We do not think the frequently used phrase “feedback” adequately describes what the conversational interaction between individuals and businesses is and what it should be. Guess that means we have a dispute with Webster and other dictionaries/wikis.

If you take the time to research “feedback” one quickly finds the term primarily involves various automated engineered systems. That is our first gripe – the concept that somehow individual people are puppets or robots when doing our communications.

  • We much prefer the concept that when we take out time to provide thoughtful words that they are the result of human beings exercising our thinking abilities. We like “flacking” because as you give flack, you get cash.

In the engineered systems world, you have “inputs” into processes which produce “feedback” enabling the processes to be improved. So, somehow, years ago, consumer researchers decided that the similarity (enabling process to be improved) could also be applied to human reactions / emotions. Of course copying an engineering concept helped them to sell more research studies. Today practically every business has some sort of customer “feedback” mechanisms (cards left in motel rooms & eating places, satisfaction study on emails, comments on Facebook & Google, warranty cards, the lists go on and on). Human behavior scientists also now use the concept of “feedback” in describing behavior and emotions.

  • Our second gripe is the term “feedback” seems entirely unfit for 21st century human communications and far afield from it’s mechanical systems origins. Giving “flack” which can mean either positive and negative depending upon context is more explicit.
  • Third gripe is that individuals should be rewarded for their effort in providing “flack”. You ask why – the answer is simply because businesses will gladly pay and reward you for taking your time to share your thoughts. Think of this as equivalent to the “thank you” that a century ago was received by great-grandparents before over 95% of business became dominated by large corporations whose multiple level management has not clear and unobstructed way to hear from consumers.
  • Fourth gripe is that “feedback” has really become “a rumbling, whining, or whistling sound resulting from an amplified or broadcast signal” which is almost entirely ignored by business management influencers whom can really get things changed for the better. So, providing such more “ignored stuff” would be expected to yield little in the way of improvements. Sending them some “flack” to us is a better approach.

The noun “flack” likely was first used by a Hollywood movie studio press agent (Gene Flack) in early 20th century. It became known through common usage as one who provides publicity, flattery, promotion and to more generally publicize. Early on a “flacker” was one who made official announcements which were usually positive. In later usage some characterized the “flacker” as one who was “slick” and turned situations into their own advantage. We like the concept of our members being press agents to provide informational inputs to businesses.

Flackr is intended to represent (as press agent) both the abundant love notes from adoring consumers and the antiaircraft fire (as experienced by the crews of combat airplanes at which the fire is directed from artillery below) of outraged consumers who have a bad experience.

We added the “r” to Flack as to indicate all members as active “flacking” participants.