June 24, 2009
That's pretty much Google's tech support response to Adwords problems. Oh, they use more words, but face it, Le Goog doesn't do shit to actually help you when you have a problem.
At least they're honest about it. Gotta give them points for a blatant "Go Fuck Yourself", although the purity is lost with the forum shit. The forum shit is weak, it's like pretending to care. Don't pretend. Be proud of your apathy. You're Google, caring is for other companies.| Comments ()
In case you were wondering
Currently, there's a serious comment spam attack on this site, averaging about 15 attempts per second, or over 9,000 comment spam attempts in the last 14 hours and 47 minutes.
That's why comments are disabled, and will remain that way until shit calms down.| Comments ()
So in activating Google webmaster tools, I see a gob of messages in the inbox for them. They all say the same thing:
For legal reasons, we've excluded from our search results content located at or under the following URL/directory:Even better, it looks like whomever has been doing this has been submitting the request about that article every month since June of 2008.
Cause: We were requested to remove this URL from our search results in order to comply with local law. More information
I don't know if it was Sam or some other dingus that has been doing it, but way to go dude. Way to protect the poor souls of the UK from marauding evil like me. I hope they keep submitting that shit for-fucking-ever too.
Dipshit(s).| Comments ()
Web 2.0/Social Media: Really guys, it's pretty simple
Being that I work for an Advertising/PR/Marketing company, I've been getting an education in what really happens in this business, and it's been fascinating. One of the more interesting parts is watching my company, and the industry as a whole, try to wrap its head around "new media". Usually, they overcomplicate it. So here's my thoughts on this as someone who does deal with "Web 2.0" and "Social Media" from a few different angles.
The biggest fuckup I see, honestly, happens when people try to overcomplicate what those two things, (hereafter called "Social Media"), are. The best definition I've seen comes from my friend and boss, Mike:
Social Media is people talking to each other
That's really all it is. You can put all the fucking spin, weasel words, and supercaptaincoolguy terminology you want, but it's like painting a diamond. In the end, what's inside is far more valuable than the coating.
All this shit, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, FriendFeed, DoucheBlog, all of it, is just people talking to each other, in a fairly direct way. It's analgous to a telephone. You don't really think much about the phone system, it's only there to allow you to talk to someone far away. Same thing for online shit. It can be a one to one, one to many, many to one, many to many, or all of the above, but it's just people talking to each other.
If you make it more complicated than that as a concept, stop. You're about to go off the cliff into New Media Douchebaggery, and you don't want that. Ever.
So why do people get it wrong so often? The biggest problem I see is caused by something that is almost in the "DNA", (if something non-organic can actually have DNA) of the PR/Marketing/Advertising business: Managing the message.
When you're talking about monologues, like traditional media, coupons, fliers, television commercials, what have you, you can easily manage the message. You're the only source. It's easy. However, when everything becomes a dialogue, you can't do it, and if you try, you'll look like a pack of asses. Only stupider.
So what do you do when you're faced with someone who is ranting and raving, probably in an obscene fashion about your product or company? Talk To Them
I don't mean talk at them, or quote statistics, or try to justify why you're right and their anger or frustration is wrong or unjustified. First, you're never going to win that argument, and secondly, it makes you look like a total fucking douchebag who isn't even listening in the first place.
Over the years, I have mercilessly ragged on Adobe's CS installers, in particular CS 3. With good reason mind you. There are very few forms of obscenity or expletive I've not used on the subject. As some point, someone, or a lot of someones forwarded my rants from this site to various people at Adobe, who forwarded them along to the installer team. What did they do?
They didn't try to tell me that I wasn't seeing what I was seeing. Instead they said "Can we talk, we'd like to find out more about what you're seeing and the problems you're having." We talked, and while they would explain why they made certain choices, and why those decisions were made, they never, ever, ever, told me that what I was seeing was wrong or was bullshit. Instead, they kept talking to me, even arranging to do so in person. At this point, while I still think the CS3 installer is a shitpile, and the CS4 installer, although much improved, still sucks for enterprise installs, and some of the shit that the apps do, in particular Acrobat, is maddening, I have a huge amount of respect for that team, because they didn't try to "manage" me. Instead they said (paraphrased), "Damn dude, you're pretty fuckin' pissed. How about we sit down and you tell us more, and we'll tell you more, and we'll trust you so you trust us, and maybe we can somehow figure out how to make it not suck."
Here, read the Notes' team response, in the comments, to my rant on Notes. The first.fucking.thing they do is get snippy about HTML comment rules. Then they tell me I'm wrong because they have lots of UI design tests. Then I'm wrong because they have lots of people doing UI design. Then I'm wrong because I'm using Notes in a supported, but unpopular method. Then I'm wrong...
You get the idea.
Oh, and they get fucking snippy, because I keep calling bullshit on them. Well, don't tell me I didn't see what I saw, don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining, and don't tell me it's my fault because I called a sack of shit a sack of shit and not a bag of diamonds.
You may not like what I, or someone else has to say about your baby, but, (especially) if we're showing you screenshots?
You try to manage me, you'll pull back a bloody stump. When someone is raging on Twitter and Facebook and six billion blogs, don't try to tell them they're wrong. Now, if they start pulling the "DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM" shit, you can ignore that, but don't tell someone that what pissed them off is their fault, or not really bad. Talk to them, not at them.
If this sounds kind of obvious, it is. It's the same tactic you'd use in person. Someone's pissed, you find out why, and see what you can do about it.
Really, it is that simple. Talk to people, not at them, and don't try to manage them. You'll get a lot more respect for honesty than bullshit spin just to avoid actual interaction.
Second mistake: Not knowing why you're there, but by god, everyone else is, so you will be too.
This kind of thing is what happens when you listen to Scoble, Winer, iJustine and the other New Media Douchebags too much. You start thinking they're some kind of prophets, when in fact, they're just douchebags, only at high speed. Here's the thing...you know your customers. You know what they want. You can pretty much guess if you need to be on facebook or not.
If you're a neighborhood deli with a good set of regulars, and steady new customer growth, and it's all because your pastrami sammiches fucking rule and everyone raves about them? Fuck Facebook, you have the best community of all: Happy People Actually Spending Money For Your Shit.
If you're bigger, have multiple locations, or already do a lot of business online, then shit like Facebook, Twitter, (Myspace is only good if you're a 12 year old girl, or a band. For musicians, Myspace is tits and gravy. For anyone else? Run.The.Fuck.Away), can be useful. But that doesn't mean you have to do it. Sometimes, you just have to do nothing. Take Publix subs. Now, if you're not from the southeast, that means nothing to you. But here in the heart of Publixland? That shit is a cult, and I have to say, I love Publix subs. They fucking rock. How hardcore are Publix Sub's fans?
Over 66,000 people declaring their love for Publix Subs, and Publix had to do nothing but make great subs. How much does this cost Publix? Nothing. The fan site was started by a coworker who fucking loves these things. Shit, one guy posts about driving 40 miles out of his way to get a goddamned sub.
You can't create that shit, that's just people who love the same thing talking. Kiss Army, Publix Subs, just a bunch of fans. The difference is, Facebook made it trivial to set up, and now 66,000 people can trade sub stories with ease.
But what if you want to do your own thing? Nothing wrong with that, but for chrissakes, don't just do it to be there. Learn about whatever form of talking you're going to do, and do something with it. Just having a twitter account doesn't make you saavy, it means you can type. Doing stuff like Southwest Airlines & Jet Blue do on twitter, or Aflac does on Facebook and twitter, etc is good. Those first two companies use twitter extremely well, as do a lot of other companies who get that Twitter is a fantastic way to talk to customers, both happy and unhappy.
Southwest and Jet Blue both keep me apprised of what's going on with them. Fantastic, I love both companies. Even multiple accounts are okay. Delta has two, one that's more of a personal account, (even if it's run by a committee, it comes across well) and one that's for Delta announcements. Hell, Aflac's stuff is by an anthropomorphized duck, and it's really well done. Which is good, because face it, figuring out what Aflac does? Not easy. They need all the notice they can get. (Supplemental Insurance is NOT exciting.)
The point is, if you can say "We should be on Twitter/Facebook/whatever, because..." and you have an easily explained reason that can be translated to "They make it easier to talk to our customers and people who we want to be our customers", then that's a good idea. If your reason is "Well, it seems to be popular with the kids", stop. Don't do it. You'll just look like someone's parents grinding at their kids' prom because they want to look cool, or that guy at the club who's too old to be acting the way he's acting. Proper use of shit like Twitter et al can do wonders for you at high speed. Fucking it up because you're clueless can cut your throat just as fast.
tl;dr version: If you're going to say something, have something to fucking say.
Dear god, especially if you're going to do a corporate blog. Don't just use it to recite company bylines and principles and look cool. Say something, or stop talking. I read most corporate or CEO blogs one time, and I want to punch them in the fucking face. Seriously, I don't fucking care about half that shit. Don't market to me, talk to me. You know what I want to know? What you think about stuff in general. Write it yourself. Fuck the assistants, put on your big boy pants and type shit out. Use a spell checker. Check your homophones. But type it out yourself. You like baseball? Talk about baseball.
Here's a great example: My friend Chuck Goolsbee. Chuck is a VP at digital.forest, (my ISP in fact), and has been in this business a long time. I don't read his blog to learn about d.f., or how we should be doing things in the industry. He talks about those things sometimes, but those posts, while interesting, are the dullest shit on his blog. What I really read Chuck's blog for is when he's getting all gearheady about cars, or doing his "what car is this" thing, or taking really amazing pictures of cars and planes, or talking about his undying love for diesel engines, and his home biodiesel rig.
That shit is fun to read, is cool to read, and is the best part about his site. Will it ever drum up business for d.f.? Fuck if I know, but I can tell you, I'd rather read Chuck's most arcane gearhead post than some over-committeed swill designed to pump up an exec or business's image. It's not that Chuck never talks about stuff at d.f., but when he does, it's something that is cool or interesting, usually involving ginormous UPS's. Because that's what people want to hear about from Chuck. Cool shit about machines and cars. The fact that sometimes it's a big fuckin' UPS at his company doesn't matter, as long as the posts are cool.
It's real. Chuck has something to say about stuff he likes, or dislikes, and he just talks about it.
So if you're going to do a blog, don't try to sell me on your company. I won't care, and I won't read it. Instead, talk about something your enthusiastic about in your words the way you'd tell your friends about it on your back porch swilling beers. If work happens to fit in, great. You want to throw some links to your company's site up, great. But leave it at that. If I'm interested in you as a person, I'll eventually click on your company links, because I'll be curious about it. If you push me though? Fuck no, not clicking, just to spite you.
Also, don't use a "corporate" blog to be a mechanism to deny any fault with your company and its products. If that's all you're going to do, relentlessly defend shit and not listen to anyone with a differing opinion, then stop. Delete the files, and let the URL be a blank spot. Better to do nothing than be a douche. In other words, don't be this guy.
(As far as this blog goes...if anyone thinks I'm doing this to drum up business for my company, you're pretty fucking stupid or stoned. Now, if you want to do something we can help you with, my email address is all over the place, email me, and we can talk. But seriously, as a marketer, I'm a good IT guy.)
The third mistake is treating this shit like a bad baseball movie, aka "If you build it, they will come."
No, they won't. They'll drive by you, probably laughing. Social media, web 2.0, whatever the fuck you want to call it is not magical. It's not some spell from hogwarts that prints money.
It is, as I quoted earlier, people talking to people. If you are going to use social media to help market your shit, you have to put real work in it. You can't just create the account then run outside holding a basket for all the money about to fall out of the sky. Because you'll just be a dumbass with a basket. Seriously, take a look at the Southwest Airlines Twitter page. Following almost 8,000 people, being followed by almost 130,000 and nigh on 3000 posts. JetBlue has fewer posts, but it's not a dead page by a long shot. Comcast's comcastcares account? Busier than the other two combined, and they list other Comcast employees on Twitter as well.
Comcast brings me to another point..."bad" pages. Aka stuff like "comcastcaresnot", or even better, "comcastsucks1". You will have these. You cannot, can.not please everyone all the time. You'll go crazy if you try. You also can.not stop people who aren't happy with you from speaking out about it.
So what do you do when a <yourcompany sucks> page shows up? First, don't freak the fuck out. Don't sue them or threaten them. You look stupid, and it probably won't work. Second, don't overly engage them, but do at least talk to them. Maybe there is a way to help, and they slipped through the cracks. What the fuck, they already hate you, what do you have to lose? Finally, if they just won't go away, then let them be pissed, but make damned sure that whatever the central issue is, that it's resolved. Then let them be. Don't slag them on your site(s), don't astroturf them, don't get others to speak out against them. All those are stupid, douche-y, or cowardly in turn. As well, for the love of all that's holy, if you have a blog or some other account that allows people to comment, do not, under any circumstances, pull the "anonymity means you have nothing worth saying" shit, or the even lamer "profanity means you have nothing to say worth listening to." Both are stupid little kid stances to take, and it just reeks of "We're going to do whatever it takes to avoid listening to you, no matter how lame it looks." Again, don't be this guy. (Yes, I'm picking on him, he's such a great example of a bad example.)
However, if some New Media Douchebag pulls a "DO WHAT I WANT RIGHT NOW OR I SHALL CREATE A BLOG POST TELLING MY MILLLLLLLIONS OF FOLLOWERS HOW SHODDY YOUR PRODUCT IS!" thing on you, feel free to say "Well, that's a real shame" and walk away. There's a difference between resolving an honest beef and letting Scoble, or some fucking Scoble wannabe walk all over you. Note that Adobe didn't immediately completely change their development priorities just to make me happy. They listened, they engaged, but they're going to make things better in a way that also makes sense for them too. Taking someone seriously doesn't mean taking a dick up the ass. "No" is a valid response if that's the only answer you have to give them.
Do not try to go on a URL/Account reservation spree either. It's stupid, lame, and won't work anyway. So you reserve everything with "Comcast" in the name. Fuck you, I just created "C0mc@stEatsAss". You still lose, and now I have more to yell at you about. If you're going to create accounts on Twitter, Facebook, whatever, then only create accounts you will use, and use the accounts you create. If you find one you're just not using, let it go.
Holy fuck, this got long in a hurry, so a quick recap:
- Social Media is just people talking to people
- Don't do anything with Social Media unless you know what and why you're doing it
- If you're going to say something, have something real to say
- Using Social Media is not magic, it's still real work
- You cannot prevent people from hating you, stop trying to prevent it as a thing
Looks simple? It is. Don't overthink this shit, don't give it too much precedence, and don't be afraid to be the last guy on the bus. Do things in a way that works for you, not because someone said you should.
| Comments ()
Oh...and don't put links to every fucking social media site on the internet at the bottom of every blog post and web page you have. It just makes you look stupid, and annoys the people with a clue. If you have 10 fucking social media badges on everything you do on the internet, you obviously are not one of the people with a clue. YA RLY.
June 23, 2009
Comments aren't broken
Well, not in the WTF? way. Evidently, as part of the traffic from Daring Fireball linking to my post about the latest Adobe douchebags, (thanks dude, by the way, even if it's annoying, someone with a clue linking to me is always appreciated), are a bunch of comment spambots.
Now, they can't actually get into my comments, god love typepad logins, no spam for a good long while now, but, the rejections were slowing down the box. Since my site is not the only site on that box, the sysadmins at digital.forest, my ISP, did the smart thing, and changed the permissions on the comment cgi until things calm down. So for a bit, comments probably won't work.
That's fine with me, I figure most people reading my site get this. If they don't, meh, there's other places on the internet you can go, have a nice day.
So no, they aren't broken, they're just disabled site-wide for now.| Comments ()
June 22, 2009
Doing it wrong
So somehow, because my bile levels aren't high enough, I find something both rare and common:
Rare, in that it's an Adobe blog not written by John Nack that appears to update more than once a quarter, and common in that it's an Adobe blog written by someone who when presented with anything other than a love fest, (This one's thing appears to be Flash, so we'll go with...Flashatio) retreats into whiny sarcasm and really, really stupid ideas.
Well, for example, when presented with the fact that the Flash plugin on anything but Windows makes your browser sputter and crash, Flashboy takes two tactics: First, you have too many tabs open and you should use a Flash Blocker. You're browser will still crash, but slower. No, I'm sure as fuck not making this up. It's in this post, in my comment. Here, for your...is "appallment" even a word? If not, it should be.
Wait, in ten years, will Adobe have a version of Flash that runs well on something BESIDES Windows? [jd sez: No reason to think non-Windows will go away during the decade, so "Probably, yes". ;-) ]
Because that would be beautiful. No more watching browsers spinlock because of flash. No more browser crashes because of Flash. Just a smooth experience, because one.single.plugin cannot be written in a way that does not make you think you're using dialup on a Mac Plus. [jd sez: Got too many tabs from pushy sites on a weaker browser? Try a Flash blocker, control your load. Will still crash, but slower cycle.]
So, what will come first: HTML 5 release and acceptance, or a non-windows Flash implementation that isn't utter garbage?
Taking bets now. I lean towards HTML 5, given the lack of caring by Adobe to Flash performance issues on !Windows to date.
That's his response. Not "Yes, the problems with Flash performance on platforms other than Windows has been a problem for years, and we're working hard to fix that". Not "Well, I'm not in Flash engineering, but I'll pass that along to the team". No, his advice is to use a Flash Blocker. Your "weaker" browser will still crash, but hey, IT'LL CRASH SLOWER, AND THAT'S ALMOST AS GOOD AS NOT CRASHING, RIGHT?
Why not just call me a fucking worthless hippie for not using a "real" browser in a "real" OS and be done with it. Jesus!
Where the FUCK does Adobe find these nitwits, and WHY are they allowed to interact with the public? Holy fuck, if I was the Flash Engineering Manager, I'd be roaming the halls with a taser, a box of salt and a wet towel, screaming his name. If there was any better way to make me hope that fucking Silverlight, HTML 5, or a backup method disaster killed Flash fucking dead, I can't think of it.
"Got too many tabs from pushy sites on a weaker browser? Try a Flash blocker, control your load. Will still crash, but slower cycle."
Here's a tip John...(Why the FUCK do these nitwits have to have my name?)...go talk to the Adobe Installer team. Learn how they deal with criticism, blistering and otherwise. Those guys? They're doing it right. You? Not so much.
| Comments ()
June 17, 2009
Oh for fuck's sake
I guess calling me a syphilitic fuckwit spares you from having to deal with the facts I laid out in my ragging on Notes. Or maybe it lets you, for the moment, forget the pain you inflict on yourself on a daily basis.
But then again, what else can you expect? The poor bastard not only has to use notes, but actually has to defend that festering pile of human-hating shit disguised as a usable application. I mean, when you've had your head that far up IBM/Lotus's ass for that long, I imagine that you'll do anything to distract yourself from the fact that no matter how clever you imagine yourself at the end of the day...you still have to use, and act like you love, Lotus Notes.
There is nothing I could do, even with a taser, a cheese grater, and a bag of sea salt, to even come close to the levels of pain that poor bastard inflicts on himself. I mean, what could I possibly do to come close to the level of psychological and emotional trauma that makes you think you actually like Lotus Notes.
Seriously, it sucks so bad, IBM won't even let it have the good branding. It's not "IBM Notes", it's "Lotus Notes". IBM has bought a lot of shit over the years, and it eventually gets the IBM brand. But not Notes. Fuck no, keep that shit out in the servant quarters, don't let it NEAR the big house.
So again, in the end, I only feel pity for Steve. I guess it's like what residents of Hanoi felt when they heard the screams from the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. You just feel bad, only unlike those poor bastards, Steve does that to himself...all day, every day.
By now, I bet he could smile and sing a happy song if you skinned him alive.| Comments ()
June 15, 2009
Et Tu Google?
So, one of the things I hear constantly from my wife is her...annoyance at people who think they can get weeks of work out of her, but in lieu of cash, they'll give her "exposure".
"Exposure" is a barely nicer way of saying "I'm not paying shit for your work, but maybe someone who isn't a cheap douchebag will see your art and throw you a bone. Besides, aren't artists against money?"
Her opinion of such people is rather low, even when it's some fucking Stephanie Meyers wannabe, thinking her shitty, barely-changed "Twilight" fanfic is the next big thing.
It's even lower when the person making the request for free artwork is a multibillion-dollar international conglomerate, like, oh, Google.
Seriously Google? You think that the "exposure" from a WEB BROWSER SKIN is better than payment? Serg, stop drinking the GoogleJizz, it's rotting your brain.
Here, a simple, easy philosophy for people who want to hire artists and other creators:
Just like Harlan said, "Cross my palm with silver". If you aren't then spare everyone the fucking "exposure" thing. Because the only long term result of exposure is massive skin damage.
Twats.| Comments ()
June 13, 2009
A minor WWDC annoyance
Dear guys who have evidently never urinated outside of home before:
When you are in a public bathroom, wherein the urinals are in a line against one wall, with an entrance near the door to said bathroom at one end of the line o' pissers, and an exit at the other end...there is a FUCKING PROCEDURE!
- ENTER the urinal area via the entrance nearest the door to the bathroom itself
- Move down the line of urinals until you find the FURTHEST one not currently in use
- Leave the urinal area via the exit farthest from the main bathroom entrance, wash your hands and leave.
DO NOT WALK BACK OUT THE WAY YOU CAME IN TO THE URINAL AREA.
For the love of Cthulu, the entrances are not wide, and there is no way to avoid you as you are ZIPPING BACK UP! I do NOT, repeat do NOT want to see what your crotchal area looks like, nor your style of underwear, no more than you wish to see mine. Keep traffic moving in the same direction, and things work better. As well, when you do this, you SLOW DOWN ACCESS TO THE URINAL, and I swear, if you keep me away from my goal, I WILL piss all over you.
Jesus, how fucking hard is this. Don't fuck up the line, especially when I know how those fuckers splash, and if you're too stupid to walk in the right direction, you're too stupid not to get urine splashed all over yourself, and I DON'T WANT YOUR PEE ON ME!
Working a bathroom correctly is important, most of us learned this in kindergarten. You were evidently in the back eating paste that day.
Nimrods.| Comments ()
June 10, 2009
To quote George Carlin:
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Stop all your gods-damned whining because the terms of your iPhone contract really are the terms of your iPhone contract. What the fuck people, did you honestly fucking think that subsidy was a gift? Are you all really that fucking ignorant or just plain stupid?
You signed a fucking contract. Be glad you get a discount at all before it's up, but in any event, maybe next time you'll read the stupid thing first.
Holy christ, the only problem here is not Apple, and it's not AT&T, it's YOU.
twats.| Comments ()