Nokia USA: How to turn talk into action

Brymo, via Flickr (CC license)
Talk is a good start, and it need not be cheap, but by itself it generally doesn’t get much done.

Earlier today Nokia’s Charlie Schick posted a thoughtful comment about how Nokia and its current and would-be customers might, through talking openly together, improve the situation in the high-end US phone market. (Also, Nokia director of corporate communications Mark Squires also just left a comment on this theme.)

Here’s my response to the excellent points Charlie raised…
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Nokia USA: It’s Not Your Intermediaries, It’s YOU

I was so happy and excited to get my N95 (see video). I could be this happy again, if only Nokia would get its US service and support act together.

As I noted earlier, this morning Charlie Schick of Nokia USA left a comment on this blog to reach out to me about my recent heartbreaking experience with the Nokia N95. Here’s what he said:

“These are the nightmares that we never want to happen.

“I remember in the days before we allowed users to do their firmware updates, this was one of the worries that could have killed the whole process.

“I think what makes it hard for us is all the disintermediation – the, sometimes small but crucial, gap between us and you.

“And what concerns me is that we know when it happens to folks like you who write about it. Yet, that leads us to a one-time fix.

“How can we spread a policy or procedure down the line that helps anyone with this issue (and without costing the company or you an bundle)?

“I don’t know, and any more speculation on my part might be irresponsible.

“For sure, the more folks who bring this up, the more likely the company will come with a plan that can deal with this in a way we are both happy with.”

Here is my response — which I hope will lead to further constructive conversation and perhaps better options for current and would-be US users of high-end Nokia products…

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Why Blogging Your Problems is Good

If you get really creative about it, failure and frustration can be the most engaging part of your blog. Don’t be scared to be human.

On a discussion list, a colleague recently asked for opinions about whether it’s a good idea to sometimes blog about the sucky stuff: Obstacles, frustrations, disappointments, setbacks, etc. Several people on this list responded to say that they only preferred to write — and read — about “successes.”

I can understand the general reluctance to blog about problems: Fear of being vulnerable, or of looking dumb or unprofessional (which is just another kind of vulnerability). It can be difficult to realize that sometimes vulnerability can be your greatest strength — especially in blogging.

Here’s my reply to that thread where I explain why blogging your problems can and probably should be a key part of your blogging strategy…

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The Perils of Political Romance

KoAn, via Flickr (CC license)
Questioning romance may not be popular, but it’s vital when stakes are high.

This morning I finally figured out why I’ve been feeling so utterly disengaged from the inescapable frenetic quest for Presidential candidates.

Well, actually Canadian blogger Rob Hyndman figured it out for me in his post this morning: We Won’t Get Fooled Again. He wrote:

“…I don’t want a political romance, and I’m not hungry for a return to the halcyon days of Camelot. I want someone who has a proven passion and ability to fix a broken system. And until I see that in a candidate, I’m more wary than credulous, and I’m suspending my belief.”

This was part of Hyndman’s explanation of why he’s uncomfortable with Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency. But Obama is his point, not mine.

My point is that we should take a close look at the myriad problems caused by pervasive deep-seated romantic myths in our culture…

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AP replacing journalism with stenography?

Parade.com
AP let Parade off way too easy.

In my daily links post today, I noted Steve Outing‘s spot-on Jan 6 critique of this weekend’s gaffe by Parade Magazine — the popular full-color, feature-rich magazine wedged into already-bloated Sunday papers around the country. Here’s Outing’s description of what happened:

“Tens of millions of people were treated to an example of print media’s slide toward irrelevance this morning. Parade magazine, which is inserted in Sunday papers across the US, offered up its cover story about Benazir Bhutto: ‘Is Benazir Bhutto America’s best hope against al-Qaeda?’ (Only if you believe in reincarnation.)

“The story, an interview by Gail Sheehy done prior to Bhutto’s death, is particularly relevant now. But it needed to be reworked to acknowledge the assassination, of course.

“…Bhutto was assassinated on December 27. Parade shows up in newspapers with this embarrassingly outdated story 10 DAYS later! …Parade’s site, of course, does acknowledge the assassination, and explains its publishing schedule and why what people received in print is so outdated. And some newspapers ran editor’s notes along with the copy of today’s Parade — though not my local paper.”

Apparently, Parade is still in damage-control mode over this one. Today on Poynter’s site, uber-journo-blogger Jim Romenesko noted this Jan 6. AP story in which Parade publisher Randy Siegel offered this explanation…

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