This is a companion piece to my 10 Principles of Social Media series. This post illustrates Principles 2 and 4.
While that time left me with more than enough stories to fill a book, I’ll tell two of them here:
They Hate Us
The planning director for the City sat across from me. I said, “This major road needs to have coordinated signal timing between you and that suburb.”
“That’ll never happen,” he said, “They hate us. Every time we change our signal timing, they change theirs just to screw us up.”
“Hmm,” I said, “Well, it’s got to happen, I’ll go over and talk to them.”
So I go to the suburb in question.
“This major road needs to have coordinated signal timing between you and the City.”
“Take it up with them then!” Was the reply, “We hate them! Every time we change our signal timing, they change theirs just to screw us up.”
That Guy’s An Asshole
We were creating an event management plan for a major city. They had a huge complex of sports stadiums all grouped together. It was possible for nearly 200,000 people to show up during concurrent events.
We had created a system to guide people to parking and to dynamically move police, roadblocks and traffic revisions based on available parking and pedestrian movements. The system would close roads, re-route traffic, and move police around.
That required communications.
“What streets have fiber?” I asked.
“We don’t have any fiber” I was told.
I was incredulous. “what do you mean you have no fiber?”
“No fiber, has to be wireless.”
“There’s nothing with franchise agreements or other shared use?”
“No, no fiber.”
So we created a system with all wireless tech which, at the time, was much more expensive and harder to make reliable. It greatly added to the complexity of the system.
The day we were launching, I was walking through the City offices. I passed by a desk and something caught my eye. I went to the guy upon whose desk it rested.
“Is that what I think it is?”
“It’s a fiber map.”
There was fiber (lots of it) down every single street.
“Can I borrow that?”
I went to the project manager and put it on his desk.
“What is this?” I asked.
“It’s a fiber map.” He said.
“You told me you had no fiber.”
“Well, we didn’t want to use fiber. That guy’s an asshole.” he said referring to the person at the City responsible for the fiber. “We don’t want to deal with him.”
What This Shows Us
Even though these are examples in government, we all have stories like this from business, from school, from families. When we stop talking and close ourselves off, only waste will result.
Blogged at My House due to endless snow in Seattle, WA