85 dogs convince me to not move into Philadelphia

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This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time. How does a city allow something like this happen? 7 years of complaints, 87 dogs (including two dead), two cats, and a stench that caused even the most experienced PSPCA officers to leave the house for a break. How does this happen? One word: bureaucracy.

The story about 739 Earp St. on Philadelphia Weekly is pretty amazing. This one article convinced me that I should stay in the suburbs. The fact that these taxpayers complained to the city government, city council, the PSPCA, Licensing and Inspections – and were unable to get any of them to act until a false tip was called in, tells me all I need to know about my hometown.

One thing about living in my small town, just outside of Philly – if something is happening that I want to ask about, I can call or email my councilperson and expect a response. I don’t know how these people dealt with it for as long as they did. I would have gotten in trouble.

So for all of that, I’ll stay in the suburbs. Close enough to enjoy, but far enough away to comfortably ignore and remain blissful.

Apple Hates Social Media

[picappgallerysingle id="9195352"]I wasn’t a good Facebooker until I got an iPhone. I would forget about my accounts and not look at them for weeks. I think that part of the reason that Friendster and Myspace died is because you had to be chained to your computer to update them. Once you could effectively manage your online profiles on the run as you were being social and not after the fact, social networks became relevant to me. You could make an argument that the iPhone helped take social media to the next level. It brought elegant Internet surfing, faster connections, and a camera to everyone who would stomach AT&T. All of this was a boon to social networks.

So for their role in creating a space that made sites like Facebook and Twitter possible, how can Apple suck so bad at social media?

  • Customer Service – Your iPhone 4 is having problems. The signal strength and proximity sensor issues are all over Twitter, Facebook, an the blogosphere. Yet you say nothing. Of course you really don’t have a Facebook page of any value or your Twitter account is worth even less. You do have forums that you don’t answer. It’s like it’s 1998 at 1 Infinite Loop. In 2010, customers expect interaction online – not waiting in line at your stores or on the phone.
  • Social media integration – Why can’t I submit photos or videos directly to Facebook from outside of their app? As I mentioned before, the connected camera was one of the things that made these sites relevant.

As smart as Apple is about some things, they’re incredibly dumb about this. It’s not as if their employees don’t talk to customers millions of times every day. I was at an Apple store recently and saw customers hug their Apple rep on two separate occasions. Your employees are good at what they do, customers like them, and they seem to be able to communicate well, something it’s apparent that you can’t do.

I hate to say this, but one of the best companies at this is Apple’s ugly stepsister, AT&T. On AT&T’s Facebook page, they answer questions, post helpful videos and work to allay concerns before they go viral. You can also look at Verizon’s or Comcast’s Twitter accounts for other tech companies that get it.

Do you have any examples of good customer service online or companies that use social networks well? Share them in the comments section.