Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Unified Communication

There were a couple of communication related stories today. Hotmail got a reboot, and looks very clean. It is now called Outlook.com and I logged in for the first time in 7+years. Yahoo email and messenger had some outages today, welcome Marissa Mayer. Twitter reinstated Guy Adams Twitter account. What do these three stories have in common? They show us what is good, bad, and ugly in communications.

Hotmail is now Outlook.com

First Outlook.com. Hotmail may have been my 2nd or third email service and if I recall correctly I created it to log into Microsoft support sites… It was a mess. Typical email client where no thought was given to how the interface would be used by people. I remember how excited I was to get my early invite to Gmail and how clean the page looked. How…usable it was. Now, so is Hotmail umm, ah, Outlook.com. This is the good. Taking something less usable and making it better.

Yahoo Email and Messenger

The bad. Yahoo. One of my friends posted today he didn’t know which was worse, not getting email from Yahoo, or admitting you still use Yahoo for email. It is showing the problem of the company as a whole. Something that doesn’t work that well, even if you wanted to you it. They have a lot of work to do to raise themselves to the level of a bad provider.

Twitter Killing themselves

The ugly. Twitter has again shown ways it can’t be trusted. Due to its business relationship with NBC, tweets were being monitored and when a Twitter user included an email of an NBC executive, the Twitter staff alerted NBC and suggested they file a complaint, which they did, causing the Twitter users account to be suspended. The problem? The email address is on NBC’s website, it is public. Another problem? Monitoring tweets for content. Enough of an issue was raised that Twitter reinstated the account and apologized, but not for why or how they disabled the account. They continue to state the post was a violation. This will be great the next time people start tweeting about the next uprising in the Middle East and Twitter shuts them down for the content of their tweets. Ugly.

We all learn every day and especially in the always on global social media pool. But whatever your platform, it has to be on, it has to be usable, and it has to be open or you might as well open a telegraph office.

Samuel Morse Telegraph

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