Franky Jetstar

Media saturates the world have the luxury of living in. The media is a fantasy where images of hope are crafted as deliberately as those of violence – and almost all of it is designed to entertain and sell. So we choose to pay attention to layers of media which once were deaf, and only now learning what happens when we shout back. Yesterday, my father in law died in Tasmania. My wife had booked a flight next week, as things were looking increasingly grim. Sadly he died yesterday. Amid the tears, we tried to book the next flight to Tasmania, calling Jetstar Reservations to explain the situation.

No. Is the simple answer. No you can’t change, and even if you hav insurance you have to pay is now, and we will assess your claim later. And the flight is $400 more than the other one – do you have a credit card.

The is the media at work, used to telling, demanding and controlling. Jetstar’s face is one of competitive prices and ‘welcome aboard’ is it not in the media?

Clearly, despite the PR and polished promotions, this is a fantasy. One which it seems real humans are forced to participate. Anyone remember this at the gate recently? Mostly its someone in a rain-coat with a shortwave radio glaring at passengers, daring them to ask “so how come we’re an hour over departure and you’ve said nothing”.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.39.42 AM

I posted our disgust on Facebook, and a friend pasted it into Jetstar’s fan page. It got a response. I am not sure how to elevate past’ quite concerning’ to ‘caring’.

“Thanks for getting in touch with us about this, it’s quite concerning to hear. We have a compassionate policy in place to assist passengers in these circumstances, but without knowing any further details, and without discussing this with a passenger or contact on the booking, its difficult for me to provide any further insight into this. I would encourage you to ask your friend to get in touch with our Reservations Team on 131 538 or alternatively, with us here and we’ll be able to look into this further for him. Thanks- Angela”

So after re-organising school (my son was on a bus coming home from camp at Coffs) – numerous people helping, my wife got to the airport on time. Of course she called ahead and used the website – but remember, I’m saying this is all fantasy.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.34.44 AM

This is media today. We don’t need to stay quiet and listen to the messages. And there are no agenderless media messages. Here Jetstar still don’t care or understand their Reservations Team are the issue – and simply repeat their demand in order to placate a negative media piece on their page.

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.38.14 AM

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 10.38.44 AM

In a compasionate world “Angela” would be a real person, who’d offer the cordial expressions of empathy. So I posted a reply on the media they are keen to use to promote their image as there is no other way to deal with an organisation which acts in this way – or thinks that social media is something to be triaged. It is something to take seriously. It isn’t an extension to your business model, it is a replacement.

Don’t replace it with media. You can get back to me here if you like Angela perhaps we can have a corporate happy ending photo? Call me. Okay.


Who’s the weakest link at this conference?

It costs a lot of money to get to a conference with travel, staff absent, entry costs and so forth – and if you’re heading there for educational technology – especially in Sydney you’d better pack your own 3G connection.

“Wifi is ubiquitous” they say – except in your room, where they will slug you up to $20 a day for some faint signal. On the conference floor, the wifi dies within minutes, as people lean over to peer into their own private metaverse while the first Power Point of the day grinds itself into your retina.

Today’s EdTech conference goer is truly a global delegate. If each person is connected to just a few hundred cyber-fellows, its increasingly valid to share links, views, resources in our vast and wide land. I won’t mention names, but it’s pretty clear that the ‘big’ venues in Sydney (who charge astronomical fees) simply cannot cope with today’s natural born cyborgs – and not getting the message – or don’t care.

Conference wifi is a given – and yet seems to be run off a $50 Belkin in the managers office most of the time. People wander the halls like digital-zombies asking ‘have you got signal?’ … reducing their computational power to zero. It’s hard to claim Sydney is a international destination for conferences, when I’m yet to visit a venue in 2010 that hasn’t curled up and died before your first coffee.

The weakest link at conferences in Sydney is wifi. Commercial venues are simply hopeless. Don’t bother lugging anything without 3G past your front door. Most presenters and workshoppers I know have given up delivering anything web-based – and don’t even get me started on audio visual quality.

Ironically, people ‘think’ Second Life is a poor cousin for conferences – but if you actually want to ‘learn’, then put aside that $1000 entry fee. Buy a new laptop for your staff instead and wait for Best Practices Virtual Worlds – you won’t be disappointed, and will get to stay at home and stay connected all day for free on your new spuffy laptop – with your friends from around the world. Go on, try it … but then what will all those pro-conference goers do if we’re not sitting in rows watching them excuse their presentation croaking and wifi dumping out.