Whininess is one of the Net's more-grating lingua francas, heard everywhere from bad blogs to Web sites dedicated to the hatred of single companies. But it may be at its worst on consumer message boards. We're not against Company X Stinks sites or message boards -- in fact, it's terrific that consumers now have a way to take deep-pocketed companies to the court of public opinion. But as is the norm for human endeavors, the experiences that people want to talk about are mostly bad ones
Wall St. Journal: The Age of Raised Expectations. (subscription required)
Over at their excellent column Real Time, Tim Hanrahan and Jason Fry review the exaggerated behaviors that occur in online communities including eBay. As more and more of us rely on these sites for information, we need to be conscious of natural biases. Whining is a popular sport on many message boards. It's more entertaining than admitting everything was fine (not great, but competent). And at eBay the obsession of some members with maintaining a perfect feedback score has led to some pretty dysfunctional behavior. Watch out for it.