Proper use of Twitter, and its beneficiaries

Everyone and their mother is getting on Twitter. In droves. People are writing code which creates thousands of fake users which follow them, and serve only to artificially inflate their follower count. In this gigantic, ever-growing ocean of Twitter who are examples of folks who are NOT DOING IT WRONG? I have a couple shoutouts to give – because these organizations are doing GOOD and not just sponging up popularity. These are places to do business with – because they behave honorably.

These guys are sharp. They’re also not coldhearted and blind. Everyone knows that word of mouth is a big deal – it certainly isn’t any secret. Make the right people happy and the repercussions come back in waves.

I’m a contractor. A consultant. I am not a gigantic company that can afford 2000-10000 dollar support contracts, especially for a ‘one shot deal’ where I just need help ONCE. F5 was sensitive to this, and helped me out TREMENDOUSLY, lending expertise that otherwise was completely unavailable to me. They completely and totally saved my ass. Between them and a new friend on irc (props, bNull!) the deed got done.

As thanks, I boxed up and send 3 bottles of some of my favorite San Diego brew to F5. A bottle of Lost Abbey Serpent Stout, a bottle of Port Brewing Old Viscosity, and a bottle of Stone Smoked Porter. All barrel aged. A small thanks, but a very very tasty one.

I’ve been going to Claim Jumper near my place, the one in Carmel Mountain Ranch for nearly 20 years now. They are a staple of tasty food that isnt absurdly priced, and they make a very big deal about making sure your dining experience is perfect. One time my dinner came out before my appetizer, by roughly 5 minutes. I didn’t see this as a problem at all, but apparently the management did – they comped my whole meal. Recently I had one of very very very few ‘not perfect’ experiences at Claim Jumper. I tweeted about it. They saw. They interviewed me the next day and were very regimented about making sure everything was awesome and that I’d be going back – which was never a question. In either case the attention they gave me for something as insignificant (at least for me) as a ‘meh’ dining experience was amazing. These guys are doing it right.

Intuit has a huge presence on Twitter. Employees and ‘company’ entities alike. Everyone is very friendly and they have no interest in delaying responses to people asking questions about their products. I was able to quickly and easily find people to send feature requests to for things like Quicken OnLine and as it turns out what I was asking for was already on the roadmap. They’re a company thats more into the web2.0 scene and social networking than most, and very ahead of the curve.

The folks who follow me on Twitter may or may not remember – me attempting my taxes a year ago. I used HR block and things went horribly horribly sideways. My tax return was sent to a ‘specialist’ who gutted it like a fish and left it to rot in the hot sun. I was .. not happy. I complained LOUDLY on Twitter. I then got an email.. “hrblock is now following you on Twitter”. *facepalm*

So I end up talking to some folks in management and they agree that something went horribly horribly sideways, and to make sure I get taken care of, I had nothing but management people interacting me via the phone the rest of the time. Things were fixed, I was comped, and I was very grateful. I’m VERY supportive of companies who actually look out for people who have issues and then see to them being handled. Big props to HR Block for paying attention!

Companies that are doing it WRONG:

  • Time Warner – Don’t even get me started. I can’t blog the things I’ve said about these guys.
  • Chase – They simply DON’T care about anything but your pocketbook, and what they can take out of it

Buy me a beer and ask me about these two sometime, maybe at the next drinkup. Prepare for colorful language and huge hand/arm gestures.

1 Comment so far

  1. joepruitt on July 30th, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    Thanks for the props from the folks here at F5. Feel free to ping us if anything comes up in the future.


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