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Heather Armstrong is the brains and the personality behind, one of the most popular blogs on the interwebs. Readers love her arty pictures, poop-based sense of humor and confessional style. And they love them to the tune of about 4 million page views a month. While many women don’t love the term “mommy blogger,” Armstrong will roll with it: “Well, I am a mom and I blog … I think what people take offense to is the ‘mommy’ part. I think people think it diminishes what we do. But for me, I feel like if you come to my website, and you see what I do it speaks for itself.”

Armstrong’s Twitter feed certainly speaks loud and clear. In this video, she describes how a long struggle with a broken washer brought a major appliance company to its knees, in less than 140 characters.

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  • Kevin Williams

    Ms. Armstrong apparently doesn’t distinguish between the “power of social media” and the “power of one million pairs of eyes”. She would have arrived at the same result even if she had a very non-social broadcast television show about her lousy customer service experience.

    If there were ever any doubt as to the truth of this statement, go see how many other people on twitter complain about defective hardware or poor customer service experiences — then follow up with the users to find out how swift the resolution to their problem was, or how many other companies offered to throw free merchandise at them to have their names printed in a positive light in front of those same million pairs of eyes.

  • Ms. Armstrong

    Mr. Williams apparently hasn’t heard the several stories I have heard from people with fewer than a hundred followers on Twitter who have complained about bad customer service and had their problem fixed promptly. Because those one hundred followers know a hundred others who know a hundred others, etc. Word travels fast in social media, and many companies (Comcast comes to mind) have caught on to this and are paying attention.

  • al

    The truth about the pen vs the sword in 141 seconds…..
    BTW- Mr W you got to be kidding!
    u joust anudder hater,

  • BornOnFire

    What in God’s name is she doing in that house to justify “4 loads of laundry a DAY”? One Newborn?Are you kidding me? I have three small children in my house ages 6, 2 and 1 “newborn”. I do about four or five loads of laundry PER WEEK! That even includes myself and my Wife’s laundry. It’s no wonder her laundry machine is broken. Sheesh….some people’s kids……

  • Kevin Williams

    Admittedly I didn’t, and I don’t. I see tweeps complain about hardware frequently, but this is the first case I’ve heard of a problem being solved directly by the manufacturer (and offers from others) because of it. Maybe stories like this don’t get covered on the news sites I read? Maybe the tweets I’ve seen weren’t from people who have achieved the “200-eyeball threshold” you describe to make a difference? I’m not sure.

    My point is that the clip above quotes you as (effectively) threatening product support with one million followers on Twitter, not one hundred; that you have a legion of followers of your blog; that you are an eloquent writer; and that you are quite possibly the world’s most celebrated domestic mother. With all due respect, is it fair to say that — all other things being equal — the average person on Twitter complaining about their washing machine has every bit as much chance of getting such a swift and comprehensive resolution as you experienced?

  • Larry

    A similar customer service was solved via old media when This American Life made a call ( and broadcast) about a women’s struggle with a phone company. (see below)
    These stories remind me of an old adage I learned waiting tables, that every business, large or small, should never forget:
    “A person who has a good experience will tell two people. A person who has a bad experience will tell ten people.”
    I suppose that with the advent of modern social media that bit of wisdom has now been, at the very least, squared.

    Buyer beware? Business beware!

    This American Life senior producer Julie Snyder found herself in a ten-month battle with her phone company, MCI Worldcom, which had overcharged her $946.36. She spent hours on hold in a bureaucratic nowhere. No one seemed able to fix her problem, and there was no way she could make the company pay her back for all her lost time and aggravation. Finally, she enlists the aid of the national media—specifically, This American Life host Ira Glass.

  • Larry

    A similar customer service PROBLEM was solved via old media when…

  • Virginia Carter

    ” most celebrated domestic mother” Mr. Williams you’ve not read Heather’s blog. She is not domestic in anyway. She doesn’t believe in arts and crafts, cooking, or even taking care of her children. It’s mostly her husband and her paid babysitter who rear her children. Heather is a working woman, mom is secondary. She loathed being called a mommyblogger, but I see she caved in.

  • terry

    Need to Know is a wonderful program but they need / must know
    the segment on Heather A’s blog was dull & inane … i just read it!
    It offers Nothing! Her readership is beyond comprehension.
    (Her husband looks like he’s contemplating divorce.)