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Marie Lebert, Jun 22, 2015
This useful list was posted this morning. The very first response, posted to a number of lists by Jan Velterop, was this: "Nice chronology of open access. Unfortunately CC-BY-NC-SA, so itself not full open access as I would define it (though better than pay-walled, obviously)." My first reaction to this message was: what a jerk. When somebody takes the time to create something and share it freely with the community, it is most inappropriate to snarl, "you used the wrong license." I wonder how the author felt about being a member of a community who would respond like that. Those of you who really want commercial open access: we get it, only commercial access will satisfy you. But most of us are happy with a NC license. Stop poisoning the community![Link] [Comment]
As I buckled up again, something began to nag at me. What if KLM had removed my suitcase and it was still in baggage handling? What if we left without it? Nooo - surely not? KLM are a big commercial operator, I reassured myself. They would have a handle on my baggage wouldn't they? (see what I did there?) Eventually I arrived in Cologne and stood by the baggage carousel waiting to claim my suitcase. I began to worry. Where was my suitcase? In fact I started to aggonise about my baggage - I was baggonising (well, someone has to invent a new word for this phenomenon). Everyone else on the flight had taken their bags and were on their way to their hotels in taxis by the time I gave up and walked over to the KLM service desk. I had arrived but my suitcase was still in Amsterdam. In it were my shoes, suit, shirts, shaving kit, toothbrush...
Not a problem, said KLM. We can get your bags to you tomorrow afternoon, on the next available flight. Direct to your hotel room. Actually, that is a problem for me, I pointed out. My keynote speech is tomorrow morning, and I'm standing here in jeans, trainers and a t-shirt. What am I supposed to do now? The KLM service staff were not as helpful as the label on their desk boasted. I left the airport, got into a taxi and checked into my hotel, quietly fuming to myself about the incompetence of a national carrier.
I took out my mobile phone and vented my anger by tweeting what had happened. I named and shamed KLM for losing my bags. Within the hour, KLM were on Twitter, responding to my tweet. They told me they were sorry, but a 'technical issue' at Amsterdam had prevented them from loading my bag into my plane. In other words, they shouldn't have removed it in the first place, knowing that I was on the passenger list. KLM suggested I go out and purchase what I needed, and promised me that they would refund me for any expenses I incurred. Result.
So I went out that evening and purchased a new shirt, shoes, underwear, socks, shaving kit and toothbrush. I then submitted my receipts. True to their word, KLM refunded my expenses within the month. My faith in the company was restored. I have flown with them several more times since, but now I always carry my luggage on board with me. Twitter is quite a powerful communication tool, but don't just take it from me.
An article on the BBC News site also shows why it pays to complain on Twitter. Where once the only recourse was to write or phone a company, it is now possible to get very quick responses from large companies. The argument the article makes is that companies a very aware of the power of social media to spread content virally. The last thing they want is for someone to complain about their service or product and for this to quickly escalate beyond control, without them replying or even being aware that they are being discussed publicly. Damage to reputation and brand can have long lasting and extremely detrimental effects on business. Known as 'sentiment tracking', or 'opinion mining', many of the larger businesses now monitor social media channels for mentions of their company name. Twitter is seen by many as a valid indicator of public emotional and political temperature. In the event of an adverse or negative comment, social media managers intervene, and attempt to put things right or ameliorate the situation as quickly as possible. It's good business and makes a lot of sense to invest in social media intervention. It's a useful way for them to have dialogue with their clients, and to develop better customer relations.
In higher education, our customers are our students. Universities must find better ways to respond to student needs, and can do a lot worse than paying closer attention to the social media strategies of the big companies.
Photo by Usuario Barcex on Wikimedia Commons
Travel, tracking and Twitter by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's