The Problem With Software Definition

I am a huge fan of the Common Craft “how-to” videos.  My former work colleague, Dom, just posted a new video on YouTube called “The Problem With Software Definition”.

In my opinion, Dom’s video is even more clever than the best of the Common Craft videos – especially how he is able to animate pictures.  And  the ‘sponsor’ of the movie (iRise) is only revealed in the last few seconds of the clip so you won’t feel inundated with any obnoxious (or otherwise) marketing messages.

The basic points of the video are:

  • Leave static specifications behind
  • Test drive applications before they are built
  • Save time and money
  • Give business what they want

It’s definitely worth your time to check it out…

Service According to Johnny the Bagger

A friend of mine suggested that I read Ken Blanchard’s Simple Truths of Services: Inspired by Johnny the Bagger.  He hands out the book to all of his new managers and is constantly promoting customer service.

While waiting to get the book, I did some exploring on the Internet.  This story is about how even small contributions can make a difference.  Johnny who has Down Syndrome and is a bagger at a grocery store that was going through a customer loyalty training.  Johnny was inspired by the presentation to come up with a new special saying each night. He would type up the saying and would then put them in customers’ bags the next day. This small gesture ultimately transformed the whole store and inspired other employees to ‘delight’ their customers too.

A great challenge to all companies is to have their employees:

Think about something you can do for your customer to make them feel special – a memory that will make them come back.

If you don’t have time to read the book, at least take the time to watch this 3-minute movie about the story. I am confident that you will be as inspired by the story too:


Viewing Insights on Facebook Fan Pages

One of the easiest (and cheapest) ways for companies to experiment with social media is by setting up a Page on Facebook.  And Pages can be a great way to connect with your customers and prospects.  For example, Barak Obama’s Page has more than 3.3 million fans.

I ran across a number of blog posts that listed the reasons for setting up a Page including these 6 reasons from Dave Rigotti:

  1. Public – pages are public and
  2. Links – Pages provide links
  3. Updates – Pages let you easily and quickly send updates to everyone who has is a ‘fan’ of your Page
  4. Control – Facebook lets you control the look and access to your pages
  5. Newsfeeds – whenever someone joins your Page, it is automatically posted in their Facebook newsfeed
  6. Free and easy – it’s free and relatively easy to set up Pages

But this post is about what you can learn once you set up your Page.

While doing some research on a consulting engagement to set up a social media dashboard, I visited a Facebook Page that I set up for my former company.  I noticed that there was a link on the labeled “View Insights” which produces this nifty graph with activity stats for your Page:

Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights

You can use the drop-down menu to shift between any of 12 different insights.  Even more importantly, you can export the data in Excel or CVS format by using the Export Data link.  The daily option provides you with a snapshot with 120 days of information and the weekly option provides 17 weeks of data.  The demograhic data is very interesting.

So, Facebook Pages provide you with a great way to reach out to your base – and with tools to measure your effectiveness.  Sounds like a win-win situation to me!