I read an article in a recent issue of Success magazine the other day where Guy Kawasaki offers 10 tips for startups. I'll admit I didn't really know who Guy Kawasaki was. In fact, I don't think I'd really heard of him. But I the article was good (read it online here) and I thought I might buy one of his books also. So the next day when someone retweeted something from him, I figured I would follow him on Twitter as well.
Following Guy Kawasaki on Twitter lasted just over 24 hours. Why? Because of repeated tweets. Guy seemed to be posting the same links over and over and since I try to read everything that is posted on Twitter by the people I follow, I found it nothing short of spam. For the first handful of repeated tweets I figured that it was probably just an error, either by Twitter or by an API he was using. But then I discovered this:
Long story short, Guy has decided that he should post his tweets four times, eight hours apart to ensure maximum coverage and click convergence. And if you don't like it, you should go to the source or just unfollow him.
Yes, I know Twitter is an open service and that users, without breaking the terms of service, are free to use it as they see fit. But the general consensus is that you shouldn't use Twitter as your RSS feed. Furthermore, like good content is to natural SEO, the best way to ensure followers read your posts is to make sure your posts are worth reading. And that you aren't spamming people. If you have good things to say people will seek out your stuff.
So Guy Kawasaki might have lots of followers at any one point in time, but I'd be curious to know what his turnover is like. And for the record, I've decided against buying any of his books -- I don't need advice from someone more concerned about how many people are hearing his message for a true messiah is happy if he's helped just one person.
It's funny. I've been a Roger's wireless customer for almost four years. It's actually been longer, more like seven or eight years (with a switch to Telus in between) but in the recent past it's been four years. That may not seem like a long time but in terms of financial impact it's actually huge because for three of those four years I was the decision maker for a corporate account. And a corporate account that spent a lot of money.
In any case, Rogers seems to have forgotten that inside sales, that is, sales that come from existing customers, is bigger than new customers. Whether those new customers are brand new mobile customers or customers coming from another provider, those customers are, nine times out of ten, looking for a deal. Existing customers like me, well we're looking for a deal but we're here. But we are also willing to spend. Yet when it comes to keeping us happy, it's a full FAIL.
As I mentioned, I've been a Rogers customer in one form or another for at least four years so when my current device, a BlackBerry Bold 9000, crapped out I thought they'd take care of me. Instead, I got the run around on the phone and after a string of phone calls and two and a half weeks of wait time I got a replacement. A week longer than normal and two weeks longer than I was used to in the corporate world. But that was only after I used Twitter to reach out and complain. And even though the replacement delay was Rogers' fault, I was only offered a small compensation.
Long story short on my replacement, according to Rogers, was that they were out of stock on Bold 9000s. And they lost more replacement order. Or the replacement order didn't go through properly. Whatever the case, that's where someone with some clout should have said "let's offer this guy the next model up". Or something.
So when this evening my replacement Bold decided that a couple of keys would fall off, even though I take great care of the device and keep it protected at all times using the faux-leather case, enough was enough. I was angry -- I'd waited 2 weeks for a replacement device and the replacement device they send me starts losing keys after just a month of light use? I kid you not -- my BlackBerry Bold sits in the charging station for most of the day while I work, coming out only when I have meetings or in evenings (like tonight) that I'm expecting something. And of the four years I've been using a BlackBerry device I'd never had any keys just "fall off". But, in classic fashion, and as expected according to the postings on the Internet, my "refurbished" BlackBerry seems to have been substandard and here I am again.
To make matters worse, I called Rogers Tech Support immediately only to find that their system is down (maintenance or otherwise) and I should call back.
So Rogers, I leave it up to you now -- do you go out of your way to make me happy (a brand new Bold 9700 would be best but at this point I'd settle for a brand new device period) or do you allow me to continue to feel mediocre and hope that when my contract is up at the end of the year that I stick it out with you instead of moving over to some other mobile provider?
The ball is in your court.
Update: I was contacted by via Twitter by someone from Rogers and they are going to escalate my issue. We'll see what the end result is.
Welcome to Typo. After three or so years using Roller as my blogging server software, I’ve decided to move to something a little more lightweight and RESTful. And in keeping with my terrible habit of basing choices on the language I prefer to use, I’ve landed on Typo. I don’t remember where I read it, but there was a great article on why you shouldn’t choose a piece of software based on anything but it’s functionality. This is mostly true. But that said, when you are administering a server, you tend to want to consolidate the pieces that you look after. So, if possible you choose software that can run on your database, middleware, web server and platform of choice. So for me, that means if I can find a blog system that runs on Linux using Ruby, Apache and PostgreSQL, and it has most of the features I want then it’s the software for me. And Type fits all those criteria.
I’m still going to have to administer an Apache Tomcat system for the remaining Java Servlet-based applications I run, but I expect Typo to be much less of a hassle to maintain and update so in this case I don’t mind that the apps aren’t consolidated. As it turns out, Typo has way more features and themes than Roller does and the Typo community seems much more active too so overall it’s a good move.
For anyone who regularly reads this blog or subscribes to the feed, you will want to update your bookmarks. In the meantime (and probably forever), I’ve set up my webserver to forward any incoming requests as best as it can. I’ve also managed to import all my old posts reasonably well, complete with comments.
I went down to the new Alberta Court House building in Calgary on 5 Street SW this afternoon to pay an overdue parking ticket (don’t get me started on parking tickets – it wasn’t mine). The building is very modern looking on the outside and is even more so on the inside. But the big surprise was that in order to get past the lobby, you needed to go through a security check similar to those found in airports.
Before I continue let me note that I fully support additional security where the powers that be feel it is warranted. Is it warranted at a Provincial Court House? I don’t have an answer for that and I wouldn’t presume to know the answer but it is worth noting that the old court house, in use up until only just recently, had nothing more than a Commissionaire sitting at an open information booth.
The new court building is a different matter. There is an x-ray machine, which you have to put your coat and electronics through as well as a metal detector, which failed to pick up my belt (though perhaps that’s because it’s newer and more sensitive than the detectors found at airports. You can read a few more details about the building on Wikipedia. Despite all the security it seems that if you have some sort of electronic pass, you can put the pass into a turnstile-type machine and bypass the security check. I would have assumed that this bypass would be for law enforcement personal, since removing their firearm and such would be a pain, but interestingly enough I saw a short, plain clothes women use it which makes me wonder about the security process. But like I said, I wouldn’t presume to know about the security setup – just found it odd. In any case, when paying your parking ticket, make sure you leave your firearm at home.
The last 24 hours for me have been an emotional roller coaster, for a variety of reasons – some work, some personal, and some very personal. But the reasons that relate to this post are a result of my time in the Army. Yesterday afternoon I received a large package from National Defense Headquarters (NDHQ) containing a letter and certificate thanking me for my 14 years of service in the Canadian Forces. I was excited to have finally completed the clear out process from the Army, as a gradual shift in priorities (in combination with an aging body) made remaining in the Army no longer feasible. At the same time I felt torn as I had met a lot of great people, most of whom I still call friends, and as a result have nothing but good memories of my time.
And then it was great sadness that I read about the death of Cpl Nathan Hornburg, a soldier from the King’s Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC), the Army regiment I spent most of my time with. The death of any Canadian soldier is tragic, more so when it is someone from your own regiment. For me it is extra hurtful as Nathan was assigned to my troop when he first joined the Regiment and was a part of my tank crew.
My thoughts go out to Nathan’s family. And to the other members of Regiment who remain overseas, keep safe and carry on what Nathan started.
The blog server is back. Actually, the server was never really gone, it’s just that the DNS entry for ‘blogs’ got missed when I migrated the master DNS for my domains. Joy. Anyway, it’s all good again.
I find myself in Charleston, SC today where I am attending the ATG Insight Live 2007 conference. It’s been years since I attended a tech-related conference so I’m not entirely sure what to expect, other than what the agenda says. But if the Charleston hospitality is any indicator the next four days are bound to be a good.
I actually arrived last night, about an hour late. I flew via Chicago, where we had an incredibly hard landing (not this hard though) in a CRJ700 with a little sideways skidding thrown in for good luck. It was definitely a landing that would make any student pilot proud – nice to know even the professionals have some bad days. After last minute gate change, combined with a last minute plane change, it was in to a CRJ200 for the hop to Charleston and into the Doubletree Guest Suites.
Today I woke up late, had some breakfast and did a solo walk around the historic district of Charleston courtesy. My tour was basically guided, courtesy of National Geographic who have a Walks of a Lifetime podcast, which are available on their website or via iTunes. It’s a brilliant podcast which basically leads you along a circular route within the city, pointing out historic and interesting landmarks and giving you background information. And for my walk today the weather was perfect, making it a great afternoon. Now, time for some refreshing beer courtesy of ATG.
Once again there has been a huge gap between postings. I’ve started a few postings here and there but haven’t had time to either finish them or to polish them. So this week I’m going to make a conscious effort to catch up and have a good week of postings. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself I’m going to do.
I read Aviatrix’s entry on Badgering Badger, in which she ended with a link to the Badger Badger Badger website. Be warned, the Badger website is another one of those useless websites that’s made it’s way around the Internet because it’s so unbelievably annoying that you can’t help but send it around to all your friends. Which is exactly what I did at work (along with a link to Zombo.com).
Sometimes life hits you with a few raw packets (sorry for the geek metaphor) at the most unexpected times. I took a half an hour to walk from my workplace this afternoon to go pay a City of Calgary (or should I say Corporation) parking ticket. That in itself is worth a post, since the fines are outrageous and especially since it wasn’t even me who got the ticket. But I digress.
As I was returning from City Hall, I was nearly accosted by a magpie. It basically flew right in front of me for no apparent reason. Normally a low flying bird is not a big deal except that he landed beside a city trash can and proceed to scamper around the can. The whole thing seemed rather peculiar. That is until I saw that he was chasing a small mouse around and around the can. And then the magpie caught the mouse in it’s beak; right in front on my eyes. Life doesn’t get much more raw than that.