Thursday, September 29, 2005

I stayed at a Sheraton the other night. There's a big sign behind the desk, highlighting their service program, which is basically that if anything goes wrong, they'll fix it. The "Sheraton Service Promise" is the 4th item down. It seems slightly odd that it's not prominent on the website, but very prominent in the hotels. Perhaps they don't want to highlight that things could go wrong.
I never got a wakeup call. When I got downstairs eventually, after being awakened by the room service waiter pounding on the door, it looked like there was some construction was going on. A couple ceiling tiles were off, cables were hanging down, and a workman was staring into the ceiling.
When I mentioned that I hadn't gotten a call, they told me the phone system had crashed. They'd sent someone around to manually knock on doors, and they must have missed me. The desk clerk did a nice job of trying to fix it. They offered the hotel shuttle, and when that turned out not to be available, did offer to pay for a cab, which was a generous gesture.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fun Stuff: Watch a truckdriver blogging. New Treo's with WindowsOS. Selling your blog?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The worst way to calm someone down. Go read it! You'll be glad you did.

An article that really resonates on "Incapacity Planning" for the elderly, and how it affects those close to them. Bobby's beeen putting up some stories that really resonate lately.

If you're looking for a fun diversion, I highly recommend Throw Paper.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Suprising and delighting customers, two versions:

Season finale of Rescue Me.
On the Scientific Atlanta 8300 cable box, we've got every episode set to record. 10:00pm-11:00pm. Know what's coming? 10:04-11:04. 4 minutes from the end of the season, and the recording cuts off. Bad, but fortunately FX reruns the show constantly. I'll change my recording for that night to 11:05. Great, I'm done..No, it doesn't stick unless you stop the season recording, and then edit that episode. Probably an issue with the program guide from Cox.
On the other hand, somehow the Electronic Program Guide in Windows XP Media Center automatically knows and gets it right.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I just received my gapingvoid T-shirt. I enjoy reading Hugh's blog and this felt like the best way to support, high quality apparel to wear to a blogging event. Anyone know of one in DC?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Are you my sales guy?
Things I'm sure the VP of sales for the enterprise software company we use for a platform would not want to hear me utter. I found myself wondering this morning, "hey, who's the sales guy for product X, which we use on regular basis, and to whom we pay lots of money on a regular basis..."
Reminds me of a childrens book.
And now we have an interesting opportunity...that regular contact would have resulted in a call a lot earlier than they're now getting it, inviting them to participate. Food for thought on the importance of regular contact if you're in sales..

Google's BlogSearch has launched. It's the top story on Memeorandum. Initial thoughts: It's quick, you can save feeds, and it seems to have direct hooks into, even finding some blogs that aren't publicized. And, there seems to be substantially less spam in the results.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ziff Davis occasionally puts on conferences for IT professionals. They've got one tommorrow sponsored by Intel. Here's the key paragraph from the email promoting the event:

Where have these leaders gained this vital knowledge? The Intel Premier IT Professional Program provides a rare opportunity for IT professionals to gather together to both assess lessons learned and render solutions for the future. Key components of the summit also include a market trends and opportunities presentation by an editorial expert from Ziff Davis Media, technology demonstrations and a panel discussion with a diverse group of participants.
Finally, a special feature will be the opportunity to network with IT@Intel subject matter experts and other senior IT managers for a knowledge-sharing luncheon following the day’s presentations and panel.

This requires committing to an 8-1:30pm schedule. Why wouldn't they publish an actual schedule of the content? There seem to be so many different types of roles in the field that they need to provide some more info to let people judge if it's useful for them.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I've been watching the Andy Roddick US Open commercials for Lexus and just don't get them. Unfortunately, Roddick lost in one of the early rounds of the tournament, so he hasn't been in the New York spotlight for the last 10 days. The AmEx commercials where Andy's mojo gets loose were unfortunate, but seem to have moved out of rotation.
The Lexus commercials show him driving one of their nice commercials with a variety of, to be charitable, bizarre characters.
Take the one entitled Nantucket, where a woman in the car, implores Andy to forget New York, and drive up to Nantucket with her. You've got a subtext in which a tennis fan watching, chuckles snidely and thinks that Andy does have plenty of time this week to go off on a vacation, since he's not playing any tennis. And if you're a casual fan, tuning in to watch the Agassi-Federer match? The message seems to be "drive a Lexus, and a variety of bizarre characters will show up in your car". At best, Andy Roddick drives a Lexus. But, aspirationally, who wants these people in a car with them?

Two blogs of interest today. - Blog from DirectNic, an Internet provider that's stayed running in New Orleans. The writer is in charge of physical security, and it's a fascinating perspective on how things are on the ground in New Orleans.

Mini-Microsoft - Someone blogging from the inside of Microsoft. Great overview of how their internal review process works.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Good customer service recently: The David Allen Company - I had bought their Outlook plug in before a hard drive crash. Sent an email, received a message back the same day with information on how to reinstall it. - Needed to change the official email address on an account, vs. the mailing email address. Sent an email, heard back, confirmed some personal information, done the same day. Very nice.

Not so great. Southwest. Great reservations system online. It appears their first come, first serve assignment of boarding groups now rewards people who check in online 24 hours before their flight. Interesting socio-economic model. Do people who aren't as computer savvy end up checking in at the airport, and getting the worst boarding group. It doesn't seem like the flights board quicker, because everyone tries to sit up front. I can't believe anyone enjoys 60 person long lines that start substantially before boarding.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Seth Godin has put his latest e-book about blogging online for free. Definitely worth checking out if you're wondering "Why do I need a blog".