Five things

Pineapples

OK. I’ve managed to avoid the whole meme thing pretty well for the past year or so, but I can’t really ignore being tagged by David, so bear with me. I’ll keep it brief.

Five things you probably don’t know about me.

  1. I’d rather be a concert pianist: I used to be a pretty reasonably pianist back in the day. I started lessons when I was about 5yrs old and kept it up until I was almost eighteen. I used think I might one day be a famous concert pianist, but I was never really a great fan of getting up on stage and performing, so that was only ever going to be a pipe dream. I also learned the cello, but I was much more rubbish at that. I haven’t played for quite a while, but one day I’ll buy myself a piano and get back into it. It will go in my library, which will have walls lined with books.
  2. I grew up on a farm: horse, pigs, cows, the works. It was really fun and I wish that all kids could grow up that way. I was terrified of the horses when I was really small though. I had a potty calf that I named Madonna. My brother named the cat Powder Puff. (eh, Madonna is still a worse name for a cow, isn’t it).
  3. I cheated my way through second grade: every week we had a spelling test and every week, me and my friend Ange sat next to one another and cheated. (Sorry Ange!). We used to get a ‘star’ on the board when you got 100% on your test, and I can’t believe they ever figured out what was going on because Ange and I would have dozens more stars than anyone else in the class. That was the first and last time I ever cheated at school (although, we did do it most weeks of that year). Thank goodness for spell check, that’s all I can say. Kiddies. Don’t cheat on your spelling tests!
  4. I have a fruit & meat rule: they should never be together. The exception that proves the rule is pineapple on pizza. Sweet and Sour Pork should only ever be eaten once the pineapple has been removed. Anyone who cooks me Apricot Chicken has a lot of explaining to do.
  5. I’ve had a massive crush on Steve Waugh and Michael Hutchence for decades: That’s the ex-Australian Cricket Captain and the lead singer of INXS. *swoon* Michael Hutchence (RIP) should be self explanatory. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the Steve Waugh thing.

One thing I didn’t know until today.

My dad reads this blog. I have no idea why… as he said today ‘I have no idea how you have time to write all that rubbish you write’. Hrm, thanks Dad. Anyone else out there who shouldn’t* be reading this? You might as well own up now.

OK. That’s it. No more memes.
(*shouldn’t = doing it more for stalking purposes than because you’re interested in what I’m actually writing about)

image credit:DieHardCanonUser @ Flickr

Wii have a problem (but it’s your fault)

Nintendo Safety Manual for Wii

Who knew a games controller could wreak such havok. Head over to WiiHaveAProblem and be astounded by the number of TV sets that people have taken out when they’ve been playing with their new Wii and the controller has been thrown out of their hands with such force as to break the strap. Carnage ensues.
What does Nintendo have to say about this situation?

Vispi Bhopti, of Nintendo Australia, said the problem was less to do with quality issues and more related to the way the console was being used.

“Nintendo has done various tests before we launched, but it turns out people are playing with a lot more gusto than we would’ve anticipated,” he said

“At this point, I do want to clarify that Nintendo is introducing a brand new form of entertainment and a brand new form of interacting … it’s not like conventional video games, and … we need to let people be aware of how they should approach it. This will take a little time for some people.”

Bhopti added that over-the-top movements and letting go of the controller places unnecessary strain on the wrist strap, causing it to snap.

via Sydney Morning Herald

Oh. So it’s not Nintendo’s fault, it’s your fault. You’re not playing the right way. You’re playing too hard.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a tremendous cop out and would much rather lay the blame at the feet of whoever designed the testing for this ‘brand new’ product? Isn’t one of the most exciting things about a product like this the fact that people will use it in new and unexpected ways?

I would love to know more about these ‘various tests’ that Nintendo carried out and the context in which they took place.

You see, if they did all their testing in a lab, then there is no way that they would have seen this coming, because users, generally, behave themselves pretty well in a lab. Particularly if you’re videoing them.

Users in their own environments are different animals, so imagine if Nintendo did some contextual research… well, it just seems so obvious in retrospect, doesn’t it.

A Wii, a couple of boisterous guys on a Friday night, and a weak wrist strap.

Wii have a problem

It was never going to end well, was it?

Contextual research. It’s fun to do, and sometimes there’s a really good reason to get out of the lab.

Image credit: WiiHaveAProblem

links for 09 December 2006 – Seeking WordPress plugin for audio player

Smart email: If I stop buying, ask me why!

Ocardo Box

Two clever companies noticed I was doing something that was not making them money recently and emailed me to let me know they’d noticed. And then they tried selling me more stuff. As though I must have just got bored or forgot what I was doing when I was supposed to be spending money. As though it couldn’t have been a problem with their product or their processes.

Neither of them ever asked me why I stopped buying. Although I was eager to tell them both.

The first example was Three which I discussed in an earlier post and just this morning Ocardo emailed me saying they’d noticed I’ve not been buying their organic boxes lately. You can tell from their email (above) that they assume that I’ve just forgotten about this great service they’re offering and that a reminder and maybe a special offer will trigger my buying behaviour again.

They’re totally wrong of course. I stopped buying their product deliberately because I think it’s a rip off. They send me boring fruit and vegetables, ones that I don’t really use, and they charge a whole lot of money for it. I don’t buy their product because I can get better organic boxes elsewhere.

If I was running Ocardo (or, at least, in charge of sending out this email), I’d definitely be finding a way not just to remind people about my product, but also to initiate a conversation, a dialogue. Don’t assume I’m just a dumb user who forgot or got distracted… ask me.

If you’re smart enough to look for customer intelligence (who’s stopped buying what), then be smart enough to respect a customer’s intelligence. You’ll end up with a much more more clever company… and maybe even an organic box that I’d want to buy from you again.