Your social networking site will be a platform for people to interact, forge connections, and possibly meet in the real world.
Media stories are calling the event “The Moment Of Truth For AirBnB.”
As CEO Brian Chesky noted in a guest article on Techcrunch…
With a single booking, one person’s malicious actions victimized our host and undermined what had been – for 2 million nights – a case study demonstrating that people are fundamentally good.
Communities — online or off — rely on trust and the assumption that “people are fundamentally good.”
Sometimes that trust will be broken.
Now, Airbnb advises hosts to rely on review, communication with potential guests, and even their own gut instincts to avoid problems. I’ve used the service as a guest and a host, and — like any online social platform — you take precautions and risks when interacting with strangers.
Airbnb is taking some steps to beef up its staff and processes to guard against future issues, but where they’ve really dropped the ball is how they are managing their communication.
The Real “Moment Of Truth” For Airbnb
While I understand the risk of online social platforms, any social networking site is a community, and — as the words suggest — communication is core.
Right now, Airbnb’s communication has really been sub par.
Airbnb’s CEO has yet to address the thousands of hosts it relies on directly. No blog posts, no direct messages through the internal system, and nothing on their Facebook page.
Instead, we’re relying on posting like the one on Techcrunch to get updates, instead of getting word directly. A cynic would suggest the company is more focused on talking to investors than to the commnity that built it.
Chesky talks about how important transparency is to the Airbnb community. But transparent shouldn’t mean invisible.