A fishing tradition keelhauled in Chatham

A fishing tradition keelhauled in Chatham – The Boston Globe

Dinghy Wars erupt in Chatham. We have a problem here in Cotuit – but it’s not dinghies per se — we’ve got knuckleheads parking full boats in the grass.

“Locals say it is about Chatham’s soul being eroded by newcomers with thick wallets, newcomers whom they refer to as “wash-ashores.””The problem that I have with it is, these people come down here and say, ‘Oh, look. Isn’t it cute? Isn’t it wonderful? Look at that cute little fisherman out there working hard,’ ” said Sean Summers, a Chatham native and local selectman. “Then they buy in and say: ‘We’re going to do things my way now.’ “

Comes down to one flaw in the Commonwealth’s laws. Property owners own their beach all way way down to the water. Most states they own to the high tide mark. This makes for a massive pain in the neck and constant battle over rights. I predict — in my lifetime — a repeal of the low water ownership and a rollback to the highwater mark. Until then, watch the washashores break out the bolt cutters and start putting the dinghies on their beach some place else.

Me? I chain mine to a chainlink fence on a public beach and get there in the middle of March to stake out my spot. Sooner or later I guess I’ll have to get a permit for that too.

Guterman is blogging again …

Jimmy G — he of PC Week alumnism — all around droll rock and roll man — is blogging, and posts this indisputable best mis-heard rock lyric video of all time.

And Jimmy mis-remembers the past — I did not “erase” his Tetris score in 1987 at PC Week, I modified it.

Is this your brand?

Ah yes, the joys of a happy customer, a digital camera, and a blog. (Thanks to Jeremiah O. for the pointer.)

Corporate Blogging :The Risks of NQA Blog Service

I just took Jeremiah Owyang to task for publishing thumbsucking advice on corporate blogging — “Ask for feedback!” “Admit it when you are wrong!” — and challenged the growing legions of social media pundits to kick it up a notch with some news I could use. (and my apologies to Jeremiah for ambushing him like the asshat I am)
So, henceforth, with no book in the works on the next evolution in the Super Transparent Corporate Social Conversational Marketing Revolution, I can declare I have no commercial ax to grind and simply want to charitably share the wealth from someone who walks the walk of corporate blogging day in and day out.

If the books are publishing “101” level advice, let this be the first in a “201” series – the next level in the curriculum, the class you take your sophomore year. Jeremiah posted this post on his site – Web Strategy by Jeremiah. And being the thrifty Yankee I am, I figured I’d recycle the words here as well. Please comment over there and not here. (And no comments about my ongoing life a typographical error. I am petitioning the court to change my name is DahChuck Charbuck)

In partly pedantic jest, I suggested to Jeremiah that the type of topic I’d like to discuss is: contravening corporate policy by privately resolving a blogged customer support issue and having the blogger publically state the solution and thereby set a precedent for all future complaints

Let’s look at the scenario in less pedantic terms. The risk of a no-questions-asked (NQA) blogger appeasement policy.

Let’s say you are the corporate blogger at Newco and among your responsibilities is monitoring the blogosphere for expressions of customer joy and unhappiness. You hire a service, or you do it yourself, but eventually you are going to find a person who writes something like this:

“I just bought a new widget from Newco and it has three dead dingbats. I am a graphic designer and I must have a flawless product to do my job. I called Newco and they said their policy is only to replace widgets with five contiguous dead dingbats. This is bullshit. I am going to write a letter to the Better Business Bureau and Jeff Jarvis.”

You, the corporate blog person, check on the corporate website, and yep, there is the dead dingbat policy plain as day. This policy is essentially the same one that everyone else in the industry follows. Do you:

Let’s say the blogger gets really upset and continues to post about the dead dingbats. Let’s say the blogger takes the case to The Consumerist or the Ripoff Report and the forums, and tells people to join him in a campaign against your company’s dumb policy. The comments on the post begin to fill with other people who hate dead dingbats. The noise level is rising. Someone in PR notices it in a Google news alert. You get an email asking if you know about this. The blogger posts your CEO’s home phone number. And calls it.

As you look for a way to make the blogger happy, you discuss the policy internally and learn that dead dingbats are a fact of life, and that due to the vagaries of manufacturing there is no such thing as a flawless, dingbat-free widget, and to identify one means hours and hours of combing through thousand of widgets to find a clean one. The bottom line is this: making flawless widgets would destroy the bottom line which is why no one in the industry guarantees it.

But the blogger doesn’t care about that. The blogger is mad and nothing is going to make him happy other than a pristine system. So you find one. You arrange to have it hand delivered by your regional manager. With a Tickler Bouquet and a box of chocolates.

And you ask the blogger to please keep the new machine to himself, this is a one-time special exception, so please don’t blog about it. Okay?

Ha. The blogger declares victory, tells the world that the campaign has paid off, that Newco has caved, and indeed you just insured that every person who Googles: “Newco Dead Dingbat Policy” is going to hear the story of how you made an exception.

Except now that exception is now the rule, in public, for everyone to see.

So, fellow corporate bloggers and customer service professionals. This is a question of pure situation ethics. When do you make an extraordinary gesture of customer satisfaction and when do you stick to your guns?

Please comment over at Jeremiah’s blog.

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