Category Archives: Twitter

Not cool KFC….not cool.

Bad Customer Service.

I’ve written on the subject in the past and here is one more entry into the file. I drove into Manhattan earlier today to get food from one of the few Halal KFC’s in the US.

My sister and I ended up paying extra (like we usually do) just so we would have a bucket just of breast pieces. The cashier went to speak to the manager just to see if there were enough Halal pieces in stock to fulfill our order and came back to tell us that it’d have to be a mix of Extra Crispy and Original to fulfill our order of a dozen breast pieces. We were fine with that. When we got back home buried at the bottom of the box were a couple of pieces of grilled chicken instead. Not cool. I didn’t drive all the way into the city (or pay extra for that matter) just to get grilled chicken. I don’t eat healthy at home so I certainly won’t go out somewhere and do it! I ended up calling their customer service and “Bobby” was really nice over the phone and told me he’d pass it up the chain of command. I have also tried to contact them via Twitter. Hopefully someone calls back and at least refunds part of the bill (if not all). Basic customer service. If they are willing to lie about what pieces they are giving me why should I or anyone else trust that they are actually giving me Halal chicken?

This KFC is located at 208 McGuinness Boulevard Brooklyn, NY 11222

Yes, I understand that this is a first world problem but a corporation as big as Kentucky Fried Chicken should no tolerate this from their franchisees. Will someone from KFC contact me? I’ll keep you updated.
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Obama to personally tweet from Twitter account – Yahoo! News

Obama to personally tweet from Twitter account – Yahoo! News

Barack Obama will start posting updates himself on the @barackobama twitter feed. My response to that is, what took so long?

Back in April of 2009 I was quoted about the Obama twitter feed by Christina Bellantoni (who was with the Washington Times at the time). I said at the time that the Obama White House should have been using social media more to vouch for their agenda. The White House has done a good job embracing technology with putting up video of the weekly addresses as well as the Flickr feeds but they have not used Facebook and Twitter like they could have. Yes, his staff has made their presence felt on twitter but I have thought for a while that Obama should have been chiming in from time to time.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Smartphone makes NJ woman overnight media star

startHave you been following the story of Stefanie Gordon (a.k.a @stefmara on twitter) this week?

She became an overnight media sensation thanks to a series of photos and one 13 second video she took of Space Shuttle Endeavor from her seat inside a Delta Airlines flight.

Photo from Stefanie Gordon

Now how cool is that? She has been everywhere the past week. The Associated Press did a story on her and according to this article are paying her royalties for the photos. I had seen the photos being posted on my twitter stream by a bunch of people. There have been some who are using her photos without giving her credit. Now that is just a shame. How do we avoid in this age of social media? I’ve been reading that Twitpic’s rules are that media outlets have to ask only Twitpic permission to publish a photo and not the user. Now there is something we all need to be aware. If you get a photo or video like this make sure you don’t just post it in a venue where everyone but you profits from it. Hats off to those media outlets that have paid Stefanie. Why shouldn’t she be treated like any journalist who might have produced a photo like that in the past?

You can find her blog here.

Twitter has been pretty good to me. I’ve won several gift certificates. I’ve been quoted for stories by the Washington Times, CNN and I like to think that I was the inspiration behind the “Tweet of the Week” section of Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” as I was the first person ever quoted there. I’ve been lucky with this kind of stuff but obviously not to this degree. Once again, hats off to Stefanie.

If you’re interested there is another YouTube video uploaded as well.

As I have also mentioned in the past, I almost got to see a shuttle launch (just so happens that was an Endeavour launch as well) from very close to Cape Canveral. I was in Florida (in Orlando to be exact) in the week leading up to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing but was not able to attend any of the festivities at Cape Canaveral. The launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-127) that I went to see ended up being called off 5 minutes before launch time. That wasn’t even the worst of it, the 40 minute drive back to Orlando took us 4 hours because of the traffic backup exiting from the vicinity of Cape Canaveral. I did mange to catch the launch of the Shuttle from the airport. A huge crowd gathered at the airport gate as we all looked out the window and saw the orange glow shooting towards the sky. It was an amazing site watching all the planes grounded on the runway as they waited for the shuttle to clear their airspace. I seem to mention this story every time I mention a Space Shuttle mission but being so close to the launch site and missing out still annoys me!

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

The biggest sporting event ever?

If at some point in the next 24 hours you notice that Facebook and Twitter are facing major downtime you should point your fingers towards the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Chandigarh, India. The PCA is the venue for one of the biggest sporting events in history, a World Cup semi-final clash between Pakistan and India. I’ll do my best to not to make too much of this post about Cricket statistics as most of the people who read this blog regularly are not cricket fans. I just wanted to give you guys somewhat of a background on what is transpiring half way around the world.

The anticipation for this match is extremely high in Pakistan in part because India has won all four meetings between the two over the course of World Cup history.

The Government of Pakistan has announced a half day holiday for Wednesday so people can get home in time to watch the game. 

Cricket just may be getting bigger exposure in the US. ESPN just secured a deal to stream games online as well as show on TV.

While the media and fans on either side of the border hardly ever think or act rationally the players have become far more friendly over the years. Perhaps it is the circumstances that have made that way but the men on both of these rosters serve dual roles as ambassadors of their countries while the two governments are knocking heads. Cricinfo writer Sambit Bal looked back at an incident from 2007 earlier today.
I remember a conversation I had with Younis Khan, then captain of Pakistan, a couple of days after his team had beaten India in a Champions Trophy match in Pretoria in 2009. Younis spoke of chiding a couple of Indian television journalists who’d been chasing him for a quote that would damn MS Dhoni. “Why are you after Dhoni,” he asked them. “Winning and losing, it keeps happening. Today it is his turn, tomorrow it could be mine.”
The pressure to win is extremely high in both countries. Heads will likely roll in whichever camp comes out short on Wednesday. It is the nature of the beast and all parties involved know this going in. Lets not forget that these two countries have been to war three times, have had many more border skirmishes. Sometimes the fan base tries to equate cricket to war. I can’t think of many sports rivalries that are bigger. I’ve tried to explain to American friends how much more intense this rivalry is compared to pretty much anything in North American sports. Pakistan/India cricket matches make the Yankees/Red Sox, Redskins/Cowboys, Lakers/Celtics, UNC/Duke, etc. seem like minor league stuff. It is a rivalry that goes even deeper then sports. Saad Shafqat of ESPNCricinfo put it to words better then I can at the moment,

Sports ultimately are a form of make-believe, but here we have a sporting rivalry with roots so deep that it is no longer clear which is the genuine conflict and which is the proxy. If you took a survey of Indians and Pakistanis today, they will not be clear whether it is more important to defeat your neighbour in cricket or war. Quite likely, a majority will prefer victory in cricket. To this extent, the goal of any cricket diplomacy has already been achieved.

The hype surrounding this match has been immense but unlike the hyperbole that gets used a lot in sports this match really is that big of a deal. I am as big a sports fan as any and I honestly can’t think of a more highly anticipated sporting even in my lifetime. Just how highly anticipated is this match? All hotels within a 25 KM (15.5 miles) radius were sold out a week ago. As this article goes on to mention, tickets are selling for well over face value by scalpers. This part really caught my eye though,

According to the Times of India, space at Chandigarh airport is limited so private jet owners have been asked to arrange for their planes to drop them off, then head off to places like Amritsar or Delhi to park for the day, before returning to pick them up after the match.
Those fans who have to fly commercial airlines should be prepared to pay a huge premium, reported Mint, a business paper. Business-class tickets are sold out, and an economy ticket for the 30-minute flight between Delhi and Chandigarh will cost between Rs 7407 and Rs 10,482 on March 29. A flight to Chandigarh from Delhi on any other day costs about Rs 3200.

They have to turn away jets at the airport!

The Pakistani Prime Minister has accepted an invitation from his Indian counterpart to come watch the game and have a meeting before the game. It may end up being a empty gesture in the long run but it is a good step forward.

The Indian government was expected to issue 6,500 visas to Pakistanis wanting to attend the game. Fans have been making their way to the Wagah border all day. Included amongst them is “Chacha Cricket” 

Chacha Cricket arrives in India (© AFP)

Check out this BBC story from back in 2003 about Chacha Cricket. Someone has even launched a website with him where he posts pictures/videos. The Times of India posted a story earlier today about him as well.

You have to check out this border ceremony that happens every single day. It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The two nations have been at war 3 times and tensions are always high politically but this ceremony at the border draws a crowd from both sides of the border. 

The last time these two teams played at this stadium Pakistan won on the penultimate ball.

I always laugh at people to claim that a billion people watch the Super Bowl. Sure, there are 100 million people in the US who watch it but where are the other 900 million people coming from? A lot of Americans seem to forget that not everyone cares about American sports. Soccer and Cricket are a bigger deal around the world (in terms of audience). This game tomorrow will most likely be watched by well over a billion people. How am I coming up with that number? There are approximately 1.5 billion Pakistanis and Indians around the world. A large majority of those (including me) will be watching this game Wednesday. Add to it people in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Canada and right here in the US and it adds up to a fairly large audience.  Twitter faces several down periods throughout the course of the average day, I am expecting it to face even more troubles Wednesday. So if you’re logging in from work in the morning hoping to get on Twitter……sorry! The game starts at 5 AM eastern time and should last until about 12:30 PM. I would expect Twitter issues for far longer then that.

This brings me back to my original question. Will this go down as the most watched sporting event ever?
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Nike Official India Cricket Fan Supporter Jersey 2009-10, Polyester finish Polo, XSPakistan NATIONAL Flag 3x5 NEW 3 x 5 PAKISTANI Banner

Twitter’s new deceased-user policy vs. Facebook’s –

A sign of the times?
It is a good step forward from Facebook and Twitter. It has become an issue that needs to be addressed. I went to Middle School with someone who passed away a year and a half ago. For a long time after her death, her Facebook page was still sending out notifications from “Mafia Wars” and other games people play on Facebook.

Twitter’s new deceased-user policy vs. Facebook’s –

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Robert Gibbs is on Twitter

Everyone knows I am a big Twitter guy. I first wrote about it last year. Today White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joined twitter too. I’m really hoping that Gibbs does use it. He told Politico he joined because he was fascinated by what people were saying when Obama visited the Briefing Room recently. His Deputy Bill Burton has been on Twitter for a while.

Hopefully Mr. Gibbs uses Twitter well and not just to announce TV appearances or Barack Obama’s schedule. Would love to see him actually “follow” not just White House Correspondents but also “regular” people like me. Would love for him to actually interact with people on Twitter as hard as it may be at times. Welcome him to twitter whether you support the administration or not, we need more public officials to become part of the discussion on twitter and not less. Lets not scare anyone away. Gibbs is a funny man and hopefully it translates well to twitter.

People have been welcoming him/harassing him all day. Check it out.

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Cory Booker is awesome

Have I ever mentioned that Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey is awesome? Yes, I believe I have.

For those who are not familiar with him, you should read up on the man. He’s definitely a rising star in the Democratic Party. He will be either the next Governor from NJ or the next Senator. One way or the other you will be hearing a lot of him if you haven’t already. He is without a doubt one of the finest mayors in the country. He turned down a job in the Obama White House. He has been a big part of the major transformation the the “Brick City” has taken over the past few years. He goes out on night patrol in the community with the Newark Police Department and personally sees to it that there is positive change in his Newark.

This New Year’s Day he once again proved why he is not like any other politician. He went out and shoveled snow for the elderly. Is it a nice political photo-op? Sure, it could be. But honestly I hadn’t seen it in any news up until I saw this CNN article. Once again a job well done Mr. Mayor. If you haven’t been following the Mayor on twitter, do so now?

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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Tiger Woods only has himself to blame.

Sooner or later these people will figure it out right? They are chased by cameras and reporters pretty much everywhere they go. Every little detail of their lives are scrutinized to the utmost degree. These people take full advantage of the fame and riches that come their way but unfortunately a lot of them let it get to their heads.

Tiger Woods is just the most recent in a long list of athletes who has failed not just his family and image but his fans as well. We hear all the time that what these people do on their own time is none of our business. I agree with that to a certain point but not when the individual involved has made hundreds of millions of dollars based on his image. If you want to ruin your marriage and family life, go right ahead as it is purely your decision but don’t try to insult our intelligence by appearing in a million different commercials and pitch products. As it turns out you lied to and shamed your family. Why shouldn’t we take anything you say with a grain of salt?

Earlier this year Tiger Woods became the World’s first Billionaire athlete.

Why is it that these people deny these stories when they first get reported? This isn’t the era of Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. You can’t even compare it to the 90s. There are just so many media platforms out there that the truth in matters like this pretty much always comes out. In this era of Twitter and TMZ there is no hiding. People would probably be a lot more sympathetic if these guys admitted to their mistakes right away. The lame excuses these guys make only makes matters worse as the lies they tell are so bad that all it does is lead more people to dig into your personal life. Seriously, did anyone believe anything Tiger Woods or his agents said in the days after the accident?

Why is it that privacy only matters to these guys when they do something wrong? Where is Tiger Woods’ search for privacy when he’s doing commercials for Nike, Gatorate or Gillette? Where is his request for privacy when his picture gets plastered in sporting goods stores and billboards around the world? Where is his request for privacy when he’s releasing his own video game everywhere and wants to be in the room of every kid with an XBox, PS3 or a Wii? Where is his request for privacy when he is making close to $100 million a year in endorsement money? He gets caught being an idiot and suddenly we are supposed to pretend that this is a private matter? I feel for his wife Elin Nordegren. Right now there are people digging into her life because of what Tiger Woods did.

I should mention that I have never been the world’s biggest Tiger Woods fan. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t help but be impressed by his resume on the golf course but Tiger Woods the man has never been easy to root for. He’s been an obnoxious bully and if he was anyone but Tiger Woods he would have faced a major backlash over the years. If you haven’t seen it for yourself just go check out some of the Tiger Woods clips on Youtube. Golf holds itself to a ridiculous uptight standard that doesn’t even let fans bring cameras or cell phones to a golf course yet Tiger Wood’s antics get excused.

This isn’t some new phenomenon either. Tiger has been cursing and throwing clubs around for a long time now. When he’s not doing something himself he has his caddy to the dirty work for him. We’ve all seen his antics on TV. Remember him tossing someone’s camera a couple of years ago? PGA Tour officials continue to look the other way because he’s Tiger Woods.

I was in attendance for the Final Round of The Barclays earlier this year. My Brother and I considered following Tiger Woods around for the day but gave up on it after jut two holes. He doesn’t interact with the fans at all. There were little kids yelling his name as he walked up the fairway and he wouldn’t even look over and nod. Yet, his galleries were huge based on his name alone. We decided to follow Padraig Harrington instead and he was simply amazing. He was right there in contention with Tiger Woods but the contrast in their behavior on the course was remarkable. Harrington took time on each hole to interact with fans (especially little kids). Phil Mickelson was also really friendly with the crowd despite being way behind the leaders at this event. Watching Tiger Woods in person that day made me even happier that I have never rooted for him in his professional career.

The sporting world fell in love with Tiger Woods and his father in the mid 90s because it was a great story. It is just unfortunate that like so many others Tiger Woods the man is not half as easy to like as Tiger Woods the athlete. If you want to live a public life and make the ridiculous amount of money based on your name alone, you can’t be a hypocrite and ask for privacy in a matter like this. You can’t have it both ways.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or contact me via Twitter.

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