Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Twisted path to customer service

2009-11-08 09:30:41
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I was looking at the logs for my Blog on Conquent yesterday and I found that my posting We've got an app for that, it's called the web was getting traffic from Microsoft's search engine (called Bing this week). I checked it out, and it turns out it's the third listing when you search on the phrase "Yeah, we've got an app for that" or the fourth when you type in "We've got an app for that."

It's particularly amusing when you consider A) I really hate Appleís campaign, and B) Iím not a big believer in SEO, yet here I am getting traffic to my blog under their catchy advertising phrase.

Being a good self-promoter, I quickly posted it to my various status updates on the social media sites. I use a service called which lets me post it to a dozen sites all at once. Here's what I posted:

Fun with Search Engine Optimization. Conquent's #3 on Bing with "yeah, we've got an app for that"

The trouble is that different sites interpret text differently. For example Twitter takes @whatever and turns it into a link to and rewrites hashtags to take you to search results for the tag (a hashtag is just a keyword with a # symbol in front of it, so if you want to watch what people are saying about tonight's episode of Mad Men, you would search on #madmen -- provided people are using that tag, that is).

About an hour after I posted it, I got a cryptic email from a business associate who said, "same to you!" and a bunch of Japanese characters. I was worried that something went horribly wrong and that my url was taking him to the wrong place, but it turned out that LinkedIn is now using hashtags like Twitter does -- only #3 took him to some page with a Japanese discussion.

I found this amusing so I posted a comment to Twitter and ended up with a quick exchange with Taylor, a Conquent Alum who now works for LinkedIn:
bissell: Using one tool to update all Social Media gets trickier: LinkedIn now has a local version of hashtags in their status updates

episod @bissell pointing to one of the apps I'm product manager for even, Company Buzz. ;)

bissell: @episod FYI When I mentioned being #3 on bing, LinkedIn made it a link to some Japanese page. Twitter didn't bother making it clickable

episod @bissell I'll suggest we link on hashtags >1 ch

This dull exchange is one of the most fascinating aspects of how we communicate today. Let's go through that process again:

  • I review random traffic to my blog on Conquent

  • I learn a random fact about Conquent on

  • I post a random comment to the universe

  • I get a cryptic response

  • I learn something new about LinkedIn

  • I randomly share that new knowledge on Twitter

  • LinkedIn ends up making a change based on this convoluted path

All in about an hour.

With our almost telepathic level of communication, we can learn important information about our own products or services, even when the topic has nothing to do with us. Forget customer comment cards, it's unrelated tidbits like these that gives us the real human experience -- if you're paying attention that is.

"Upgrading" my flight
Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

John Bissell: Re: Twisted path to customer service
2009-11-10 15:06:37

This is wild. And it seems so removed from anything I do, yet it is clear to me that the world is migrating toward these communication styles. It is almost like having to learn a new language without moving to a new country.

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