Archive for October 2009

Warning: Do not change your Twitter username, email address or reset password

It seems like Twitter is having a bug since Tuesday.

There were reports where users were being locked out of their account after they change their username, email address or reset their password. This issue seems to affect new users as well as long term users. Twitter is still investigating this issue currently and advice users not to change their user name, email address, or password until further notice.

Strangely, this warning wasn’t well publicized. Those features aren’t disabled on Twitter and there is no warning when you attempt to change your info. I tried changing my email and nothing happens to my account. I guess it’s only affect a small group of users. Whatever it is, just play safe and avoid changing those info for the time being.

Social Media Revolution

Get ready to be blown away…..

Social Media isn’t a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate

The fun theory – Piano stairs

Here is an interesting project.

It’s a novelty. I’m sure it will get annoying after some time. But interesting idea.

Check out their website for more interesting “Fun Theory”.

I wonder if we can do something like this in Singapore.

Creator of HTTP says the double slash is unnecessary

Here is something interesting. During a recent interview with New York Times, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the HyperText Transfer Protocol, says that the double slash after “http:” is unnecessary. He could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes. He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 20 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause “so much hassle”.

Actually, it’s not much of a hassle nowadays since almost all browsers accept the URL even if you didn’t type the “http://”. We have also gotten used to typing the 2 slashes after the colon. But I still remember back in the days when web browsers isn’t that intelligent and you need to key in the “http://”. It wasn’t so much of an hassle for me, since the forward slash key is pretty close to the colon. But it is true that the 2 slashes wasted time and ink when printing.

I guess it is too late for us to change now since the 2 slash is already the standard.

So for the developers out there: if you are going to create something big (or you think it will become big), do think about the design and remove the unnecessary stuff.

PS: I’m still confused on how to differentiate between forward slash and back slash. Just can’t seem to remember which is which.

When will companies ever learn?

Sometimes I wonder when will companies ever learn that they should never ever threaten to sue a blogger for writing a negative blog entry about their business. In fact, the last thing you want to do is to sue a blogger. Let me explain.

Bloggers are free to express their own opinions. Bloggers are influencer. People read blogs because of their frank comments, be it positive or negative. They have to be frank. It’s not hard to spot a blog which writes fake reviews. Reputation is very important to a blogger. Nobody wants to read a blog with untruthful reviews.

Companies must learn to understand that everyone have their rights to express their opinion, be it at a social gathering, kopitiam, forum, twitter, blog or any form of communication. Just because someone said negative stuff about your product/service doesn’t give you the rights to sue the person. A blog review is like a comment from your customer. If it’s a positive one, thank the blogger. If it’s a negative one, engage the blogger to see how you can improve.

You don’t sue a blogger just because of a negative blog entry. Just like you don’t sue a customer who walk up to you and give you negative comment about your company’s product/service.

It’s basic EQ lah. Engage those who comment negatively on your business. If done correctly, you could turn a negative publicity into a positive publicity. (Personally, I don’t not believe that bad publicity is good. A bad publicity is only good when you can turn it around. If you can’t turn it around, a bad publicity is a bad publicity)

I’m writing this after reading about the Obolo vs My Food Sirens saga. Yes, it has become a saga already and it is now turning into a complete PR disaster. You should never ever ask a blogger to take down an article because it is unfavorable to you. And you should never ever ever threaten to sue a blogger for a negative blog entry. NEVER.

When My Food Sirens wrote the negative review, Obolo had the best position to show everyone that they are listening to feedback and engaging their customers. If Obolo agrees with My Food Sirens’ review, they could fine tune their recipe and invite My Food Sirens back for the second time to review it again. If Obolo disagrees with My Food Sirens’ review, just email to My Food Sirens explaining that most of the customers like it this way and recommend other items on the menu which might suit My Food Sirens’ taste bud. Food reviews are very subjective. Her too sweet might be too bland for others.

Engage your customers. If they like your stuff, retain them. If they don’t like your stuff, convert them.

End of the day, you should never ever threaten to sue a blogger for negative comments. (or in this case, hint that you will) The last last last thing you want to do in your lifetime is to sue a blogger. Really. Anyone with a decent level of EQ will tell you that suing a blogger is just as bad as attempting to sue a traditional media (Remember Durai from NKF?). Even if you have a case against the blogger, it might not be that wise to do so unless there is really no other options. Engage the blogger. If the words are indeed defamatory, write to the blogger and request the defamatory portion be amended in a nice manner. Never ever threaten to use legal options unless all talks fail. It’s like politics. Do you see countries threatening to use military force straight away? Of course not. They will always talk and get things done thru diplomatic means. Military force is always the last option and used with care when all talks fails. (Except for George W. Bush)

If you are interested, try read up on a recent incident in US where a landlord sues a tenant after she tweet about moldy apartment. The tweeter has only 20 plus followers. But the whole world now knows about that one little 140 character tweet because of the lawsuit. And it doesn’t matter if the company have a case or not for this instance. Most people don’t like to work with a lawsuit-trigger-happy company.

Which is why I keep saying that you should never ever ever sue a blogger (or tweeter). I’m not sure how many people are following My Food Sirens. All I know is that after this incident, even those who are not following the blog knows about Obolo. The whole incident is so badly managed that it has become a talking point in the social media circle. I wouldn’t be surprised if this become a case study in the near future. A case study on things you should never do.

And if you read the comments in the review, quite a number of people are saying they will never visit Obolo again (including myself). It’s not because of the food or the negative review. It’s because of the way Obolo handles this incident.

And they can only blame themselves for that.