Quality Reads

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Southwest Does It Right

I gotta give Southwest a little praise, I just had one of the best customer service experiences of my life. My company's email server went down this past week (major pain). So when I booked my flight on SW for a trip to Houston, I didn't get the confirmation email with all the useful Flight numbers etc etc. I called up their 800 number and *gasp* I didn't get put into a phone tree. I was routed immediately to a customer rep. I froze for second trying to remember why I called. When you're expect a game of telephone Guess Who? a human voice can be quite a shock.
So this post just goes to show that good, old-fashioned customer service can create some worthwhile buzz marketing. Well...OK, maybe not be as useful as an article on Boing Boing or the like but it has to be worth something.
I should also mention the revamped SW website is very sleek. Definitely Web 2.0.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Great Example of What Web 2.0 Can Do...

There are an amazing number of Web 2.0 clones out there doing stuff with RSS feeds or colloborative writing or web-based IM. OpenCongress.org is taking a different approach turning inaccessible information into something useful. Get a snapshot of the Congress' docket in a matter of minutes. I haven't had time to exhaustively check the website so it might have an underlying political agenda. In concept its a great idea. Post your take in the comments.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Management Style

I started to notice a re-occurring theme with one of my bosses (yes, I have multiple), every time he gives me work it always has to be done yesterday. Luckily, I don't have a problem working under tight deadlines pimping out a Delorean. My other two bosses provide a nice cushion of 1-2 days before any of their assigned tasks become due. Why, when they're all in the same business, can two individuals setup goals for their subordinates earlier than Boss #1?

One concept, two words: Goal setting. I think most motivated individuals are very good at identifying short-run tasks and long-run goals for themselves. Yet, that same behavior doesn't translate when they become management. As a manager, you're not setting goals/tasks for yourself as much as your team. The best managers have to realize that their time is best spent keeping their subordinates plates full and collective eyes on the prize. Returning to my original statement. My first boss, nay anyone who calls himself/herself a boss, has to take the time to not only plan strategically for the company but their team members. No plan is worth its weight if you don't communicate it.

Be Proactive Not Reactive.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Implosion of the Decade a Month Late

Silly me. I forgot to post the video of the New Haven Coliseum implosion a month ago. You can actually see my apartment building in the opening frame of the movie. Its just above the coliseum. I was standing across a bridge on the right side of the opening frame.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Where's the Web Headed

I originally saw this video on John Battelle's Search Blog. Definitely worth a watch for anyone who thinks there's more to Web 2.0 than hype.

Cheers to Michael Wesch, PhD for putting it together.

A Little Skype Toolbar Gotcha

Things have been straight hectic since I got back from Ireland. Two big deadlines staring me right in the face. To make sure my blog keeps rolling on, I have this little Skype Toolbar gotcha. I've been using Google Docs a little more recently since I've been bouncing between a number of different computers (with different OS's). The Skype Toolbar for Firefox has a nice feature where it turns all the phone numbers on a webpage into a click to call link (obviously you need SkypeOut for this to work on all numbers). Seems like a nice feature, in walks Google Docs.
Nothing breakthrough here. Just a Google Doc with a phone number on it. Check it out after I save and re-open the document.I guess you shouldn't be suprised by this. Skype converted the number into a single click to call. However, what you may not immediately notice is that the HTML version of this document has been edited by Skype to include the link. Below is what happens after saving and reloading again.

Whats that garbage around the phone number? Unloaded image icons?! I don't want that in my document. Since Skype works on your browser, Google Docs thinks that the changes were made by you and saves them accordingly. Check out what it looks like in print mode.

The unloaded image icons are having children. Great. Just what I need on all my business documents.

Since I rarely expand the Skype Toolbar, I never noticed this button before. It turns off the phone number highlighting. Problem solved.

Moral of the story: Know your Firefox extensions.

Yes, I know. Ridiculously quick resolution. I told you I'm busy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Off to the Emerald Isle

I've finally accrued some vacation time and I'm going to take full advantage. I'm off to Ireland. Dublin to be more precise. I'll be gone until the 11th so don't expect much from the links above. Pictures to follow.


The Intersection of Time & Money

I'm in the struggle of my life. The struggle to find that happy middle ground between time and money.