Eight long years

Photo of a document cover from a bank

A pretty significant photo to me

Being able to take this one photo tonight actually has some pretty significant meaning to me.

That’s how long its taken for me to be considered credit worthy once more.

My signature forged on business loans and credit contracts, a mortgagee repossession of my house (voluntary on my part – explain in a minute), and youthful indiscretions in managing ones own finances….

…to come out the other side, eight long years later, with my credit worthiness restored and back on an even keel.

The repossession of my house is a bit of a story, but a former high school friend and I went into a partnership agreement to own it, with the intent of setting up an investment portfolio of property.

Well, he started screwing up his credit thanks to his lack of self control, and vanished from existence before I could get signatures on the legal documents to get it in my name, and sell the thing.

Long story short, easiest way was to hand it back to the bank, with the bonus that I walked away with some reasonable cash in 09′ after the sale and all the costs paid.

That’s all a long chapter in my life, that I’m glad to have put behind me.

Let’s hope October doesn’t rain on September’s parade…

(…goes off and starts humming the Barbara Streisand performed Don’t Rain On My Parade, from the end of Funny Girl).

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News Corp: Getting it wrong (as always) on airlines and social media

A quick note: Jetstar Airways was excluded from the analysis presented here, simply because the author (me) is a complete numpty and they had slipped my mind at the time of writing.

Earlier today, I was alerted to this article from The Daily Telegraph on airlines and how they’ve sought to engage with consumers during the ash cloud affecting Australian domestic air travel

They used this quote, taken from social media to summarise their views as to how each airline handled themselves and their customers using the medium:

Justin Browne summed up each airline’s social media usage.

“SM strategy of the airlines. @tigerairwaysaus 0 tweets @QantasMedia 4 tweets @VirginAustralia clear winners with a real person and lots of info.”

Sorry, but The Tele got this article completely and utterly wrong. I’d even go as far as calling it self-serving BS that fits the News Corp anti-Qantas agenda – but let’s play nice and break down the facts.

As a Digital Marketing/Communications professional and a self-confessed social media addict, I have been monitoring the activities of the Australian domestic carriers even more closely than I usually do since the ash cloud broke.

To put it simply: Qantas was the most active airline, seeking to respond directly to as many tweets from customers as possible, answering questions and providing them with relevant and useful information wherever possible. No other airline, not even Virgin Australia engaged with consumers via twitter as much as Qantas, and it became clear three days ago that Virgin had given up entirely responding to customers.

Put Virgin’s response in the context of Qantas, and the differences are like chalk and cheese. Qantas’ level of consumer response, question answering and engagement extended beyond their normal 9-5 hours, with staff tweeting and responding as late as 0000hrs AEST.

But, the intensity of their commitment to the medium was highlighted on no less than two occasions yesterday where the @QantasAirways twitter account exceeded the twitter API rate limit preventing them from tweeting for a significant period of time. When they took over the @QantasMedia account to continue their tweeting and response to consumers, they also exceeded the API limit on that account as well.

The strategy of Qantas also showed that despite their short time engaging with consumers in social media, specially twitter, specially compared to their domestic competitor Virgin Australia, they [QF] are far more adept at effective use of the medium, even to the point of custom short URL’s that carried their identity. It shows just how far they have come from the dark days of the QF32 incident where the airline had no consumer-facing presence at least on twitter save for its Travel Insider site.

Overall analysis

This is an analysis of just the last 24hrs of twiter traffic from each of the airlines combined from a maximum sample of the last 500 tweets (can’t be larger or longer thanks to the twitter API) within the last 24hrs.

All analysis has been performed using open source twitter analytics tool The Archivist, using search queries that limited results to tweets specifically from the named airline accounts.

Due to the limits of the twitter API and the tool used, the analysis has only included tweets coming from the named airline twitter accounts. This is due to the sheer volume of tweet traffic, and that the inclusion of tweets from other sources wouldn’t hold statistical validity without being able to weed out mentions of the airline as opposed to actual requests for information/assistance – an ability which is not available with this public tool.

Percentage of tweets from sample:

  • Qantas airways (combined): 93.8%
  • Virgin Australia: 6.20%
  • Tiger Airways Australia: 0% (as TT didn’t make a mention, they’ll be excluded from further analysis)

Most mentioned URL: http://bit.ly/qfdisrupts

Top words used in tweets within sample:

  • 🙂 (not a word granted, but it’s the most popular captured)
  • Flight
  • Sorry
  • Flights
  • Hi

Drawing on the information from the individual analysis, sentiment in tweets emanating from QF to customers was far more positive and conciliatory than its competitor.

Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):

  • Tweets: 98.6%
  • Retweets: 1.40%

Day to day trend:Increasing from day to day

Qantas analysis

These are the Qantas stats, combined from @QantasAirways and @QantasMedia, containing the combined last 500 tweets from these accounts:

% of tweets within sample

  • QantasAirways: 87.8%
  • QantasMedia: 12.2%

Most mentioned URL: http://bit.ly/qfdisrupts

Top words used in tweets within sample:

  • 🙂 (again not a word granted, but it’s the most popular captured)
  • Flight
  • Sorry
  • Flights
  • Hi

Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):

  • Tweets: 98.6%
  • Retweets: 1.40%

Day to day trend:Increasing from day to day

Virgin Australia analysis

Sample: 96 tweets (nothing further available from the last 24hrs)

Top words used in tweets within sample:

  • Website
  • Flights
  • Hi
  • Ashcloud
  • Suspended

Most mentioned URL: http://ow.ly/5nnk2

Tweets vs. retweets (unique messages over messages copied from others):

  • Tweets: 100%
  • Retweets: 0%

Day to day trend: Low on 20/6, abnormal peak on 21/6, and back to similar low on 22/6