Archive for twitter

Customer service in 2008: opportunities and pitfalls, exhibit A

Posted in customer service, open messaging with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2008 by Pete Forsyth

In the vein of my recent blog post on “open messaging,” is an interesting little vignette involving Comcast customer service.

I posted a question yesterday on Twitter, to see if any of my friends (or anybody else who happened to be listening) knew how to resolve a weird networking problem I was having with my Comcast Internet service.

Moments later, I found that somebody was listening — an account called “ComcastCares” (CCC). A little creepy at first, but not surprising in this connected world I inhabit.

Anyway, score one for Comcast — in effect, tech support called me, instead of the other way around. That’s pretty cool.

But the game wasn’t over. Having a clearly interested audience, I mentioned my one major problem with Comcast, something which frequently influences my decisions when I advise clients and friends about their Internet service: Comcast forbids sharing an Internet connection, even for free, outside the premises. (Even if your wireless router happens to have a strong enough signal that it does that by default.) Continue reading


Open messaging

Posted in Wikipedia with tags , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by Pete Forsyth

It seems to me that the most exciting new form of communication is “open messaging.” (If somebody’s coined a better term, let me know.) I’m talking about messages and notes that are directed at a specific person, but are posted publicly, inviting input from anyone else who might be interested.

For instance:

  • A wiki “user page”: This is a page associated with a certain member of a wiki community, but (usually) viewable and editable by anyone. People can be contacted without disclosing any personal information; and the public nature of discussions enhances collaboration. This works really well on Wikipedia, where editors working closely together often chime in on one another’s projects.
  • A MySpace “comment”: Often used for comments like “happy birthday” or “sorry your cat died.” It’s a nice way to keep up to date on what’s going on in your friends’ lives.
  • The Facebook “wall”: essentially the same thing as a MySpace comment.
  • Twitter messages directed “@” somebody: This is distinct from a “direct message,” which is private. If I type “@BobSamplename Have a nice hike!” it will be visible to Bob, but to anyone else, as well. If I type “d BobSamplename Sorry to hear about the genital warts”, nobody else sees it (oops.) Having the easy choice between public and private is very convenient. Continue reading