December 12, 2012
I read this quote the other day and it really made me think:
“Teachers have become “fair game” for malicious comment online, and said that there is no reason why sites like Facebook should get legal immunity.”
Legal immunity? Legal immunity against what? What can they possibly be legally blamed for? Writing the code that has created the worlds largest online social network? (Oh MySpace where did you go?)
Can you really blame an entire social network for a single persons comment?
Surely not. Surely this is the mob mentality I was speaking about previously.
This sort of behaviour is akin to arresting Kim DotCom who set up Megaupload and that English guy who created tvlinks.co.uk. Ok, they facilitate other people doing something illegal – but don’t actually perform the illegal “acting”. Is it really fair to arrest them? All they want to do is make an example out of them. Guess what? It doesn’t work. I’m watching similar sites pop up every day performing the same function.
So those virtual pitch forks have now been turned on social networking sites like Facebook.
This is turning into yet another ugly SOPA-type episode again. In years to come people will forget what the first ammendmant even stood for. Surely posting your own comment, to your own friends and followers is no one elses business. Punishing an entire social networking giant for a single users comment is ridiculous. It’s like suing a car manufacturer for a second hand care salesman over-charging you.
It’s not their issue!
Facebook have procedures in place to deal with cyberbullying… and not only that, but for inappropriate imagery, inappropriate comments and a whole heap more. With 425 million active users – I wouldn’t expect anything less. With social networking all the content is user generated. You’re relying on the users to generate the content which brings other users to your site – Twitter, Tumblr to name just a few.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: “There is no place for cyber bullying on Facebook and we respond aggressively to reports of potential abuse.
“Reports involving harassment are prioritised, with most reviewed in 24 hours.”
So, basically, Facebook are doing their job. Good luck sueing them – they MONITOR this sort of thing.
Venting on social networks is simply today’s version of writing the angry note in class and slipping it to your best friend, but being caught by the teacher. Sorry ’bout it. Children will be children. Venting is part of life. Let’s be truthful here, most children don’t understand or respect what teachers do until later in their education. That’s called maturity.
You can rest assured that Facebook’s business model is not based around 11 year old kids making complaints about their teacher. Just guide them to http://www.ratemyteacher.com. (I really don’t promote that site – I think it’s terrible actually).
March 14, 2012
So, interesting thing happened the other day.
I’m an avid Gmail user, but BG (Before Gmail) I used to use Hotmail. I remember the days when Hotmail only allowed 2MB (yep, you young-ans, 2 MEGABYTES) of email storage. I was constantly deleting emails, never able to save anything, always had to delete everything!
Well, on occasion I do check my Hotmail email, purely because some things I haven’t switched over yet, and it’s always handy to check emails you’re designing in various different email providers to check the deviations and variations.
On this particular occasion I had 148 unread emails, now this is exceptionally more than normal, and looked something like this:
So, clearly what has happened is a fault in the unsubscribe system on YFU‘s website. What’s happening is when people are clicking “unsubscribe”, the email is being sent to the entire email list, instead of auto-unsubscribing them.
As a bit of background to being on this email list: I have previously requested to unsubscribe from them as I never requested to be on it, and have no desire to be as I’m not in a position to host someone. I assume I was an accidental sign up (I frequently get emails for someone else with a very similar email address) – but even still, I never had to confirm a request to being on the email list in the first place. Confirming a sign-up is part of the ACMA requirements.
This was the first email, and perhaps 2 or 3 similar followed in quick succession:
So, what happened next was nothing short of mob mentality:
To lots like this:
All in all, there were over 100 of these filling up my inbox (imagine if I only had 2MB still). I understood people’s frustration, it IS really annoying especially if your main email is being hit with all these irrelevant unsubscribe requests. I could only imagine this hitting my gmail, and my phone beeping and buzzing every 10 minutes, I’d probably send an angry email as well. Jump on the virtual bandwagon. Wave the virtual pitchforks. Throw the virtual rotten tomatoes.
You get the idea.
So, the company issued an apology out on the 7th March stating technical issues which they were looking into immediately. The strange thing is though, from 7th of March until the 11th of March, we were all continuing to receive each others “unsubscribe” request emails. This is a problem a standard HTML beginner could fix up. A webform is not rocket science.
Not having ever encountered this company before, aside from receiving irrelevant emails, they seem like a small company – and considering I received about 100 unsubscribe requests, I imagine that’s a large portion of their list base. Otherwise, there would have been a LOT more.
As a company, they obviously provide a good and needed service, and I would never doubt that. But each company today needs to protect and project their brand identity online – small technical glitches should be spotted immediately. When people actually request to be on a mailing list – they are entrusting you to not spam them, and provide them with relevant emails.
As with everything else in life, I’ve worked with small mailing lists and gargantuan mailing lists as well. Mailing lists for all companies can drive massive traffic and business to their website/company. Make sure you manage peoples data correctly, because aside from what happened being incredibly annoying, I also got over 100 different email addresses in my account. Privacy is an issue there too.
I’m sure you’re all dying to know whether I unsubscribed too? Well, as it happens, I didn’t want hundreds of random people receiving my email address, so I will happily wait until I’m assured the issue is fixed, and my request will slip in too.
Maybe when I’m at the point in life where I want to send a child away on an exchange program, or host one myself, I will actually request to be on the list.
Lesson of the month: manage your data like you would manage your best china; polish it on occasion, handle it with care, and make sure you keep it somewhere safe.
January 9, 2010
Is there actually a solid formula for this?
I really no longer think so. It’s not exactly hit and miss, but there is no exact forumla to say whether performing action ‘x’ will provide you ‘y’ amount of business.
I 100% support social media marketing – the audience and consumer of today is no longer a receptor – he is a selector. Unlike when advertising was mainly on TV and Radio – today online, you can chose what advertising you expose yourself to. I think marketeers were placing their bets on pop-up window advertising being effective and working. However, along with savvy computer users, came the ability to successfully filter out such minor annoyances.
Today, marketing and advertising is a different ball game altogether. Instead of having huge big budgets – people have to be clever and creative to be able to market and convert the customer.
Marketing throught social media is technically free. But in order to make it best effective – a company needs to hire someone who is specialised in the area. Habitat learned from that mistake. They hired an intern to control their twitter account and the intern ended up inserting irrelevant, but trending, hashtags after each tweet.
The intern was quietly let go.
That’s the issue that regularly arises with social media – a company hires someone who has a facebook and twitter account, thinking they know exactly what they are doing. But delivering a companies brand through social media is a lot different then using personal social media accounts.
I find Halfords twitter account to be particularly great – I tweeted once about what bad build my bike was – and Halfords replied, saying I should take it into my local store and they would fix it for me for free! That’s the kind of service that is now expected through social media channels.
Then you have brands, smaller brands, who try and gain new customers and business through social media. The key part here is relevance. I say this ALL the time – you want targetted traffic, high conversions? Be relevant. If you end up putting hashtags at the end of your tweets which have nothing to do with your product – you won’t gain targetted traffic and high conversions. Simple as. Same as adding random people on Facebook. They won’t know who you are, chances of them being interested in what you have to offer is slim too.
So – social marketing for any brand is highly important.
- Listen to your customers
- Reply to all comments – negative or not
- Have conversations
- Above all – relevance, relevance, relevance
July 23, 2009
I am a User Experience Designer.
So what is this supposed to mean? What does it encompass? What does it involve? These are questions I frequently get when telling people what I do.
I could have had an educated guess 4/5 months ago as to what this would involve, and I was mostly correct. Mostly.
Now, after 4/5 months in my role now as a user experience designer, I’m starting to comprehend everything that it involves.
My usability based academic background has involved various topics, such as user journeys, the UCD process, wireframes, storyboards etc etc. I don’t think in academia you will ever fully 100% understand in what way these things work in the real world, and why they are important and in what order.
I suppose that’s why I decided to forgo the unrelated job offers after my under-grad, and stuck around for something that was low-paid but extremely related to my degree. If I was going to make a career out of my life, I had to sacrifice the job that was quite well paid and easily accessible to me, to something that was 1 hour 30 minutes away from me, and paid less. Relevance was key to me when I eagerly walked out of college with my degree in my hand.
Thus began the UK job hunt.
Seems the UK was further ahead than Ireland for general web design practices and put actual money into making sure websites were usable, some companies hired in-house usability experts to ensure that their website was consistently usable. Some companies existed purely for selling their usability testing services, agencies hired usability experts to work on projects and to provide depth in respond-to-tender briefs.
A couple of flights later, I had secured a job role in Camberley, UK. The interview had gone well, I had ensured I understood all of what the role encompassed and within 6 weeks of me moving across the water, I started my first day. Really, I should have seen the warning signs when they gave me a title of “Design Engineer.” My inexperience showed as I was excited at being titled something which sounded so professional and important, when really it showed they had no idea what my skills were.
The next warning sign was obvious when they asked me to learn everything about Google AdWords in the two weeks before I was to start. Again, being inexperienced and eager, I did it.
When I started, it transpired I was head of all things Google! AdWords, AdSense and Analytics. For in-house, for clients, for the bosses friends. Nothing like the usability role I had been promised during my interview and conversations with the recruiter.
False advertising, but in this case, I couldn’t take it back to the shop to return it.
Instead, I knuckled down, inhaled anything AdWords related that came my way, determined to make the best out of my situation. The designs I did deal with were created using tables, not CSS or web standard XHTML. One website I worked on for 6 weeks, 1 week away from being published the plug was pulled. Three months went by; probation time. Having not put a foot wrong, and having learnt an amazing amount of information in a short time, I was convinced they didn’t have a bad word to say about me. Sitting downstairs in the bosses “Mobile Boardroom” (tatty old camper van), I was informed I had been late to start work too many times over the past three months, and consequently, would not pass my probation this time. My next probation meeting was in another three months time.
Upset, but determined to improve, I soildered on.
A friend in work informed me that in the three months I had been late three times. Two of which I had genuine excuses for. I had worked through my lunch on these days, and during the past three months I had stayed late many a time. In my mind, this is not something worth failing my probation for.
I could now see clearly that the end was indeed nigh, and I needed to look quickly if I was only guaranteed a position for three months. The operations manager began to take a particular disliking to me, being obtuse and argumentative, my reasoning was ignored and overlooked, my work was continuously sent back. There were times I would cry as soon as I got into my car when I left work. Being defensive without wanting to appear as though I was being defensive was hard work. Continuously being knocked back when I would put so much effort into my work, was soul destroying.
Hundreds of sneaky recruiter phone calls later, one seemed to come along that was right up my alley, only this alley was 70 miles away from me.