Forming thoughts in my head on a thing I’ll call “Vignettiquette”

Recently I started using both Twitter and an iPhone-based app called “Vine”. Vine enables you to make six-second videos that simply loop when you post them to Vine or Twitter or Facebook. I don’t think all the bugs are worked out of it yet.

I’ve been able to do some pretty cool things though. There’s a “media library” at my Twitter page, @johnbugay. You should be able to find all of my Vine videos there.

Inventive folks have created such words as “netiquette” and “Twittiquette” regarding laws on how to behave. I’m not sure if there’s a thing yet called “Vignettiquette” (for the purists, I suppose it could end up being “vinetiquette”, and while it retains the long “i” from “vine”, it’s a clunky word and it seems less sophisticated (even if it is fewer characters, in the spirit of Twitter).

The basics of virtually any video type of service has been summed up nicely by the Wall Street Journal here:

Let’s not incite lawmakers or angry mobs. Stick to photographing kittens, consenting friends and those totally amazing pancakes from your favorite brunch spot, OK?

If you do something wrong, you can expect to get a bit of a warning:

Have fun, and let your conscience be your guide!


Customer Service Technologies to Watch

As a person in the midst of the job search as well as seeking project work or contract business, I’m interested in finding signs of life in the economy. One area where companies ARE investing right now are Customer Service Technologies.

The Wall Street Journal this morning reports:

Companies are trying harder to please customers amid the recession — and it appears to be working. The American Customer Satisfaction Index, a widely followed survey conducted by the University of Michigan, is at a record high. Other surveys also report gains in customer satisfaction. The results are unexpected, because customer satisfaction typically declines in a recession as companies cut costs, says Bruce Temkin, a vice president for Forrester Research Inc. In this downturn, though, he and other analysts say companies are protecting spending that affects customers.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Sprint Nextel Corp began a service-improvement plan at the end of 2007. Call-center operators now are rewarded for solving problems on a customer’s first call.
  • Cheesecake Factory Inc last year added an online customer survey to its “mystery shopper” program to assess service in its 146 restaurants. “Chief Executive David Overton cited the service initiative Thursday when Cheesecake Factory reported second-quarter earnings that topped expectations, though net income fell.”
  • Comcast last year introduced software to identify network glitches before they affect service and to better inform call-center operators about customer problems. The tools, and more employee training, helped Comcast cut repeat service calls 30% last year.
  • US Airways Group Inc. last year deployed hand-held scanners to better track baggage, part of an effort to improve reliability, convenience and appearance.
  • Southwest Airlines Co. recently introduced a system that allows customers waiting for a call-center operator to hang up and receive a call back, without losing their place in the queue.

Forrester Research suggests that 57% of large North American companies employed an executive in charge of customer satisfaction in 2008, up from 27% in 2006.

I found a typo in the WSJ

Normally, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial process is impeccable. But this morning I found a typo in an AP news feed that they picked up. Here’s the paragraph:

Iraq is more secure now than in the past years of war, but lethal attacks persist and political reconciliation among the countries [should be “country’s”] diverse factions has yet to occur. U.S. combat forces pulled back from cities to bases outside urban centers at the end of June, signaling confidence in the ability of Iraqi forces to keep order.