Inventing the Future

Subsumption Assumption

Ack, this was sitting in my drafts folder for nearly a year. At the time I started it, someone had asked about how one might use Croquet virtual worlds to subsume other technical functions in the same way that the World Wide Web has incorporated other resources and functions. I did five minutes on the taxonomy of the problem-space.

I should have just answered with this video of Intel’s John David Miller demoing the use of Twitter from within a Qwaq Forum. He fills in the stuff on the Twitter Web page (crappy hand-held video, below) and then I love how the audience guy asks, “And then you can bring the result in to the world?” JDM answers that it already is, and dollies back to show that the whole interaction has been in world the whole time.

Reminds me of this from way back when.

Posted in Inventing the Future, meta-medium | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Do it yourself publlishing — R.W. Ridley style

Last week this fellow R.W. Ridley started following me on twitter after I tweeted about kindlizing The Pains. He’s a writer with a horror series called The Takers aimed at young adults. Turns out that like me, he’s a self-publisher. Like me, he’s won the Self-Published Book Award from Writer’s Digest magazine. Like me, he’s got a blog & is experimenting with kindle and various other ways of getting the word out. Unlike me, he seems to have good portions of his act together. For example his blog is streamed to his author page on Amazon. (How do he do that?) And he has a couple of other neat things, like a youtube video for his books. I have never met the fellow and haven’t read his books & so have no idea of how well he’s doing sales-wise and whether the books are any good. But I was impressed by this little audio book sample. It’s well read and well written and creepy, with nice sound effects. Check it out. And check out his website, there’s some other cool stuff there.

I also note with interest his blog posting about how this year print-on-demand titles outnumbered traditionally published titles. Wow. And then consider, there are lots of self-published books, like mine, that are not POD. (Mine are traditional offset books.) Things sure are changing in the publishing world. And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes, as the man said, but where it’s going, no one knows. . .

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Wetware | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A minor administrative detail . . .

As I announced last December, I am no longer with Media Access Project. For the present, I am doing a spot of consulting through an LLC I formed with my brother, Strength to Strength Develop-Ed, LLC (or just STS LLC).

I mention this because yesterday I entered a notice of appearance on behalf of Herring Broadcasting, Inc., DBA WealthTV to assist them in their ongoing carriage discrimination complaint against Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Bright House. So, lest anyone suffer any confusion, I want to make clear this is just me on my own and not anything having to do with Media Access Project or its clients. Also, for anyone who sees me blog on the carriage complaint issues or — I suppose — on other cable matters, and you disagree, feel free to disregard my arguments for entirely new reasons than you did previously.

In other news, in addition to the book I am writing for IG Publishing, I have a nearly completed manuscript based on the last five years of Tales of the Sausage Factory. Anyone with suggestions on who might be interested in publishing such a thing should drop me a line. And, in keeping with the trends of the time, anyone interested can follow me on Twitter or on Facebook.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Something Nice About Comcast for a Change

Lest it be said that I refuse to acknowledge a virtue when I see it, allow me to voice my agreement with Mehan Jayasuriya over at Public Knowledge on Comcast’s efforts to track down problems on Twitter and elsewhere.

Mehan refers to this NYTimes piece, which discusses how Comcast customer service folks are looking for complaints about Comcast or its services on open blogs or social network sites and trying to reach out to disaffected customers. Frankly, I see nothing “creepy” about it. I actually think this is a pretty good idea for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, if I am complaining about the service I am getting, I would actually like someone to fix the problem. Most companies have laid off workers and have you go through endless phone trees before you can confirm for someone that yes, I’ve already tried the obvious and would like to get someone who can move past the script and help me with my actual problem. Even sending an email can take a few days for response. I had one incident where I was having difficulty with my cell phone service, sent an email, then resolved the problem, and got a call back two days later (at my work number as requested — they were not completely stupid, just way too slow). This is not useful response time for a service on which I rely pretty heavily.

So I think it’s actually a smart idea to have people monitoring publicly available info to see if you can reach out and solve problems. It may save the company major publicity headaches and help users get their problems resolved.

The other thing is I think it’s a good thing to remind users that what they write on social networking sites or blogs is open to everyone unless they take action to make it private. In this case, the reminder is harmless, perhaps even beneficial. But if you find it “creepy” that a Comcast customer care agent found your complaint about a billing glitch on your personal blog, consider what happens if your boss or coworker discovers your post about what you think of your current assignment and team workers. Heck, even a sophisticated Federal judge can sometimes be surprised with what goes public on the web.

My one caveat is that this works great as long as Comcast, or any other company, identifies itself honestly when making contact just as they do one the phone. For example, if I get a follow up call from my Saturn dealer after my nth gajillionth mile check up, the person identifies himself or herself as calling from Saturn and wanting to know how my service appointment went. From the article provided, it would appear that Comcast staff are identifying themselves as Comcast staff and generally offering help as Comcast customer service staff. Go them.

But it doesn’t take a genius to guess that folks may well begin to wonder whether they can start to use this for direct marketing. Perhaps when you gripe about Comcast on your blog the person that responds won’t be from Comcast but will be from AT&T, offering you a better deal. No problem with that, as long as you remember to change your defaults if you don’t want to be relentlessly market to in this manner. But the real problem is when folks selling products will disguise themselves or their identities. If the helpful commentor that points you to a promotional on DISH is actually working for DISH, but doesn’t identify himself or herself as working for DISH, it starts to get into some very dicey territory.

But again, Comcast actually seems to have a bright idea here. Good for them.

Stay tuned . . .

Posted in Cable, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register