Monday, April 11, 2011

Civil Disobedience

As I enjoy another flaky Starbucks croissant, I have for you a practical lesson in listening to your social graph.  It is a tale of reaction - good and bad - and I can speak to it from both sides of the equation.

When Auburn offered a free trial of it's new HD streaming for baseball, we got shelled by our fans. Why isn't RazorVision doing HD baseball! Why isn't RazorVision free! Especially since it isn't . . . yeah, you guessed it, not in HD.

The reasons are about $100,000 to do the HD right for baseball - new cameras, new cabling and a new switching system to handle HD.  Over the course of the past couple of weeks, we've explained this.  It's not that we don't want HD, we have to manage our money.

It has gone as far as our AD taking time to answer the question on his web show.

We do have HD. Most of our press conferences are shot in HD for the web, and our gymnastics was in HD this year - in the venue on the projector in 16x9 and shot and streamed in HD for the Internet.  Now I know the same fans who we're all over us for being "behind" to Auburn didn't ask if their gymnastics was in HD.

But that is exactly the point.  Our fans wanted baseball this year. We gave them gymnastics. The plan is for us to have baseball very soon - probably 2012 - and it's not like we didn't make significant upgrades to our baseball.

Graphics, more replays, all to get ready for HD fully next year.

So we listened and we responded. I realize that it doesn't stop all the "you suck" comments on the message boards. But we can say with straight up why we aren't, how we want too to, and that we have a plan to get it done in the future.

Meanwhile, my own guerrilla campaign against our local Starbucks continues. Let me explain for my followers and Facebook friends who I'm sure are tired of my obsession.

About two years ago, my local Starbucks started having shortages, then stopped carrying, croissants. When I inquired, I got a string of answers that centered around: Gee, I guess they dropped them from the menu.

OK, but I still found them other places. Now the question not just to baristas but to managers was: why not here? They sold out almost every morning, so it's not like this was a non-seller. The story changed to well, here in NWA we've made a determination that it wasn't one of the 10 top sellers.

Huh? Did I mention you had to show up kinda early to guarantee getting a croissant because they would sell out.

That was countered with: this is part of a national shift.

Oh, you shouldn't have said that. Thus began the great croissant hunt.

Every place in America that I can find a croissant and a cup of Starbucks coffee, it is my mission.

Do I really expect to get my croissants back? No, but what I do expect is a better set of answers from customer service than what I received over time. They were nothing but getting me to go away.  And go away doesn't really work anymore.

To my RazorVision friends - unless something else gets in the way, you'll get your HD baseball next year.  And if something does, I promise I will tell you why.

Meanwhile, I'm headed back to the LVCC for NAB tomorrow. They've got croissants.

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