Don't Use PlusNet

I’m still having problems with my PlusNet broadband. Not only are they not interested in talking to me (phone line queues over an hour, website queries often take days), but when they do, we go round in circles discussing basic settings on my router rather than addressing the problem (my protestations that I haven’t changed a sausage are seemingly ignored). So please, if you’re looking for an ADSL provider, and value customer service, don’t go with PlusNet.

But some good news this morning: I spoke to a nice lady from the Consumer Direct service. She gave me some great advice on how to proceed; what wording to use in my letters them, etc. Based on that experience, I’d recommend them if you’re having a similar problem. Never let it be said that I don’t occasionally have a good word for government.

Irrational Rationalisation and Marketing

I’ve just finished reading Seth Godin’s book All Marketers Are Liars (yes, I know I was reading something different a few days ago; I’ve got a short attention span). His book taught me a lot about marketing and convinced me it doesn’t have to be fake and cynical. But perhaps the most important personal lesson I’ve taken away is to understand worldviews better. One of Seth’s basic principles is that each person has a set of worldviews: marketing that doesn’t match them is rationalised away in our brains, even when that’s illogical. This has been demonstrated by psychologists many times, but irrational rationalisation (pun aware) makes people uncomfortable, so we don’t talk about it much. This is one of things that makes marketing to people hard: framing the message in terms of their worldview. I think this is just as important to understand in personal relationships (persuading) as it is in selling products (marketing). In fact, it seems that Godin would assert that the former is marketing too.

Naqoyqatsi

Naqoyqatsi is a second-rate final film in the trilogy that also includes Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi. I think Godfrey Reggio thought he was branching out into something new here by using digitally manipulated archive material and CGI, but actually the film comes across as tired and pedestrian. Five minutes of it might be tolerable in the Tate Gallery out of curiousity at the ‘pretty patterns’, but it’s nothing compared to the ground-breaking Koyaanisqatsi or its first sequel. I turned it off before the end out of boredom.

IBM, Software, and SOA

Business Week recently pointed out, in an article linked from Sandy Carter’s SOA blog, that IBM now makes more profit from software than services, which had been our mainstay for a number of years now. I’m not 100% clear on the details (it’s not often I get to look at the big book o’ accounts), but it’s good to know that we in IBM Software Group are doing good for the company’s bottom line.

This is significant as IBM gets ready for our big SOA announcement on 3rd October. Whether you believe the hype or are cynical about SOA being the next big thing, you can find out more details on the IBM website here and register for the webcast.

Bill Clinton Leads the Royal Albert Hall

I’ve just booked my ticket for Bill Clinton’s leadership seminar next Tuesday. Although my politics don’t align that well with his, I’ve nevertheless long thought he’s an intelligent man, and look forward to hearing what he has to say. David Millward from the Telegraph has also written about this.

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