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December 2005

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Sometimes Google Misses

December 22, 2005

You have to love the bizarre results you get sometimes on Google. A case in point: a friend of mine turns 40 in about two weeks. This particular friend has a strange attraction to ducks, and as I've been designated bartender at the 40th birthday bash, I'm searching for some "gummy duck" candies to float in drinks. (They have gummy everything-else, so why not ducks?)

My Google search for a confectioner who makes gummy ducks led to this result in the paid Google ads:


New & Used Selection. www.ebay.com

I'll skip the used candy, thanks. I'll splurge and buy it new.


Hangover Cures Debunked

December 21, 2005

This seemed to be timely, albeit sobering (pardon the pun) news, given the season. British researchers have concluded there is no such thing as a hangover cure.


While I respect the conclusions of scientists from a nation that is...shall we say, not renowned for libationary restraint, I plan to eschew the abstinence suggestion and stick with the tried-and-true: two aspirin, a 64-ounce bottle of Gatorade, a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, and sleeping past noon.


Knowlagent's CEO Speaks

December 20, 2005

As a follow up to Knowlagent's communication to me that everything in the company is fine, I received this e-mail today from Rusty Gordon, CEO of Knowlagent:


My name is Rusty Gordon and I am the CEO of Knowlagent. I just gave you a ring but couldn’t get an answer so I thought I would drop you a line. I know you have already received communication from Matt McConnell one of our founders concerning the rumor posted on your blog.

Connecticut's Credit Freeze Law

December 20, 2005

I got a pleasant surprise this morning listening to Connecticut Public Radio. Back in June, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell signed a law allowing Connecticut consumers to place a temporary freeze on their credit (while they're not using it, so to speak) so I.D. thieves cannot credit cards or other accounts in unsuspecting consumers' names. (I must have missed this news at the time.) The law goes into effect on January 1st, and makes Connecticut only the second state (after California) in which consumers can use this temporary credit freeze to protect themselves.

Another reason to be glad we got rid of former Connecticut governor John Rowland, who is languishing in the hoose-gow at this holiday time.


Knowlagent Is Fine, Thank You

December 19, 2005

In light of a rumor that blew through a couple of weeks ago regarding contact center solutions provider Knowlagent's health and well-being, I received this response from Matt McConnell, the company's chairman, who assures me the company is thriving.

Knowlagent is thriving, thank you. I invite you to come and visit our U.S. headquarters in Alpharetta, GA at your convenience. You have an open invitation. By the way, is it common for TMC to post rumors?  It was, no doubt, planted by our competitor to try to beat us in the market (who you can also visit when you come see us in Alpharetta, GA).

It seems only fair that you post my response.


Matt McConnell, Chairman


Richard Branson Loves Me

December 16, 2005

Talk about bizarre e-mail marketing. I just got the following e-mail from Virgin Atlantic, which I think I've flown once in my life. My comments have been inserted...in bold.

Dear Tracey,

Has a phone call from Richard Branson been on your holiday wish list as long as you can remember? [No, never...not even that time I took all that cough medicine with codeine.] Whether you've been naughty or nice this year, your wish is about to be granted - he's waiting by the phone! [Why?

Assault On English

December 14, 2005

I just got an e-mail from an organization that shall remain nameless. The newsletter announced the organization's upcoming seminar on marketing techniques and copywriting.

The title of the e-mail? Something along the lines of, "Learn To Write Impactful Copy".

I've got news! "Impactful" is not only not a word, it's an appalling and egregious crime against the English language. And you would like to teach me copywriting?

Is that like politicians teaching classes on ethics and honesty, or Krispy Kreme offering classes on eating "Heart Smart"?


Video On News Web Sites

December 12, 2005

Am I the only one annoyed lately with the amount of news stories on CNN, MSNBC and other sites that are presented in streaming video format? Some days, it seems like half the links lead to video, not text.

If I wanted video, I'd watch the TV news. At any given moment, I have 5 minutes to get a quick view of what's going on in the world. I don't want to spend 4 of them waiting for streaming video to buffer in and then listening to Barbie and Ken at the news desk making chit-chat as a prelude to the story.


Regulation & Politicians

December 8, 2005

In his latest blog, InfoCision Management Corp. Senior VP Steve Brubaker writes in-depth on regulation of the direct marketing industry, noting that frequently, regulation is launched not for the reasons generally stated in press releases, but to "provide a media sound-byte for regulators with political aspirations."

Read Steve's full blog entry here: http://spaces.msn.com/members/callcenterstoday/


"Podcast" Officially A Word

December 7, 2005

The word "podcast" has officially been accepted in the New Oxford American Dictionary. The word is defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player".

But we shouldn't be too impressed. Homer Simpson's famous expression "D'oh!" made it in a few years ago. It seems a suitable expression to accompany personal technology.



Disaster? What Disaster

December 6, 2005

A Dimension Data study has revealed that North American contact centers have failed to keep up with the rest of the world in security and disaster recovery preparedness. Apparently only 29% of North American contact centers surveyed have tested disaster recovery plans, compared with Asia-Pacific and Africa/Middle East at 45% and 49% respectively, and Europe at 31%.

Ya'd think after the summer we had, disaster recovery would be a little higher on the list of priorities for the North American call center market?

Get more info here: www.dimensiondata.com/na


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