Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SquawkBox April 22 – Skype and Twitter

by alec on April 22, 2008

This morning’s call was pretty animated.

A discussion, of Skype’s new pricing, which quickly delved into how much of an impact the pricing might have on their market share.  Consensus: not much.

And then a discussion of Twitter’s outage, and who it impacted.  Outside the Silicon Valley echo chamber, we thought most people wouldn’t likely know.

On the call: Alec Saunders, Jim Courtney, Dan York, James Body, Jonathan Jensen, Dave Brown, Wilhelm Wimmreuter, Moshe Maeir, Adam Somer, Ian Hood, Cece Salomon-Lee

Sound quality was less than stellar for me.  Unfortunately, Windows Vista insists on restoring input levels to defaults (which are too high) on reboot.  My microphone clipped the whole call.

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Every so often a company really blunders.  Boxbe has done it in spades with their release over the weekend.  It was obectionable the first time it sent email to everyone in my address book.  And yes, I didn’t read the text closely enough to see that that was the case.  I simply loaded my address book and assumed it was filtering incoming mail based on who I knew.

First it spammed my friends. Mea culpe.  I should have read the directions.

This morning though, it spammed them again.  My email box is jammed with people saying “can you make this thing stop”, “you gotta make this stop”, “I’m really pissed”.  Twitter is burning up with Boxbe messages.  And those are the people that care enough.  I don’t know how many people have just added me to their spam list.

The worst part?  There’s no way to opt-out of the service once you’ve signed up.  I can’t tell it to stop.  I can’t tell it to cancel my account.  And I have no way of knowing when it will spam my friends again.

Talk about unfriendly.  Talk about being held hostage.  Talk about a massive, reputation damaging screw-up, both for the company and me.

I’ve got mail in to the product manager, Randy Stewart, as well as their press line.  My next step is to escalate to their management team and board of directors.  Email addresses were kindly provided on their web site.

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