Quick, you Qwikster, Get Your Custom URLs STAT

By Communications, Media, Public Relations

This has happened several times: a client has engaged me to work with Twitter to try to capture a username that is their business name, that someone else is using.

Guess what? This isn’t easy, nor is it always possible. (I have been successful, but there are no guarantees.)

So it’s funny to me when a major brand like Netflix forgets one of the critical items on the business startup checklist: securing the business’s Twitter handle. Thanks to my friend Jamey for passing on this priceless bit.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/BarlowBrewing/status/115788536669683713″]


From TechCrunch:

Movie delivery service Netflix has just announced that it is rebranding its DVD-by-mail service as Qwikster and that it will keep calling its streaming service Netflix. . . . Netflix, naively, has neglected to pin down the @Qwikster Twitter account before launch. The account is currently owned by somebody who chooses to best represent themselves as Elmo smoking a joint.

Whoa, boy. This gaffe is going to cost Netflix at the very least, some good weed.

Gentle reminder for businesses large and small — lock in your user names and custom URLs right now, today. Or someone else will.

While you’re at it – sign up for this Friday’s Twitter for Business workshop.

 Update: Netflix Abandons Qwikster

Netflix: Will you Take Your Popcorn and Go Somewhere Else?

By Media, Social Media

I am not surprised at all about the Netflix announcement that they’ll be raising rates and separating DVD rental from streaming fees.

Come on: how many have you said or thought, for real? We’re paying one price and we can stream all we want AND have DVDs delivered to our house?

I love Netflix and have been a devoted subscriber for more than seven years. I’ve bought the service for parents, grandparents and my sister’s family. I’ve streamed movies on my iPad and watched whole seasons of premium channel TV shows (I love The Wire) on DVD.

The news, though, has seriously pissed off fans, leading to assumptions that Netflix is about to lose its hold on our hearts and our entertainment dollars. The company announced the changes via blog post generating (as of this writing) more than 11,000 comments, most negative, about the additional costs. Most people complain about the lack of selection for streaming movies, vs. what’s available on DVD. It’s a tough choice to make, but at an additional, at least $6 per month per household, one that most people will consider.

The announcement and backlash has spawned dozens of blogger recommendations for alternatives to Netflix for those taking their money and moving on.

I feel a lot of loyalty to the service and will approach the change this way; we’re planning to cut back to one DVD out at a time, and keeping the unlimited streaming. My hope is that the streaming library will improve — and fast — even if its in response to the droves moving away from Netflix.

As far as the way Netflix chose to share the information, I think time will tell whether the jump all the way into the pool approach was helpful or harmful. They could have soft pedaled it, floating the idea that they might be looking at rate changes, or done it incrementally, over time. But instead, they went ahead with the full announcement, left themselves open to feedback, comments and even hatred on their blog and on Facebook. This was brave and admirable. Now, what will they DO with that feedback? Will they back down? Change direction? Stick to their guns? Time will tell.

The changes go into effect September 1, 2011.

What do you think about the way the information was released? Are you a Netflix user? Will you switch to something else, or change the way you subscribe, based on these changes, or do you still think Netflix is the greatest thing since film was invented?