Nora Abousteit: Burdastyle In Uproar!

Nora Abousteit, co-founder of the social media sewing website Burdastyle, offers the lessons learned from a recent uproar of users on the site.

Burda Style, which I profiled three years ago in the IHT has been built out of the traditional but highly innovative German media company, Hubert Burda Media. (Burda organizes DLD, the conference that I am attending.)

Their model is to allow people to enhance and redistribute the sewing patterns that they produce. The issue that arose came out of Nora’s decision to start charging for the sewing patterns. A number of users rebelled vociferously, but – as Nora explains – the situation eventually calmed down.

The experience holds a number of lessons for companies trying out social media strategies for the first time: Stay the course and be true to your vision. The loudest voices are not necessarily the most influential. Usually it is the rational majority that will prevail.