Now This is Authentic: Using YouTube to Mea Culpa

Uncategorized Posted Jan 27, 2008 by metropolis

When it comes to newspapers, I’m still a print kinda girl.

I’m good about reading Scott Kirsner’s Innovation Economy column in print every week, but I have to confess that I sometimes forget to pop onto his blog to watch the accompanying videos. (If I do this at work, I always worry that my colleagues will think I’m watching TMZ videos.) But I finally caught up today with the videos associated with Scott’s story last week on Nuance. In this video from the Globe site, a Nuance executive, Peter Mahoney, demos the Tom Tom 920 GPS system, which uses Nuance’s speech-recognition technology. But when Scott gives him “Morrissey Boulevard” (the Globe’s address) as a test address for the GPS, the Tom Tom can’t find it. So the demo casts a little cloud over an otherwise positive article.

YouTube to the rescue! Mahoney posted a follow-on video, which Scott in turn posted on his blog, wherein Mahoney endearingly says something like, “I did a pretty horrible demo of this Tom Tom device, really one of the worst ones I’ve done in my 20+ years of doing technology demos. After my wife got done laughing at me, she said that when she used to work at the Globe in the early 90s, she saw the full address on letterhead, and it’s really William T. Morrissey Boulevard.”

Mahoney goes on to repeat the demo, using the full name of Morrissey Boulevard, and of course it works like a charm. But he also acknowledges that this type of snafu points out that the industry still has some work to do.

Kudos to Mahoney and his PR brethren at Nuance. This is a textbook and cutting edge way of repairing a demo damage. (We’ve all been there.) Points to Mahoney for being funny, honest and self deprecating. We’re smiling and cheering for Nuance by the time we finish listening.