The Official TiVo Blog Sucks, They Have No Clue, Don’t Blog If You Are Only Going to Do It Half Ass

TiVo Blog Sucks

Update: E. Stephen Mack, Director of Service Operations for TiVo, has responded to this rant and I have responded back as well. My apologies for the excessive tone of this original article.

The Official TiVo Blog… ugh… what a joke. I’ve blogged on this before. The Official TiVo Blog is the biggest, stupidest joke of a fake blog I have ever seen in my life! There, will that get anyone over at TiVo’s attention? I didn’t think so.

So the screen shot above is what has been going on at the official TiVo Blog (and I say “official” because Alex Raiano actually has a pretty cool unoffical TiVo Blog) for the past 24 hours, which is… well, nothing. Seems like someone at TiVo hasn’t realized that TypePad made a change to their IP address (not like TypePad didn’t tell their customers that this change was coming, right?). TiVo, you know what I do when my blog is down for a few hours? I go ape shit. I’m on the horn with Midphase (or PowWeb who was before Midphase that I fired because they couldn’t get things right) and I get it fixed. Fortunately for me Midphase has been really excellent but if I see that puppy down for 15 minutes I’m all over it. And I’m just some guy, not a publicly traded company like you are.

Anyway, so the blog’s been offline for the past 24 hours and God only knows how many more days ahead. The point it is that the blog isn’t worth visiting anyways.

Why does the official TiVo Blog, which professes to want to “join the conversation” suck so bad? Well, let me count thy ways.

First, how about figuring out who your influencers are out there and involving them in the conversation. I LOVE TiVo. I tell everyone I know about how great my HDTV TiVo is. It rocks. A four tuner HDTV TiVo? Some one pinch me. And keep pinching me because I’ve been happily using it for the past almost two years. And well, not that my blog is significant or anything, but have I ever heard from TiVo? Never. Not once. How hard is it to drop an email and say hi. I don’t even exist to them.

But forget about me for a second. What about the Unofficial TiVo Blog mentioned previously run by Alex Raiano? It actually comes up ahead of their blog on Google if you do a search for TiVo Blog. Do they involve Alex in the conversation? Hell, no. Instead Alex himself, perhaps the world’s biggest TiVo fan, is instead writing posts about how bad the TiVo blog sucks too. And what about Dave Zatz? Have you ever linked to Dave? Did you know that Dave has written lots of things about you on on his own site as well as this little gadget fan site thingy thing called Engadget?

Look TiVo. We LOVE you. Why do you have to play so hard to get girl? Take a lesson from Microsoft. They find out who is blogging about them and then make a point to contact those bloggers (yes I know, a crazy thought), and actually try and get to know them and involve them in yes, well, as you mentioned before, “the conversation”. I’ll start you with a pointer in the right direction. There’s this little site called Tech-no-rati. Check it out, seriously. If you really want to be a part of the conversation then go to where it’s happening.

And by the way, find out whose blogging about you and LINK TO THEIR BLOGS. Forget about Dave and Alex by the way, have you ever linked to a blog? A single one? Even a non-TiVo one?

So here we are when you guys have one of your biggest PR moments of the year (that time of the year when you get to spout your statistics about what commercials and moments people paused, rewinded, etc. during the Superbowl, remember, as in Janet Jackson’s nipple a few years ago?) and here you could use the TiVo blog to come up with an interesting post about even this, but do we get that, hell no, we get your site down all day because nobody bothered to read the Type Pad email about an IP address change.

Look TiVo, I don’t mean to be critical, but this blog thing that you are trying is a disaster. It is not working. You are creating more negative buzz by bloggers with it about your company than anything. Here’s my advice. Shut it down. Seriously. If you are not going to legitimately be a “part of the conversation” then you’re only going to continue to be mocked.

But if you are actually sincere about wanting to use a blog to “be a part of the conversation,” then call Robert Scoble. His number is on his blog. He’s a nice guy. Even though he’s a competitor I guarantee you he’d stop by and visit with you guys the next time he’s in town and give you guys some super pointers.

And in the meantime, don’t disappoint us with your fake corporate blog that at best just regurgitates press releases and moderates comments letting only those comments through that heap praises on how great you are.

Perhaps I feel so strongly because I do in fact know how cool a real TiVo blog could be. Use it to post great new news on your company. Put the scoops there. Have Nova or whatever her name is network with other bloggers blogging about you. Let them scoop some of the news too.

Anyways, that’s all for the rant tonight. I’m sure you’ll never even see this. If the telegraph hadn’t been killed recently (ah, see how I did that, I linked to a blogger on the death of the telegraph story, magic, isn’t it?) I’d send it to you by telegraph. I could leave it as a comment on your blog but, oh yeah, your blog’s not online and oh yeah I’d just get moderated out anyway.

Hey, you’re not still pissed at me over that little graphic thing I made up with Mike Ramsay and Mike Powell are you? That’s not what this is about is it?

Good luck to you sparky.

Update: So it looks like you can still get to a live version of the TiVo blog but you just have to go to a new internet address. Another smart strategy for a blog, change your url and then don’t tell anyone. Oh and here’s one more thing. I sent the TiVo Blog a comment within the first two days that they launched that their RSS feed links on their blog were broken (of course my comment got moderated away) and here months later they still are broken. Not that RSS subscribers should matter to a blog or anything, I’m just saying.

And for those of you who say this rant is about me, it’s not. It’s about the fact that the TiVo Blog sucks but does in fact as an idea have so much potential. Multiple people in the past have criticized various aspects about the blog (not just me) and TiVo is unwilling to “be a part of the conversation” about how to make their blog better. The excessiveness of my literary license in this post is hoping that by shouting loud enough at them that maybe they will hear me.

And for those of you who say that there are bet
ter ways to go about changing the TiVo blog I’d ask you for ideas before you say that. What should I do instead of blog about them? Send them a comment? Oh, yeah, I’ve already sent them comments (and nice ones by the way, not like this post), they get moderated away, never posted and never responded to. Ok, another idea, I could email them under their contact us page on their blog. Oops “We no longer offer support by e-mail. Please visit our Support section for immediate answers to your customer support issues.” Guess email’s too 1990ish. How about one of those new fangled contact us now forms with a captcha? Nope.

My criticisms about their blog are valid, despite the excessiveness of my tone.

Before you criticize my post I’d ask you to come up with your own suggestions on how to “join the conversation,” with the company. The goal here really is try and make their blog better. How would *you* go about getting them to make their blog better? They have one of the most virally successful products of all time. Word of mouth for their product is huge. A blog is the perfect vehicle for them to amplify this. Interacting with others on the internet to spread the message on how TiVo is better than the generic alternatives. My frustration lies in the fact that they have so much potential to do a blog and are doing a poor one instead and won’t even talk about it.

By the way, for those of you who are interested, the number one referring place to this story today is from a private user group forum for TiVo Beta 4. Here’s the link. I don’t have a private beta ID to see what’s being said in the beta forum, but figures a bunch of anonymous TiVo beta testing fanboys would rather call names than address the actual facts about everything that’s wrong with TiVo’s blog. How about instead of just calling me a whiner, actually addressing the facts and saying why it’s a good strategy to have a lame blog or why the conversation only belongs behind the locked walls of a beta testing user group forum?

Another thing about blogging, it’s usually pretty easy to see your commenter’s IP address and where they were referred in from.

Tags:
Be Sociable, Share!
Loading Facebook Comments ...

49 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever read!

    Get over yourself already!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good rant. I have had a Tivo since 1999 and has told people that it is life changing. Tivo really should capitalize on its fans.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is this for real!? This has to be among the most self-serving rants I have ever read!! For someone who says he loves TiVo, you have one warped way of showing it. Did you not get enough attention as a child? Or are you just trying to drum up some attention for your own pathetic blog?

  4. Anonymous says:

    tivoblog.typepad.com

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    It’s not about me. It’s about the fact that TiVo has the potential to create something really cool and they are not doing it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are better ways to go about it than what you’ve done here. This makes you look bad, not TiVo (someone pointed this out to me because it was such a joke to them; not TiVo’s blog, but yours)…

  7. >biggest, stupidest joke of a fake blog

    I guess you haven’t seen the AdSense blog.

  8. Thomas Hawk says:

    What is the better way to go about this. Is it leaving a comment on the blog that their RSS feeds are broken (and still are months later) that gets ignored and moderated away?

    Is it to email them under there “contact us” section on their blog that reads: “We no longer offer support by e-mail. Please visit our Support section for immediate answers to your customer support issues.”?

    I’m open to suggestions. If you have a better idea on how to get their attention and get them to make their blog better I’m all ears.

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’m not trying to be an asshole here and I am open to other methods for trying to get TiVo to make a better blog, but for someone who doesn’t have email, doesn’t respond to comments, etc. that really wants me to “join the conversation (there words not mine)” how would you suggest that I bring the shortcomings of their blog to their attention.

    I’ve tried a less intensive post and that didn’t work.

    How do I engage TiVo in a conversation about how they should make their blog better if they are unwilling to, as they like to say, “join the conversation.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    You make so many comments, which to address first? Oh, yeah, you are coming across like an asshole. You appear to be a sad, bitter man.

    Just keep in mind that not everyone is going to think that your idea of “better” is better… and then bitching and moaning about it like a 2-year old is not going to help your cause…

    You say you would like to be in control of their blog… well, happy wishful thinking…

    Can’t email TiVo? and you don’t like picking up the phone, then stop bitching about it, and just create the TiVo blog that you want to see… show by example… otherwise, you just come off as a complainer/whiner…

    “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — and most fools do.”
    ~ Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Man, you are the biggest whiner I have seen on the web in a while. Get over yourself.

  12. Rob says:

    Actually – Thomas is right.

    If you’re a blogger, or if you follow the world of blogs and how companies use them – he’s right on the money. TIVO is doing itself a disservice by having a blog that’s updated barely once a month, and barely with any interesting information about the company. They themselves said they wanted to be part of the conversation, yet they can’t even be bothered to use the tool they started to converse.

    Thomas is saying what many in the blogging world already knew and were saying in our heads. When they started the TIVO blog, after a few weeks I could tell it was a failure.

    There has been so much news about TIVO recently – from the Superbowl ads, to their new Series 3 units being shown at CES, to their new Home Media Engine and the things it can do right from the TIVO (like buy movie tickets and get traffic updates).

    There is so much good going on with TIVO, yet the company itself can’t be bothered to talk about it on its own blog. That’s just sad.

    Thomas: I – and thousands of other bloggers – get what you are saying. These people on here who are name calling just don’t.

    –*Rob

    –*Rob

  13. Anonymous says:

    Great rant. I gave up on reading Tivo boards because of all the shills on their boards. its not surprising that you are getting attacked.
    Keep up the good work

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, Rob, you don’t speak for all us bloggers; big head on them shoulders of yours though to think you can.

    Not only do you think you can speak for all of us, but you think you know what’s best for TiVo’s blog as well; that head must be awful heavy to carry around!

    As far as the rant, just pitiful.

  15. Wow I didn’t expect all the haterade in the comments to your post.

    I’d have to agree with you in general, the official TiVo blog doesn’t seem to know where it’s going, I guees eventually the TiVo Ambassador will be taking it over (something tells me you just disqualified yourself BTW 🙂 ) but for now we have “Nova” filling in.

    As you correctly pointed out the updates are infrequent, the comments are ridiculously overmoderated and it’s not remotely interesting,

    I’ve posted constructive criticism on other corporate blogs before, including Sun and GM and they got through. Obviously you want to keep the flames down but don’t make it so blazingly obvious that only sycophants need apply (oops as I recall I had a comment posted, I guess that makes me a sycophant, or at least able to impersonate one)

    As a TiVo enthusiasts I want to hear about the Series 3 (and why TiVo doesn’t want to sell one to satellite subscribers like me), maybe a little bit of insight as to why the Netflix deal still hasn’t come to pass, give us something more than I get in my E-Mail box every month, today you are giving me less.

    Oh, and FTR while the main page of offical TiVo blog may be visible at http://tivoblog.typepad.com/, try to click on any of the links and you get the IP address error page so it’s still more down than up.

  16. mjk says:

    Sometimes you have to make a stink to get attention especially with companies that don’t have any way for you to engage with them.

    I blew my fuse last week when Blogger/Blogspot melted down (not the first time by a long shot) and then provided no information to their users. I posted on Digg.com and tried to get others to digg it hoping someone at Google would notice.

    For those of you critical of this post, it is Thomas’s passion and thoroughness (and willingness to share his own mistake) that exposed a huge scam by Brooklyn sellers of digital cameras that got national coverage and has helped save a lot of people from making the same mistake. (http://thomashawk.com/2005/11/priceritephoto-abusive-bait-and-switch.html)

    I have a TiVo and also think it is great. The product is very easy to love and the company is very easy to hate. Their support is bad and some of their product design decisions make it a frustrating device to own.

    If you don’t own a TiVo you will have less of an appreciation for TH’s perspective. Try to think of another product/service that you have that you really, really like – can’t live without – you rave about it to anyone you know – maybe you make a big investment in accessories – but the company that makes it is boneheaded about how it treats its customers. You get pissed because if they keep it up they will go out of business and you won’t have the product or service you love anymore.

    When you rant, you want to get attention – looks like it is working.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that even if TiVo’s blog was considered the best blog on the net, Thomas and others like him would still find something to complain about.

    I’m sure if Thomas, and those like him, had their way, TiVo’s Blog would just turn into a flaming and gripe fest; there’s already enough of that going on with the TCF.

    People know how to whine; but ask them to shut up and just get rid of their TiVo’s instead, and they sing a whole new tune….. uh, do what!?

    Attention? Yep, people are attracted to a bloody wreck on the side of the road; but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is my first encounter with this here blog of Thomas Hawk. I don’t think he’s getting the kind of attention he wanted out of it; people are passing this link around as a big joke.

    First impressions say a lot, and my first impression is not that TiVo’s Blog sucks, but this blog sucks.

    And I am a proud multiple TiVo owner for many years now. What is with Thomas and those supporting him that they think they can speak for more people than just themselves. Peas of a pod flock together; grandma, what big egos you have!

  19. Carl says:

    Most of the people commenting here are transparent TiVo fanboys/shills. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my TiVo. TiVo is better than color TV. But that love doesn’t extend to a fanactical belief that the company can do no wrong and/or should never be criticized.

    I have yet to read a single comment that criticizes Thomas while addressing the actual content of his post. Forget Thomas’s blog. What can TiVo do to make their blog better? What can fans of TiVo do to get through to them?

  20. Anonymous says:

    [quote]”I have yet to read a single comment that criticizes Thomas while addressing the actual content of his post.”[/quote]

    We obviously don’t feel the same way as he does, and are addressing the ridiculousness of his post by stating such. Like, duh!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    [quote]”I find it interesting that so far 100% of the negative comments are from “Anonymous” postings.[/quote]

    That’s because we’re not fans of his, so why register… again, like duh!!

    And our servers also capture such information, so if he’s thinking of any IP attacks, immediate legal action will be taken.

  22. I find it interesting that so far 100% of the negative comments are from “Anonymous” postings.

    You do realize of course, as Thomas has already pointed out, that there are these things called server logs, and they capture stuff like IP address as well as what site referred you right?

  23. That’s because we’re not fans of his, so why register… again, like duh!!

    Umm, I’m not registered either, and had never heard of his blog until today when I saw it linked from the unofficial TiVo blog You don’t need to register or anything to post with your name, of course you could always use a made up name if you wanted to, but that would be even more cowardly than posting anonymously. (oh yeah, duh!!)

    And our servers also capture such information, so if he’s thinking of any IP attacks, immediate legal action will be taken.

    Are you serious?!? I’ll play devils advocate and assume that you are, the point of talking about captuing IP address and referrer information is to point out that you aren’t anonymous even if you check the anonymous box. I can tell by his writing that Thomas is not 12, and therefore it never would have occurred to him to launch any “attacks”. (upon further thought you can’t possibly be serious)

    Oh and by the way, by referring to our servers you pretty much implied that you either work for TiVo or are at least a moderator on their forums.

    One last thing that for the throngs of “anonymous” haters, it’s a safe bet that Thomas cares more about TiVo than any of you (this includes if you are TiVo employees). If he didn’t care he wouldn’t bother to write up his rant, which is pretty much spot on BTW.

  24. Anonymous says:

    your rss feeds seem broken too.

  25. Thomas Hawk says:

    Good God. Thinking of IP attacks? You’ve got to be kidding me. Just because I know that a bunch of negative criticism is coming in from a private TiVo beta forum (i.e. TiVo fanboys) doesn’t mean that I’m going to launch an IP attack.

    Man, get over your blind love for TiVo. I love TiVo too. This isn’t about your loyalty to TiVo. This is about wanting to make their blog be the best that it can.

    Seriously, I’m not planning on IP attacking anyone, that’s just absurd. I was just pointing out where the comments are coming from.

    By the way, if you really want to be a part of the conversation then post the thread about this blog post that is going on in the TiVo beta forum right now to the comment field on this site.

    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    Look, I didn’t go to TiVo and force them to “be a part of the conversation.” They came to me by presenting me their blog that INVITED me to BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION. But it’s not a very satisfying conversation when it’s all one way.

    TiVo fanboys, quit attacking me personally. Ad hominem is so transparent. Instead talk about why you think TiVo is doing a good job with their blog and being a “part of the conversation” as they claim.

    And quit taking it so personally. This isn’t an attack on your beloved TiVo, it’s a post hoping that I can get them to think about making their blog better. Really, TiVo will be that much better for it in the end if they had a real blog.

  26. Shiftless says:

    Wow! What the hell? All of the negative comments seem to be coming from people that don’t understand what your post is about!

    I agree, the Tivo Blog is pathetic. They might as well take it down.

  27. Bob/John/Mike/Other/Take Your Pick says:

    Not a TiVo employee; sheesh!

    Thomas, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

    Nice try guys on attempting to avert attention from the real focus, and that is how utterly ridiculous this post is.

    We understand what the post is about; it’s not what he’s saying, it’s how he’s saying it, and he obviously doesn’t get it.

    You’re not “influencing” anyone, but maybe a select few, who also like to gripe.

    “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — and most fools do.”
    ~ Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

  28. Thomas Hawk says:

    Oh, and anonymous, thanks much for the tip about my feed being down. I think it’s fixed now but let me know if you are still having problems. And it didn’t even take me 3 months. See how painless that was.

    Seriously, thanks.

  29. Anonymous says:

    You have another anonymous to thank for that; I wouldn’t have let you know, as I could care less if your blog stays up or not.

  30. Thomas Hawk says:

    And anonymous #2, you say, “First impressions say a lot, and my first impression is not that TiVo’s Blog sucks, but this blog sucks.”

    Tell me this. Why doesn’t TiVo’s blog suck in your opinon. What’s so great about their blog. Is it that fast breaking news there once a month? Is it the really interesting and hard breaking stories like,

    Is it the April’s Fools like fun and hijinks when they change the blog’s url and don’t tell you?

    Is it the super cool headlines like “Drinkin’ The Kool Aide” and “Ira Glass, We Love You Too!”

    Or do you like re-reading the “guidelines for posting to the TiVo blog on *every single post* that they write, which is not many.

    Or is it that trick where when you try to subscribe to their blog with their RSS feed button that you can’t? Hah!

    Is it that images and comment links are dead right now? Or how about when they do work that great bantor in the comment threads like, “Happy New Year TiVo” and “TiVo I lovvveee you sooooo much.”

    Oh yeah and I can’t remember it exactly because the archive links are dead right now but remember that time that they did that hard hitting story about the guy who named his CAT TiVO! Hah, that was friggin’ hilarious! Imagine that, someone actually naming their “cat” TiVo? What’s next someone naming their *dog* TiVo? Yeah, that’d be funny too.

    I could go on but before I do why don’t you tell me what’s so great about your first impression of their blog.

  31. Thomas Hawk says:

    Bob/John/Mike/Other/Take Your Pick,
    You say, “We understand what the post is about; it’s not what he’s saying, it’s how he’s saying it, and he obviously doesn’t get it.”

    This is not the first time I’ve posted on this. I tried to put it more nicely before and it didn’t work. I tried commenting on the TiVo blog and it didn’t work. I’d try emailing the blog, but it doesn’t believe in email.

    Alex over at the unnoficial TiVo blog has also posted on it and it hasn’t worked.

    You say that you are not objecting to my ideas but to my method of communicating them, my tone essentially.

    Well this tone got a lot more attention than the last posts on the subject.

    You’re right. You shouldn’t have to stand on a soap box and shout at the top of your lungs to be a part of the conversation. I can see where you’d object to the tone. But you tell me, how would you go about getting the blog fixed, or do you think it’s fine just the way it is as this little puppet fake blog thing.

    My method and tone are not the issue here. The issue here is that TiVo decided to do a blog and invited us all to be a part of the conversation and are not sincerly even trying.

  32. Dave says:

    I think you defeated your purpose by trying to say most of your hits are coming from a TiVo Beta site.

    People in a TiVo Beta are just TiVo enthusiasts, like you claim to be, and do not work for TiVo.

    You, along with another one or two, are trying to say TiVo enthusiasts would be on your side, stating, “If you don’t own a TiVo you will have less of an appreciation for TH’s perspective.”

    Well, guess what, these people own Tivo’s and apparently don’t agree with your madness.

  33. There’s a difference between being an enthusiast and a being a fanboi. The people who have been ripping into Thomas haven’t even bothered to try to point out how the TiVo official blog doesn’t suck. They just don’t want to hear anything negative about the company who brought them their beloved TiVo, even if they can’t argue that it isn’t true.

    I can’t speak for Thomas but as for myself I’m certianly a TiVo enthusiast, I’m directly or indirectly responsible for the purchase of about a dozen TiVo’s (sadly all but three of them were either DirecTiVos or were before the TiVo rewards program was institutued).

    I love my TiVo and think that TiVo the company has done a decent job overall of balancing the customer to business needs (profitability & legal liability) but I understand that TiVo’s not perfect and the TiVo official blog is a glaring example of this. Clearly they are doing more PR harm than good for themselves by running it so unprofessionally.

  34. Thomas Hawk says:

    Dave,

    The question is not TiVo the product. Believe me, I KNOW the TiVo fanboys who are on the TiVo beta love their product. I ALSO love their product. My TiVo is one of my favorite things. I’m not saying that if you don’t have a TiVo you don’t get it.

    We are talking about their BLOG not about the TiVo product. Their blog is lame. It claims to want to be part of the conversation but is not sincere.

    I’m not criticizing TiVo the product, their forums or their beta.

    Even if TiVo doesn’t want to do a blog, FINE. But don’t put up this puppet blog and act like you are really going to blog and then suck.

    I have not heard a single person defend their blog in any way or offer some reason why their blog is good.

    The truth is that their blog is probably largely ignored because it is meaningless marketing crap.

    Instead of hearing details about the upcoming CableCARD enabled stand alone TiVo we get fluff pieces about people naming their cat TiVo.

    I’m critical of the TiVo fanboys to the extent that they are blindly loyal to TiVo so much so that they feel a need to attack me for criticizing a sucky blog that they too know is sucky.

    Let me repeat. I LOVE my TiVo. It’s a GREAT product. It has revolutionarized the way I watch TV. But their blog still sucks.

    The TiVo beta fanboys should be comfortable enough and secure enough in their love of TiVo to be able to admit this and hopefully help send a message to TiVo that we’d like to see something better.

    And TiVo really, really, really should blog. Of all the companies out there they are prime for it. They are one of the most buzz word of mouth type companies that exist.

    A truly smart TiVo blogger would be networking with other bloggers and showing up at blog conferences and technology shows and doing everything to help build this buzz.

  35. Dave says:

    Thom,

    You are so way off-base in your logic, you’re making yourself a joke, and therefore are hard to take seriously.

    Just keep in mind that just because you think something should be done a certain way, doesn’t mean everyone else does, too, and if they disagree with you, then they must be “blind.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    Seems to me like you may be suffering from a little “the world revolves around me” syndrome.

    Blogs often just end up being a way for people to whine and gripe, and I wouldn’t want to be reading all that bitching on an official TiVo Blog, so I’m all for their moderating. I don’t see it as a problem.

    I don’t look to blogs to get my information, so, no, I don’t see TiVo’s blog as sucky. But then I wasn’t expecting them to blog my way, either.

    There are much more constructive and mature methods of getting something accomplished than by what you’ve done here.

    Again, it’s way too easy to complain. 2-year olds can do it.

    You want us to tell you how to make TiVo’s blog better; but that would be assuming we agree with you that it sucks, and we don’t.

    There’s always room for improvement, in anything. If TiVo closed down their blog permanently tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a tear. If I had control over it, that’s probably what I would do rather than have to deal with this kind of crap.

    No matter what TiVo does, they can’t please everyone, and therefore there’s always someone somewhere griping about something.

    TiVo does so much, and people aren’t going to be happy until they can deliver the universe in the palm of our hands, or make pigs fly, whichever comes first.

    I personally prefer TiVo focusing their time, talents, and money on other things that are more important to me. We all have our priorities, and my priorities just do not jive with yours.

  36. Dave,

    There’s a difference between flames and costructive criticism, a corporate blog really can’t allow flames because it detracts from the discussion and becomes the focus of attention, on the other hand they can’t be afraid of constructive ciriticsm either.

    A well run corporate blog IMO is the GM Fastlane Blog, here you see GM executives talking about different topics from new vehicles to the companies financial situation to press coverage. Comments are of course moderated and I’m sure that if you say something along the lines of “Chevy sucks Ford rules!!11one” (or whatever) that it’s not going to make it onto the page. OTOH here is a comment I just pulled off of the site:

    Mr. Lutz, the vehicles of which you write are no doubt first class,but you miss the point:what are they good for?

    Unless they are equipped with fuel cells, or have e-85 or possibly hybrid engines, they are grossly energy inefficient and contribute to a variety of larger problems. And to what end?

    One only has to compare the number of off road hours to the number of hours spent in traffic for any of these vehicles. As high a regard as I have for GM and its engineers, I have no interest in these products.

    There’s no way that a comment with a tone anywhere close to that would be approved on the TiVo offficial blog, the GM Blog has credibility while the TiVo official blog sadly does not.

  37. Thomas Hawk says:

    Dave,

    “you’re making yourself a joke,”

    “you may be suffering from a little “the world revolves around me” syndrome,”

    “it’s way too easy to complain. 2-year olds can do it.”

    Ad hominem. Ad hominem. Ad hominem.

    As you said “you don’t go to blogs to get your information,” and as you said you “prefer TiVo focusing their time, talents, and money on other things that are more important to you.” And “If TiVo closed down their blog permanently tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a tear. If I had control over it, that’s probably what I would do…”

    But, TiVo DID decide a blog. And the DID decide to invite people to be a part of the conversation. And if this is the case then yes, it should be more than half ass.

    While you may not go to blogs to get information many others do and would like it to be a good place to get information and a vibrant place to have a conversation.

    You say, “You want us to tell you how to make TiVo’s blog better; but that would be assuming we agree with you that it sucks, and we don’t.”

    You don’t agree that it sucks because you largely ignore it and don’t care about blogs as you say youself. You see any effort at blogging by TiVo as a waste of resources.

    But there are those of us who do blog and do care about blogs and do read blogs for our information.

    I am not the only person here saying the blog sucks. I understand your position that you don’t like blogs and would rather TiVo not do one and hence you could care less if it sucks.

    But the blog still sucks and just because you’d rather kill it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t.

  38. Thomas Hawk says:

    And Robert is right. A corporate blog can be done well. While not a coporate blog per se, Microsoft’s Robert Scoble’s blog is seen by many as a sort of Microsoft corporate blog and it’s great. It’s engaging and full of great information, well trafficked and very popular. Scoble even wrote a book about the whole subject of corporate blogging with Shel Israel called Naked Conversations. TiVo would do well to read that book and figure out what their blog should be about.

    Because right now I’m not the joke, TiVos fake blog is the joke. It’s the joke when compared to what other forward thinking companies are doing with their corporate blogs.

  39. Dave says:

    “But the blog still sucks and just because you’d rather kill it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t.”

    Again, you need to realize that this is just YOUR opinion. Just because you say something is so, doesn’t mean it is so; ONLY that this is how you see it.

    Anyway, I’m done here; your mind is made up, and you’re just going to fight whomever doesn’t agree with you.

    I got my point across, whether you see it or not. At the very least, you know that we all don’t agree with how you see it, nor of your methods.

  40. Dave Burke says:

    I’m a bit dazed by all of this nasty criticism of your post, Thomas. But I think when viewed in context it seems to reinforce the fact that customers of TiVo have far more enthusiasm for the product than the company.

  41. Thomas, thanks for lighting a fire under our butts. I’m responded to your post here:

    http://www.zeigen.com/blog/?p=44

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hey Hawk- Why don’t you point to the correct URL when you link to the Official TiVo Blog?!?! It is not a typepad link. This is the link:
    http://blog.tivo.com

    When you blog, it is important to use the right links, guy!

  43. Thomas Hawk says:

    Thanks anonymous. I just changed the link. That was the link that was the redirect yesterday from their official blog url. I hadn’t realized it was a redirect when I copied it yesterday.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, what a bunch of nine year olds. “I’m stupid because your stupid. I know you are but what am I.” Schoolyard BS. Who cares what tone TH uses, it’s his blog and thus has the freedom to post as and what he wishes. He obviously chose this one to get a reaction. Mission accomplished. Similarly TiVo would likely positively spin any post on their blog for their benefit. Regardless of the “tone” TiVo uses I think TH’s point is that TiVo needs to do some self-evaluation to determine just how much they want to be part of the conversation.

  45. Dave says:

    Last Anonymous, you say TH has a right to do his blog however he wants, because it’s his blog, and then in the same breadth you say TiVo does not in that they need to do some “self-evaluation…” Perhaps TH should do some self-evaluation as well.

    It was nice to see TH apologize for his rant, and I will give him credit for that.

    There is such a thing as etiquette… if he were talking to someone at a public mall, would shouting and ranting be acceptable there? I think not. That’s what they have security for.

    What if this didn’t work, would he have taken it to the next level and began blowing people up?

    The point is, we are a civilized society, and as such, there are expected decorums of behavior.

  46. Michael says:

    It’s been a year, and I happened to stumble across the still fetid TiVo blog.

    Stephen–proud of it?

    Has anyone ever linked to it?

    Does it have more then a few dozen subscribers?

    Has anyone ever approached you outside TiVo and said “Hey, I was reading the TiVo blog and …”?

    I’m guessing not.

    (Indeed from “TrackBack: 0” below every entry I know nobody cares enough to link back to it. Pretty telling, huh?)

    It’s still not a “conversation”, it’s still just regurgitated PR puffery.

    Everyone who happens upon it doubtless reads the first few lines, thinks “Gack!–who gives a warm soft one?” and moves on, disappointed to find drivel more appropriate to a MySpace page.

    Wow–a company that helped pioneer an entirely new consumer product, whose brand defines it’s category, trying to get it’s message out, and this is the best you folks can do? Your opportunity to engage with customers, to “tell your story”, and it is so wasted?!

    Was this your vision? Is this in any way Google-blog-like (your model)?

    Own up that the TiVo blog has been a thorough failure, a missed opportunity, a waste of whatever minimal effort has been put into it. Mercifully shut down the embarrassment or actually commit to it in a real way, but don’t leave that horrid wan imitation of a blog putrefying on TiVo.com, it’s just too sad & ugly.

  47. […] engagement on a company-focused forum. Yet, TiVo has stumbled in the blogosphere…. from joining the conversation late (and still currently suffering from trust issues) to their own craptastic blog initiative. […]

  48. Anonymous says:

    –These losers are fucking out of here—
    —Just another name to add to the list of names to avoid! —-
    Fuck Tivo and fuck their condescending customer support assholes. They think everyone is stupid. I agree, we are stupid to pay fucking Tivo for their primitive crap and ghetto customer service.