Marketing is a difficult discipline. I’m reading in Sideswipe that Vodafone mailed out teabags in pretty silver envelopes to people, telling them to put the kettle on. Which some people did, only to find that the teabags weren’t sealed and broke up. The marketing geniuses at Vodafone thought of this though, and put a disclaimer on the bags, saying they’re only for promotional use and not intended for consumption. That apart, what was the actual idea behind Vodafone’s teabagging campaign? We can’t work it out. It’ll be interesting to see how Vodafone will market the forthcoming femtocells, or Vodafone Access Gateways as they’re named, that were launched recently in the UK. The VAGs are all about improving coverage to help reduce customer churn, a proposition that might send the feverish marketing minds at Vodafone into overdrive with frightening results. — Vodafone Access Gateway boosts your home 3G signal
A telco week of it
This week’s local ICTy and scratchy news were dominated by what came out of the Telcon10 conference, held in Auckland. The Telcon10 conference format is very traditional: a compere introducing speakers on a podium, with mostly illegible slide decks displaying on screens. As it’s a telco conference, I was hoping for a bit of multimedia razzamatazz to help when caffeine levels dropped off, but was sadly disappointed. Anyway, the long and short of Telcon10 is that minister Joyce cheerfully announced that National’s fibre to the home network is at least two months’ behind schedule. While he went into surprising detail — multiple VLANs even — Joyce seemed uncertain as to the direction of the network build so don’t be surprised if it’s delayed even further. Being sick of bobbing around in the cesspool maelstrom of dying media, and bumping into the corpses of redundant journalists, I’ve decided it’s time to do something else. Until Telcon10 though, I wasn’t quite sure what to go for but now I know: I want Dr Alan Freeth’s job. Freeth gets to wear natty suits and go up on stage to rip the government, industry and TelstraClear customers new ones and I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t paid a fair bit for the privilege. It’s a fantastic job, and I’m hugely envious of him. What’s more, I fully agree with Freeth that the industry’s stand on the S92 copyright lunacy was limp beyond the acceptable. TelstraClear did the right thing when it ditched the TCF Code of Practice effort, because it’s not for ISPs to work out how to implement an unworkable law. The parliamentary process that created S92 showed with all clarity that reasoning wouldn’t work, so why waste time on it? I don’t understand why Freeth thinks Enable’s Christchurch Council and state-funded fibre network is in competition with TelstraClear though. Enable is an open access network with dark fibre that TelstraClear is welcome to light up and use if wants to. I’d have thought that an attractive business proposition in fact, using a taxpayer funded network to reach customers instead of having to build your own. And, is VoIP really that hard to get working properly, even on large sites? When I had a small corner of the Internet via Wired Country, VoIP worked so well for me that I ditched my landline. Obviously, I have a few things to learn before I can become a big telco CEO. Where does one get educated? — Is fibre the answer? 'Yebbut', says telco panel — TelstraClear CEO warns on broadband build — Enable Networks FAQ
<\3 Social media
Imagine if your news source of choice spread malware and incorrect rumours, and was riddled with agents of totalitarian regimes and unethical corporations. Would you still use it? When it comes to two social media stars currently, Twitter and Facebook, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Neither service shows any sign of slowdown. Traditional media kind of sucks nowadays, but it’s not yet the crowd-sourced disintermediation of for instance Twitter. We should be grateful for that. — Habitat blasted by Twitter users for using Iran election tag — Rumours of my heart attack are greatly exaggerated — Guy Kawasaki's Twitter account hijacked, pushes Windows and Mac malware — My account didn’t get hacked: Guy Kawasaki — Twitspam: Fake Iran election Tweeters
XKCD Game theory
Robert X Cringely Sour Apple: Steve Jobs and snow jobs
Has the high-tech icon really returned to health and his old job? Apple would like you to think so. Cringely's not so sure
Have you heard the news? Steve Jobs is back.
Well, we think it was Jobs. It might have been some other skinny middle-aged guy skulking about Apple's Cupertino campus wearing jeans and a black turtleneck. But Apple really truly deeply wants us to believe that, in yet another miracle, St. Steven is back on the ball, just a few weeks after upgrading his internal organs.
Last week's Wall Street Journal story about Jobs undergoing a liver transplant in April was followed immediately by a) a bland statement in a press release allegedly made by Jobs, and b) a few suspiciously convenient sightings of the Apple icon at the company's HQ.
Hey, if Steve really does feel well enough to return to work just weeks after swapping out one of his more important organs, then more power to him. Let's hope he remains on top of the Apple pile for another 10 years. But I smell the fetid stench of yet another PR move designed to hide the real story about the man and his health. And that ain't right.
So far, the story has gone from "Steve's fine and it's none of your beeswax why he's so damned skinny," to "Steve's just taking a break to deal with this little hormone imbalance, nothing to see here," then "Liver transplant, what liver transplant?" and finally "Hey, Steve's back — you may all now return to worshipping him as the Man-God he is."
[UPDATE: I've been hearing from some readers who seem to believe I wish Jobs ill. Nothing could be further from the truth. I hope he makes a full and lasting recovery. The world (and this gig) would be a far lesser place without him. I do think, however, that he's not done right by anyone by keeping his illness a secret. And I think the whole notion that Jobs must return by the end of June -- or, at least, appear to have returned -- is silly. I think he should take as long as he needs to get well. Is that more clear?]