By Paul Pannone
The debate of whether wedding websites can flourish as a business continues, despite findings and detailed statements made in 2010 by a whistle-blower who announced the flaws and denounced sustainability of the business model.
In 2010 David Fuhrer announced;
“Wedding websites as a business are unsustainable. Websites are a necessary part of any successful business but not the business itself.”
Führer’s statement and story had profound impact on the wedding business causing a reaction to skepticism towards wedding websites. Many business owners curtailed or even abandon supporting them. Since 2010 many business owners have shifted resources into their own local traffic, updating websites and creating their own Social Media campaigns. No data or conclusion of whether the move is working exists but no one disputes that it’s not working; eWNz continues to investigate.
In 2011 Fuhrer updated his statement to include progress and changes he saw happening, as the story progressed;
“The event community has been through significant changes in the last 3+ years. We’ve learned much about lead systems, advertising means and various forms of support from the so-called “reputable” sites that promise us the ability to share feedback constructively. Today we are more aware and are selective with which sites will prove to support customer service in a fair manner. I wonder what type of person or department, if applicable, is even trained or old enough to know the truth from an opinion.
Let’s stick together and allow the long haul of each vendor (at least a chance). Wedding advertising sites are NOT gaining momentum, they are losing. This reason alone is a major one; not to mention the ones that suggested after their termination and destruction of such sites that their leads don’t work. If you had the ability to change the sites to work with ethical standards which ones would you change first?”
Fuhrer, now works outside the wedding business but stays connected through his participation in the Wedding Water Cooler.
Fuhrer and other members following the coverage of Samantha Goldberg’s fight with Wedding Wire discuss the flawed system of ratings and consumer reviews saying the debate will eventually sway to the side of paying vendors who are now leaving the website.
Bitchless Bride salutes all the brides and review sites that foster and huddle in hostile communities to extort business owners.
Bloggers and industry sources with no ax to grind are picking up on the story and not mincing words in their coverage. Bitchless Bride wrote about Wedding Wire, their views and how they felt about consumers– brides– having Carte Blanche to abuse everyone associated with their wedding. BB puts brides on notice but we caution those of you with an aversion to four-letter words; take a deep breath before you read their entire post.
“BUT, if you think you are going to get away with killing our livelihood by slamming us on Yelp or Weddingwire.com, then we need to take this shit outside. Do you even realize that? Do you? That your ONE bad review can literally take money out of our pockets?”
The post by BB represents the growing unrest against websites and all other vehicles that allow disgruntled consumers to vent without proper moderation.
In our continued investigation both vendors and consumers are split in an ongoing poll. Many say they understand the flawed system where the likelihood of a bad review is greater than a good review; the results do not accurately reflect the true standing of a vendor.
Repeated invitations to Wedding Wire and its owners, The Catalyst Group, to comment remain ignored.
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