Posts tagged ‘Jim Donovan’

It’s nice to be believed


The bug I wrote about a few days ago that’s emerging when I use Autocade is now filed with Telstra Clear—and it’s been escalated.
   For years I would report various faults, including with Telstra Clear, and I would not be believed. What a difference now that I am believed.
   For around two years, no one at Telstra Clear believed me when I told them that the internet went down when it was windy. They kept blaming me and how I used my computer. I guess the wisdom was that wind caused computer operator misuse. Until one day, I said, ‘I know what your script says. I have done [x, y and z]. Now, here’s what I want you to do.’ The technician came down from Palmerston North and confirmed there was a loose wire. He then called another technician. Zero marks for efficiency, though the error was eventually fixed.
   Or the Vox error, which went on for months in 2009, blocking me from using the service. When I complained to Six Apart, which ran the now-defunct blogging platform, it was apparently my fault. Or my ISP’s. Or the internet’s. Until, again after a long, long time, I gave them my username and password. Only then did they confirm that something was wrong: they could not log on as me even from their own HQ.
   Even Mozilla took its time, though happily, when they got on to it, they were remarkably quick in solving my reported bugs. And these days, I find I am not disbelieved there.
   Now that Lucire is on Cloudflare, I’m also finding that speedy service and, last night, confirmation that they did, indeed, suffer a DDOS attack. There are no doubts there, either—just rapid acknowledgements and very personal service, answering my concerns about various settings, the Google bot, and the way Cloudflare works.
   The latest one is the Google Ads Preferences Manager, though I was told today at our monthly Vista lunch by Jim Donovan that he had been checking his, and found that his opt-out had been respected. I wonder if Google is only respecting the choices of Chrome users.
   I have had a few friends discover their Ads Preferences Manager behave the same way as it does for me, but maybe there are some people for whom it’s working.
   Nevertheless, the Network Advertising Initiative, to whom I have informed of this issue, has not responded, which I imagine amounts to being disbelieved.
   All I can say to the disbelievers is this: I am a reasonably intelligent person. I have been playing and working with computers since 1978. That means, if I say there is a bug with your service, there is a greater chance that I am right, than there is for your belief that I mucked up.
   This time, it’s plain nice for Telstra Clear to come back to me without questioning how I use my computer. Or saying I pressed the wrong button. Or used the wrong finger in pressing that button. Here’s hoping it can be resolved for, as the tech told me yesterday, it’s very hard to identify an intermittent error. (However, today it is not intermittent: I have been consistently unable to get on to Autocade without adding www to its URL.) From my point of view, it’s just great that the right people are dealing with the right issue in my world.

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Posted in business, internet, New Zealand, technology, USA | No Comments »

Wellington needs a new brand for a new decade


A very good Vista Group luncheon (Jim, Natalie, self), where we discussed: the Gap rebrand; The Hobbit, unions and the BNZ Centre boilermakers’ strike; and my mayoral campaign.
   On the first topic, we concluded that it was down to a simple cock-up. None of us could see any reason for the Gap to rebrand (was there a change of strategy, management, or trend?) though we did see a reason for Wellington to do so.
   â€˜Absolutely, positively Wellington’ has been with us for 20 years. I remember when it was first released, all set in Perpetua Bold, adorning the new office of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce after its shift from Church Street. As Jim pointed out, it was a contrast to the negativity that Wellingtonians had about our city’s own image, as typified by TV shows such as Gliding on: drab, grey, and full of civil servants.
   The one event that might have given us a bit of a boost was Sesqui. And what a disaster that turned out to be: an event that never began.
   I said as much when we discussed the arts and cultural side to Wellington during the campaign. The brand, Mayor Prendergast mentioned, was revamped when she took office. Nine years on, I think we need to move on again: that Wellington’s brand does not reflect our city’s passions.
   Every brand must be inclusive. It must also differentiate. There are many people in the ICT sector, who are an important part of Wellington, who need to be included. We have fashion designers and event producers, who thrive on the notion that Wellington is the most creative city to be in. When the former mayor said that we were now also the culinary capital, I said that we had to define that by way of our city’s creative manna: not just the culinary capital, but the culinary arts’ capital. Everything we do seems to be underpinned by this idea of putting in that extra zing, whether it’s my oft-quoted example of Silverstripe or the quality behind Mojo Coffee.
   There is work to be done, and I’d love to engage with Wellingtonians on getting some kind of framework down for a 2010s city brand. The campaign may be over, but it’s only highlighted the things that need to be done. Let’s start with the strategic ideas and work our way to the operational.

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Posted in branding, business, culture, leadership, marketing, New Zealand, politics, Wellington | 1 Comment »

Vista was just a duo today


Due to others’ appointments, the Vista Group meeting today was a mere duo: myself and Jim Donovan, Esq., who will give up blogging in 10 days. It meant it was the second-least well attended meeting in our history. Jim has never let us forget the least well attended one.
   I have always said that one should blog when one wants to. If one feels pressured to do so, then stop. Blogging should be a fun activity and, for me, it’s cathartic. With a new venture on the horizon for Jim (from where he will likely blog again), time is at a premium, and I can fully appreciate that he needs to take a step back.
   Of course we will not bid farewell to Jim just because he stops blogging, principally, as Natalie wrote in our emails arranging today’s meeting, we are too incompetent to organize the monthly meetings without him. And he got us in to the Wellington Club for the end-of-2009 edition where we took over the Deputy Mayor’s table. (Albeit on a day that the Deputy Mayor was not there, which made for a less comical time.)
   The Club (the luncheon at which should have been chronicled at the time) has its own gym. Apparently, Club members often talked about how our gym’ll fix it. That is, however, another story.
   There were some in-depth discussions about my mayoral campaign and the Wellington City Council, the fact that Anouska Hempel, a.k.a. Lady Weinberg, is a Wellingtonian and how she is important to anyone who watched various Hammer Horrors, and the Y2K episode of Family Guy and its homage to Dallas—things that we would not have digressed to had Natalie and Mark been there. (Jim had brought up ‘Who shot J. R.?’* on his blog a few days before.)
   However, we covered the boiler-plate approach of some IP law firms, the bad customer service we received from Vodafone and Sky TV, and the lack of clarity over some WCC charges over which Jim got three different figures for the same thing. From what I could make out, the charge varied depending on the person he spoke to, the day of the week, and the flutter of a butterfly’s wings over the Shetland Islands. Need I push transparency again?

Above One of Anouska Hempel’s creations, the self-named Hempel hotel, in London. I believe they want a definite article in the official name, but I can’t be brought to capitalize it in the middle of a sentence. I will only make an exception for residents of The Terrace in Wellington.

* It was, of course, Kristin, Sue Ellen’s sister. Everyone remembers the hype, no one remembers the answer. Back in those days, we found out a year later in New Zealand, and there were no internet spoilers.—JY

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Posted in business, humour, New Zealand, Wellington | No Comments »