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.