Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Service of the Superfluous in Tech that Causes Confusion: YouTube to the Rescue

Monday, May 22nd, 2023

I have no confidence when I’m confronted by technology and I blame myself if I don’t catch on to something or if something goes wrong. When there’s a glitch with my new printer or laptop first I panic and next I rush to YouTube which usually provides a visual step-by-step rescue.

I bought an Apple World Travel Adapter Kit for my iPhone and iPad charger and was confused which was which because three of the elements looked the same. As much as I stared at the sketches on the box and the actual widgets, I couldn’t tell the difference between the electric plugs for Korea, Brazil or Europe.

I went to the Apple store in Grand Central with the box and a man on the welcome team handed me one of the connectors, but I wasn’t convinced.

Next, I found a wonderful video on YouTube—there are a bunch on the subject–in which the tech guru opened his box and went through the various elements. Towards the end he remarked that he couldn’t tell the difference between the three adaptors and I cheered!

I admit my eyes aren’t what they once were but even with a magnifying glass I had a difficult time reading the gray-on-gray EUR on one of the identical looking adapters. YouTube man pointed out where to look. Obviously the 20-something at Apple didn’t know where to look either. He had handed me the device for Korea.

I went to the Apple store for something else this weekend and while I was waiting for the product to arrive I mentioned this to the bright [very] young associate helping me. He said that the devices would be different even though they might look the same because they also address voltage in each country. He suggested I ID each country’s device with magic marker. I don’t expect to go to Brazil or Korea so…..

The voltage info also didn’t get out to the associate who handed me the adaptor for Korea. Lucky for me I know where to look to ID the correct device thanks to the fellow on YouTube. Maybe “Let me find out,” wasn’t part of the training language taught the first assistant either.

Have you been tripped up by a tech company when it turned out that it is they—not you—at fault?   

      

Service of I Don’t Want to Hear That

Thursday, October 27th, 2022


Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

It’s not fair, I know, but when my favorite classical music station conducts a fundraiser, I either turn to YouTube to hear Mendelssohn or Mahler or to a competing station. I normally listen all day through my laptop, but I can’t think, read, or write with constant talk and only brief music breaks.

As previously admitted here, there are some commercials that cause me to immediately flip TV or radio stations and often I end up intrigued by the other program to the detriment of the original that loses a viewer or listener. These topics probably wouldn’t faze a medical audience, but I don’t want to hear repeatedly about gizmos that wash the guck from noses or mask the odor of a person’s privates.

When there’s a traffic jam, I’m irritated by the sound of useless impatient honking. And drivers: please keep your mufflers on and don’t go so fast you have to screech to a stop–or before slamming into an innocent neighboring vehicle—another painful noise. Pedestrians visibly jump when a large empty truck clatters down an avenue at top speed creating a BOOM when it confronts a significant pothole.

I move away from angry, raised voices on the street or in a store.

I am not a fan of political commercials that promote lies and, in this pre-midterm season we hear the same ones incessantly.

My beloved now deceased drama queen kitty would wail if I went near her paw to clip her nails when normally she was a tough girl. I couldn’t do it. Her cry was a deterrent. She didn’t utter a peep in the vet’s hands.

What sounds set you on edge?

Service of Who Influences You Now?

Monday, November 4th, 2019

When Pete Wells, The New York Times’ restaurant critic, recently gave legendary Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger zero stars, down from two, his review–Peter Luger Used to Sizzle. Now it Sputters–which knocked the stuffing out of the place, drew plenty of attention on local media.

I’ve not heard of similar impact if a social media venue gave a thumbs down to a product or service. Yet companies believe in their significance to move goods and are paying plenty to get a thumbs up from people they’ve identified as social media influencers to rave to followers on Instagram, Facebook and the like.

According to Suzanne Kapner and Sharon Terlep in their Wall Street Journal article: “What began as friends and family sharing their favorite products has become a lucrative advertising industry of celebrity endorsers, influencers and meme creators. Such paid endorsements, known as sponsored content, are the online equivalent of a 30-second TV spot. Big-name stars can command $100,000 or more for a single YouTube video or Instagram photo.”

As so often happens, greed among some has weakened the value of what had become a good thing for the influencers. [The jury is still out as to whether such endorsements actually sell product and with some manufacturers the bloom is already off the rose.]

The reporters wrote in “Advertisers Sour on Online Influencers,” that “a whiff of deceit now taints the influencer marketplace. Influencers have strained ties with advertisers by inflating the number of their followers, sometimes buying fake ones by the thousands. They also have damaged their credibility with real-life followers by promoting products they don’t use.”

The long Journal article gives examples, excuses and alternatives–some advertisers are now using their customers instead of celebrities to endorse products instead–but the paragraph above hits the crux of the flaws in the concept whereby consumers lost trust in influencer claims.  In addition, advertisers can’t track or confirm the success of a YouTube video or Instagram endorsement.

In fact Ipsy, the beauty products company that launched the trend eight years ago is “Now the brand leading the way again, this time by pulling back” from endorsements by influencers.

Nevertheless Kapner and Terlep reported that the influencer industry is still lucrative: Global estimates range from $4.1 to $8.2 billion/year in 2019 versus $500 million four years ago. Influencers have made 50 percent more each year in the last two. “Prices per Instagram post range from $200 for an influencer with as few as 10,000 followers to more than $500,000 for celebrities with millions of followers, according to Mediakix.”

One flaw: So-called influencers can easily bolster their follower numbers by hiring “click farms” that “employ people to inflate on-line traffic.” For $49 and $39 you can buy 1,000 YouTube and Facebook followers respectively and that number costs $16 on Instagram, one pundit estimated.

Do traditional reviews influence whether you’ll try a restaurant, product or buy tickets to a movie or Broadway show? Do you check out Yelp or websites that report what customers or patients think of establishments or doctors like ZocDoc? If a celebrity you admire says he/she likes a product on social media or anywhere else, do you give it a try?

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