No-one likes to be used….

Okay I finally figured it out. Figured what out? Why when someone talks about how they can USE blogs why I get a strange uneasy feeling and bells faintly ringing in my head.

I was approached a few times by people after our presentation at the ConnectingUp 2006 Conference saying how they’d come to find out how they can USE blogs where they work. Ever since then it’s haunted me. Use? Use blogs?

Finally at 2AM yesterday it hit me. It was Doc Searls’ fault I couldn’t sleep – rolling his ruddy snowballs again that did it. While I was reading his dissertation “Making a New World“. He was talking about making money because of open source not with it.

You see a blog is primarily something you HAVE not something you USE. In fact the outcomes from blogs GROW from interaction, they are not manufactured by forces – market or otherwise. Blogs are RELATIONAL not merely TRANSACTIONAL. And nobody in a relationship likes to be USED.

Because blogs grow things, that’s another reason why a blog is like a garden, grown in a field, called the Net.

Darwin thoughts

.Mitchel Street is the epicentre of activity not the Mall.
.Wisdom Bar & Grill is a great outdoor shady spot that serves good food – try the pork chop or if you don’t eat meat the three nut salad wrap.
.Almost all staff in shops is transient so go to Information centre for information.
.Access cabs are like anywhere else in Australia – expect to wait and booking ahead helps but doesn’t guarantee anything.
.If you’re tall, avoid the Toyota Tarago taxis – they cram you in back and won’t get head straight.
.Darwin cab drivers mostly don’t strap you in – ask them to do so – and bring your own upper torso belt if you require it.
.Public busses are great. Nearly all are accessible except the articulated type and can be accessed easily. Fares are cheap. Drivers think they’re Jack Brabham, so apply brakes, put on strap you bought along if need to. Certainly thumbs up for Darwin Bus.
.Nights are beautiful. Balmy 22 degrees.
.Shops open late, supermarkets also.
.Stay in shade during day and temperature is fine.

I’ll be bringing more stories on my Darwin jaunt in near future when I get nearer to decent net access and can easier access my pc.

‘Till then, some pictures are on Flickr.

Darwin – getting there is half the fun.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Put another way, you could say things are generally the same here in Darwin as home in Adelaide – aside from the obvious one, the weather.

There are differences obviously – but the weather really seems to be the only big difference.

There’s still the same stupid hiccups caused by miscommunications between different layers of staff. Qantas staff on phone are great and promise the earth assuring everything will be rosy and yet the people on the ‘ground’ obviously don’t get that message. What it seems like is a big company with lotsa little ‘groups’, all having their own internal ‘customer education’sessions on how to put the ‘company line’ yet not having enough interaction overlap to give a cohesive ‘customer experience’.

The best analogy I could give is it’s like a big game of ‘chinese whispers’.

The people do their best and are very congenial but there’s gaps in the system that generally you wouldn’t see, but travel with a disability and they become instantly obvious.

Besides which people either just don’t use common sense or have no real world idea of who they’re trying to serve – or maybe both.

And it’s not just in the air transport. The Hotel gave me the same type of experience. The needs were clearly outlined ahead of time to someone on the phone and somehow got missed, overlooked or just muddled up. Nothing was `life-threating’ or more than an inconvenience, but again it was clear that systems to ensure continuity of experience just weren’t either up to it, or the people just don’t care about details – even though they appear to.

It’s the little foxes that spoil the hedge‘ is how the saying goes. And, likewise, ‘The devil is in the detail‘. And that’s the upshot of it – the detail, the ‘little’ things.

In a world of ‘same-ness’ it’s the details that are going to make the difference.

And I’m not talking about details and little things in terms of mints on pillows, or smiles on faces, inflight treats or glib company catch phrases. I’m talking about every person in a company or organisation saying what they mean, meaning what they say and making sure it happens consistently down the line – paying attention to the details in the conversation.

Oh, I arrived fine, pretty much unstressed – even though I had to wait over an hour and half for a taxi at the airport, but really, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at that – it’s the same story in Adelaide. Luckily I was going on holiday and the time didn’t really matter. But if I had been on a schedule I would’ve been utterly stuffed and the rub is it would not have been due to a lack of detail planning with the information I had, but a lack of attention given to my detailed planning.

And so it goes. The saying ‘He who fails to plan, plans to fail‘ is holding less sway in my estimation of valuable things to remember….especially when it seems you’re dealing with systems whose value is on appearance rather than substance.


[tags]darwin, disability, travel, qantas, service[/tags]

First Extraordinary Show Up

Back on the 1st of May the podcast I’m doing with Mike called “The Extraordinary Everyday Lives Show“, was launched on The Podcast Network.

The show is described as being “Discussions with people about their strategies for getting through the challenges of everyday life.” – however it’ll be a flexible mix of all kinds of interesting stuff that enters our heads and evolve over time.

We’ve put up a pilot show, we called 000 and have been slowly getting into the whole thing inbetween everything else. You may’ve noticed a little banner graphic on this blog’s sidebar I snuck in there too.

Today show number 1 went up. It’s a rather long but interesting interview that takes you to remote war-torn places in the past. To find out more you’ll just have to listen….or at least read the show notes.

Extraordinary Everyday Lives #001 : Hugo Ortega