Our Top 10 Flubs and Failures of 2012

Michael PhillipsA few weeks ago Takeshi did his annual top 10 accomplishments post. I love those things. Despite being right here in the middle of everything that he lists, it’s still a little overwhelming to see it all in one place. “Man, did we really do all that?”

We were joking that we should do a “top 10 failures” post, and laughing and laughing, and then I thought, “Hmm, you know, maybe we should.”

No one is perfect, and we usually admit when we’ve screwed something up. But we’ve never grouped together a year’s worth of flubs, failures and fsckups for your entertainment.

Until now.

Without further ado, here are our top 10 flubs and failures of 2012. Feel free to point and laugh.

10. WE CAN’T EVEN GIVE ‘EM AWAY
We ran a contest on Facebook to give away a Kindle Fire, and no one entered. Granted, it was an overly complicated and arguably stupid contest, and we were pretty new to Facebook and contests on Facebook – but still. You’d think someone would snap a lousy cell phone pic for a free Kindle! It’s still here, by the way, in the box, waiting for someone to give it a good home.

9. GET THE %$#* OFF OUR HASHTAG, @$$HOLES!
We experimented with promoted Tweets on Twitter, and figured we would use the first one to give away free SQL hosting! Only problem was, the people who use #sqlhelp felt intruded upon, insulted and degraded by our ad. Even though it was promoting something we were giving away for free. And even though Twitter was not supposed to put the add on every hashtag that contained SQL…just on #sql. Specifically.

8. WE CAN’T EVEN GIVE ‘EM AWAY PART II
Javascript Saturday was a new and cool (and sold out!) event that took place here in Los Angeles. We thought it would be magnanimous of us to get someone in for free. At that point we had run a few very successful Facebook conference ticket giveaways, so this one seemed like a sure bet. Only no one entered. I blame EdgeRank.

7. GOOGLE PLUS SOMETIMES CONFUSES US
We like Google Plus, and thought it would be useful to use Google Plus “events” as upcoming outage notifications. Maybe we should have read the fine print, because the response was not good. But on the plus side (get it?), we learned what G+ events are really for. Now we know.

6. I’LL BE BACK…OR NOT
We ran an article about Arnold Schwarzenegger called, The Governator is Back – with a Think Tank and an Awesome Pair of Rainbow Socks. We weren’t, you know, mocking him or anything, but we thought it might be funny to try to get a Twitter hashtag to trend, or go viral, as the kids say, so we added the #schwarzeneggersocks hashtag to the article and Tweeted it a few times. About 50 people used it in the first hour, which was encouraging, but then the use went to, oh, around zero. Maybe Arnold isn’t the compelling draw he used to be.

5. GOOGLE PLUS SOMETIMES HATES US
One of the great features on Google Plus is Hangouts, which are really just multi-user video conferences that happen inside the G+ framework. For our inaugural hangout, we decided to have an open agenda, freewheeling, anything goes chat. We equipped a bunch of people in the office with cameras, set a date, blogged about it, Tweeted it, talked about it on Google Plus, and then on the day of the Hangout – we chatted with ourselves. And one guy from Greece, who was very nice. We’re still going to do Hangouts, but next time we’ll have a specific topic, and we’ll pay a bunch of actors to pretend to be interested.

4. HERE WE ARE NOW, ENTERTAIN US
Prepping for a Google Plus Hangout and broadcasting to crickets is one thing, but driving to a Code Camp early in the morning and prepping a presentation is a little more involved. We had done it a few months previous at another Los Angeles Code Camp and had a good turnout and a rambunctious crowd. But when we tried the same thing at the Fullerton Code Camp, we ended up in an empty room. Two people were there at the beginning, but I’m pretty sure that one of them was just looking for a relatively empty room to eat breakfast. The other quickly sneaked away, which is a considerable feat when you are half of the audience.

3. ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT
We send out an email newsletter on a – roughly – quarterly basis. But late last year we were talking about a newsletter and realized that we hadn’t sent one out in 2012. All year. In order to avoid missing a complete year, we got one out in December, just under the wire. But they’re scheduled now, so you’ll be seeing one quarterly. Even if we have to make up news, or cut and paste from the National Enquirer.

2. IT FEELS GOOD TO WIN
DevProConnections magazine (formerly known as asp.netPRO magazine) runs a Reader’s Choice poll every year. And every year since its inception in 2005, DiscountASP.NET has won the award for Best Hosting Services. Until 2012, when we placed second behind Amazon Web Services (which, if you ask me, isn’t really hosting, but I digress). Is it a failure to come in second behind a multi-billion dollar company? Kind of. When you’ve owned the award for seven years running.

1. THE LAND OF THE LOST
This one comes from 2009, but it is a failure on such an epic and wonderful scale, that I had to include it here. For old time’s sake.

3 thoughts on “Our Top 10 Flubs and Failures of 2012

  1. Will do. Are you on Google Plus? I think we’ll give it away over there and cut those ingrates over on Facebook out of the loop. 😉

    Edit: I see you are. Join our circles!

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