Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bitter Bloggers: The New Better Business Bureau!

Emeril Lagasse may be a famous chef, but his restaurant in Orlando, Florida SUCKS!

There, I said it, and in doing so I have joined the ranks of folks with a blog who have used their social media platforms to air complaints against companies and services that have have not held up their end of the merchant/customer bargain. I am in good company. Well read bloggers such as Joseph Jaffe and Chris Brogan have all been pushed to the brink and then used their popular platforms to blast businesses that FAIL them as customers.

Now it is my turn, and this time it's PERSONAL!

My girlfriend is taking Culinary classes at Johnson & Wales University (where my son is also a Junior) so "chef talk" is commonplace in my world, and we like to check out well-known chefs and restaurants whenever we have the opportunity. With that in mind, since we were spending Christmas at Disneyworld in Orlando and we had never been to one of Emeril's restaurants, I made reservations for Christmas dinner at Emeril's Orlando. What should have been a pleasant and enjoyable evening turned into a culinary catastrophe that left us hungry and disappointed.

Service With A Smile?

All started well, with the Maitre'd seating us and the THREE "servers" who would be our caretakers for the meal pleasantly and professionally introducing themselves to us. Despite having THREE servers at our beck and call, Emeril's Orlando managed to do something that I have never experienced in my entire life of dining. Yes, folks, I am not a picky person at all, but this was truly a first (and the last time we will eat at an "Emeril" establishment).

I am a vegetarian and often end up ordering "off the menu" if there is no vegetarian entree choice. This is rarely an issue and, as expected, the waiter confirmed that the chef would be happy to prepare a grilled vegetable plate for me. Perfect. My girlfriend, who is most decidedly NOT a vegetarian, happily ordered from the menu - a ravioli dish. We enjoyed our wine and salads, and noted that the wait for our entrees had seemed to cross the line into the territory of "taking a bit too long" but hey, it was Christmas and we were certainly not in any rush.

The Order and the Disorder...

When our food finally did arrive, it arrived with this shocker: they did not have the ravioli Sue had ordered (FROM THE MENU) so they had taken it upon themselves to go ahead and prepare an alternate dish for her. WTF? With no warning, and no opportunity to simply choose something else from the menu they decided to serve her a meal that had no relation whatsoever to what she had ordered. The "substitute" dish was a poorly presented slap-dash mix of flat ribbon noodles, some grilled vegetables (that were likely stolen from my vegetable plate) and a thin veil of plain tasting tomato sauce. Huh?

One of our three servers explained that they ran out of the ravioli she had ordered and she should "taste" this dish and if she didn't like it she could order something else. Huh??? Now, with my food already served and her "surprise" dish in front of her, Sue could decide to wait another half hour for something else, so that she and I could effectively dine alone, me eating while she is waiting, and she eating while I digest... But I digress...

From Minor Error to Major Fail

Needless to say, Sue did not like the odd off-menu choice that had been made on her behalf, nor did she care to watch me eat while she waited for something else. The apologetic spokesman for the restaurant appeared to be the one of our three servers who, sadly, had a speech impediment that was getting worse by the minute due to his nervousness. As he spit, sputtered and stuttered his embarrassment at the mistake (I am NOT exaggerating) and offered to remove the cost of the unwanted entree from our bill, we assured him it was not his fault (though, of course, in part it was). Despite our very vocal dismay, none of the on duty management visited our table, and we had to go to the front desk twice to air our complaint to the same Maitre'd who had so nicely seated us, and who claimed to be one of the managers. He was useless, and offered no explanation or excuse, and simply said, "we took your entrees off the bill, what else do you want me to do?" MAJOR FAIL. You are supposed to make us feel like a valued customer.

What we wanted, was a decent enjoyable meal. One that, in fact, we were well willing to "overpay for" (based on other folks' reviews of Emeril's). Not paying for something we did not eat and did not enjoy (or even ask for) is hardly a substitute.

What Happens Anywhere... Ends Up On Twitter!

So, we paid for our wine and salads, and left Emeril's Orlando hungry and wholly disappointed. In the old days, that would have been the end of it. Instead, standing outside the restaurant I began my blogger's revenge with this simple Tweet.

And now I am following up my Tweet with this blog post. If in doing so, I have saved one person from having a similar dining disaster, then my work here is done. Thanks for reading, and for letting me vent.

What do you think? Is one's personal blog a valid place to air such complaints? Is the "Bitter Blogger Bureau" the new "Better Business Bureau"? Should it be? Please share your thoughts in the comments, and of course, if you have your own Emeril's experience or opinion, please share that as well.

Photo Credit: © Hugh O'Neill -

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Time flies. It is hard to believe it has been more than three years since Scott Sigler ripped open and gutted the newly emerging world of Podcast fiction with his mesmerizing tale of subterranean terror, EARTHCORE. It is not hard to believe that on December 30th 2008 Scott will have his 4th book published (and his second from major imprint, Crown Publishing). The guy reeks of talent and is every bit as good a marketer as he is a wordsmith -- and he's a damn good wordsmith! Scott's writing is, well, CONTAGIOUS!


Leveraging podcasting and social media to the max, in his own inimitable way, Scott has amassed a massive following of loyal fans, affectionately called his "Junkies." As a treat for his fans, Scott has released 12 collectible CONTAGIOUS Posters and spread them across the interwebs on a variety of uber cool websites and blogs, including my own employer, Myxer. You can get the first poster at and to get them all you will have to visit each of these sites (they are all awesome, so you won't be sorry...)

As for CONTAGIOUS itself, it is the kick-ass sequel to Scott's popular podcast and novel, INFECTED. Here is he official synopsis:

Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.

Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight of endless horrors.

These three and their team have kept humanity in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile, other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of all.
Please visit all 12 of these sites to get your CONTAGIOUS posters, and more importantly, order your copy of CONTAGIOUS now and help make Scott the first podcast novelist to hit the NY TIMES Best-seller list!

You can hear a ringtone version of the promo for CONTAGIOUS in the widget below and send it to your phone!

More from CONTAGIOUS at Myxer

<span class=

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jungle Fever (Social Media Style)

Based on the success of his first Social Media Jungle held in November, Jeff Pulver is bringing his one-day Social Media Jungle to the 2009 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). With a bigger venue comes a bigger agenda, and for the January 7th event Jeff has assembled a stellar group of discussion leaders. I am very pleased to be able to participate again and look forward to leading a discussion of how businesses can "Turn Their Social Media Addicts Into Assets!"

Here is how Jeff describes Social Media Jungle CES (and you can see the full schedule here):

"The Social Media Jungle at the 2009 International CES brings to light how the advent of social media is changing the way we work and live. Sessions include state-of-the-industry updates and a candid look at how social media disrupts the workplace by empowering companies to lower burn rates. Plus, learn how companies can motivate consumers through social media to drive product sales without increasing costs."

This will be a pretty intense day of conversations and a great day to catch up with some of the people involved in the social media industry.

Everyone in the room will have the assumed role of discussant and will be counted on to contribute to the conversation.

If you are planning to be in Las Vegas for CES we hope you will also be able to expand your expedition to include participating in the Social Media Jungle.

Registration costs: US$ 295 / 395.

To register - visit: CES Registration page

View this event on the CES website.

Photo Credit: © HenningManninga -

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, December 07, 2008

2B or nt 2B? Micro-Blogging vs. Micro-Shakespeare

They say Twitter has started a "micro-blogging" and "micro-sharing" craze. Millions of tweeple have reduced their social networking conversations to short bursts of 140 characters, in many cases in lieu of more frequent long form writing. If you can reduce blogging by such dramatic proportions, why not some of the most famous theatrical works in the English language?


In the spirit of keeping things short and sweet, last night I had the pleasure of seeing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare performed in a mere 97 minutes, thanks to the manic miniaturization skills and gigantic talents of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. To see 37 plays performed in 97 minutes (plus some sonnets and poetry thrown in as an extra Measure for Measure) was an hysterical evening of live, interactive entertainment. I highly recommend it for scholars of the Bard as well as aficionados of the abbreviated.

As an example of "micro-Shakespeare" here is the classic tragedy MACBETH, as performed by the RSC in less time than it takes to boil an egg. Enjoy!

Have you had a chance to see The Reduced Shakespeare Company perform? Leave a SHORT comment and let me know what you think!

Friday, December 05, 2008

I Can Tweet That Tune in 12 Seconds!


Ever since I joined Twitter in March of 2007 I have been experimenting with ways to use it both for my own personal edification as well as for business. From early experimentation with Daily Haiku poetry, to the launch of TwitTones, offering daily free ringtones delivered by Twitter (courtesy of Myxer), I have been looking for creative ways to establish a daily content ritual with Twitter.


With that in mind I am pleased to introduce Tweet That Tune. By leveraging the ease and simplicity of and Twitter we can have a little fun trying to identify a song from a 12 second video with the song playing in the background. It's easy to play. Every day (hopefully), I will Tweet a link to a video. Then you can Tweet your guess as to the name of the song and the artist (please add #TweetThatTune to the message for tracking.) The first person who Tweets the right tune wins! Right now all the "winner" gets is the satisfaction of being right and being first. Perhaps we can round up some real prizes in the future.

For more information and to follow the action please visit

What do you think? Does it sound like fun? Any suggestions?

As an example, here is today's Tweet That Tune:

Can U Name the song? Tweet your guess with #TweetThatTune Answer posted at 10am. on

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]