In customer service, rants, travel, uncategorized, us airways on April 25, 2007 at 1:35 pm
Nothing gets my blood boiling more than the airline industry. They always choose to blame circumstances beyond their control for their service issues. Sure, the weather, air traffic congestion and security issues all bear heavily on their daily activities. That said, it’s hard to blame Osam bin Laden for the bag of pretzels they gave me on my Us Airways flight from Raleigh to New York today. As document above, the bag I received contained 7 total pretzels. I looked arond me, and that seemed to be “normal”.
Truth be told, I wasn’t even hungry, but I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who noticed their extreme frugality. I have to wonder…why did they bother at all? Have they even stoppped to think about the impression this gives customers? It seems to me that they are so busy pinching pennies that they have TOTALLY lost sight of their customers. It’s almost as though they are simply going through the motions like zombies.
In account planning, advertising, christopher hitchens, random, rants, slate, uncategorized, words on April 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm
Found this very observant little article by Christopher Hitchens over on Slate called The You Decade. In short, Hitchens brings to our attention the overuse and misuse of the word “you”. The anecdote about Rite-Aid is perfect:
I suppose I started to notice it about two or three years ago, when the salespeople at Rite-Aid began wearing dish-sized lapel buttons stating that “YOU are the most important customer I will serve today.” It was all wrong, in the same way that a sign hung on a door saying “Back in five minutes” is out of time as soon as it is put in place. It was wrong in other ways, too, since it could be read from some distance (say, from 10 spaces back in a slow-moving line)…
His argument seems semantic and rhetorical, but I wholeheartedly agree with him. That sneaky little pronoun will henceforth be the bain of my existence.
In account planning, advertising, awesome, Contact, random, tarheels, unc, uncategorized on April 17, 2007 at 10:17 am
Those of you who know me personally know that I have spent the last two years at the University of North Carolina pursuing my master’s degree in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. As of last Friday, I am officially finished. I defended my thesis and handed in the final manuscript. While I don’t get my diploma until May 13th, my academic requirements are complete.
I want to thank my friends and family for all of their support during these last two years. I also want to thank my colleagues at both McKinney and Modernista! for putting up with with me as an intern. And to my classmates and professors at UNC, just know that I would not have been able to do this without you challenging me every day.
Let the job-hunt begin…..
In account planning, advertising, media ownership, movies, Network, rants, satire on April 9, 2007 at 8:58 am
I was watching the movie Network recently, and I realized that it is the finest satire ever made. I’ll tell you why.
The definition of satire is “Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity.” (American Heritage Dictionary) At its best, satire toes the line between the realistic and the fantastic. It leaves you partially unable to discern the difference between the two. It turn something we see every day and tweaks it just enough that we begin to see just how silly it actually is. The absolute best satire is so rooted in real life and so incisive that it actually has a predictive quality. It brings to light a situation that, if not remedied, becomes reality.
Unfortunately, Network, high satire when it was released in 1976, has now come true. Most people know the movie Network based on this one scene, the “Mad As Hell” scene. It basically won Peter Finch an Oscar. (The movie was nominated for 10 and won 4.) There is another key scene, another of Beale’s rants, that is even more prescient. Just watch the YouTube video above an tell me that this isn’t a precise description of the media landscape thirty years later.
Oh, if you haven’t seen Network, put it in your Netflix cue today.
In advertising, corporate naming, design, etymology, names, uncategorized on April 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm
Came across this great Wikipedia entry that lists the origins of different corporate names. I prefer the names seem to have naturally evolved, rather than being created from scratch. My favorites…
Blaupunkt — Blaupunkt (“Blue dot”) was founded in 1923 under the name “Ideal”. Its core business was the manufacturing of headphones. If the headphones came through quality tests, the company would give the headphones a blue dot. The headphones quickly became known as the blue dots or blaue Punkte. The quality symbol would become a trademark and the trademark would become the company name in 1938.
Red Hat — while at college, company founder Marc Ewing was given the Cornell lacrosse team cap (with red and white stripes) by his grandfather. People would turn to him to solve their problems and he was referred to as that guy in the red hat. He lost the cap, later the manual of the beta version of Red Hat Linux had an appeal to readers (anyone finding it) to return his Red Hat.
Thanks to Jason Kottke for bringing this to my attention.
In awesome, movies, research, star wars, technology, user-generated content, wiki, wikipedia, wookieepedia on April 4, 2007 at 3:37 pm
A few months back, I was reading this great essay that attempts to reconcile the six Star Wars film under one cohesive logic (link via kottke.org). The essay left me with more than a few questions, so I decided to do a little research on my own. “Surely, there must me some sort of online Star Wars encyclopedia,” I thought. Boy, was I right.
Wookieepedia is a wiki dedicated to all things Star Wars. And when I say “all things” I mean “ALL THINGS”. Lando Calrissian’s complete biography…got it. What is a storm trooper’s armor made of? Got that too. Never seen a female wookiee? Here’s Chewbacca’s wife.
Sorry. My intention here wasn’t to drag you into complete geekdom.
Actually, I wanted to point out that in spite of all the negative press that Wikipedia sometimes gets, a site like Wookieepedia shows us what it’s really all about. It shows us that a few people can collect, in one place, all we know about a subject. (And, I assume, with some accuracy.) Think about it. The Star Wars universe consists of hundreds of comics and novels, several TV specials, video games and, oh, six feature films. Every detail from each one of these artifacts has been collected, collated and cross-referenced on one site. That’s quite a feat, and a tribute to the power of social networks and collective knowledge.
Of course, the real universe is infinitely larger and more complex than the one George Lucas has created. But I think you get my point.