Customer Service and the Future of Publishing

February 7, 2011

Communication is as challenging as it ever was.

The exchange was prompted by a post on Dan Gillmor’s excellent journalism blog on When I saw Dan on the Mac version I did the requisite Google search for an answer and got the usual spam-filled and out-of-date search results.

Like David Pogue at the New York Times I’ve been using Dragon Naturally Speaking since before Nuance bought it (he wrote Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Second Edition using Dragon on Windows). Unlike David Pogue, I could never get it to work satisfactorily. Until Version 11. It’s amazingly good. I’m 99% happy with it (the accuracy could always be better, but it is still miraculous). At the same time, I’m continuously besieged by my very-well-meaning Macintosh buddies to return to the Apple fold. I think they’re right, but after struggling with Dragon for a decade, I don’t want to step backwards. (Would the Windows version work just as well on a MacBook Air?).

Update, February 8, 2011:

Update, February 11, 2011:

After receiving today the comment from Gene Gable (below) it struck me as odd that I’ve not received a response from Nuance. The new rules of engagement for companies in this era of social media are to respond quickly to blogs, tweets, Facebook postings and comments about your products. Last September I posted a very minor complaint about the company on Amazon, and Peter Mahoney, SVP & GM, Dragon responded the same day. When I later commented on the product, ditto. It appears he still works there, so why doesn’t Nuance’s electronic press clipping service pick up on this post? (As you see above, it’s cross-linked to Dan Gillmore’s far-more-popular blog, so it shouldn’t be tough to find.)

My guess is it’s mainly because Google is now worthless for most product searches: it has been too thoroughly gamed by the SEO hordes. A Google search of blogs on “‘Dragon Naturally Speaking’ AND Nuance” produces just garbage and noise.

(When I Googled “too thoroughly gamed by the SEO hordes” to find an appropriate link, I found that search had been gamed as well, and most of the links were to “gaming”.)

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Forecast for 2011: It Will Begin This Weekend

December 29, 2010

’nuff said.


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Two Winners Win $50 Million

November 5, 2010

They’re $50 million lottery prize winners in a country where the prizes are tax-free.

Claude and Kurt Blanchette-Ebert are a month away from celebrating their 30-year anniversary, though they’ve never could afford a vacation to celebrate any of the other 29. They recently lost their house. Claude worked as a furniture upholsterer; Kurt is a master chef who till last Monday worked baking pastries.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the future of publishing.

I thought it a very happy story and a heartwarming video.

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Google Converses With Me

October 2, 2010

Back in July I noticed that Google’s gmail SAS (software-as-a-service) enjoys chatting with me about spam.

Tonight I found it reading my mail just as I was sending it:


I think it’s becoming just a little too intimate (although it did help prevent a “senior moment”).

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It’s a Book

September 6, 2010

“Can you blog with it?”

“No. It’s a book.”

Cute little video for a new book by Lane Smith…great example of the use of viral online media to promote…a book.


“Lane Smith brilliantly captures the fears of today’s book lovers over e-readers in a children’s book — and does so with great humor.”
The New York Post

“Personally, we laughed our ass off—and we know a few kids who will, too.”
Time Out New York Kids


Thanks for the heads up, Wendy.

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