Three Lessons from My Week Away from LI
You may have noticed I reran content last week (*gasp*) so you’d not be lonely. That was because a handful of really stupid things happened and I needed to deal with the dumpster fires first. Fortunately, there were some lessons I can share with you from this whole shebangabang, so maybe you can not make the same mistakes I did.
Mistake The First: Inhaling that Virus
The weekend prior, I was very ill. I thought it was because my husband went out and bought a pocket-sized electric car and then almost stranded himself just outside the Dallas-Fort Worth airport at like 8 p.m.
When I ruled that out, I thought, hey, maybe it’s because I now officially have less than 365 left in my 30s.
That wasn’t it, either. It was just stupid, stupid viruses. These were extra smartly stupid.
Mistake The Second: Not Putting My Needs First
During the car fiasco and the turning-39 disaster, I was spending a great deal of time engaged in virus-driven activities, if you get my drift. You can’t stop me, viruses! I shouted, weakly lifting my fist and waggling it about. I promptly fell down.
When I realized I was not going to make it on a content delivery for the next day, I called my backup team. My own personal people who help me when I’m in deep, deep water responded quickly and got to it. So, I started out putting my needs first, but I am nothing if not determined to spoil my own best-laid plans.
I got lost along the way because of Monday morning. Despite being extremely weak, I rolled myself into the chair to hand off the deliverable that the team at In The Cloud Copy handled for me to the client, and waited for requests for changes. There were a few, and it was entirely my fault (the biggest was some confusion about word count — I picked the lower number and got whammied).
That’s where I should have gone back to the team and asked them to fix the thing. But no. That would have been the easy, self-caring route. I instead struggled through each of the comments and changed things the best I could see to do it.
It took me about six hours to complete work that could have easily been put to bed in an hour or two. We are most definitely our own enemies sometimes.
Mistake The Third: Not Enough Testing Before Unleashing the Bots
Thursday or Friday, I was playing with some automations to help me stay more organized. See, I have like six main email boxes because I act as a content manager for many of our larger clients. In that position, I sometimes need to interact directly with their clients to get information, clarify things, address problems, etc. The clients that hired me (not their clients) pretty much all prefer I use an email with their domain name and not my own for these communications.
And that’s fine. But when I have six channels of incoming mail, plus things like Trello boards, Facebook groups, Airtable tables and LinkedIn messages flying at me from all directions on Monday morning (before I’ve even had my tea!), I just can’t. I need to make the world small, so my brilliant idea was to scoop all that stuff into one master email box that would look like an AI Bot.
To be clear, Bucket Johnson, our newest InternBot, is not intelligent enough to be called “AI.” He is also not artificial. I cobbled him together with all kinds of leftover ones and zeros I found lying around my workbench. Despite this glistening pedigree, he was malfunctioning hardcore.
See, Bucket was supposed to get all those emails and Trello messages and whatnot, then send out an appropriately polite message based on where the first message came from (I sure hope this all makes sense). So, if he got a message from an email, he’d email that person back and let them know the time frame for a response. He’d send a different message to Trello that fit the format better. This is the job Bucket has been tasked with.
Bucket did fine in dry runs. Bucket did not do fine in real-world trials. Of all of the clients of my clients to be assaulted by a Genuinely Stupid Bot (GSB), the one who would be least likely to think anything about it was the one he responded to.
Thank kittens, it could have been a problem with others I could name.
From now on out, no rushing on the bots. Take it slow. They have a lot of things to learn, and they don’t need to be using clients for practice! They can provide much-needed manpower for predictable, repetitive tasks, though, so don’t count them out just because my darling Bucket is a little GSB….
Even in the future, the bots are sassy.
Where’s That Giant CTA, Kristi?
Hang on, guys, I’m getting to it. Even here at In The Cloud, we make mistakes, like deploying our bots into the field before they’ve been properly trained. But we also do some really awesome things, like working as a team to make sure your materials get to you on time, despite spending our birthdays within a few steps of the nearest bathroom with a tablet in hand so we don’t miss writing time.
And hey, maybe it’s the dehydration talking or maybe this was one of Bucket’s ideas, but some time last week we launched a from-the-dirt, complete website construction and content package for a one-time fee of $1,000. That’s right, for my birthday (and Bucket’s!), you can get a whole new website with all the cool words and images the kids are into, plus our own SEO guru’s delicate massaging.
We can’t promise you the first spot on Google, but your customers will be able to find you easily.