The Interface Between the Worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web

Paul Miller

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Which is better? NO information or the WRONG information?

No system is perfect, and no affordable system can be engineered to be wholly tolerant of every fault and hiccup that might come its way. That’s why we have procedures in place to cope when things go wrong.

One important part of those procedures should surely be effective communication with customers, (especially?) when they’re paying good money.

So when my connection to Karoo, the local ISP, disappeared this afternoon, I wasn’t particularly concerned at first; I assumed that this temporary glitch would be quickly resolved.

Like a good customer-focussed organisation, they have a status page. According to it, all was well. Some time later, still with no network connection, the status page (reached on my iPhone) still claimed all to be well, and I began to worry that the problem might actually be with my router.

Following a few iterations of unplugging, restarting, etc, I was still not getting a connection, and Karoo’s status page still happily reported all to be well with their network.

So, is it better to give out patently false information (as Karoo were doing here) or to take the status page offline for good and simply say nothing?

Eventually, I rang Karoo’s helpline. A recorded message admitted to ’some’ problems, and suggested a 15 minute wait to speak to one of their operatives. 20 minutes later, I hung up.

They couldn’t even tell me the truth about the length of their tech support queue.

My connection is back now, about an hour and a half after I lost it. In the grand scheme of things, not a huge outage. I’m sure the engineers were on the scene quickly, and worked hard to fix whatever the problem was.

So hopefully they’re as disappointed as I am in the woeful lack of effective, timely or accurate information from their customer support team.

There’s really no excuse, Karoo.

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Paul Miller works at the interface between the worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web, providing the insights that enable you to exploit the next wave as we approach the World Wide Database.

He blogs at www.cloudofdata.com.