Entries Tagged as ''

Klout’s Re-Scoring Had Other Things In Mind

Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase So if you haven’t heard about the re-scoring, Klout re-did their algorithm. And everyone for the most part got pushed down a few notches. And that created a huge backlash from social media people that used it for a method of distinguishing how they were doing at their jobs. However, I believe there are other things that no one is talking about that went on with the re-scoring.

For the most part, it was documented that this created a truer scoring scenario and it was no different than PageRank. But, this is actually not the case, and I believe there were business practices involved with how Klout sells their marketing. Case and point, before the re-scoring, the Windows Phone giveaway required a location and a score of 55 in technology (I barely broke 54 at the time, but wasn’t located in New York). However, after the re-scoring, I was only a 49. But the scores for that Klout Perk didn’t change which makes me believe that they were trying to filter and handpick more “top” influencers.

Due to that case alone, that shows me that there was a business/marketing scenario that came to be from the normalizing of the general populace score since the marketing limits were not normalized to the same scale. More than meets the eye, I’m afraid. What’s even more fascinating is that no one from Klout has actually mentioned or even replied to that comment which makes me believe that I’ve hit on something. Regardless, if everyone’s score was normalized downward, then it really shouldn’t matter whether or not you were a 74 and now a 54. Sounds to me like they scaled it on a bell curve though.

And one more thing. Klout did in the comments compare Pagerank with their re-normalizing. Pagerank however doesn’t discuss how they do it, or what not. People make a lot of guesswork to piece it together. On the other hand, Klout openly displays their ranking system which makes it somewhat different. I agree that all ranking and scoring systems depend on multiple variables, but don’t compare yourself with something like Pagerank when you’re really not quite the same.

What They Teach Kids In School These Days…

Logo of the PlayStation Network First the front story. I was playing a multiplayer game on Playstation. The basic thought was that someone got mad at my play style and decided to call attention to my connection (which I’ll point out, is Time Warner and even though it usually fails me, it was surprisingly good during this story). So this person with the PSN of “KIoey” decided to rag on how I lag, and that’s why I was good and I basically told them that if they stunk at shooting, then quit complaining. Then I decided to tell them that their “ping” probably sucked too.

The response brought on utter shock, and profound laughter.

This person actually wrote back to me that said: “Ping is not a measurement of latency, but your connection to your DNS.”

WOW. We’re talking jaw-dropping wow. If this is what they teach in school for IT/IS, then it’s no wonder college grads can’t get jobs. And in this economy, you better know the basics of networking 101. The first is the definition of “ping”.

Ping is a computer network administration utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network and to measure the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer. The name comes from active sonar terminology.

Another way I taught it when I was a teaching assistant is to think about it as the tracking of delivery of a package. Ping is equivalent to the time it takes from the shipper to send it to the recipient and get a delivery response mailer saying that the package has indeed made it to the destination. To explain it in a little more technical but still in layman’s terms, the idea is to get a single packet from one computer to another, and then get a response where the summation of time of travel is defined by ping. Basics of networking.

Now what Kloey was speaking of on DNS has no validation. DNS means domain name system. This was created long after ping even existed and basically is the renaming of a alphanumeric word choice that is translated to an IP address. So if you type in “google.com”, it actually is translated into an IP address that hosts that data and you’re directed to that place. Ping, has nothing to do with anything here.

So, “KIoey”, I hate to break it to you but if that’s the knowledge you have, it’s going to be tough to get a job during these times. Seriously. And it probably might suffice to actually learn the basics about computer networks next time before throwing out bad knowledge.

What Netflix Needs To Do To Progress Further

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have both supported, and spoke highly of Netflix.  I’ve also ripped them to shreds when I found their business decisions to be absolutely horrible, and pulled my money as an investor when it started to do things that was not along this side of visionary.  So with the latest announcement of canning the split business scenario, I thought… maybe they’re finally understanding again.  Regardless, Reed Hastings is on the right track although his means to the end was not exactly the best of methods.   So this is what I propose that he starts doing if he’s indeed still pushing for settling on Netflix being a streaming business.

  1. Re-position internal organizations
    Internally, you’ll start splitting your company into two divisions.  One is DVD, one is streaming.  Both would have online teams that work together, but ultimately your sales, metrics, and growth will be separated out.   Timeline? 1-2 years.  I have yet to participate in a major company-wide re-organization that has never taken at least 12-18 months.
  2. Customer service needs to get back on par
    Netflix as a company took their reputation and basically threw it out the window.  That’s a lot of reputation when you consider that it was chucked in three months and the company has been around since 1997.   Get back to doing what you were doing best, which was handling customer service well and providing for those that bring you revenue.   Don’t forget that while people are just means to end, your company is also in the service business.  So service.
  3. Transparency
    I am still amazed that there are people out there that don’t understand that the best online businesses are the ones that have such deep linked inner-workings that have absolutely no ties to what the customer interacts with and how it’s done.  Amazon is a great example of this.  From a consumer standpoint, their website is a shopping area and 2-days later, a product arrives.  But the amount of logistics that went into making all of that happen behind the scenes?  Vast.  AND really none of the consumer’s business.  The fact is that all of this and expansions is made possible because of transparency.  With the Qwikster model, there was absolutely no transparency, and you took a brand and threw it out the window.  Once a business operates in a transparent function, it makes changing the consumer end very simple.  You could sell the online division, or dvd rental without batting an eye since the buyers can see that it can both operate seamlessly or by itself.  That makes your company all the more attractive.
  4. Improve Online UX
    So far, Netflix keeps changing up their UX, but their applications lag behind sometimes and they don’t really improve.  For example, they took away the DVD queues on the iPad app, but that’s something that I want to have access to when I use your “services”.  Which is what I pay for.   I don’t just pay for half of it so don’t just show me half.   That sort of interfacing is an important aspect of both how the consumer feels about your services and how easy it is to work.
  5. Improve streaming
    With more and more content, the price increase obviously is going back into the system. But, I have still yet to see a way to choose different language tracks in foreign films.  I also have yet to see DVD previews and all sorts of other things that could be on a streaming service.  This needs to improve if you wish people to take your streaming business model seriously.
  6. Quit thinking your customers are complete idiots
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the last three months should be a complete eye-opener.  You treated your customers as complete dolts, and then expected them to understand the business and why it was needed.  Then you followed up the bad scenario with another completely terrible scenario.  What may be a good business decision still has to be sold to the shareholders just like any other political message.  Note that the best politicians are great salesmen.   That’s because they can sell you a dream that in reality is a piece of rock.  In the same manner, you need to sell your business models instead of just throwing it out and letting the pieces land where they may.
Customers of services and products do their talking with their feet.  And at the end of the day, especially in bad economics, realize that your product or service is an entertainment expense, not a necessity.   This in itself is a consideration of how you set up and execute the business.   When you’re finished with understanding that (of which I’m not sure what happened in the last three months that you forgot when you remembered the last decade), you’ll be able to continue down the same road that you’ve been trying to go down.  Only then, will you have all the pieces in place to pull off what you were trying to accomplish here in 2011.
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Difference Between Right and Legal

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin... I hate to say it, but I’m somewhat amused by the whole “Occupy Wall Street” movement. A lot of people are angry because government bailed out big businesses to prevent economic disaster on a national and even global scale. Yet, some taxpayers are miffed (and rightfully so) that there was even a need to do this. I agree with that sentiment.

Here’s the difference though. The whole movement doesn’t make any bit of sense to me. Wall Street has nothing to do with it. Investors, traders, and shareholders all take advantage of the system as best as possible. You always push the envelope of the law, right up to the edge. If you go over, then you end up like Martha Stewart or someone else that tried to make gains by overstepping regulations. But the problem doesn’t lie in Wall Street or the businesses that were bailed out. The problem actually lies in government who both bailed them out and didn’t actually fix the problems when doing so. In my opinion, the solution should have been the easiest reward and punishment type of scenario. You bait companies into those that wanted or needed help to replace their management (whom inadvertently created the problem) and change the entire structure with the money. Instead of just paying for it.

Let’s also not forget that much of the problem actually comes from the deregulation of the markets, again a problem caused by politicians, and not business. It’s the same story with the whole jobs issue. No one is bothering to dangle the whole string with carrot and instead they’re just throwing out the carrot and hoping that it does something. If I were a business, I’d take the contracts, use the same employees, and say, “Hey! Thanks for filling up my coffers!” And who wouldn’t. Same with the tax cuts. To actually move job growth, you have to force a percentage of workers back in by tying the money incentives to actual hiring.

Thus, I chuckled when some people wanted to argue with me on how Wall Street was the reason behind it all. Sorry, but I just don’t buy it. Capitalism and political play has been in play before I was born, and will be way after I die. There will always be people always pushing the envelope to the edge of legality. But the people that hurt us are those that change the laws to support more general bad behavior. The more generic and vague a regulation is, and the worst the enforcement, the more it allows for bad apples to exploit it. It’s the same as any situation. Most people will always choose the easier way to achieve the end if it’s open to them. And who wouldn’t? It’s legal.