Malfunctioning technology, brown water, poisoned dogs and sub-par hotels got more attention during the 2014 Winter Olympics than figure skating, downhill skiing, ice hockey and snowboarding. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. We love to dish on negative news, and social media has allowed us to spread the cheer instantaneously. Case in point: the parody Twitter account @SochiProblems — created to document the difficult living situations in the Sochi Olympic Village — had 70,000 more followers than the official @Sochi2014 Olympic Twitter account. Lesson learned? Businesses can turn rotten water into a golden river by tapping into the attraction of controversy and negativity. Many forward-thinking retailers already are ahead of the game when it comes to addressing bad reviews or complaints head-on, rather than head-in-the-sand. “It’s important for business owners to join the conversation with their customers by responding — diplomatically of course — to their reviews,” said Darnell Holloway, Senior Manager of Local Business Outreach at Yelp, in a Q&A with Retail TouchPoints.