Stilgherrian (@stilgherrian)

Wentworth Falls NSW AU

The below is an off-site archive of all tweets posted by @stilgherrian ever

May 5th, 2011

@lukehopewell I think it’s stupid of them to imagine that silence preserves the brand better than open and honest communication.

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@lukehopewell I perhaps wouldn’t have been angry personally if not a customer, but either way the communication was shoddy this morning.

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I am indeed a Westpac customer, @lukehopewell. For now, anyway.

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I do wish folks would stop calling the @Westpac outage a “glitch”. It plays into their hands, downplaying a national outage that continues.

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Vital work by @nswpolice arresting 17yo alleged to have thrown eggs at Justin Bieber. Video: http://youtu.be/Tr2gk0kc…

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@AlisterAir It’s no great mystery. As I keep saying, you communicate what you do know, accurately, and say when the next update will come.

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@jonoabroad That’s my point from before. If you don’t yet have an ETA then say so, clearly, and then say when you’ll give the next update.

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It strikes me that so much corporate communication during outages is driven by fear. Is that what you want to signal? That you live in fear?

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I agree that sometimes it’s hard to predict how long things will take to fix, @mjec, but as @infoholic said, then say that.

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RT @infoholic: Or if @Westpac does not know how long it will take to fix the problem they should just say so and advise time of next update.

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The poor human running @Westpac has to use phrases like “soon” and “a little while”, but they’re not numerical values I can plan around.

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I reckon speaking plainly and giving facts would only be alarming, @CeadaoinsChild, because it follows a history of dishonest communication.

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I thoroughly disagree, @CeadaoinsChild. “Technical issue” can be replaced by “equipment failure” or “power outage” or “fire” easily enough.

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@trib It’s lovely that a @Westpac person is on the radio, but I have their Twitter feed and website open, they can talk direct to me.

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Also a trust issue. I’m expected to trust @Westpac with money, yet they don’t show trustworthiness by giving even basic facts about outages.

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Agreed, @sroc , it’s “an overall language issue, along with customer => consumer; bank account => product; etc. real issue is lack of info.”

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It’s probably not the fault of the individual human tweeting via @Westpac, but that really was quite poor communication given the scope.

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An example where language was human, not “experienced an issue”, “resolved” and “expect resolution soon”. Where a “problem” was “fixed”.

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No not emergency services for that example, @Arash_Mohebbi @thomasrdotorg, I mean explaining outages to customers. Bank, ISP, airline…

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RT @brettatitnews: No, the comms folks tend to be too scared to tweet for fear of internal reprisals… [Toxic anti-customer culture, that.]

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OK, I think it’s time to start making up our own facts and rumours about the @Westpac outage. Ours will be better anyway.

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Sure, complex systems, @RealDavidHeath, but 1h+ after first outage they should at least know the extent and the sysadmins’ gut feeling.

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As an aside, has anyone seen a wonderful example of Twitter use during a technical outage, any industry not just banks? Ideally Australian?

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@jonoabroad By “comms people” I meant corporate communications not engineering. There can be very good reasons for taking systems down.

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It’s basic. “Website is down, looks like a big problem that’ll take at least an hour” or whatever. Then people can get on with other things.

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It’s not that a system is down, @jonoabroad, I agree that can happen. It’s the complete lack of prompt and honest communication.

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I have zero sympathy for the flak banks etc get in these situations. Their comms people are paid 6-figure salaries to sort out this shit.

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That bland, content-free corporatespeak shits me to tears. Why doesn’t anyone have the spine to speak plainly?

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So @Westpac, by “experiencing technical issues” do you mean “the website is offline”? Yeah, we got that. Any facts? Any ETA on facts?

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Dear @Westpac, your website is down yet your Twitter feed has no information. Not much point to having it then, is there.

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