A Slice of Life
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commentary on issues in politics, culture, environment and technology
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07 Oct 11 Time to rethink the Steve Jobs iShrines?

steve jobs ishrineIsn’t the recent outpouring of emotion over the passing of Steve Jobs taking things just a little too far?  Midnight vigils at Apple stores?  Shrines? Millions of tweets, blogs, articles conferring almost saint like status on the ex Apple CEO?  Steve jobs certainly was a visionary.  Yes, he had some wonderful ideas but contrary to popular belief products such as the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, while they may have transformed the consumer electronics market are not likely to solve world hunger, the energy crisis, the GFC, climate change or terrorism and wars.

Steve Jobs the man was apparently arrogant, selfish and inconsiderate.   While these attributes may well have helped him to find his path to success they would have been hardly likely to be endearing  to those that knew Jobs personally.  Apparently Jobs approached working relationships with a similar attitude, setting very high standards and regularly reducing to tears those who fell short of his vision. (more…)

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06 Oct 11 Andrew Bolt: more offensive than sex with a horse?

andrew boltRecently, the well known columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act.  Justice Mordy Bromberg found Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times contravened the Racial Discrimination Act by publishing two articles on racial identity which contained “errors in fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language”, reported the Herald Sun.

Ron Merkel, QC, for the complainants, said there was no attempt by  members of the group to shut down freedom of speech or debate about racial identity issues.  Mr Merkel said Bolt was free to express his views on the subject but should not have chosen to attack the nine individuals he named in his columns and blog.

Many of us, including myself, may not agree with Andrew Bolt’s views on this issue and many others.  Whatever happened to the famous saying, sometimes incorrectly attributed to Voltaire which many in the legal profession are fond of quoting: ” I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ”

Yes, there are a number of errors in Bolt’ articles on this topic.  Is Bolt being prosecuted for publishing errors?  It is true that had the facts been presented accurately Bolt’s arguments would not hold much water.  For example, he questioned indigenous lawyer Larissa Behrendt‘s Aboriginality, incorrectly stating that her father was German and that she is somehow claiming benefits that should be the right of indigenous people of ‘purer blood’. In the sometimes heated court exchanges, Bolt took exception to the prosecution’s comparison of the debate and Bolt’s views to Nazi race laws, the Holocaust and eugenics.  Bolt argued those who chose to identify with only one part of their background over another were contributing to racism and came at the cost of less focus on the important issues of education, housing, health and poverty.

It is interesting to note that earlier in the year, Larissa Berendt attracted criticism after using her Twitter account to describe watching bestiality on television as “less offensive than Bess Price“, an Aboriginal woman in favour of the radical Northern Territory intervention. “I watched a show where a guy had sex with a horse and I’m sure it was less offensive than Bess Price.” (more…)

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30 Jul 10 Ask and Ye Shall Recieve: Dealing with Twitter Complaints Part II

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10:  MC Hammer sp...
MC Hammer speaking on the power of social media. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

In a previous post on this topic, I related how I experienced dissatisfaction with a company’s services and how I sought satisfaction from the company in question by making my complaint online via Twitter.  Had a made my complaint by more conventional means, say by telephone, I’m sure it would have been much less successful.  “Yes sir, we’re very sorry but there’s not much more we can do…”  Most are familiar with being fobbed off by less than sympathetic sales staff, getting nowhere and ending up feeling frustrated and angry.  Complaining via social media is much more effective; you have a potential audience of millions and the whole thing ends up being a PR exercise which may be mutually beneficial.  If you are involved with an online complaint, there are a few things to be aware of that might help. (more…)

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27 Jul 10 Ask And Ye Shall Receive: Complain on Twitter

hitler on the phoneI first noticed how effective a Twitter complaint could be some time ago.  I was casually discussing a problem I was having with a WordPress plugin ‘SezWho‘.  To be honest, I wasn’t terribly fair; I tweeted something along the lines of “this plugin sucks” when in actual fact, the problem was most likely caused by conflict with some other plugin and not really a problem with SezWho at all.  I was surprised that within hours of making my comment, SezWho contacted me via Twitter and went out of their way to resolve the problem.  I apologised to them for jumping to conclusions and I was very pleased and impressed by their diligence and professionalism.

Many companies now have a social media presence.  If you have a complaint, you can easily find their social media profile and complain to them directly.  Just Google “so and so on Twitter” or “so and so on Facebook” and you’ll find the company you’re looking for very quickly.  Don’t make the mistake I inadvertently did: do a little research before you complain to make sure the problem is actually the fault of the company in question.

Dealing with complaints on social networking sites has become an important public relations exercise.  Many companies employ a ‘social networking team’ to deal with such complaints.  Dealing with a problem positively can turn bad publicity into good and an angry customer can change from a bad mouther to a singer of praises.  As is usually the case, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you are dissatisfied you might as well get some grease. For example:

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04 Apr 10 Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-04

twittering machine

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28 Mar 10 Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-28

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21 Mar 10 Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-21

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14 Mar 10 Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-14

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07 Mar 10 Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-07

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