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RandomThoughtOftheDay #1

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on May 14, 2009

RTOD: If the fix exists, what’s the problem? 

In light of the hailstorm surrounding the fix replies issue on Twitter, I thought it necessary to bring focus back to the real issue: customer service. All of Twitterville is upset because a decision was made for them based on an assumption. Replying to followers and hiding replies from non-followers is confusing, so let us make it easier. Fail. Users complain about the issue and the response is less than helpful. Fail again. Twitter may have failed on the service side of things, but the customers are failing, too.

 Multiple Twitter users have found an easy way to fix this problem by the addition of a character ahead of the “@” symbol in a reply. Instead of this fix becoming a trend, the “#fixreplies” hashtag is still trending. In an age when social media makes it almost impossible for companies to have a bad day, users must recognize their own responsibility in the proliferation of the problem. If the solution is out there, why not use it? Why continue to tweet about a problem that isn’t really there? 

Calling @biz and @ev names won’t get you what you want, either. As many customers of Twitter like to tout their higher level of sophistication, it is appalling to see these people reduce themselves to childish behavior. When a child throws a tantrum, calls people names, or pouts for not getting their way, they’re either ignored or punished. Maybe the response is not pleasing to the customers, but who says customers have to get their way all the time?

UPDATE: Twitter founder, Biz Stone, admits to “screwing up”, but this change has been in the works for a while http://mashable.com/2009/05/14/twitter-screwed-up/

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9 Responses to “RandomThoughtOftheDay #1”

  1. donsqueak said

    I describe here ( http://bit.ly/v1V32 ) why the supposed fix is not a fix. Please take the time to read it and tweet it around if you will. Thanks.

    • I read it, and I do understand what you’re saying. However, the intent of my post was not to say that this is not a problem and nothing more needs to be done about it. The intent was to say that a new discussion needs to emerge on the solution to the problem. Users need to be more flexible and stop trying to bully their way to a solution when one is already being offered.

      Now, if the solution isn’t a fix, that’s another issue.

  2. Perfect points.

    Sure, Twitter could have handled the changeover a little better, but at the end of the day, they were dealing with an unofficial (if useful) solution by users.

    Saying that Twitter is letting users down; that the company sucks; that “how dare they do this to us” is another sign that a little power goes to a lot of people’s heads.

    At the end of the day, Twitter is in business to be a business. To do so, they need to please the majority, not the minority. It’s how business rolls – you take some hits to be a long-term success.

    What I find hilarious is that the same folk who were decrying Twitter, Ev and Biz are the same folk that conveniently ignored the fact that Twitter listened to the feedback and are actively working on a solution that fits all.

    Of course, to notice that would take away their indignation and self-importance, which a lot of it boils down to. Game on.

    • Exactly!

      I think we’re turning too far into a society dictated by this “the customer is always right” mentality. Sometimes, the customer doesn’t take the time to read the marketing right in front of them. This is not to say that businesses should do what it is that they want, but let’s not get carried away as users. All of these people who are complaining about the system are…wait for it….using the system to air their complaints. Let that sink in for a sec.

  3. rob said

    Not true it dont fix the problem if you do that the “IN REPLY TO” gets REMOVED. The wont know what the hell your talking about or even the person you are replying to without the “IN REPLY TO” The work around for now is to go the person you follows page to see all replies to people you don’t the person your following makes.

    Do you understand what I am saying?

    • I’ve never had a problem figuring out what people were replying to. To make it clearer, I usually put some reference to the original statement in my reply, as well.

      • donsqueak said

        If people don’t have enough space to put a reference in there and the other guy tweets 35 tweets a day, you have a hard time, believe me. Also: What could be like a walk in the park (e.g. using Tweetie) becomes annoying as hell when much of your twitter routine was based on reading replies to people you don’t follow.

      • Hm..maybe the way I use Twitter is a little bit different. I don’t disagree with you, but I think there is room for flexibility. I find people through hash chats (#blogchat, #editorchat, etc…). The people I follow are people who I actually speak with. I almost feel like it’s eavesdropping to follow someone that you haven’t tweeted one word to. I think #followfriday is good for that. RT’s are good for that. But, when someone is just having a back and forth…not so much.

  4. […] are sharing their views, some calmly and sensibly, others not so much. It’s a touchy subject and one that’s […]

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