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12/31/2005

Best Customer Service Ever?

Filed under: — 1:18 am

Kudos to Southwest, I just called them (at 11pm MST) and not only was my call picked up immediately (after a breif blurb about SouthWest and two rings) but I had everything I needed in less than two minutes. The airline is obviously proud of their phone service because the following is found on their website:

Call us traditional, but we elect to steer clear of the chat-style, respond-on-demand, quick casual format and focus on meaningful Customer dialogue. This is not because we don’t care. It’s because that style counters our commitment to Customer Service.

Let me point out this is the polar opposite of Amazon.com where a phone number is nowhere to be found.

…and let me also mention that the lady had a very friendly voice (no accent of any kind) and wished me a good night. If you’re in Ireland or India, it doesn’t matter, odds are they wouldn’t know it’s night here.

PS: College students immediately receive 4 credits on their Rapid Rewards program. (In other words, I’ve already earned 25% of my first reward.)

12/30/2005

Happy Anniversary to BusinessBits

Filed under: — 10:30 pm

Well, it’s been a year and I can barely believe it. I started blogging last year on December 24th after talking quite a bit with Nathan Weinberg (owner of the Blog News Channel, author of InsideGoogle and InsideMicrosoft). It was winter break. I was home. I was bored. I enjoyed reading, learning, and more importantly: sharing.

This December, though, I was bit busy with school, work, skiing, etc. Although there have been a few lulls in the past the site has never lost momentum. I want to share a few key statistics with you.

Over the life of BusinessBits I’ve received four books to review (three are complete: The Student Success Manifesto, All Marketers Are Liars, Corporate Canaries).

I’ve had conversations with individuals like Robert Scoble, Mark Cuban, and Jeremy Wright. Heck, I even served as one of his (many) book reviewers. In addition I’ve exchanged emails with other insightful individuals like Seth Godin, Scott Adams, Michael Simmons, Wayne Hurlbert, Gary Potter, Steve Rubel, Heather Hamilton and Chris Woodruff. I’ve also conversed with Arieanna Foley who, even today, makes sure I’m looking my best. Even more recently I’ve met Noah Kagan, one of the brightest and most capable yopos I’ve ever met. ;-)

I was listed on Lifehacker. Featured on The Blog Hearald and cited across a number of other blogs.

This all may not sound like a lot to you but to me it’s been a part-to-full time hobby for me over the past year. With 440 posts and nearly 200 comments I feel THAT although a lot has been done, there’s certainly room to improve. Plus, I’ve made a few bucks in addition to friends and contacts.

I certainly look forward to the next year!

Open Reponse to Zaw’s Interesting Thoughts on 2005

Filed under: — 9:50 pm

Zaw Thet has posted his musings on 2005. Personally, I found them to be very a-musing indeed. Nothing personal, but I did want to address a few of his thoughts… perhaps for my own musing.

First, can you point to anyone who has honestly considered the web as an operating system? Second, I think Dan Gilmore beat you to Web 3.0 back in April. ;-)

Second, who are we to say what an appropriate “standard of living” is in the Middle Rast? If thats what we need to do why aren’t we in Africa? We aren’t we installing democracy elsewhere? Political reasons. Politics solves politics, not a standard of living.

Why would 2006 be the year of the blogs/RSS? The technologies gained popularity in 2004 and peaked in 2005. What would 2006 have to offer other than, perhaps, a calming effect on the overwhelming amount of content?

I don’t understand your SMS advertising concept. You mean something like adwords in my text messagess? Who would offer that and why would they include ads? I already pay for my messaging. No ads needed. Are you suggesting perhaps mobile applications offered for free that include ads?

You make a point in 8 which is later contradicted by number 10 (and additionally 14). If sites are successful becuase they tailor to our needs why would social sites like myspace and Facebook slowly die? I propose that connecting with people, meeting people, and being social in general is one of the top needs any human has. (I certainly do agree with number 8 though, there is so much to be done online still.)

Again, 11 and 13 confuse me. If it’s hard to create companies then why are there so many new ones? Are we breeding smarter business individuals or are the barriers to entry quickly crumbling down? I’d tend to believe the latter.

I swear any time I’m in a public place I hear the word Sodoku at least once.

I whole-heartedly agree with number 17. Gas prices spiked and we had an issue with that. Now that they’ve slightly come down they’re not enough of a hassle for anything to be done. We’re settling for mediocrity and I sure hope 2006 brings some change to that.

Anyway, it was a fun read. I’d offer my own musings but I hardly feel qualified.

Source: Nouveau by Zaw Thet

Facebook Advertising Fact

Filed under: — 8:46 pm

Did you know… that the most expensive school to advertise at on Facebook is Penn State? At $22 a day I figure you’d be getting approximately a ton of views.

It’d be neat if Facebook had some more stats on how many impressions/clicks your ads get. Seems like one of those small but very useful things. Plus, who doesn’t like statistics? Especially when it comes to our money…

12/16/2005

Great Mobile Centrino Commercial

Filed under: — 1:44 am

I was lying on the couch watching TV (finals are over, time to relax) and I really wasn’t paying much attention…

…that was until I heard the following:

“Are you looking for an entertaining experience in your lap?”

Naturally my answer was yes…

…but I already have a laptop.

12/13/2005

The Night Before Finals (Christmas)

Filed under: — 7:00 pm

T’was the night before finals,
And all through the college,
The students were praying
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy,
But none touched their beds,
While visions of essays
Danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns,
A few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor
Would get their brains thinking.

In my own apartment,
I had been pacing,
Dreading all those exams
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless,
His nose in his books,
And my comments to him
Drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee,
And brewed a new pot,
No longer caring
That my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes,
But my thoughts were all muddy,
My eyes went a’blur,
I just couldn’t study.

“Some pizza might help,”
I said with a shiver,
But each place I called
Refused to deliver.

I’d pretty much concluded
Life is unfair and cruel,
Since our futures all depend
On grades made in school.

When all of a sudden,
Our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put-It-Off
Ambled inside.

Her spirit was careless,
Her manner was mellow,
She looked at the mess
And started to bellow:

“Why should us students
Make such a fuss,
About what those teachers
Toss out to us?”

“On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes!
On Last Year’s Exams!
On Wingit and Slingit,
And Last Minute Crams!”

Her message delivered,
She vanished from sight,
But we heard her laughing
Outside in the night.

“Your teachers won’t flunk you,
So just do your best.
Happy Finals to All,
And to All, a good test.”

MCI and Microsoft Make a (Phone) Deal

Filed under: — 12:40 pm

Microsoft said late yesterday that it has struck a deal with MCI to offer calls from a PC to a standard phone, becoming the latest player in an increasingly competitive field. So far there are no plans for the PCs to receive calls… which is a typical half-ass Microsoft copy-cat move. The articles notes it will probably be more costly than competing services. Weak, Microsoft.

Source: Seattle PI

12/5/2005

Best Business Books of 2005

Filed under: — 11:08 pm

…according to strategy+business. The article is on their website and requires registration. Some of my favorites include The World is Flat, Everything Bad is Good For You, Winning, and All Marketers Are Liars. My resolution for 2005 was to read a book a month (textbooks excluded… not that it mattered). Looks like I’m at 7 books this year and less than a month to go. More book reviews, coming soon…

Link: strategy+business

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