On social media

On a changing world

All right, this blog started out back in July 2008 with the Viking Law and the ambition to comment on relevant world issues as I saw them from Norway. The lucky country up North. They say Norwegians are born lucky, and the last decade has proven that to be true.

10 years has passed. In ten years, this gentleman has gotten two kids and a wife and had very little time to blog, and even less time to analyze world events and the blog has been lagging behind with a couple of lazy annoyments over HBR’s subscription system. First world problem.

Back in 2008 we talked about Lehnman Brothers and Fannie May, LHC in Cern and Guantanamo bay and Twitter was just two years old. Barack Obama was about to be inagurated in 2009.

Recently we talk about plastic pollution, electric cars, Donald Trump. AirBnB and Uber has brought the sharing economy to the next level and robots are coming. 


What has impressed me most the last year is Boston Dynamics and their progress with Atlas.

I believe human interactions will prevail over robots. Let’s keep chatting and drinking coffee.

Coffee is on the rise in Norway and a new PhD has collected research it is not provoking cancer. Great. Through the last ten years I have had periods with ten cups of coffee per day and periods with zero. I lasted for about half a year before getting back. Intersting experiment.

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On social media

Harvard Business Review revisited three years later

It is time to renew my HBR subscription. Let’s see how we are doing on the Fail’s I listed back on september 2013.

2016-09-14-19-46-25

#HBRFail1 – Pay option: Cheque enclosed

redsmile Cheque still an option, wonder how many people use it.

#HBRFail2 – Wrong URL

redsmileThis one should have double negative, it is a new URL, but still wrong. The one printed is http://www.subscription.co.uk/hbr/help where ny account is not found. The right one may be hbr.org/subscriberservices but it is unable to process my four digit zip code to find my subscription.

yellowsmileUpdate: Obviously subscription services for international customers are outsourced to http://www.subscription.co.uk so the URL was right, it was just me who were signed up at HBR with my e-mail, but that e-mail has never been relayed to subscription.co.uk so I could not sign in before registering.

#HBRFail3 – Unclarity whether my account number is 9 or 12 digits

yellowsmile Ok, mediocre, it is better than before, however my account number now have three leading zeros. When did we learn to ignore leading zeros? 1995, IT-class in Excel.

#HBRFail4 – Unhelpful help with the digit length

Not really relevant no more. I am starting to give up.

#HBRFail 5 – Unclear call to action for international users

redsmileOh well, so on https://hbr.org/subscriberservices there is no longer a call to action at all for international users, it is also not possible to select any other countries than these (What is APO/FPO AA) by the way:

2016-09-14_2014

#HBRFail6 – Not provide the user with useful error messages

redsmileStill no e-mails regarding the invoice, even though I receive other e-mails from HBR.

#HBRFail7 – Not able to process my MasterCard and to give me feedback about it

yellowquestionAppears I have to call Luke again, since I cannot login. I am not even close at logging in. Tried to Sign Up at https://www.subscription.co.uk/hbr/ocs/ui/public/login.aspx?pub=harv

It said I should receive an e-mail but I didn’t all the while writing this post.

greensmilegreensmileUpdate: The e-mail came after some minutes! I now officially have an account. I activated my account and found this, and went through with “pay my invoice”.

2016-09-14_2023

So after all these years are we saying goodbye?

Update: Nope, another year FTW.

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On changing the culture, On outsourcing, On service design, On service innovation, On social media

Harvard Business Review’s contribution to the death of printed media – a HBR Subscription #fail story

I am a business oriented technology fan that likes to stay updated on the recent trends and research. HBR is perfect in that extent and I love the content.

I use  Kindle on my cell quite a lot and read electronically, but I also love reading on paper – the tactile user feedback that paper gives me, the ability to take notes, fold corners and let my eyes rest while reading adds value to me. I also love great user experience. Especially it is important if you aim to target a group of busy business users and managers. I have enough time guided CEO and mid level managers through services that has been carefully designed with them actually in mind. Therefore I am utterly baffled with how crappy the subscription service user experience of HBR is – seen from Norway that is.

First, here is the invoice that I received, this is the third letter I receive that looks exactly the same except from the headline which is increasingly harsh.

HBRFail

#HBRFail1 – Pay option: Cheque enclosed

HBRfail5

I am a 31 year old Norwegian.

I do not know what a cheque is,

I do not know how get hold of one, not to mention to complete one.

If I dig realy deep in my memory I think I saw my mom complete one when I was 8 years old.

That was back in 1990.

(As a sidenote, filling out my credit card info on a piece of paper and filing it to you by snail mail also feels a bit awkward, which is why I progressed electronically)

#HBRFail2 – Wrong URL

HBRfail6

Last time I checked the TLD list, .hbr was not on the list.

#HBRFail3 – Unclarity whether my account number is 9 or 12 digits

HBRfail7

As you will see below, this gives a cascading error when I try to log in.

Ok, I overcame these issues on the third letter, decided to give my MasterCard a shot online and actually managed to click myself into hbr.org/subscriberservices.

Actually a tiny kudos here, beause all these URLS work, it is just that none of them are atually printed on my letter:

I will get back to the latter four URL’S, but here are the landing page for hbr.org/subscriberservices

HBRfail2

#HBRFail4 – Unhelpful help with the digit length

As I mentioned #HBRFail3, I was thrilled that there was a help file here that would help me answer whether 9 or 12 digits were right.

Unfortunately it does not serve that purpose as the account number in the picture is 9 digits and my number was 12:

HBRfail3

#HBRFail 5 – Unclear call to action for international users

HBRfail8

Did you see it before you looked at my arrows? Yeah, that is the link I was supposed to click.

Obviuosly I was a bit in the fog because it was my third letter of invoice and I had had the hassle of guessing the URL, and I was very eager to log in, but it would be easy to design the page so that International users actually saw the message. It fails the “dont use click here policy” also.

I did not find this link until I turned the letter over, found the phone number to the lovely gentleman Luke in the Netherlands, and made him a call. He was very nice and polite, but still made me embarrassed in a most pleasureable gentlemans way when he made me aware of the link.

Remember the URLs above? Actually the four latter ones send you directly to the international site, so why the heck did you not print one of those on my invoice in the first place? This might call for a separate error, but I’ll spare you.

Now onward, this is the error message I got when I tried to login – no wonder I did not concentrate on the link:

HBRfail4

#HBRFail6 – Not provide the user with useful error messages

Remember #HBRFail3 and #HBRFail4? Well, I still could not log in with neither 9 nor 12 digits.

Since I had not received any e-mails regarding this invoice (it was after all third notice) I thtought that it might be they had the wrong e-mail adress for me.

Not a throught crossed my mind when I read that error message that I was on the wrong page until the kind Luke by phone from the Netherlands made me aware of the link and what I call #HBRFail5.

#HBRFail7 – Not able to process my MasterCard and to give me feedback about it

Finally, I have managed to log in (by clicking the link “click here” for, selecting my country and login in and calling luke). Now I happily entered my MasterCard number. I got the message that they could not use it.

I called Luke again (are you the only one in the Netherlands on the phone?). Nice, he knew my case from 2 minutes before, but still asked for my account number again (did you not register my phone number and have automatic popup/CTI Integration like most modern call centers?).

Well Luke told me that they had actually received my credit card info once earlier in May, but they were unable to process it.

Oh yeah, now I remember, on the first letter I actually tried the same route as above but never succeeded login in.

Therefore I (#facepalm for security in hindsight) sent my Mastercard number by mail. They had not been able to process it.

How about telling me? In the end I tried a different card, A VISA, with Luke on the line, and it worked.

Hopefully, I will get all my issues this year as well.

Thanks to Luke for being polite and helpful.

Thanks to the HBR editors for providing good insight and thoughts.

Warm regards

A true fan

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On social media

Are you surfing yourself depressed or do depressed people surf?

Are you surfing yourself depressed or do depressed people surf? Today I have been following discussions in several newspapers, both Norwegian (VG and Foreldreportalen) and abroad (Sky News, Fox News and Huffington Post) regarding evidence of a strong link between heavy net surfing and depression. Many participants seem to support the researchers with their own experience, but it is still not clear what is cause and effect here. I tend to find myself a bit more depressed when I surf more, but I absolutely think there are a lot of folks who dive into their laptop to get away from the problems in real life. In other words a little bit of both I guess.

Now, what I find interesting is why net surfing tends to make me depressed. I think it is because of the realization of the vast amount of information available out there that you NEVER EVER will be able to read during your lifetime! Realy – NEVER EVER – and still I write even more! And you read it! Extraordinary!

In 2010 we will produce six times as much information as in 2006. This makes out 988 billion gigabyte of digital information – this year only, and it adds up! I once saw something about reading all articles in the English Wikipedia. It would take .. uhm, couldn’t find it now – let us say a while! In the mean time I am quite sure you would reach what psychiatrists would call depression and Wikipedia would continue to grow even more.  

Wikipedia Growth

Actually a quite similar story is told regarding middle-class woman getting depressed in Oslo late 1800 is told. It occurred when they realized there were too many books published to be able to read them all – how could they have meaningful and intelligent conversations when they did not read the same books?

Do you feel depressed when you surf too much?
Do you think depression comes from surfing or surfing from depression?

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On changing the culture, On collaboration, On social media

What kind of paradigm are we in?

My fiancé studies ExPhil and perspectives on learning and technology this semester, and I simply wonder what paradigm are we in?

From Koschmann, T.: Paradigm Shifts and Instructional technolgy. An introduction 1996. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers (who reference like that nowadays anyway? Scientists. Periode.) it is written this about Paradigms:

Kuhn theorized in 1972 that scientific research proceeds through long, relatively stable periods of normal science intermittently punctuated by briefer, more tumultuous times in which new paradigms for research may emerge. He charachterized normal science as “research firmly based upon one or more past scientific achievements, achievements that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice.

I have long since predicted a massive change in the entire academic world around this. Due to the Internet, information spreads faster and faster. Things change faster and faster, and I can not understand how academia can withstand this ever increasing change spead much longer. They still refer to scientific articles and journals. They still get compensated to publish in journals. While the entire rest of the world just googles, reads, learns and accepts and not to mention blogs, tweets and discuss online!

So my question is, what kind of paradigm are we in? About time some scientists hatch?

paradigm-shift-cartoon

Paradigm shift

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On collaboration, On social media

Twitterfeed alternatives – I went for Proxifeed for now

Long time no blogs. I have been busy becomming a dad 🙂 A friend just asked me, three month after my sons birth, whether I was a dad yet. I guess so if that means being constantly in mixed mood, really wanting to spend time with my son and fiancé, being busy having guests or visiting grand parents, trying to do some workout now and then, having a hard time concentrating at work – all the time while smiling and thinking that you are happy after all.

To the topic.

I have been trying to get Twitterfeed to post my blog entries to Twitter for me but with too much variable luck to my taste (more people complain about Twitterfeed instability issues here, here and here). I therefore decided to replace the service and researched for alternatives.

I tried WP to Twitter but as it is not possible to add Plugins on wordpress.com I settled on Proxifeed. It is only in beta still, but looks very promising if they deliver what is said on the site. At least it delivered my last post from this blog to my twitter account immediately. Unfortunately is was old and I had to delete the tweet (ugh..) but hopefully this post will be posted automatic, as the first since the election.

The neat thing about proxifeed is that it automatically scans all other RSS-feeds (How do they know that..?) to find the most recent content / ads suitable for your account and posts it.

From proxifeed.com showing the concept

The not so neat thing is that it is only allowed to have one twitter-account per feed profile, but the feed profile may feed from multiple RSS-feeds with a common set of keywords. I added both my blogs as sources to the same profile with both norwegian and english keywords. I think it should work as far as I disable ads. I have disabled ads so far, just using it in the same manner as Twitterfeed would be, but I think it looks promising.

The best thing is definitely that it integrates the tracking module from the URL-shortner so you see how many actually clicks in a dashboard. Love it!

Do you guys have any expeirience using any of these tools?

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On social media

Election time – Norwegian politics illustrated

Things are changing in Norway – or maybe not – it is election time and either the current government will be sitting or they will not. The Norwegian national assembly, Stortinget is to be elected on Sunday sept 13th and Monday sept 14th. It is currently relatively open which parties that are to establish a coalition (or sole) government after the election.

The current government led by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is a coalition between the Centre Party, the Norwegian Labour Party and the Socialist Left Party.

How does this relate to world politics? I have made it easy for you (and finally myself, as this has been confusing to me many times) below. PoliticalPartiesUsually, in Norway, we refer to the red wing (meaning left and centre left) and the blue wing (meaning right and centre right). I have found that this red and blue notation meant little or nothing to Americans, and when I put the logos of the Republican party and the Democratic party next to each other I can see why.

Are there legislations against having other colors than red and blue in party logos in the US? Just asking and hope you find my illustration useful. Any comments?

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