Twitter chats

Last night and tonight, I participated in two different Twitter chats, #pinchat and #blogchat. I  have gained a lot more yesterday than today. The main reason, too many people tonight.

Twitter chats are a very good way to learn some tools for doing social business and I had a lot of fun by chatting with total strangers. Soon enough, strangers become friends. When  there are not that many people in the chat, you can catch up easily and have time to retweet and reply to others. On the other hand, if there are many people, the tweets are running too fast. It’s almost impossible to follow. When you tried to reply or retweet, the entry quickly scroll down a screen or two.

After the chat, I went to to get the statistics for this the chat hashtag #blogchat. It showed 1500 tweets. One can see, within 1 hour, at least 1300 tweets were posted, average less than 3 seconds per tweet. For a slow reader like me, it’s  like running 1500 meter with pros. I had to give up about half way.



Convenience in Customer Support

Today I was trying to run “yum update” on one of my RedHat 5 lab system when I saw the following exception appeared,

up2date_client.up2dateErrors.SSLCertificateVerifyFailedError: The SSL certificate failed verification.

I searched and found some solutions on RedHat support site. When I accessed the links, I was asked to login. Since I had never registered at the site, I decided to be a good citizen to register. After I went through their long Sign-Up procedure (15 fields) , I submitted the form, and I was thrown back to the same sign-up form without any error or warning. All the filled values are blanked out. I was really pissed off.

I am working in the customer support and understand how customers are frustrated when they have a problem. We would not only try to provide solutions into their hands such that they could resolve their issues quickly. So all of our answers and technical notes are open to public to view. They are also searchable on search engines, like Google, Bing, etc.

For high quality technical support, all your contents are created for your customers to read. I don’t see any reason someone has to register and log in to be able to read them. I understand you may want to have some statistics. If you are still using this login mechanism to count site visits, you are really way behind technology. I can understand some controls to be applied when downloading files from your site, because there are regulations that you have to follow.

I want to bring another point. Even you want your customer to login, you should seriously consider using widely used single sign-on solutions like OpenID, Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. These are really easy to implement and customers will appreciate that.

Freedom of Expression

Today people are boycotting Twitter’s decision of selectively block some content posted through Twitter, due to some countries’ political views. I can understand why a lot of people’s outcry for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. At the meantime, I also understand why Twitter’s management has to make such decision to show their capability of blocking certain content. Whether they are going to actually do and how they would implement it, is still in question.

There are still a lot of countries on this planet in which people cannot speak freely. One can be jailed or lose his or her freedom by speaking out his mind. Many had even lost their lives when fighting for the freedom. Twitter could be used by the freedom fighters as such a tool.

Should Twitter support such a fight with some dissidents to the government or to violate the laws of a foreign country? Should Twitter take the risk of losing the opportunity to serve millions of their users just for a few political fighters? Sometimes business owners don’t want to get involved into such a fight. Twitter is a business tool, not political tool.

For many of us who had lived under totalitarian society, we understand the value of freedom of speech. Would you rather have the government completely close down your channel of communication, or have some compromise and less controversial argument? The change towards the freedom is a long road. It won’t happen overnight. I would rather take the fight in a more subtle way than directly. In this sense, I understand the decision made by Twitter.

Just yesterday, another news came from North Korea. The government is banning their citizens to use mobile phones, and label cell phone users as “war criminals”. Under such kind of conditions, if there is a choice, we should work hard to preserve any communication channel for the North Korean people rather than disrupting existing ones we might have in order to satisfy our so-called freedom.

On the other hand, I don’t know why Twitter has to tell the world they can do what they announced. It’s not necessary.


Chinese New Year 2012

Today is the last day of 2011 in Chinese Lunar Calendar. While we enjoy our last day of 2011, my parents and relatives in China had already welcome their first day of 2012.

This year is the Year of Dragon. In Chinese tradition, dragon is the symbol of king or emperor. It represents the highest rank in the society. Thus, it is expected that there will be a boom of childbirth in 2012, because the young couples and their parents from both sides will look for and symbolize their future of their next generation to be associated with the notable dragon.

When we celebrate the most important holiday in Chinese culture, we normally make some promises to spend the year with certain goals. Here, I am making the announcement that I would start this blog and write regularly to record my thoughts in my everyday and professional life. I promise to be honest, insightful, and trustful. All posts on this site are my own.

Welcome to Fang’s Voice Blog

Welcome to Fang’s Voice blog. As I will write my real first blog shortly, I will leave this update as simple as possible.

I am new to blogs and I am not good at writing. Please provide your supportive comments and criticism as you see properly.

Thanks for your visit.