Monday, March 05, 2012

FUD Farming

FUD Farming: the practice of selling expertise based, primarily or solely, on negative (or FUD) based messaging.

I'd like to include a new term into the lexicon: FUD Farming.  Over the years I've seen the following attempt to sell used over and over again
X is a complete and utter disaster, X will lead to the destruction of modern society and ultimately Armageddon.  X doesn't work like it should, you really don't want to use it, none of your competitors are using it and if you do use it how do you know it won't cause everything else that you have to stop working?
FUD as a term is apparently over 90 years old (as is my Gran, happy 92nd Birthday for tomorrow Gran) and has a rich and ignoble history in IT.  However what I've noticed with the wave of social media 'experts' and specialist consultancies that FUD appears to be the only thing they are selling.  I receive emails with headings like
Do you know that your employees are sharing sensitive information on Facebook
How competitors are using Twitter to damage your brand
How Social Media is undermining your current marketing strategy
Almost all the messages and lead paragraphs are plain old FUD and the answer is of course to employ the expert/specialist consultancy who really understand this FUD and can therefore help you. Its this approach which I'd like to christen FUD Farming which  allows us to call such individuals "FUD Farmers", these are the individuals whose primary or indeed only approach to selling is based around creating FUD, throwing it around as fact and then utilising that as the way to solve the problem that didn't really exist in the first place.  This later is a critical point, most of the FUD comes down in the end to 'have a sensible engagement policy that is communicated to your staff' or 'your staff are doing this, you can't stop them so educate them' and guess what here is just the $$$ course to do that.  Of course as a company you knew that already but thanks to the FUD you've been sold a pup by the FUD Farmer.

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