Today, I got this email from Airbnb about an hour or so after this tweet to which I had to reply.
Alright. Duly noted.
However, I don't appreciate it being guised under 'protection' or 'safety' policy. If you want to warn and make it clear that communication outside of Airbnb means that no protection is offered from Airbnb, that's fine. If you want to talk 'community' then members of a good community should be able to make their own decisions, not forced and dictated upon which is what you're doing. Dictating! I think your product does a great job of guiding me to make what you deem the right decisions. That should suffice. It's obvious that such acts affect airbnb's bottom-line and that's the true purpose of such a policy. That's actually OK.
I just hate when companies take members of their community for idiots and using political tricks to reach their end goal. It comes across hypocritical and as the next generation of corporate companies with innovating products, you're not innovating on business itself. That's disappointing.
If you want to value me as a member of your community, treat me with respect and be honest. How refreshing it would be if this email was less of a threat but more of a polite conversation. I'd appreciate you being straight-up in saying that such actions affect your business model and thus your ability to innovate on an already great product. As a designer and entrepreneur, I'd respect that immensely. Such an approach shows you respect your community and in doing so, your community will respect you and so will I.
Your forceful tactic on the other hand will either drive me to the competitor, encourage negative tweets and or a blog post. But more importantly, I can always, always find ways to by-pass your policies but winning me over with respect goes a long way for your business and community.
I am indeed a valued member. I've operated TheGlint which used Airbnb and now my own home is on Airbnb. I've defended the model and encouraged friends who travel to use it over hotels or your competitors. It's the first place I go to instead of a hotel. However, don't call me a valued member of your community then threaten me immediately after because you obviously don't know what 'valued member' means.
Damian "a valued member of your community"