People to email when we need technology help and information

We have believed for some time that there’s a place for people to earn quite a lot of money by providing help and information for fees – who offer people an alternative to them trying to work things out for themselves, even with the help that’s on the internet, in just about every field, but particularly in the field of technology.

Some thoughts on this.

Peter Drucker, the famous management writer, used to often say that the things we know best are the things we think are obvious, which everyone knows – as an example, that Don Bradman thought that batting was easy, that everyone could bat. What the people we’re talking about need is the empathy to see things from the side of the person seeking the help and information, which we mostly find is completely missing.

One of our readers reports that recently, when he sought help from a consultant on an Apple Genius Bar, the consultant virtually mocked him for not knowing the answers he was seeking – which we think is typical.

In relation to this the internet is great. Before it came along, writers, when they were writing, might mention something about which they would be thinking, “I wonder if my readers will know what I’m talking about here?” But these days, whenever a writer thinks that, they can always provide links to further explanations, which their readers may or may not use.

The real money for such people would be made when responding to requests for the same help and information that they’d provided to someone else before – a fee could be charged which the person seeking help and information would think was more than reasonable, when it would have only taken a couple of minutes to send out what had been sent out before. Alternatively, it might take quite a lot of time to put together a good response to a request for help and information that had never been responded to before, and there’s no way one would ever get paid properly for this.

One of the things we think would be possible would to be for people to be consultants on a part time basis. For instance, there could be people whose main job was working with WordPress blogs and websites all day every day, as a result which they would know everything there was to know them – it could be tremendously profitable for them to spend one or two hours a day providing responses to requests for people to provide help and information on them.

An exciting thing for such people is that the potential exists for people all over the world to be asking for help and information – to be established clients.

One of the aims of the people behind this blog is to locate such people, and to let our readers know about them.

Typical tech support?

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We have a dream 2

As we often say, WE HAVE A DREAM, and that is of a world in which, whenever we need help or information, the lack of which is holding us back, about ANYTHING, but particularly about things in the areas in which we’re the most interested – health and technology – that there’s an ordinary email address we can use to send an email requesting that help and information, and, (1) we get an acknowledgement of our exact email within an hour or so, (not an automated response,) and, (2) within 3 or 4 days, or more or less, or sooner, if possible, we get back a high quality response focused on our needs exactly, and, where we’ve sought help in carrying things out, we get step by step guides in carrying them out, which we can print out and follow.

What’s required for the dream we’ve described to become a reality? It’s very simple – it has to become worthwhile for people, (and we emphasise, “people,” not organisations,) to provide the high quality responses we’ve described. These people can be working for organisations on salaries provided by the organisation, or they can be working on their own, charging for what they provide, doing two things – (1) providing help and information out of their own areas of expertise, or, (2) where their own areas of expertise don’t cover what’s required, providing suggestions as to who else may be able to help, if they know of any.

As more and more of these people exist, working as we’ve described, the more our dream will become a reality.

Two things interest us about this.

Firstly, how few good teachers there seem to be about.

If you do a Google search on, “How do I get Google Analytics working on my blog?” as we have just done, results like this come up.

But almost always such things can’t be followed because too much is assumed by their authors. One of the greatest things about the internet is that authors of things like this can provide links to further explanations of things that people might not understand. For instance, to “Sign in to Blogger,” a link could and should be added to provide an explanation as to how to do this – but it’s seldom done. Nothing should be taken for granted. We find that, invariably, when we try to follow guides like this, we get to a point where, despite our very best efforts, we just can’t understand the next step – and so all the precious time and effort which we’ve spent in getting as far as we’ve is wasted.

Of course, there’s a simple answer to this, and that is that there’s an ordinary email address we can use to ask the author for further help – but that’s seldom how it is. In this case, we went to Blogger’s website, and after a fair bit of searching, we found a “Help Centre” button, and when we clicked on it, we were taken to a field in which we invited to “Describe your issue,” and when we typed, “How do we sign in to Blogger?” we were taken to at least 50 answers to this question which we were expected to plough through until we found the right answer, if there was one.

Do other people feel like we do about these things?

One of the main aims of this blog is to find people who do things as we feel they should be done – how we feel people should be demanding that they be done. And to let our readers know about them.

More later.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Google – How do I log into my Google Analytics account?

In relation to this question, we found this.

So we did what it said – we went to http://www.google.com/analytics and were taken to 4 or 5 screens full of stuff, (the marketing people seem to think that bigger and bigger is better,) but, typically, we couldn’t find anything called the “Access Analytics button” anywhere, and so couldn’t go any further.

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WPBeginner – dealing with

In this post, which we haven’t finished writing up yet, we described what we, at least, are looking for, and perhaps some of our readers are looking for as well.

How much is WPBeginner like this? We’ll soon know.

This letter has just been sent to WPBeginner using the email form on its website.

It refers to a minor matter – sometimes our posts are shown as being posted at a certain time on a certain date, when they weren’t posted at the time shown on the date shown at all, which we would like fixed.

WPBeginner purports, of course, to have all the answers to all the questions we could possibly have about creating blogs and websites with WordPress, and so the answer to this question is presumably somewhere in amongst all their stuff, so four questions are raised.

Firstly, does WPBeginner have any people to go through all their stuff and locate the answer to this question for us? or are we expected to search through all their stuff ourselves? As we’ve said, we’ll soon know the answer to this question.

Secondly, if WPBeginner doesn’t have any such people, are there any such people anywhere who we could pay to search through all the WPBeginner stuff to find the answer, or is the only option for us to do it ourselves.

Thirdly, if there aren’t any such people we could pay, are there ever likely to be any.

Fourthly, perhaps there are others who are easier to deal with than WPBeginner, and if so, who are they?

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

A 23 Nov. 2019 update: Within a few hours of the letter set out above being sent to WPBeginner, this was received from a Jeremy Roberts, describing himself as a “Technical Support Specialist,” using the ordinary email address, support@wpbeginner.com, which was helpful enough.

So, it appears that WPBeginner does have people available to answer our questions – which would appear to make it a valuable resource for those authoring WordPress blogs and websites.

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People who are Intermediaries

Further to this post, in which we described how Wesfarmers has people standing by to provide helpful answers if people have problems or questions in dealing with it or any of it’s subsidiaries who can be contacted by an ordinary email address, we believe that there will start to be people who do what the Wesfarmers people do in relation to dealing with organisations who don’t have such people themselves, who we are calling intermediaries – in fact there may already be such people who provide such help in relation to dealing with an organisation like Apple. (If any of our readers know of any, could they please let us know their details so we can share them.)

To us, Apple is such an interesting example of this.

We believe there are those who, like us, are not interested in phone numbers, (a lot of what we’re told in phone conversations, even if we can hear it properly and understand it, is rubbish anyway, and there’s not a thing that can be done about it,) not interested in fax numbers, (who can even use faxes these days, even if they want to,) not interested in live chats, (they involve too much time and trouble,) not interested in going through the pages and pages that come up if we’re seeking help with particular questions and problems, a lot of which we can’t understand anyway – presumably the answers are there somewhere but we need to be directed to them, not really interested in email forms, especially when if we use them, we get responses by ordinary emails we can’t use because they re not monitored.

What were interested in is being able to use an ordinary email address to describe the matters in which we need help, which result in us getting acknowledgement of our particular email by return, not one that acknowledges receipt of just an email, and which in due course, it can days, it’s seldom urgent, we get the information or opinions we want which is of high quality, and, where we want to know how to carry out particular procedures, a step by step guide we can print out and follow.

We have always been Apple people, and to us, their support is getting worse and worse, to the point where it’s atrocious.

We have written elsewhere about one of our reader’s claims about his dealings with the Apple store at Castle Hill – how, amongst other things, the person he saw at their so called Genius Bar, (ha ha ha! ha ha ha!) was one of the rudest, most arrogant, most ignorant people he’d ever come across, who virtually mocked him for not already knowing what he was hoping to find out from him, perhaps because he didn’t know the answer himself – he claims that he certainly didn’t walk away knowing the answer he’d come to get.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Wesfarmers and it’s subsidiaries – dealing with

According to the Wikipedia article on it, Wesfarmers, described as “an Australian conglomerate,” has 223,000 employees, YET, it has an ordinary email address!!!!! –  info@wesfarmers.com.au – which can be readily located if you go to it’s website, AND, from the experience of us and our readers, there are people standing by whose job it is to provide helpful responses to emails sent using this email address!!!

Wesfarmers has more than 40 subsidiaries, including such major companies as Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks – click on this link, and you will be taken to a list of them.

(One of our readers reports that, when he was having difficulties dealing with the people in his local Officeworks store, he copied emails sent to it to Wesfarmers, using their ordinary email address and the Wesfarmers people were SO helpful, getting back to us in just a few hours.)

We are flabbergasted that there are not more companies like Wesfarmers. We can’t think of another one like it – even big ones like Apple, Microsoft, Telstra, the big banks, and so on.

To us, it’s such an incentive to deal with Wesfarmers’ subsidiaries rather than any of their competitors, that Wesfarmers is like that.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Getting help with our technology questions and problems 2

As people who have been authoring blogs and websites for many years, we are constantly getting emails from people from all over the world like this.

Sometimes we get 2 or 3 a week! Usually we just put them into a “SEOs” mailbox – we’ve just checked and note that we have 88 of them in this mailbox.

Usually they are carelessly written – calling blogs websites and so on. And often they are about one of our blogs that we haven’t worked on for years, and haven’t got round to taking down.

Occasionally, in the past, we have written back along these lines – “Would it be possible for you to let us know what you think would be the number one thing we should do to improve  our blog? – we would be more than happy to pay a reasonable fee for this advice.” And we’ve NEVER EVER, even once, heard back from them. All they’re interested in is selling one of their packages.

Another example is Apple.

Use this link to go to quite an extensive post we’ve recently put up on getting support from Apple – to us it’s complicated and messy. We’re expected to go to lots of different places to get help with our technology questions and problems, and even then, the help we get is often poor.

One of the things that modern technology enables is for information and help to be provided in all sorts of ways to suit all sorts of audiences.

We hate videos! But one of our readers claims that videos, never longer than 3 minutes, is the best way for him to communicate with the people he is trying to reach.

We prefer ordinary emails – to have ordinary email addresses we can use to send letters off explaining the help we need, even if we have to wait a few hours, or a few days to get answers. It’s extremely seldom that getting help is urgent. Apple could be providing one email address for people throughout the whole world could use in this way – why don’t they do it.

We read recently that it’s getting increasingly difficult to get people to work as shop assistants, as, increasingly, people are seeing being a shop assistant as a demeaning occupation – and going into David Jones and Officeworks stores, for instance, and trying to find someone to help us when we’re thinking of buying something, we can believe it.

Perhaps people are thinking that helping people with their technology problems and questions is a demeaning occupation?

As we say, we’re expected to go to lots of different places to get help with our technology questions and problems – why can’t Apple have people standing by to do this for us.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Getting help with our technology questions and problems 1

To us, the way in which modern technology can work to provide us with help with our technology questions and problems, as they arise, is almost mind boggling.

Potentially, we all can be getting help from the best people in the whole wide world to provide it – they can be in the room next door or on the other side of the world, it doesn’t matter. All that’s needed are lists of people and their specialisations, which can be easily provided.

(We have recently started to get help on a particular set of problems from people in Maryland in the US – so far, we ‘re not optimistic that we will get any real help.)

And the help can be provided in text form, with unlimited screen shots and links, which can be printed out and studied, and videos which we can be played over and over again – it can be almost as if we’re being helped by an individual tutor looking over our shoulder, or in a room listening to a lecture from a real live lecturer.

And modern technology makes it kindergarten stuff to pay people for their help, wherever they are in the world.

And we believe the potential is there for people to make very good livings by providing help.

Yet it doesn’t seem to be really happening! Why?

To us, there are people all over the world struggling with technology questions and problems, being held back by not having good answers, and at the same time, there are people all over the world who have the answers off the top of their heads – the former are saying, “I can’t find anyone good to help me, they’re all crooks, just wanting my money,” and the latter are saying, “There is no real demand for my services, very few out there who will pay me properly for my help.”

To us, the thing that’s the most mystifying is how few organisations there are that provide good help to those seeking to use products and service they provide e.g. (1) some years ago we signed up with an organisation the purported to enable us to send emails to fax numbers, but their support was so poor that, in the end we gave up, (2) we have written about how someone felt the support from Telstra was so poor that he and his girlfriend staged a sit-in in one of Telstra’s shops, all Telstra did was call the Police to eject them, and it was claimed that the Police who came were more helpful with they technical problems than Telstra had been, and, (3) one of our readers told us of huge problems she was having with iiNet.net.au, she claimed to have been on the phone to them for 12 hours, and when we wrote to iiNet on our reader’s behalf, our emails weren’t even acknowledged. We could go on and on and on!

To us, the answer is very simple – there have to be more an more people building up practices in providing good value for money in providing help, (just like doctors, dentists, lawyers and so on used to do before the internet came along,) and blogs and websites like this one seeks to be, to let the people know of these people.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Assistance with authoring blogs

Modern technology offers the potential for us to deal with the best people to deal with in the whole wide world, and to have them answer our questions and help us with our problems on anything, no more so than with our technology questions and problems.

As the author of a number of blogs and websites, we receive 2 or 3 emails a week from people all over the world, all purporting to be the best people to deal with on various technology issues.

We have recently decided to sign up with http://www.primadesigning.com, an organisation based in Maryland in the US, hopefully to receive assistance with our authoring of our blogs.

We’ll let you know how we get on.

In this context, a word on Just Answer.

Just Answer, of course, purports to provide answers to questions on ANYTHING, and, of course, on technology. BUT, there appear two problems with it.

Firstly, it doesn’t seem possible to use it to help us find experts we can continue to use in the future – when we ask a question, it’s referred to someone of THEIR choosing.

Secondly, before any answers are provided, you are asked to provide a nominal deposit, say, five dollars, which isn’t a problem, but what is a problem is that the internet is littered with claims that the details provided in supplying these deposits are used to take moneys to which they are not entitled and which you can never get back.

To make a comment, ask a question, or to join our mailing lists, email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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Connecting to the National Broadcasting Network (NBN)

One of our readers advises that after receiving advice in the mail that the NBN is now available in the area where he lives, he’s considering connecting to it. So he sent an email to one of his technology advisers, who’s had it connected for a few months, asking him what he thought were it’s pros and cons, and got this back.

Sounds like a real “can of worms” and lots of hassles doesn’t it.

More later!

A comment or a question? Email us at info@questionsmisc.info.

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