It occurred to me this morning that I just started my third year of blogging. Not that you would know it from my home page, as somewhere back in December I lost the ability to put the latest blog teaser on my home page. For a month or two I asked my web guys to manually put it on there and fix it, but it never got fixed. I gave up asking them as they are busy and I’ve blogged probably 20 times since then, but it makes my site look old if you stumble on it. The “fix” doesn’t seem to be to fix the user interface, separate from my blogging software that enabled me to put that first paragraph on my home page, but instead seems to be to invest in the latest release of blogging software. I’ve never been a big fan of having application functionality and then having it taken away unless you pay. But I guess that is how the world works.
That thought brings me back to an update on where I stand with Twitter – you know, the folks that for free allegedly allow you to broadcast all the messages you want in 140 characters or less. I see a connection here. If you don’t pay you lose functionality. The problem is that Twitter hasn’t figured out that maybe they should get people to pay. Then they could get revenue and invest in real customer support people to fix real problems. I was happy to find out that they have plans to have big revenue in the near future – at least according to Twitter’s business plans that were leaked to TechCrunch and Korben; two tech news blogs, and written about in a New York Times article. These plans, along with lots of other sensitive data, were leaked by a hacker that got into a Twitter employee’s account.
On the other hand, while I’m rambling, they certainly have reinforced password management for me as every time I’ve tried to log onto Twitter in the past month I’ve continued to have to click on the I’ve lost my password button, and then had to log on through their auto email and change my password again, just to get on – just to see if I can tweet. Trust me, after my initial 10 day frustration fest over Twitter I pretty much gave up on them, as have dozens of my colleagues in pain that are having the same problems, as I get to read about every day from the continual “Frozen Timeline” Twitter support emails I get.
I did manage to tweet on one day. Magically, I got my new password, and tried to tweet and did – three times. But as soon as I got out of Twitter again, gone was my tweeting ability and gone was my ability to log on with my new password.
I just tried it again. Same story. I had to get new password, logged on, but couldn’t tweet. Oh well.
I’m in good company though. As I sign off on the beginning of year 3 of this blog, here are some of the more pained and funny quotes from my daily barrage of Twitter Support emails:
•“Last week I wrote mentioning that my tweets, and also any tweets to me, were not being found when I search for @rrrr either thru the twitter search, tweetdeck or realtime replys. I made a ticket for this problem also. Yesterday instead of the ticket saying it was waiting to be assigned to someone it was closed and this is what I found from twitter “This request has been deemed solved Jun 29″.
That is it, no further info…and it HAS NOT BEEN SOLVED! It is no different then 8 days ago when I first reported the problem. Is this a joke? Do they even bother to look at this forum?
I realize this is a free service, but it is being used by people and businesses. Twitter is gaining a lot of publicity and cudos and I’d expect it to work, free or not. The peple behind twitter do not seem to be able to fix or even address this problem. The status page is working as they thought to post an update tht the follower/following pages weren’t working and they were trying to fix it just a few hours ago. Why not do something about all these posts from people who are trying to use this system but are getting discouraged and even just plain angry? I am trying to run a business, everything was working fine, and then all of a sudden it stops working with no explaination and no one at twitter seems to be addressing when it will be fixed (if ever). Not a very good business practice as far as I’m concerned. The very least that you could do is post that you are looking in to the problem, not just mark someone’s ticket as being fixed without even doing anything to fix it!”
“My tweets are not showing up on any search or anything. I am so tired of this!!! What is the problem?? Please for God’s sake tell me at least what is going on. I have this problem every day, and am unable to twitter. I have tried deleting my account and restoring it. I have tried changing passwords. I have tried opening another account, and nothing works!! Twitter is great when it works, but it seems to not work a lot!!”
“I’ve just sent in a ticket asking twitter to check out the 29 pages of folks having problems with Frozen Timelines and Problems tweeting. I tried posting to #twitterfail but the only page it posted was to my home page. I am also new with twitter and have been following #IranElection. The only thing I had done prior to my Frozen Timeline going down was to block a bunch of spammers all at once 8 days ago.”
“Twitter is a Big Fat Broken Zero. These idiots are either clueless as to how to fix these problems, or cannot read english. They are offering solutions to PROBLEMS I AM NOT HAVING and closing tickets. After opening a new account yesterday, it worked for a total of 10 tweets before the SAME PROBLEM STARTED WITH IT. Twitter is crap. Period. They are laughing at the world who so desperately need to get on this site with it working BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE &*&*(^&&*&*&& DYING. I AM GOING TO TO EVERYTHING I CAN TO MAKE THIS TREATMENT FRONT PAGE NEWS AND ON EVERY NEWS CHANNEL.”
“Are they insane! Do they actually think that everyone is going to figure this out??? It never ceases to amaze me about how some companies take customer support so lightly. I’ll bet if we had a *preferred account* that this would have been taken care of five minutes after submission. This food chain thing is really starting to annoy me and I am as exasperated as TNTIran…
“Well, unfortunately you are right: Twitter support needs a lot of improvements. Since I started using twitter, I found out that twitter is very unstable. You never know if the strange behaviour is a bug, some sort of server overload or some explicit filtering to keep “unwanted ideas / political statements” out. Even your account was shifted in the background to the blacklist filter there is no notification or explanation why your account is now only working with limitations. The overall summary is: really frustrating and annoying.”