Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Those are the five stages of grief. Welcome to acceptance. But first there are a couple of things that I need to say.
It'll be fine. It'll blow over.
Every time I read "it'll blow over" I find myself right back at anger.
No, this debacle will not blow over. It must not be allowed to blow
over. I have too much respect for the people who work at GS to allow
all their hard work to be destroyed in this spasm of stupid.
In my past life as an I/S consultant, my specialty was in salvaging
development projects gone horribly wrong. The first step always
involved an After Action Review. What went wrong? What did we learn?
How do we make sure it never happens again?
Someone here messed up. That's bad.
The customer got involved. That's potentially terminal for an
Now C|Net not only needs to find and fix their problem, but they need to
do it publicly. They won't like it and they'll fight it, but they still
need to do it. This is the price you pay for involving the customer.
You don't want my opinion? Don't get me involved in your screw-ups.
How do we fix this? How do we make sure this never happens again?
And there's the 800 pound gorilla in the room. How does C|Net fix the
problems they've created at GameSpot?
I don't know, and I don't think C|Net knows either, but I do have a few
suggestions for them.
Sit down and talk to the staff at GameSpot. Listen to them.
Address the morale problem or expect to relive these last ten days all over again when the next staff member leaves.
Communicate to your customers early, often and only through the editors at GameSpot. Your PR staff is ill equipped to speak with your customers. So far, they've done you no favors. If you can't listen to this advice and insist on having someone from C|Net communicate with the GS community, I suggest the first words out of their mouth be "We apologize". Come to think of it, a blanket apology to the paid subscriber base seems like a good idea.
Do not delude yourselves into thinking you can just let this "blow over".
I have more suggestions (like throwing bushel baskets of money at Greg, Carrie and Rich to get them back), but I doubtC|Net islistening anyway.
All we can do now is wish Jeff the best of luck, show our support to the staff that remains at GameSpot and wait for C|Net to get their act together.