Archive for Linkedin

Worst Customer Assist System Ever for a leading Internet service

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by newideasconsult

I discovered somewhat surprisingly that my LinkedIn.com profile sometimes shows interested parties – for example agents searching for suitable profiled members for some job or position they wish to fill – telephone and address details 6 years old, leaving them unable to reach me except via email.  Guess what? They don’t and they give up and find someone else.

So I set about the easy task of changing my contact details and personal profile information on LinkedIn.com.  I logged in and went straight to Account & Settings only to find that n0thing there really says ‘Personal Telephone Numbers’ or ‘Personal Address’, other than the feature where you can add them to your profile.  I don’t have these details added to my profile and possibly never will, but that still did not stop LinkedIn.com from giving out my personal information to these folks.  Nowhere on the entire accounts & settings page could I find any reference to the information clearly given out. To prove to myself that this was in fact information that existed somewhere on LinkedIn’s database, I did a ‘mock application’ for an advertised job found on LinkedIn.com and right at the bottom under the ‘Enter contact information:‘ section the company auto-fills telephone and address fields for you.  Somewhat shocked to see the old data there despite having made several changes over the years to my LinkedIn profile, I set about with more vigor to track down the settings that would allow me to change them.  Nothing, nowhere!

So, never mind, I thought, LinkedIn.com was a fantastic system over the years for me and so somewhere on the site I was convinced I would find ‘Contact Customer Service’ buttons or something similar.  Much to my surprise, there are a few online assistance tools, like the old Q&A section called ‘Customer Service’ (always reminds me of a badly implemented telephone answering service) where if you use the wrong words or description of your problem, you’re simply directed to the most useless information.  Then there is the rather weirdly named LinkedIn Learning Centre that has a lot of How To information on it, but again nothing to assist me in my specific request.

So two hours later, no contact phone numbers or even a customer service email address!  Eish!!!  Come on, LinkedIn, you guys can do better than that!

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ICL Reconnect Group on LinkedIn.com

Posted in General with tags , , , , on July 21, 2009 by newideasconsult

I started a group on LinkedIn.com some time ago to try and find some of my old ICL workmates.  It has grown to almost a 1,000 members and that’s amazing to me.  ICL was a company filled to the brim with brilliant people and just having this venue to reconnect with them and find out what they are up to these days, brings back fond memories for me of the old ICL South Africa days.

ICL may have suffered from some management quirks during those last few years, but it was an honour to have worked for them.  I guess it was the history of the corporation that truly drew me to it, with such innovative products over the years built around VME.  I never actually applied for a job there, as ICL bought over the niche service provider I was employed by, and I sort of landed in the employ of ICL South Africa to start another colourful chapter in my professional life as a technologist.  I learnt a lot during this time, from a better and clearer understanding of GIS systems, learning about the local council/municipal solutions en-route to the actual client, to coming to grips with the demanding retail environments ICL was involved with and appreciating the solid presence of a mainframe system with the wonderful revenue opportunities it presented to the company.

Balancing all that against my own knowledge of newer technologies like the Internet, Microsoft’s ventures into the corporate environment and so on, was always a trick I never quite managed. I remember just how bad I would feel when I upset some mainframe specialist with a cocky response about his or her old technology vs my much newer and ‘obviously’ more brilliant Microsoft or Netscape solutions.  I guess I grew up in ICL and came to learn that there is definitely a ‘horses for courses’ methodology in technology, and I believe because of that experience I left behind those petty ‘my dad’s better than your dad’ arguments I so often fell into during the first 10 years of my IT life.

If you worked for ICL before or still work for Fujitsu Services or Fujitsu itself, you are most welcome to join our community on LinkedIn.com.  Just click the link and you will be taken right to the group.  Once there, look me up and let me know about your experiences there.

NoSQL is a fantastic step in the right direction…

Posted in General, Innovation, technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2009 by newideasconsult

Man, I love the idea of doing away with a traditional RDBMS in favor of something loosely referred to as the NoSQL lobby 😉  And there are some BIG names behind this ‘movement’ like Linkedin, Facebook, Stumbleupon and Google to name a few, though I must admit this was the first I ever heard of it.

Finding new ways to index and search data is old takkie by now, but it remains exciting now that there seems to be a convergence of minds on the issue, because it speaks of market potential.  Commercial drivers are the strongest contributors to DB developments and often when there is a lack of those, we see stagnation in innovation, as we have seen in this space over the past few years.

One of the most exciting DB technology I was introduced to over the last 10 years must be Cache, because it does DB faster than any of the traditional brands!  No wonder mobile networks use Cache so much, as it clearly works well for high volume high speed environments.  By the way, Cache does both relational and object technology designs pretty well.  Now the NoSQL movement is claiming we can do away with databases altogether and approach the idea of data repositories totally differently.

Changing the way we address data has become BIG money these days, more so because of the search engine battles and the resulting web products it spawned in competition and partnership to itself.  Match that to a corporate drive to be more cost effective in terms of data processing, and it’s no wonder we are witnessing changing times in this industry.

Thanks to Slashdot’s reference to the NoSQL community, I am now enlightened and will be watching this space closely c 😉