerly married people with children from previous marriages, got married. Well, the promotion is called Spin Cycle.

To participate, "Guests will be required to register for a free basic Perfectmatch.com membership." So, to review: Register with an online dating service, go to an event and play some networking games; sing karaoke duets and "tinker" with the Whirlpool Duet Washer and Dryer; and faster than you can say, "Is this for real?" people will make emotional connections?ÂÂ

Well, some people think so. Audrey Reed-Granger, director of marketing at Whirlpool says, "As part of that connection, Whirlpool is expecting people to find their perfect match in love and in laundry in that one evening,"

And there you have it. One upon a time in marketing, there were two kinds of people, folders and washers……and they lived happily every after with their perfect matches knowing that now that Whirlpool owns Maytag, the Maytag repairman would not be so darn lonely.

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Whose Laundry Is It Anyway? Part 1: Saving Face{book}

by Marianne Richmond on September 9, 2006

Lots going on in the world of social networking…as most everyone has probably heard Facebook made an announcement earlier this week heralding what they thought was a major innovation.

They announced two new features, Mini-feed and News Feed. Max Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder said these new features would change the "Encyclopedic interface" of Facebook into something more like an RRS feed of information about the user’s friends that appears on the user’s homepage and lets the world (or FacebookWorld) know what they are doing in real time; the mini is, as the name implies, a smaller version that appears on the profile page and shows information only about that person.

In other words, one’s personal laundry, clean or dirty would be hanging right out there for everyone to read. As Time notes, "{It} looks like a glitzy laundry list. It chronicles every action a user’s friends have recently taken on Facebook…the mundane…the boring…the juicy. And in case it matters, each action is time-stamped to the minute."

According to Techcrunch, "Like everything on Facebook, both of these products are subject to the standard Facebook privacy settings. This means only people you allow to view this data will be able to see it. What appears is based on whoÂÂ

you are, who they are and what rules are set" The Facebook Blog noted that, "These features are not only different from anything we’ve had on Facebook before, but they’re quite unlike anything you can find on the web."

And the reaction was quite different that anything Facebook had ever anticipated. "Calm Down. Breathe. We Hear You," was the title of the next Facebook announcement. I can only assume that these words were directed internally as well as externally.

A group was formed by Northwestern student Ben Parr, Students Against Facebook News Feeds (their Boomer parents should be proud) and by the day after the announcement they had 60,000 members; a Digg blurb says as of 9/7 there were 425,000 signatures…one can’t sign or even see the petition unless you are a member of Facebook, so I am only referencing Digg, not verifying the number.

Time Magazine reported that there was another online petition that is currently showing 108,290 signatures. Time ended their story with a comment that Gen Y had learned how to organize. Indeed. As Somewhat Frank noted, "There is also a call to "boycott" Facebook on September 12th".

The next announcement from Max Zuckerberg started out with the following words: " We really messed this one up…." It was a BIG apology and better still, he apologized and fixed the problem. With a bit of a face save, no less….

"This may sound silly, but I want to thank all of you who have written in and created groups and protested. Even though I wish I hadn’t made so many of you angry, I am glad we got to hear you. And I am also glad that News Feed highlighted all these groups so people could find them and share their opinions with each other as well."

So, privacy wins, Facebook wins, transparency wins…laundry ownership wins.

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