You can watch the hot space action from STS-115 at www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/. Of course as I write this the astronauts are asleep for the next five hours, but they do have a camera pointing at the Earth, which is worth a look. And the commentator is doing such a sterling job she’d be at home on ABC Radio during a rained-out cricket match.
I’ve just spent a happy while creating a tag cloud — a diagram of the “tags” or keywords in this blog, arranged to show the most common. It tells me (and you!) more about what I’m writing about that I could write about myself. Plus it updates itself automatically.
Yesterday I couldn’t find Vodafone’s website because for some inexplicable reason I got the spelling wrong. Who knows, maybe it’s because in English the word is “phone” so I went to www.vodaphone.com.au. The stupid thing is, Vodafone had already gone half-way to solving the problem, but left me hanging.
Now I won’t get into the whole “Let’s convince customers we’re cool by using funky spelling” thing, except to say I think it’s a complete wank. As soon as you try to be cool, you’ve failed.
What’s daft is that Vodafone had in fact already licensed the Internet domain vodaphone.com.au…
posen:~ contour$ whois vodaphone.com.au
Domain Name: vodaphone.com.au
Last Modified: 16-Nov-2002 06:04:14 UTC
Registrar ID: R00010-AR
Registrar Name: Melbourne IT
Registrant: Vodafone Pacific Limited
Registrant ID: OTHER 056 161 043
Registrant ROID: C0754342-AR
Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
… but done nothing with it. So, for anyone who knows how to spell and goes to www.vodaphone.com.au, nothing happens. The resulting marketing message is “We’re offline. We’re unreliable”.
Yet with less than an hour’s work, the message could have been “Hey, our name is actually Vodafone. We’ll now take you to www.vodafone.com.au.”
And if they did that, they’d even know how many website visitors they’d been losing this way.
The lesson for businesses: Where are your customers looking for you? When they go there, will they find you?
OK, sit up! Two things. One, the entire telephone industry is, collectively, a moron. Two, I gave away your privacy just to show you this mediocre cartoon. Both nasty.
Don’t people think when they’re naming an organization? There’s actually something called the Public Health Prevention Service! Yes, we’d better prevent all that public health…!