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All posts tagged Social Media

My Story With Microsoft Support…

… How often do you speak to Customer Support for work or in your personal life? Due to some of the work I do, I have a lot of contact with a variety of companies.

Microsoft stand out for the way they have leveraged their social presence, especially Microsoft Support or @MIcrosoftHelps to use their Twitter handle.

Microsoft Helps - Logo

I was discussing this today who was telling me that I am probably the only person they know who gets satisfaction when speaking to Support at these companies.

I had one question to ask them at this point…

There is only 1 Important Question

What medium are you using to speak to Support? Phone / Email / Website Form / Facebook or Twitter?

Why is this such an important question?

  • Phone / Email / Website Forms tend to be one to one conversations; discrete and unobserved by others during or after the fact.
  • Facebook / Twitter are Social platforms and conversations are out in the public eye and observed by many.
  • Facebook / Twitter allow a multitude to watch and interact with the conversation and benefit from the support being passed to the original customer themselves.
  • In a nutshell there is no Social ROI to a one on one conversation unless the customer takes it on themselves to share after the fact. Even if the customer does share in a tweet or Facebook status, the impact is not the same as seeing a live, real-time exchange.Microsoft gets this and their Twitter support is excellent.

    The Warptest POV

    If you are in the business of customer support then I would recommend learning from the @MIcrosoftHelps feed and how they interact and engage with customers.

    I am going to give them a 98% success rate for the support I have received from them in terms of good answers that resolve my issues, speedy response and an all-round positive attitude.

    Microsoft - phone?
    Microsoft - Crowd

    The move from traditional unrestricted call center support to 140 characters may seem a strange choice but receiving issues in a brief, concise format is beneficial, social interaction online can take some of the stress out of the situation and the benefits from the crowd observing the level and quality of support given are immense.

    About the only real criticism I have is that you have to know to get on Twitter to get better support from Microsoft than over the phone. That said, I guess I’m fixing that problem here and let me just ask;

Why aren’t you on Twitter?

So if you have an issue with a Microsoft product and need help get on Twitter and speak to them; and if you like tell them I sent you.

play nice

Social Media. Some of my best friends work here…

… Social Media is a growth industry and I count amongst my friends some inspired professionals (any readers who needs a recommendation contact me thru the comments below).

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m active pretty much across the board and not just using the bigger platforms but also on So.cl

However, this isn’t my profession. I’m a tester by trade, I write on this blog and wrestle with my novel. Once in a while though I see or experience an interaction that leaves me so bothered I want to head-desk.

With thanks to the amazing Catherine Tate via Youtube user CamellionProductions

File under Life Is Too Short

Let’s forget the trolls; we all know there are more trolls in the Social Media arena than World of Warcraft. It’s those cases when you see an epic meltdown or flame war, all due to one daft comment.

social media trolls

These things deteriorate fast and some know when to apologize and make good, some simply can’t listen to that cautionary voice in their subconscious as things go pear shaped.

social media meltdowns

The Warptest POV

The truth is that once in a while we all say something daft online and probably regret it shortly after. The people I can’t get are those who persistently behave in this manner.

At the end of the day I try to stick to my one rule when it comes to Social Media.

With thanks to Youtube user aucubehill

Forget about being online. If you wouldn’t say something like this to someone’s face then don’t say it to them online.
What are your rules?

so.cl meme

So.cl Really?!?

Yes Microsoft Fuse Labs‘ budding Social Network has rolled new features again that show a strong grasp of the inherently social elements involved in content generation.

In previous posts I’ve addressed the forehead-slappingly obvious benefits of having an active presence on an additional network and while So.cl has been slow to grow in adoption it is worthwhile. With the new features that ROI just increased geometrically.

Here’s The News

Here’s a screen capture of the new So.cl menu bar:

so.cl menu bar

The significant changes are three of the four typographic menu items / features on the top left. The Fuse Labs blog goes into some detail explaining the new features but the common thread is creating rich, engaging content with fun features:

  • From making photo collages with Collage
  • Creating your own Memes with Picotale: basically your very own Meme Generator

  • Blink is a Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 (don’t get me started) application that allows you to create and share dynamic media shorts Cliplets. In a nutshell Blink allows you to create short films or intriguing photographs that contains an animated element in. For example hair blowing in a static photo or almost Vine-like video shorts. So.cl has a feed just for Blinks and you can see some great user samples there.

The Warptest POV

So.cl is throwing down the gauntlet to the more mature Social Networks with a set of features that may exist as individual apps but as we know 3rd party Apps have different  permissions  and that ground shifts underfoot regularly.

These features are organic, integrate with offsite mobile and PC apps (in the case of Blink)

It seems that the So.cl team gets that these features are absent without cause from Facebook and should have even Google Plus asking themselves “How did we miss these?” <head desk>.

Combine this with several existing features like:

  • So.cl is Smartphone friendly (it’s built with responsive design)
  • Riffing: if you see a post and want to add similar content of your own you riff it and can create collections of similar content
  • Everything on the site is built to share. Microsoft hasn’t created a walled garden here, just the opposite with share to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Email.
  • Login is NOT restricted to Microsoft account, you can join the fun using your Facebook login.

…And I would say that the future looks bright for So.cl. If you haven’t joined yet and are looking for an added advantage over your competitors then jump right in and BTW you can follow me here if you’d like.

Well played Fuse Labs Team.

lil ninja guy

SM Shuriken

a small gift from warptest to all you social media ninja out there

Remember use responsibly out there guys 🙂

Just a little tongue in cheek fun for Thursday.

lil ninja guy

Seirra Madre - Badges

Geo-web version 1.0: if you asked me how I perceive the cluster of geo or Location Based Social web applications  around today, that would probably be my answer.

gowalla 4sq

These are truly Web 2.0 applications and mobile or smart phone enabled at that. After all what’s the point of sending the same location form your desktop PC?

These applications are 1st generation to me, why? Well let’s glance at what they do: –

  • Checking In – this is the term describing the process of sharing your location.
  • Social – again the collaborative element but also coupled to..
  • Competitive – the process of earning badges of achievement or status/ ranking based on overall frequency of check-ins and frequency per location.
  • Contribution – the user is able to add to the overall geo-database with new locations.
  • Proximity – this again ties back to the Social Element: when you see a friend has just checked in at a nearby coffee shop etc you may decide to call them or simply surprise them.
  • Implicit Advertising  platform – each check-in that relates to a given store, coffee shop, restaurant is de facto an ad and the frequency of check-ins and or competition over mayorship of the location boosts the online profile of the location.

So, what’s next? Or more appropriately what should these platforms be doing to give us added value beyond badges, coupons and collaboration?

I know the video seems kind of harsh and actually I like the badges thing but my question remains: added value?

Location in a social networking platform should be about two things relevance  and context.

  1. Relevance: who is my location relevant to?
  2. Context: what aspects of my location make it relevant to me or others in my network?

In a relevant, contextual framework if I connect my Twitter / Facebook, Blog etc to Locations these simply shouldn’t be an outlet for my check-ins or changes in ranking. The Locational application should index and retrieve data that I post in these to create an extensive profile of me and those included in my network.

If for example in my Facebook profile I describe myself as Jewish and Religious then obviously I am only interested in Kosher restaurants; If I tweet for example about being lactose intolerant then I’m not really interested in Dairy restaurants.

Now this isn’t a hard and fast rule but the ability to glean information from external networks that a Locational application is connected to provides context. Which further allows the application to rank or filter the information on a by user basis.

An example of relevance is that I may check-in at a new location for me such as “I have just landed at Newark Airport, NJ” and one of my network happens to be mayor there. The Locational application would suggest based on relevance that they are the user with the most extensive knowledge and familiarity of the location.

Beyond this perhaps at conferences and the like the Locational application would utilize Augmented Reality to display user IDs over the head of people in my network as they check-in.

A final thought, I spoke about added value and all these ideas are nice but remember this each check-in is another point of information adding to an ever growing geographical database.

I for one would love to see a coverage map displaying the world and which parts of the world, countries and cities are and are not within the geo-database and the volume of users for each location.