Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wired UK review of our Twitter 'Tweam'

Some really good news about our great Twitter 'Tweam' at @virginmedia.

In the WiredUK podcast from April 21 (approx 16 minutes in) the site's editor (and a Virgin Media customer) Nate Lanxon gives our guys a really good review about a response to his enquiry being received within 20 minutes of him posing a query.

Nate also thinks that this is what all companies should do. I'll admit to being biased but I do agree!

The podcast can be found here and thanks for taking the time to feed that back Nate :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shiver me Timbers

As part of the day job I get to read a lot of comments from customers - and have developed a keen eye for the natural comedians that brighten up my day when I come across their feedback.

One of the best recent examples of a humorous interaction was the exchange I saw this week between a customer and Billy from our Twitter 'Tweam':


My landline is down and my iphone is being repaired, no one else in the house til tonight so I can't make any calls

please help!


Good day Me Heartie,

Looking into your telephone issue it isn't something that's affecting your area, so we're going to have to look a bit deeper. Could I ask if you've tried using a telephone? If you haven't is there anyway you could give that a whirl, I don't want to be wasting your time with a technician visit if it's not needed.

Look forward to hearing you soon cap'n =)


Yo Ho Billy, I hoisted up a sail on the ARRRRRRRRR virgin media support forum, so I did, so I did.

A buccaneer by the name of Ray has signaled a privateer to come aboard on the 6th day, heres hoping he fixes me magic talky box.

Not only was the whole exchange very funny, Billy from the 'Tweam' and Ray from the forum team did a great job to resolve the problem and we have a happy customer!

On that note, I'm off to Ticketmaster to buy a pair of tickets for Billy's standup debut.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beautiful British Name

I’ve been on a bit of a comedy binge (insert gag here of your choice about my career) over the last year or so, having seen Frankie Boyle, Dara O’Briain, Russell Brand and Al Murray live amongst others, and really enjoyed most of them (although I was disappointed by Frankie, who had very little fresh material).

A couple of weekends ago I had a total comedy binge, seeing John Bishop in Bournemouth on the Saturday and Al Murray (again) on the Sunday in a really compact venue at the Hammersmith Lyric in London.

What a cracking weekend it was!

Despite the venue being a bit odd (it’s usually a conference centre) and the staff being over attentive with their continuous announcements over the PA system in Bournemouth it was a really enjoyable night.

The best bit was the hecklers, who tended to be from the Liverpool or Manchester area and he dealt with them really well. I thought one of the put downs he used was hilarious:

John: Where are you from?
Heckler: Wythenshawe!
John: Wythenshawe? It’s like what it would be if the cast of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ settled down somewhere!

Not very politically correct, but very funny!

Sunday was Al Murray, headlining an event that had a few other comedians. Al, as you may know, is legendary for picking on people in the audience – and thankfully we were safe as we were in row G. Phew!

Or so I thought. The front row was row F. Here’s how far away Al wasn’t:

Now I’m aware I’m a reasonably conspicuous person (and wearing a T-Shirt that just said ‘pancakes’ on it doesn’t help much), so we started preparing our stories for when he asked us what we do.

Al: What do you do Alex?
Me: I work for Richard Branson.
Al: What do you do, do you blow up the balloons?
*Much laughter*
Me: I work in customer experience for Virgin Media
Al: Any Virgin customers here, anyone got any problems? Alex can sort them out for you!

Well, that was nice of him wasn’t it? Thankfully the responses were amusing and just to wind me up, as I didn’t have any business cards on me!

Of the three of us only one other got picked on, with her saying she was an “office manager” … which Al summarised as being “oh, you’re a cleaner then aren’t you?”

It was another really good night and a great weekend of comedy, and I even got a tweet back from Al when I said I’d enjoyed having the mickey taken out of me!

Being in a much smaller venue that was a lot more intimate than when I last saw him (at the Hammersmith Apollo) really made it a much more enjoyable night with the Pub Landlord – not that it wasn’t great first time!

I’ve now seen enough comedians live that I thought it was time I ranked them on the basis of enjoyment and how much I laughed:
  1. Al Murray
  2. John Bishop
  3. Dara O’Briain
  4. Billy Connolly
  5. Russell Brand
  6. Frankie Boyle
Who’s the best you’ve seen in the flesh?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Twen Commandments

I've been pondering recently the things on Twitter that wind me up, but, more importantly, what works well in use of it as a medium and I thought I'd share my 'rules of Twitter' or my Twen Commandments if you like - as I tweeted them earlier today.
  1. Anyone using deckly or similar such services breaks the spirit of Twitter and will get unfollowed!
  2. Any applications that tweet 'as' you (or DM you unsolicitedly) without your knowledge are evil.
  3. Don't RT any feeds that ask you to do to win something. You taint their brand and make you look like a spammer.
  4. Never beg for followers. It makes you look like a sad act.
  5. 'Celebs' who don't engage with their followers by replying to them are vacuous and should be ignored/unfollowed.
  6. Any brand not on there and not responding to tweets both to and about them doesn't care and has no clue.
  7. Be patient with newbies. They keep it fresh and relevant as a medium and drive innovation.
  8. 'Humorous' news related parody feeds that live for anything more than 4 weeks is flogging a dead horse.
  9. People who only ever tweet when they are trying to promote something (PR etc) must be unfollowed immediately.
  10. Finish lists like this when the material naturally ends, rather than rounding it up to a landmark number.
Had to add the last one as a homage to social media 'news' sites that endless post dull lists of even duller things (am sure many will know who I mean!) but thought I'd share generally.

My personal opinion and all that of course ...

Michael Jackson statue

I turned down a ticket to see Fulham v Blackpool at Craven Cottage today - and in doing so I've missed the best thing ever, the Michael Jackson statue unveiled by Mohammed Fayed.
Picture credit from Twitter user @zulfikaralex

See some more pictures of it here on the Mirror website - you must have a look!

Fayed saying that anyone who doesn't like it can "go to hell" is a bit harsh though and I thought his comments were off the wall.

The match itself is set to be a thriller.

OK, I'll stop now.