Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source...

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The Contact Center's Seemingly Oxymoronic Play: How to Decrease Costs Yet Improve Customer Service

I was recently asked to talk to some of our many contact center customers about the new contact center trends.  It...

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The New Facet of Customer Experience Management - Field Service 2.0

By: Rhodo Odysseos, Product/Solution Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent, and Jess Verbruggen, Motive Integrated Marketing Assistant, Alcatel-Lucent

Traditionally, communications service providers (CSPs) have treated the field service aspect of their organization as a cost center. Field technicians engaged in maintenance activities were simply a part of the cost of doing business.  More recently, the communications industry in general and the field service arena in particular, has been disrupted by immense changes in the customer profile, service expectations, and behaviors.

Field service is often the only face of the company that a customer will ever see, so it’s not a surprise that CSPs are striving to make a positive impact on customers in this realm. Achieving full potential in field service saves CSPs a lot of time and money. Productivity and efficiency reviews targeted at field service operations, done correctly, can reinforce other areas of the business by increasing customer satisfaction and improving safety and quality. 

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Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone...

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Apple Pay Vs. Google Wallet

Replacing credit cards can likely only be done if the new system is dead-easy to use and it moreover has to be...

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Signaling Offers Great Differentiation for Mobile Value-Added Service Offerings

We’ve all heard that some Value Added Services (VAS) revenue such as Short Message Service (SMS) are starting to decline in...

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Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and...

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Smartphones Quickly Becoming a Cheater's Best Friend

May 10, 2012

When it comes to reminiscing about your college heyday, in addition to the stops down Memory Lane which include extracurricular activities, science recitation classes, frat parties and cramped living quarters, you might let out a chuckle or two when you think of how you helped your college roommate nail that thesis paper by rewriting (OK totally writing from scratch) a few of his paragraphs in exchange for being able to borrow his car to hit up the casino for the weekend. After all, it is college and we all do stupid things like stay out till 3 a.m. the night before a final, eat way too much pizza, and occasionally let our best buddy copy our paper for another class. Right?

14-Year-Old Student Sues Cyber Bullies for Libel

May 8, 2012

It’s a lawsuit that no middle school student should ever have to file – a charge that her classmates’ excessive cyberbullying and jesting libeled her on Facebook. But for 14-year-old Alex Boston, that is exactly what the Georgia student had to do as she had reportedly been bullied on Facebook by two classmates. And, despite a direct plea to school officials and police to step in, the administration had done little to ameliorate the situation.

Earlier this month, Alex used an untraditional approach to stand up to her alleged tormentors; she handed them a libel lawsuit.

Step Away from Beer Pong and Charge Up the Laptop. Finals are Here!

May 3, 2012

I may be far enough removed from college to know that the sight of a Class of 2012 T-shirt elicits the response “The Class of 2012, aww they are like babies!,” but I am certainly not that out of the loop to know exactly what all you college students are thinking these next few weeks: how do I fit in killer keg parties, one last run to my favorite campus diner and studying for finals in the few days I have left before the school year ends?

While I am certainly not here to give you advice on the first two (mostly because I know you will, without a doubt, make sure to play your last game of Flip Cup before summer), I will – as an older and wiser college graduate – shed some light on how to nail your finals.

The end of the school year is tough, no doubt. The weather is finally warming up, the prospect of seeing all your high school buddies is exhilarating and that feeling of “well I won’t see these people for three months” justifies all your actions those last few weeks.

Got a Bad Grade? Bring it up with the Computer

May 1, 2012

You’ve certainly heard of the lazy student. You know that kid who pays his pal to write half his English essay, lifts his older sister’s college essay because, hey, she went to a different school, or types a bunch of key phrases into Google about “Romeo and Juliet” and comes up with a killer thesis statement? But the lazy teacher? Perhaps this is a new concept to you (unless you are a teacher and can think of that one less than stellar colleague).

Doing Damage Control to Your Online Rep

April 26, 2012

Attention college students – unfortunately that sad, sad time has come. There are officially a finite number of days left to grab a beer at your favorite bar, attend that themed frat party and haze some freshmen just to remind them that even though they survived their first year of college, they are still the low man on the totem pole – at least for a few more days. Because along with April showers come April tears… tears over the fact that your year at college is fast coming to an end and all that’s left to comfort you is the Big, Bad Real World and rent for that stuffy studio apartment.

For some of you (and for the lucky ones), summer will mean a time in which you can throw dodge balls, compete in Color War games and chaperone camp socials, as you are still young enough where it is not totally frowned upon to spend the glorious summer days outside, basking in the sun as a camp counselor.

With Missing Kids on the Rise, Schools Revisit Notification Policies

April 24, 2012

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – and the type of news that sends a shiver down spines – he/she hears these four piercing words; your child has gone missing. From abductions to runaways, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that almost 800,000 children (younger than 18) go missing in a one-year period, or an average of 2,185 children a day.

And in the case of Sierra LaMar’s parents, the nightmare is not yet over.

I'll Take an Order of Textbook, Please Hold the iPad

April 19, 2012

Let me paint you a picture of what is undoubtedly occurring on college campuses all over the world these next few weeks. Students are rushing to their campus bookstores, shooting the breeze as they wait in line with their peers to sell back their hefty textbooks. After all, if their parents were so kind to shell out $150 in the first place to help pay for their books, surely they would be fine with their kids pocketing the $25 they receive after selling back their text books.

The scene is chaotic as students will be haggling to the last dollar to get the most bang for the buck for their barely used book because, let’s be honest, senior week, formals and beach trips are on the horizon.

In Memory of those Lost in the Virginia Tech Shooting

April 17, 2012

While many college students around the country most likely spent this past Monday bogged down prepping for final exams and feverishly preparing for pending job interviews, those students at Virginia Tech had a far more daunting and emotional task to complete – get through the day of classes as for the first time in five years, the university held classes on the anniversary of what quickly became the country’s deadliest mass shooting.

The Virginia Tech massacre, a school shooting that took place on April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., was perhaps one of the most harrowing and disturbing events that has taken place in recent years. That day, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior English major at Virginia Tech, fired on students and faculty all over campus, killing 32 and wounding 25 in two separate attacks approximately two hours apart, before ultimately committing suicide. Cho, who prior to this shooting had been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, was responsible for the second-deadliest act of mass murder at a school campus, behind the Bath School bombing of 1927, according to reports.

A New Major is in Town and its name is Social Media

April 12, 2012

If you are a college student about to embark on the daunting journeyof gainful employment (hopefully), you are probably busy day in day out scouring the job listings in search of your dream job – or at least one that pays just enough for you to move out of mom and dad’s house. Some of you will find a job right in line with what you majored in: a job at a hedge fund for the economics major, a position at an art museum for the art management major or a role as a project manager for the construction management major.

But if you majored in journalism, or even more specifically magazine or newspaper, you might find yourself pounding back glasses of wine as you nervously notice a trend; there are scarcely any jobs for print publications out there even though you just spent four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars learning about how to create a killer FOB (front-of-the-book for all you non-magazine majors) and in-depth above-the-fold feature story.

What you are noticing instead is the plethora of job listings for positions such as “Social Media Manager,” “Social Media Consultant” and “Social Media Assistant.” You might be thinking ‘Is this for real?’ ‘Can I really make big bucks tweeting and Facebooking all day long?’ And the answer is yes.

AT&T Moves Up the School Popularity Chain

April 10, 2012

When it comes to technology giants out there, many have emerged as popular kids on campus.

Of course, there is Apple who probably has way more clout than that varsity basketball player or president of Greek life as the empire paved the way for tablets in school and introduced Siri whose job, amongst other things, is to coordinate “Thirsty Thursday” plans. Then, of course, there is Amazon which made it easy to buy coveted school supplies, eReaders and, perhaps most importantly, provided an alternative way to purchase college textbooks to save a few bucks for those beers.