Tag: blogger

Sky Handling Partners engage in fraud and libel against blogger? – contd

Sky Handling Partners have a shitstorm on their hands.

Yesterday someone in their organisation committed computer fraud (a criminal offense)  and libel against Damien Mulley – seemingly in revenge for a post he published where he outlined how poorly they treated him after losing his luggage!

Now, instead of trying to engage with Damien. Instead of contacting him and saying, “Look Damien, we’re really sorry about this – what can we do to make it right?” Or “Look Damien, we dropped the ball and you had a bad customer experience, we know we have issues and are working to address them. Would you like to be a member of our Customer Service Improvement Committee and work with us to create a better experience for all our clients?”


Instead of that, what do they do? They set their lawyers on him, demanding that he take down his posts about them!

Good God, just who advises these people?

First they piss off one of the more influential people in the country. And then they try to gag him when he complains! Clueless personified.

This is likely to be a real Man bites Dog. We are used to hearing stories of Blogger sued by Large Corporation but this looks increasingly likely to be the first Large Corporation sued by Blogger story.

Go for it Damien.

World champion blogger?

I was on NewsTalk 106 again yesterday evening. This time with I was on the Technology for the Rest of us slot with George Hook and Karlin Lillington.

What I didn’t realise going to the interview, was that this was the launch of NewsTalk in Cork and so they had along local politicians, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, CEOs of many local companies, Denis O’Brien, NewsTalk’s owner and Elaine Geraghty, CEO of NewsTalk. The interview was being broadcast from the Sheraton hotel, in Fota Island in front of this live audience, as well as all the station’s listeners!

What really threw me though, was when George Hook introduced me as “World Champion blogger, Tom Raftery”!

I managed to get a correction in but not before George used the term again several times. Mortification!

Salim, the early bird…

The first of the speakers for the it@cork 2006 Business and Technology conference flew in last night.

Salim Ismail, founder and CEO of Confabb (coincidentally a conference aggregation site!), is taking a couple of days before the conference starts to drive around beautiful West Cork and Kerry.

Salim will be arriving back in Cork tomorrow evening in time for the blogger’s dinner which is on in Luigi Malone’s (don’t judge the restaurant by the website!) at 8pm.

The conference line-up is impressive (but then again, I would say that having sourced several of the speakers!) and I can’t wait to hear what the speakers have to say.

Arguments against business blogging?

A couple of commenters on a recent post raised issues I hear time and again when I discuss the advantages of blogs for businesses:

  1. Blogging has a poor perception
  2. Blogging takes too much time
  3. Blogging allows people to make negative comments on your site

Let’s deal with each of these points:

1. Blogging has a poor perception

Unfortunately this is still very much the case. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard variations on the “Blogging is something done by lonely teenagers in their bedroom…” line.

The fact of the matter is that, yes, blogging is something done by lonely teenagers in their bedrooms. Then again, phone calls are also done by lonely teenagers in their bedroom, that doesn’t take from the fact that the phone is a fabulous communications tool.

Similarly, a blog is one of the most effective communications tools yet created. Blogs are now used as part of the communications toolset internally and/or externally by many of the Fortune 500 companies.

2. Blogging takes too much time
This one is harder to refute. Yes, blogging does take a significant amount of time.

Having said that, Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems blogs regularly. Sun is a fortune 500 company. If the President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company can find time to blog, so can you.

But wait, Sun is a technology company, you say, he has a greater need to blog. Rubbish!

Look then at Michel-Edouard Leclerc. Who? Michel is CEO of the Leclerc distribution group in France, a multi-billion euro company with 85,000 employees. Leclerc finds time to blog regularly.

Look at Margot Wallstrom, vice president of the European Commission who also finds time to blog regularly.

Look at Mark Cuban, an American entrepreneur and billionaire. Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team; and Chairman of HDNet, an HDTV cable network. Mark is a regular blogger.

In fact here is a list of other high profile CEO bloggers – and the number is growing daily.

3. Blogging allows people to make negative comments on your site
Yes it does, and this is a good thing!

If people are going to say something bad about your company/product/service, they will say it whether you have a blog or not. However, if they say it on your blog, you get to see it immediately and you get to respond to it quickly.

If your blog has built up a readership, there is a strong chance that one of your readers will jump in and answer on your behalf. This looks even better, especially if the person leaving the negative comment was incorrect in their assertion or was trolling.

On the other hand, if the person leaving the negative comment is correct in what they say, you get a chance to shine with respect to your customer service. You respond by thanking them for their feedback and making you aware of this shortcoming on the part of your product/service (if you were previously unaware of it, then you have just received very valuable market research).

You could ask the commenter if they would like to be involved in the issue resolution process because they obviously have something valuable to contribute.

Suddenly, you have turned a negative situation around into a positive one.

A former boss of mine used to say that a customer who had a complaint which was handled well was going to be a far more loyal customer than one who never had any complaint.

Negative comments are great. They give you free market research on your products, they give you a chance to shine as a customer champion and by publishing them on your site, you are showing that you are fully transparent and that you can embrace criticism.

What other arguments are there against business blogging?

The next great Cork Blogger's dinner

The plates are hardly dry from last night’s great blogger’s dinner and we have another spectacular one planned.

The date is November 28th, time and venue are yet to be decided – mark it in your calendars now!

November 28th is the eve of it@cork’s 2006 Business and Technology conference, so I made sure to invite the speakers who blog to the bloggers dinner, when I was asking them to speak at the conference.

The list of bloggers who have agreed to come to the dinner is impressive:
Hugh MacLeod
Marc Canter
Salim Ismail and
Jeff Nolan

I’m sure we can convince Hugh to bring some of that Stormhoek wine he is always raving about!
Now, I wonder if we can find somebody to sponsor the food as well…

If you plan to come to the dinner, or are interested in sponsoring the event, leave your name in the comments of this post (or send me an email – tom@tomrafteryit.net).

Last night's blogger's dinner

Cork Bloggers Dinner

Last night’s blogger’s dinner was a great success – thanks to Pat for organising (and paying for) it.

Shel Israel and Rick Segal were the guests of honour and both had lots of interesting info to impart. Rick talked up MusicIP – I missed the start of the conversation but I assume MusicIP is a company he has invested in. MusicIP scans your music (Windows, Linux, Mac) and creates playlists for you based on your mood!!! amongst other things.

Little did I realise when I first started conversing with Shel last year that I’d convince him to come to Cork twice this year (first for the it@cork Web 2.0 conference and now for his global tour) – it just goes to show the power of blogs as a networking tool!

Cork blogger meetup

Pat Phelan is organising a blogger dinner/meetup to coincide with the visit to Cork of Shel Israel and Rick Segal in October.

The dinner is on in the Taste of Thailand restaurant, Bridge Street, Cork on October 17th at 8pm. Leave a comment on Pat’s site if you want to attend.

I know I’ll be there – I’m looking forward to having a chat with Shel again and I can’t wait to meet Rick – the author of the funniest post on the Web 2.0 controversy.

In-car GPS units

I drove to Dublin on Saturday. I had a couple of small jobs to do and I was going to the Blogger meetup in the Market Bar afterwards.

Now I don’t know Dublin well at all so I was mighty relieved when a friend offered me the loan of a Sony GPS unit for the trip. It was the Sony NV-U50 and I would have been literally lost without it!

The user interface could definitely stand some work (it took me a good while to figure out how to get it to plot a course to a destination) but once underway and following its instructions, it brought me to the door of my venues flawlessly. I didn’t even have to think about where I was going.

Who else makes these in-car units and which ones are best (i.e. easiest to use)?

I’d love to take one to Spain in a couple of weeks when we go there on holidays

Too little too late – Google tries to win back Bloggers

Blogger is Google’s free hosted blogging platform. Blogger’s steady decline as a blogging platform has been well documented by Blogger users.

Via Marshal Kirkpatrick today comes news that Google have launched (in beta, of course!) a newer version of Blogger. This version has lots of shiny bits such as allowing change of colour of your blog using a WYSIWYG interface:
New Blogger format screen

And it also allows drag and drop manipulation of various aspects of the blog:
Drag n drop of the About me

The new version requires users to have a Google account which is a bit of a mixed blessing. It also allows for tagging of posts using the Labels field – in fact this is probably the most useful update to the entire application.

Given Google’s lacklustre commitment to Blogger over the last two years and the very little progress in this update I would say to anyone thinking of starting a blog now to stay from Blogger and use the likes of WordPress.com instead. If you are on Blogger – move to a real blog platform. You know you want to.

UPDATE: – for a more comprehensive review of the update see the Google Operating System blog. And Blogger’s official post about it is here

Some WordPress permalinks 404ing

I was having a strange issue recently on this blog – occassionally a blog post would 404 when the PermaLink was clicked on – the post would appear fine in the blog’s main page but any attempt to view it individually would fail! Deleting the post and re-posting with a new title solved it, so some part of the title seemed to be causing the problem.

This happened twice in the last couple of weeks – both times with podcast interviews posts. This got me thinking – I checked the mp3 filename and in both cases the mp3 filename was the same as the post title (i.e. darren-barefoot-interview.mp3 in a post entitled Darren Barefoot interview). Again, another solution, if you come across this issue is to re-name the mp3 file – this should have less impact than deleting posts and re-posting under a new title.

Finally, being aware of this, come up with a procedure to ensure that your post titles and files don.t share a name and it should no longer be an issue.