A special week end, weekend edition of what I've read, beginning with Elizabeth M. Gillespie's story on how Starbucks' "My Starbucks Idea" site has been flooded with ideas for improving customer experience...

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"Hundreds of coffee-obsessed consumers chimed in moments after Starbucks Corp. launched a Web site asking customers to pitch changes the company should make to revive its struggling U.S. business."

This site is along the same lines as Dell Computer's Idea Storm site, where Dell asks customers to post ideas and vote on the suggestions as widely covered in the news. According to the site, the Dell Community has contributed: 8,847 ideas, promoted 610,814 times, and contributed 66,617 comments.  (See more examples of  crowdsource projects in this Computerworld article.)

I'd like to see something like this on Microsoft.com, beyond what Steve noted here re: crowdsourcing Microsoft downloads...

"One of my home pages when I fire up IE each day is the Microsoft Download Centre filtered on the 30 most recent new downloads..." 

Now on to the list - have a good week.

How Much Did Poor Customer Service Cost Your Company Today? (CRM News) -- Susan Campbell, 04/12/08 -- "One agent with a bad attitude can cost your company plenty in lost customers or even Do-Not-Call List fines. Unless your call center is using a call-monitoring system, that agent is taking calls...

Bad service too often is part of being young (www.kansascity.com) -- "Despite the millions of dollars being spent by electronics chains, cell phone companies and other retailers to attract the youth market, I have a pretty strong sense from personal observation that kids often are treated as second-class shoppers.

Call centres lose in love stakes - Research (silicon.com) --  "Global customer satisfaction with call centres has fallen to 68 per cent - down from 82 per cent last year - according to research from customer contact consultants Merchants Europe. The telecommunications and service provider sector - including ISPs...

BetaNews | Carmi Levy: Yahoo's options, now that it appears to have some -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews April 11, 2008, 7:04 PM At this time last week, Yahoo was said to have reached the end of its rope. It didn't appear very viable on its own, and certainly no one would be crazy enough to try to top Microsoft's cash offer...

Is Vista dead in the water? Gartner analysis (BetaNews) By Ed Oswald, BetaNews April 11, 2008 -- "Analysts from Gartner said earlier this week that Windows is collapsing under its own weight. Talk in the blogosphere keeps pointing to a Windows 7 release date earlier than 2010. Is Vista already a lame duck?"

Apple's OS Edge Is a Threat to Microsoft (BusinessWeek) April 11, 2008 -- A recent upgrade to the Mac operating system moves Apple closer to challenging Microsoft for overall computing dominance, even in the corporate market, by Gary Morgenthaler

Amazon Takes On IBM, Oracle, and HP -- April 9, 2008 -- The Web retailer is offering its vast computing power to corporations—and big names are starting to sign up, by Peter Burrows

Bad Times Are Good for Debt Collectors (BusinessWeek) -- The debt collection industry is poised to prosper amid rising levels of bad debt and a souring economy by Arthur Epstein, From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Roberdan : The World is Flat - lecture at MIT -- "A very good way to spend 1,5 h is that video from a lecture at MIT from Tom Fridman on his book "The world is flat". I reccomend to the Q&A at last part of video. Available on Itunes"

Perfect Margarita Recipe by Lessley Anderson (CHOW) -- very important this past weekend... but we have a better recipe at home.

Research and Markets: Cisco Services 3.0: Making Product Support a Competitive Differentiator -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Cisco Services 3.0: making product support a competitive differentiator" to their offering.

Service is the secret to surviving a downturn (Dallas Morning News) -- April 9, 2008By ANGELA SHAH -- "Shopping – buying clothes, homes and vacations – drives more than two-thirds of economic activity. If consumers pull back, businesses feel the pinch, further slowing down the economy."

Creating an E-Mail Contact Strategy: Follow the Customer's Lead (E-Commerce News: E-Marketing) -- By Stefan Pollard (04/11/08) --"In order to create a successful e-mail contact strategy, marketers must listen to their customers to cater to their needs. Common tactics used in developing an e-mail contact strategy are onboarding and launching a win-back...

Cheney's bogus oil argument - War Room - Salon.com's Alex Koppelman writes (April 11, 2008) that "there are probably some grounded, halfway reasonable arguments against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but the fact that the White House keeps relying on sheer nonsense..."

Walt Mossberg | Mossberg's Mailbox | AllThingsD -- Walt Mossberg writes two columns, and edits a third, for The Wall Street Journal. He also publishes periodic interviews for the Journal, and occasional blog posts on this site.

Meet the VC: Hummer Winblad’s Mitchell Kertzman | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD -- A longtime tech exec, Kertzman, Swisher says that he "is one of the funniest players in the tech sector, and was once the font for all the best jokes about Microsoft, back in the day when no one made jokes about Microsoft for fear of digital defenestration."  He's also known for other things.

Microsoft PUM: UAC Designed To 'Annoy Users' - Software - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness -- By Kevin McLaughlin, Apr. 10, 2008 -- The User Account Control in Windows Vista improves security by reducing application privileges from administrative to standard levels, but UAC has been widely criticized for the nagging alerts it generates.

fit-PC - the tiny, low-cost green PC -- The FitPC is a green PC -- for under $400 you can have a PC that requires no fan, and robust enough to run Windows XP... saved by 191 other people ...

Score One for Consumers: Cable Turns Ugly (OpEd by Froma Harrop) -- "To anyone who has felt trapped in a circle of bad service: If you haven't heard the story of Mona Shaw, pull up a chair." This 75 year old Comcast customer showed up at the local cable company customer service office with a hammer...

Google Public Policy Blog: How Google determines the names for bodies of water in Google Earth

Welsh lecturer searches for lost ark of the covenant - icWales -- Mar 2 2008 by James McCarthy -- Respected Hebrew lecturer Tudor Parfitt, from Porth, South Wales, tells JAMES McCARTHY he solved a search made famous by Stephen Spielberg’s Indiana Jones’ when he discovered the Lost Ark of the Covenant in a dusty museum...

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a Critical Determinant of Customer Satisfaction - New Report Shows You How to Achieve It - Forbes.com -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of Achieving First Call Resolution 2008: Improving Measurement, Usage, and Customer Satisfaction to their offering. The Ascent Group conducted research early in 2008...

Time Management: Randy Pausch's Time Management Tricks -- According to his doctors, computer science professor Randy Pausch has three to six months to live due to cancer, and in this video lecture he shares his tips for making the most of your time, "the most precious commodity you have." ... saved by 242 other people ...

Where to Find Open Data on the Web - ReadWriteWeb -- By Sarah Perez / April 9, 2008 -- Today, a story on Techmeme caught our eye. It was entitled "We Need a Wikipedia for data," and the article, written by X-Googler Bret Taylor, discussed the difficulty of finding open data sets on the internet... saved by 857 other people ...

RSA 2008 San Francisco (Microsoft.com) -- Offered annually in the US, Europe, and Japan the RSA Conference keeps the worldwide IT community informed of emerging online security issues and technological advances.

Windows Vista: Top 10 Things You Can Do -- Just learning about Windows Vista? Here are ten cool things to try. You'll see why it's easier, safer, and more entertaining than earlier versions of the Windows operating systems... saved by 11 other people

Windows Vista Help: Optimize Windows Vista for better performance -- there are a lot of ways to help speed up Windows and make your PC work better—even without upgrading your hardware. Here are some tips to help you optimize Windows Vista for faster performance.

DualSearch: Live Search and Google on one page

Outsourcing at Home (businessweek) -- April 7, 2008 -- With Indian wages rising and the rupee strengthening against the dollar, some IT services companies are opening facilities in the U.S. by Rachael King

Seth's Blog: Write like a blogger -- You can improve your writing (your business writing, your ad writing, your thank you notes and your essays) if you start thinking like a blogger... saved by 224 other people ...

HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Round-Up | Small Laptops and Notebooks -- April 8, 2008 by Steve O. -- A quick round-up of HP 2133 Mini-Note PC news, since a lot of information came out today. Some of the HP pages allow you to add one of the models to your cart...

Microsoft-Yahoo: The Privacy Issue (businessweek) -- April 8, 2008 -- The merged consumer databases of the prospective union should have Web surfers demanding what's being done with their personal information by David H. Holtzman

So Maybe Apple Was onto Something (businessweek) -  Rivals trying to come up with an iPhone slayer will need more than fancy features to outdo the leader by Cliff Edwards and Bruce Einhorn, April 3, 2008

Should kids be taught Internet safety in schools? -- By Jacqueline Emigh, BetaNews April 8, 2008, 11:07 PM Can kids be taught to avoid dangers on the Internet while also taking full advantage of all of the good things available online? The State of Virginia, for one...

BetaNews | H-1B limits met after just one week of petitions -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews April 8, 2008, 4:56 PM As the debate continues over foreign-born students educated in America taking their skills to other countries, the US continues to limit the number of non-citizen students working here...

BetaNews | EU mandates Web sites delete personal data after six months -- By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews, April 8, 2008, 3:51 PM -- Can a fair compromise be obtained on the matter of how long search engines should be allowed to retain personally identifiable data? Last week, a key European advisory group moved the goalposts...

10 tips for maintaining a healthy home network (microsoft.com) -- Adapted from Windows Vista: Home Networking, Microsoft Press, 2007 -- Once your network is up and running, it's up to you to keep it healthy. This means incorporating all of the security features that come with your operating system, whether it's Windows XP or Vista.

Microsoft Proposes End to End Trust Vision - Forbes.com -- At RSA Conference 2008, Microsoft Corp. initiated a broad dialogue about the future of security and privacy on the Internet.

Algorithms Are Terrific. But to Search Smarter, Find a Person. -- Brendan I. Koerner 03.24.08 -- Brijit [is a site] launched in late 2007 that produces 100-word abstracts of both online and offline content [with daily] 125 concise summaries of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as audio and video programs... saved by 111 other people

HP Pavilion Elite m9200t series Media Center Computers -- Digital Entertainment Centers direct from the HP Home & Home Office Store

Add-In Review: Recorded TV Manager 3.4.3 for Windows Home Server (We Got Served) -- If you want to move recorded TV from your Media Center to WHS and manage your program series conveniently, then install the latest WHS Add-In Recorded TV Manager by Rick Drasch.

Microsoft Launches New Mobility Tools -- Microsoft introduces Windows Mobile 6.1 and an improved management tool for enterprises. By Michael Hickins, 2008-04-01

HP's Biggest Obstacle Is Microsoft, Amazon vs. Apple, Voting Smart (Technology News: Mobile Tech) -- You get the sense in talking to all of the vendors that their Microsoft contacts have one thing on their mind when it comes to allowing these companies to innovate and create the user experience they want -- and that is an overuse of the word "no." This w

Why don't we talk anymore? - Research - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com -- Analysis: How to improve inter-departmental communication. By Stewart Baines, 6 March 2007 -- Sometimes it's hard enough to get small teams working together. How can you encourage communication across a company's business units? Stewart Baines offers...

Study: Shoppers want better online support (BizReport) -- Customer service doesn't count only in brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent study from Inquira and ServiceXRG suggests that online customer service is failing many consumers...

Don't let your customers sail off into the sunset - Edinburgh Evening News -- HISTORICALLY, many of us believed that simply following best practice and delivering great customer service was enough to gain a competitive edge over our competitors.

Amazon accelerates its move to digital - CNET News.com -- April 7, 2008 Over the last 14 years, Amazon.com has mastered the art of getting physical copies of books, music and movies to customers through the mail. Now it is trying to add to its repertoire in a hurry. By Brad Stone, The New York Times

Tags: misc, articles, what I read, Starbucks.