Last night I ran into a problem, and today I remain amazed at the power of social media. I’m also amazed at how effectively companies can be by monitoring it.
Last night I was trying to install some Bible software on my netbook. I normally run into trouble with Libronix. I can usually get through it with help from Google. Last night was different. I went through the usual error. I downloaded MSXML 4.0. Then I got another error. Then I ran Libronix Update. Then Libronix would start, but not load. Then I downloaded the latest version. Then it would load, but somehow most of my books didn’t show up.
For those of you who know me (those who don’t should pray it remains that way), I don’t always handle frustration well. I especially fail to handle frustration when I have an ear to listen, or better yet an entire platform like Twitter. I can be somewhat of an ass when I’m frustrated, have a target, and a platform. I made a few frustrated tweets asking why Thomas Nelson doesn’t fix Libronix so it works right the first time. I also left a few frustrated tweets about Laridian, which decided to delete 500 of my Bible notes.
When I got to work this morning, I had a direct message from Michael Hyatt, inviting me to email him to be put in touch with tech support.I figured I’d contact their tech support today, but I definitely appreciated the offer to expedite. Sure enough, I got a call from tech support. He walked me through the issue, we fixed my problem, and he even gave me some tips for the next time. He also helped me to understand why the older version of Libronix doesn’t work right out of the box. The best part was telling me about the future of Libronix. Wow, that was exciting!
I’ve always been impressed with Thomas Nelson, at least, since the company became somewhat personal to me. Thomas Nelson became personal mostly through the use of social media. The CEO, Michael Hyatt, has had a blog for more than 4 years. I’ve been following his blog for most of it’s existence, since I stumbled upon it while trying to figure out a plan for my life. It’s been very inspirational to me.
Michael Hyatt, as long as I’ve followed him, has been a technology pioneer. He once had a Tablet PC, switched to Mac, directed his company to run tests of the original Palm Treo and BlackBerry,and carries an iPhone. He began to use Twitter last year. Last year, Thomas Nelson rolled out Book Review Bloggers, a program I have enthusiastically participated in.
In any case, you’ve got to respect a company with a CEO who personally monitors social media for the company’s name, and puts out fires. I doubt I would have become a fire. I was just frustrated, but I really did appreciate the help.
Laridian also contacted me through Twitter. I emailed their support. They’re a smaller company, so I haven’t gotten more than an automated response that my ticket has been received.
This also drives home a lesson to me. I have about 70 followers on Twitter at present. There’s nothing impressive about that, but still, there are people who for various reasons monitor what I say. Having put myself out on the Internet with a blog and some social media accounts, this whole thing was a reminder to me that I need to be careful how I conduct myself. People are watching. One of my hopes of social media is to position myself as an influence, expert, or leader. One misguided tweet could ruin all of that.