Archive for the Appreciation Category

Good Company Twitter

Companies are increasing their use of Twitter but it’s not always obvious what they should be doing on it.

It doesn’t help that different people have different opinions. I’m not interested in following companies to get deals or beg for favours, and I detest “retweet to win” contests that try to turn everyone into unpaid spammers.

Here’s five times that companies made a positive impression on me by interacting over Twitter:

  1. Welcomed Whittakers (@whittakersnz) to Twitter and asked when they were going to do Easter Eggs. Got told they were working on it.
  2. Orcon offered to help me resolve a problem with their service. (Not solvable by them, it needed Telecom to pull finger.)
  3. I complained about Netgear service and got a phone call (!) from their PR company in Australia. I declined their offer to help and sorted it out through the usual channels the next day.
  4. Responded to a question about where to get batteries by suggesting Dick Smith. Someone else responded and speculated that their house-brand batteries might not be as good. @DickSmithNZ responded with details of their current sale on batteries as well as a link to a report showing that their batteries were as good as the name-brand ones.
  5. I said I was switching from Vodafone to Telecom and received a “Welcome on board” from @TelecomNZ.

Each of these companies treated me as a person and, by doing so, made me feel better about dealing with them.

The winner is Dick Smith for their quick and useful response – but I admit I’m still hanging out for those easter eggs from Whittakers!

There are two political issues hitting the media at the moment.

The first is about Labour encouraging their campaigners to give out government pamphlets in an attempt to publicise the wonderful actions of Labour’s term in government. Personally I don’t have a problem with this and I think it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup – as long as the pamphlets aren’t being written for the purpose of campaigning.

The second issue is about how Labour wants to portray National as asset strippers. John Key cleverly spiked Labour’s guns with his declaration that National wouldn’t sell any state owned assets in their first term, and now Clark is reaching a bit by trying to say that it’s just because they’ll be selling them off in their second term (although I do wonder if she meant to imply that she thought National would not only win the next election but the one after it as well!)

But this post isn’t actually about these two issues. While I think everyone involved in both issues is spinning furiously for their own ends and that sometimes this results in people getting a bit carried away and the quality of the debate starts to slide into the gutter, I just want to say how delighted I am that both of these debates are actually about substantive policy issues.

The first is part of the ongoing debate about campaign financing, the second returns to the issue of what the national should own collectively against what should be owned privately. They’re not about someone seeing a prostitute, or when they went to church last, or whether they once did drugs twenty years ago.

I know we’re not immune from obsessing about all those things as well, but at least in this case we can be pleased that our “silly media beatups” and “manufactured political controversies” are about topics that do rightfully belong in the political sphere.

Private in Public

I love the secretive smile that people get when they’re having an enjoyable conversation by text message in a public place.