Archive - March, 2006

Links for 10 March 2006

I think Delicious must have been down last night when my links post was scheduled, so here’s a manual update. There are three main categories today: Front End Development, Microsoft Windows Live and Sydney Restaurants.

Front End Development – as per my earlier post and inspired by 37 Signals Getting Real methodology, I’m looking to skill up in front end development so that I can ditch Visio and output nice HTML templates. Here’s a few links that were recommended to me:

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customer service 2.0

technorati logo

I’ve had two close encounters with 2.0 customer service this week. Both of them have really left an impression, so let me share:

Blogbeat: This one you can actually see on an earlier post. I’ve been having a bit of a go at Blogbeat lately because I actually want to like them, but I find it hard to love an interface that’s so bloody ugly (it doesn’t work for me.. I don’t care what Scoble says).

After my last post, Jeff from Blogbeat lobbed up and posted a little comment that totally put a human face on that company and their service for me. And then he linked to me! Even though I wasn’t saying entirely flattering things.

And what’s the outcome? I’ve got about 15 days left on my free trial at Blogbeat and now I’m almost sure I’ll pay them their $24USD. Eh. I feel like I kind of know them now. I have an emotional involvement with them now. If anyone’s going to get my cash, then I’d rather it be someone I know (this is not a new concept). Its like I want to reward them for caring about what I think, and engaging in the conversation.

powerful customer service 2.0, or I’m just a big sucker.
Either way, I like it.

Then today – Technorati impressed my socks off.

Now, I’m not compulsive about my Technorati ranking… Its hard to get too excited about it when there are so many digits involved! But I use Technorati tags and my blog hadn’t been updated on Techorati for over a month. I was pinging.. they weren’t receiving. What was up with that?

This morning I filled in their contact form to see what was going on. They auto-responded saying they might take a few days to get back to me. 5 minutes later I received an email from a real person telling me the what the problem was, that they’d fixed it and apologising.

5 minutes! Very impressed.

I had no inclination to blog about Technorati in the past. So many other people do, I figure, why add to the noise. But service like that is something special. So, here I am. Talking up Technorati. Doing their marketing for them.

So, when you go to seminars and hear people abstractly talk about ‘engaging in your customers conversations’, ‘listening to the market’, ‘creating a one to one relationship with your customer’, being honest, and open and truthful. This is what it looks like. Here are concrete examples.

I’d be interested to hear other examples you’ve had of personal experiences with customer service 2.0. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Who’s been treating you nice lately?

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links for 09 March 2006

Links have been a little quiet lately. Not today – lots of linky goodness :)

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considering code (your help needed)

Content into code I’ve been thinking a little bit lately about learning some more about code. Doing a bit of skills development.

Don’t laugh, programmers.

As I see it, there are two schools of thought.

School A: Specialisation

I’m going to hand over to Jonathan Korman again to take us throught this school of thought:

The work done, and the skills needed to do [Information Architecture and Interaction Design], differ considerably between the two. Just as few people can fully master the skills of both graphic design and IA, few people will master the skills of both IA and IxD. It serves both organizations and practitioners for people to specialize.

In this school, you need a different person with specific expertise to take on each separate task in a project. Heaven’s knows where they draw the line between IA and IxD … does the IA just hand over a sitemap perhaps? (nice work if you can get it). Jonathan would tell me that I’m mad to even think about learning how to code my own templates. Jonathan would be too busy tell me off for doing IA and IxD.

School B: Multitasking

Whilst I’m sure that School A has lots more proponents than just Jonathan, School B sure has a whole lots of cool kids enrolled. Loudest kids in class are the guys over at 37 Signals. In their book, ‘Getting Real’ they said that 37 Signals would ‘never hire an Information Architect’ because their skillset is too narrow.

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