I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. For the most part, I think it’s utter nonsense, and I could go on and on about why that’s so, but this post is not about why Twitter is useless, it’s about how, every once in awhile, Twitter is useful. Following is an example.
Today I was watching a DVRed episode of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” starring Anthony Bourdain. Tony was in Rome, and he was having a nice dinner in a small restaurant when suddenly a very angry man started yelling at the hostess. Being Italian, the man was yelling in Italian. Being an American show, “No Reservations” had subtitled the man’s complaints into English. And being a greedy little television network, the Travel Channel had one of those ubiquitous banners advertising its web site pop up, covering much of the dialogue in the scene. I have no idea why that man was yelling at the waitress, and, it would appear, I never would find out.
This bothered me. Not so much because I needed to know what the man was angry about, but because it was made very clear to me in that hour of television that the Travel Channel (like all networks) has little to no respect for its programs, much less for the one show on its network that tries very hard to be worthwhile. So I complained.
I looked up the Travel Channel’s Twitter page and directed this complaint at it: “Thumbs down to @TravelChannel, whose stupid pop-ups blocked the best part of last night’s ‘No Reservations.’”
Then I looked up the Twitter page for “No Reservations” and left this remark: “@NoReservations: The Rome show was good. Too bad Travel Channel blocked the subtitles with its pop-up ads.”
Within minutes I received from @NoReservations this message: “Sorry. An unfortunate technical glitch happened that caused banners to overlay subtitles. We apologize for this issue!” It was followed by this message from @TravelChannel: “Thx for your feedback about @NoReservations. We’re re-airing the Rome episode this Thu at 9pm E/P w/out banner messaging.”
I know I’m not the only person who complained about the banners, so the fact that I got responses right away really impressed me. It’s a small thing, but this personal touch earned the Travel Channel my respect; and the fact that they listened to their viewers and will re-air the episode — well, I just can’t see ABC doing something like that.
So long story short: Something bothered me, I complained, I got a prompt response back, and now problem solved. It’s so rare to get that kind of quick closure, it seems, and, in this case, I have to thank Twitter for that.
And now back to pictures of people’s pets and their thoughts on what to eat for breakfast …