Take180 Clarification and Update

Yesterday I paid homage to Take180’s Kelly (Shoes) sponsorship, but also critiqued some technical problems on the site. I have to give Take180 the “Blip Customer Service” award (and award so rare it’s named after the only company that 2 years ago had a founder interrupt his dinner to help a random guy).

Within hours of the post, David Williams,the product manager for Take180, wrote, “I’m particularly distressed by your experience with the site. I recognize you’re patience has probably been exhausted, but I’d really like to get to the bottom of some of the basic problems you encountered.” I provided more detail on my problems with the site, and a screen I took helped the technical team realize a bug. The upload functionality couldn’t handle all-cap extensions (which is one of the many reasons I’m puzzled that more sites don’t leverage an existing technology rather than customize). The bug was fixed hours later.

I also received a note from Oren Kaplan, a YouTuber who was discovered by Take180 and now directs a show called “My Alibi.” A modern-day Breakfast Club, but self-aware of its character simplifications and at a more quirky and rapid-fire pace.

“As an employee there, I know that technically we have a very long way to go, hence the current “beta” status, but your feedback… really helps,” he wrote. Oren (Orenfilm.com) also explained that Liam is the third YouTuber used by the site.. LisaNova and Matthew Lush also did promotions, and more potentially downstream.

There are still bugs to work out, but I was reminded the site’s in Beta. Ideally they’ll take show visitors, for example, to a page that lists the episodes in order (I too easily fell into the second episode of My Alibi, not realizing there was a first). I also prefer to see the timeline beneath the video, and the 180 player hides it until mouseover (making me initially think the show’s duration was a mystery).
Bottom line: Many companies ignore blogger feedback, or decide to turn it over to a powerless PR person who sends generic notes and never seems to solve it. Instead, I get a note from a product manager who solves it. And a fellow video creator who makes me more excited about the site (many companies get worried when multiple people contact the same blogger or journalist, but it worked well here). There’s a PR lesson for larger companies. Fixing problems can elevate your company higher than it was before they emerged. More than 14 years ago UPS screwed up a shipment of batteries before a wedding I was to videotape. The customer service representative asked how they could make it up, and I told them I’d love a UPS mug. It was at my doorstep the next morning. My impression is higher of Take180 than if I had never found the bugs in the first place.

22 Replies to “Take180 Clarification and Update”

  1. On the one hand, this peacemaking entry makes everybody feel good: Take180, your readers who view you as simultaneously prescient and influential, anyone your original post may have offended.

    On the other hand, it’s not nearly as much fun to read as the original post.

  2. I feel so much better about repeatedly calling you a tool now that I see professional websites are sucking up to you the way these people did. Somebody needs to keep you grounded.

  3. I have so much I could add to this, as I am the manager of customer services for the largest retail destination in our region. Suffice it to say, a little understanding goes a long way. If a manager calls you back, they’re taking time out of their VERY busy schedules, and it does mean a lot.

    Maybe I’ll post more later. Maybe I’ll start putting this stuff in my own blog, and force people over there to hear my inane rambling. I just don’t know.

  4. No bailout! Let the banks fail. They deserve it. Let homes go into foreclosure. They deserve it. Let the shareholders lose their retirement plans. They deserve it. Recession now or Great Depression later. You chose.

  5. But Jim, wouldn’t it be better to be broke WITHOUT the government coming after your car or computer to seize for tax debts you incurred to bail out banks who made fraudulent loans? They (the banks) keep their big fat houses while burdening YOU with the tax debt.

    Not fair. And don’t pay the new taxes and the IRS WILL come after your stuff. I saw them yank a woman from her car on a tax lien in El Segundo.

  6. Wow! This story is similar to when I wrote my post about Flix55, and how an hour later, the associate director sent me an email! Of course, unlike you, he told me that he would really appreciate if I took his name off the post, that he was embarrassed with the whole outcome, and told me the site had been deleted. Oh, and you didn’t lose a chance to be viewed by over 20 million people, either.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  7. @11 It’s already here it took 3 years from the crash in ’29 to the bottom of the depression in ’32~33. The world …yes I said world because the great depression was a world wide event… the world spent until ’46, after the Second World War digging out.

    Throwing money into this hole will have the same effect as the sand the Army Corp of Engineers poured into the Industrial Canal Levee. It’ll work eventually but the real damage is already done.

    Okay trick question. Why? is it called a depression?

    No not because that’s the way you feel when you aint got no scratch.

    Give up? Because that is the chart pattern associated with a down turn in markets.

  8. ^ From my perspective, anyone who makes over $25,000, but then I have no debts, a paid-up vehicle that can run on grease and used as a generator, live in a paid-up house with low property taxes and have a year’s supply of survival food and water for two in a locked room and the weapons to protect it so what do I know?

  9. The reason I ask is and I think that you have proved that ‘Rich’ is relative. From my perspective you probably could add a zero to that number and maybe multiply by 2 before you get to rich. Although I earn closer to your figure than mine.

    We all look at rich through the prism of ‘who makes more than me.’ In the ’50 $25,000 would have been rich. Today it is bare subsistance but compared to 3rd world countries ALL Americans are rich.

    I don’t know what inspired this rant. I just hope that your number doesn’t become rich for real.

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