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Archive for March 2009

Do you want to Twitter your things?

I’m excited that about the Internet of Things.  In 2009, US Presidents can fire a CEO, but can’t limit a bonus to the employees.  C’mon, that’s progress.  Another thing is clear, your gadgety things are full of open source technology.  So, a start up that wants to make money on open source software is no different than, say General Electric.

My question is this: Who can deliver you a better customer experience?  Do big polycorps “get” it? I explained Twitter to a friend over the weekend, and the story that resonated was that I said Frank from @ComcastCares was a good guy.  He questioned how I would know such a thing.  I have never met him.  All I have is a couple of interviews, a friendly polo-shirt-wearing profile picture, and his Tweet Stream.  And, man, is that Tweet Stream impressive.  I know, I do the same thing. Figuring out people’s tech problems over the phone.  Using my personal experience, and intuition to troubleshoot the most likely problem you’re having.

You have to Comcast credit.  After taking over AT&T Broadband’s legacy of poor customer support, they perfected the self-installed DSL filter.  I remember, many years ago, setting up a router for my parents’ Comcast connection, searching high and low for the Gateway IP, DNS servers, etc.

Dreading to call that 800 number just to demand a “technical” person.  How shocking it was for me, to hear a pleasant-sounding older woman just ask me to reboot the modem.  It would sense the router, and we’re ready to roll.  My opinion of Comcast changed that day, and boy did they get it right by responding to Michael Arrington’s horrible customer experience by choosing Frank as their company persona.

He should be the face of the company now.  He certainly never tires of turning people around in their expectations of what it is like to ask a big company for help.  They “care?”  Why?  Because it is their business to care.  They are selling a commodity in a value-add world and everything is moving that way.  Energy, health care, entertainment, mobility, technical support, etc. are all up for grabs in the Internet of Things.  A tidal wave that no company, large or small, can escape.

Twitter is now a platform for companies to be the “good guy” again.  (hopefully, not as gender-specific as my example).  Does it make sense for companies to embed their products as twitter-compliant?  What do I mean?  Well, how do you want to use your things?  What is the ultimate user interface?  Only you can answer that question.  Not some trendy designer.  Definitely not a geeky engineer.  Maybe its time for Twitter to embrace open standards (XMPP) again.


Written by ishak

March 30, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Smart Grid