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February 2006

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Okay, I’m a little late on the Lost train. My dad and sister have come to love the show, so I gave it a shot. In about 5 days (one a sick day in which I spent all day watching past episodes while in bed) I caught up with the series. It is a great show, but it made me think about shows like Lost. Shows such as Lost, Surface, and Prison Break are a tough sell to new viewers. If you weren’t watching from the beginning, it’s hard to catch on as the story is in-depth. Now, I don’t watch Prison Break but I did watch Surface. Surface was good until I got sick of seeing the previews for the upcoming episodes and then the scenes wouldn’t even be in the upcoming episode, but an episode way down the line. They catch you like this to keep you watching, but I got sick of it. It was because of this, and its long hiatus, that I quit watching the show. Lost I was able to get into because I was able to watch all of the first season and all the episodes that have shown up until this point in season 2. The problem with these shows, for the networks anyway, is that their life spans are short. People aren’t going to want to watch season after season to see someone break out of prison or people get rescued. These shows are in for the short run. If networks try and extend them longer, they lose viewers and that leads to an un-climactic ending that most are disappointed with. I hope lost doesn’t go this way. I seriously see Lost only lasting another season. I don’t know how much I could take of seeing what these survivors go through for much more than that. Prison Break is another example. People are waiting for the guy to break out of prison. Keep leading them along and it’s only going to hurt the show. Maybe this is the way of network series now. No longer do we have the Cosby Shows, West Wings, and MASHs that are able to last season after season. People’s attention spans are shorter and shorter each season it seems. How I Met Your Mother was another such show that seems to have climbed past the “waiting for an ending” stigma. It started out with each episode dealing with a new girl that may or may not be the “mother” of the title. They have since somewhat abandoned that and started developing rich characters and amusing story lines. (Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney is a great character). Shows like Lost, Prison Break, and Surface won’t be able to do this, so what will become of them? Hopefully, networks realize that even though they are hugely popular, that they must end at an appropriate time to do the show justice. Anyway, there is my little rant on TV. I hope that Lost doesn’t outstay it’s welcome and won’t last past its third season.

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In St. Louie. That’s right. We have 6 tickets to a Cardinals game in the new stadium. What’s even better is it’s in an indoor/outdoor suite with all the food, soda, and beer, yes beer, you could possibly want. The cost? Well, let’s not think of it in terms of money, but instead, in terms of memories. Now that my friends, is priceless. I’m excited.

Because of the increasing number of complaints about inadequate service, suggestions for improvements, and general unhappiness of Site5 customers, Site5 decided to remove the service forums from their message board. The other forums are still there, but if you were posting because your server was down, not responding, adding domains, and other service related questions, you no longer have a place to go. Of course, their official reasoning was because it was creating a problem for support.

Today, in their open discussion forum, a post was made asking what others thought about them closing these forums. Many people responded during the post’s short lifespan, including Site5 staff itself. Obviously, once management (I’m talking about you, Mr. Lightner) found this out, it was deleted. Luckily, another forum member posted a pdf on his site of what was said. You can read it here. Now, call me crazy, but having support forums where the community can support seems like it should reduce trouble tickets for support. I can probably come up with 5 occasions off the top of my head in which I didn’t have to open a ticket because I found the information in the forums. If anything, this new policy will only increase support’s already busy workload. Don’t be fooled by the response times on Site5’s homepage. At one time (when I signed up) they were this low, but they neglect their customers in order to oversell their hosting and try new products to entice people, none of which are actually implemented (think RapifReflex, Webmail 2.0, Flashback). They say they respond in an average of 25 minutes, let’s take a look at some of mine:

Avg. Site5 Resp. Time: 211.5 minutes
Avg. Site5 Resp. Time: 354.6 minutes
Avg. Site5 Resp. Time: 84.5 minutes

And most of the time, they don’t even answer your question, so you have to wait another 100+ minutes for another response.

The thread also stated that management will respond to each and every one of the emails that people send regarding this issue. I find this to be a joke as well. I put in a management review ticket months ago with no response. I emailed Matt Lightner and never got a response. I even had a thread put into the Management Review hidden forum and got no response. And like another customer said, site5 webhosting…the only way to deal with bad pr is to delete it. (by the way, this site is hosted on A Small Orange now.)

EDIT: It seems they have added some forums for “customer-to-customer” support. My faith has still not been restored though. Unless they start listening to their customers, stop overselling, and quit with software promises that never get implamented, they are a sinking ship.

A while back a buddy of mine, Mike Goodspeed, wrote about his party profession. What he meant by this is changing what he did for a living when people would ask what he did. Computer programming just isn’t that interesting to most people (especially the ladies). Since reading this, I’ve noticed I get the same two questions when people ask me what I do. When I would tell them I am (going to be) a teacher they either say:

Cool, are you going to coach?

or

Wow, that’s awesome. That is so noble. Teachers really should get paid more. They, like, shape the future.

I’d say the first one I get more often than the latter. Now, I don’t want to not tell people I teach. I’m not ashamed of it, I’m proud of the fact that I will be doing this. What I get tired of is those two questions people ask me. Will I coach, it’s a possibility, but unlike the majority of history majors, I did not become a teacher so I could go back to my old high school and coach. Coaching is not my life-long goal, and to me, is not much of a goal at all. As for teaching being noble and teachers should be paid more, I agree, but most people don’t really feel that way. Most people hated their teachers in high school. They just tell you what they think you want to hear. Every profession is noble in some way. Since I don’t want to lie, I continue to tell people I’ll teach, but I’ll continue to smile and nod while they go on an on about how great teachers are.