One Last Nag.Or Two.Or Three

By Quint, Barbara | Information Today, December 1999 | Go to article overview

One Last Nag.Or Two.Or Three


Quint, Barbara, Information Today


Here we all are, tiptoeing into the 21 st century together, and what do my shocked senses perceive? People ignoring my advice! In fact, the practice seems so prevalent that one might almost catalog it as a bad habit, even a vice. Well, I'm sure none of us want to face our Maker or the Future with such stubborn villainy on our consciences, do we? I didn't think so, especially when readers consider my fabled talent for always being right ("occasionally inaccurate, but never wrong"). Ignoring my advice could lead vendors into next-millennial experiences so unpleasant that the special effects for the TV movie Y2K would seem like a picnic in the park.

Actually, the consequences of reactionary resistance will diminish in the next millennium in one narrow respect. As of January 1, 2000, 1 will grant complete amnesty to anyone who has injured, offended, or even resisted me any time in the 20th century. (This issue of Information Today won't come out until early December, right? I wouldn't want to encourage a last-minute rush of villainies from bad guys trying to beat the clock.) However, the date on that amnesty policy leaves this column as my last opportunity for bilious carping on issues already raised. So here goes nothing.

Was It Good for You?

My all time favorite omission from the online scene? Feedback mechanisms. In this era of "You have mail," of instant chat rooms, and of Lands' End television ads boasting of live operators on call to customize the e-commerce experience, the traditional online industry still charges high fees to knowledge-worker markets without ever seeing the need or prudence to ask for customer reactions and suggestions, Oh, sure, most of the new Web sites carry Webmaster addresses or Contact Us options. LEXIS-NEXIS has even opened a listserv, and hats off to them for that move forward. But none of them provide forms at the end of every search or send out e-mail pleas for feedback after every transaction. In fact, most of them don't even collect the e-mail addresses of users.

Clearly the technology is in place to do any imaginable amount of feedback gathering. In fact, such courtesy and consideration for customers have become standard in Web-based commercial transactions. E-commerce sites typically remind consumers of where to send any complaints or suggestions with every confirmation of an order. One Net newbie makes a business out of questioning consumers about their e-commerce experiences with sites. It then rates the sites and posts winners on its own site. One assumes that the original e-commerce site gets a private report in return for introducing the newbie to its customer base. Some traditional services have even begun using technology that has better manners than their staffs do. The latest post-Boolean search software often uses feedback monitoring to improve search retrieval, suggest new strategies, and add new content.

The consequences of not supplying feedback forms for every search has reached beyond shortsighted, counterproductive failure to acquire critical information for building better, potentially more lucrative systems. At this point, it has become somewhat dangerous to the vendor. Digital clients, especially end users, have become so accustomed to vendors slavishly seeking their opinions and reactions that they may feel somewhat insulted and even suspicious when not asked. ("Why don't they care? Don't they plan to improve this system---ever?")

If vendors asked customers for feedback, what responses would they get? Let's make some guesses. Many people would not respond, but they would still appreciate the gesture. And what's the benefit to the vendor? A good image at no particular cost. Some users would have specific problems that need specific advice from customer support or help documentation. Customer staff could respond to these questions via e-mail or advise users to contact their representatives. Some customers would have general complaints. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

One Last Nag.Or Two.Or Three
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.