>Help Twits

HELP! clanged The Beatles irritatingly at the beginning of their 60s hit. (Incidentally, sure I once heard a version of Help! that began with the, or a something like, the James Bond theme, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Help. How can four letters so arranged prove to be so important (if they save your life) also be so irritating that you want to grab an axe and go on a rampage after trying to use Twitter‘s help functionality?

Help functionality has never worked that well IMHO. After being invited to start Twittering, I decided to personalise my account and add a background image. Did the usual, uploaded it, and no surprise, pic didn’t appear. I rinsed and repeated this several times to make sure I wasn’t showing my age but still go the same result.

Twitter’s help, powered by the surely ironically named Get Satisfaction seems to be some kind of live help functionality. Post your question and it all starts spinning into life. And spinning, and loading, and fetching, and probably carrying too. I stared at the screen for five minutes, curiosity driving me by then, before deciding to give up.

I decided to click on the See all discussions link and landed on a baffling page. Few of the links here worked. One that did displayed all tags and, by golly, clicking on the design tag I found a post related to my problem. Sadly, I was confronted by this chappie:

Would you trust him? His name is Biz Stone. I ask again, would you trust him? His solution to the missing background image problem? “You should be able to fix it by going through and picking some custom colors and then saving that design. Let me know if it works.” That’s the kind of informed, fluent tech speak that solves problems quickly. No one had replied to him.

Stangely enough, I followed his suggestion and at first, nothing worked. I came back a few hours later, however, and lo! My background image was in place.

All of which leaves me wondering if Biz’s somewhat stoneish, surfdude-esque ways might be better than the slick, “I’ll keep using your name because it makes us seem really professional”, ultra-service minded types one is usually confronted with in human help.

Now all I have to do is figure out exactly how Twitter will make my life better. I am sure they can tell me on their site.

A Help desk:

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