Fake Stephen Conroy Twitter account censored by Telstra?

March 17, 2009

The @stephenconroy Twitter account has ‘reappeared’ since the initial writing of this article. It was certainly down for us (which the SMH also points out below).

– Telstra has published some ‘facts’on the situation (here):
– @StephenConroy has stated he has been asked to stop Twittering (here).

Much more than a prank – a piece of Twitter History:
So the Twitter account @stephenconroy as written by Leslie Nassar, a Telstra employee, was today shut down. Whilst some called Nassar a prankster, those who followed @stephenconroy know that this was a brilliantly written, satirical, entertaining and fun parody that was never in doubt as a fake. In fact it brought some well needed humour into a debate about censorship and the internet filter in Australia. We even played a part publishing a list of suspects (which really was all part of the fun and quite the opposite to being a witch hunt as some saw it).

image Even the real Senator Stephen Conroy seemed to think the character was healthy satire (as stated in an SMH article), and >1500 followers on Twitter were regularly drawn into @stephenconroy’s daily musings and conversations. Amongst the followers were many of the “Twitterati” (high reach Twitter users) as well as journalists and other key influencers. It is safe to say that Nassar has a strong base of support in the community.

The Censorship Debate:
It raises an interesting debate and all eyes will now be on Telstra to handle the matter with dignity and fairness. There is clearly a conflict of interest for the corporation given its pending deals with the government. However most neutral observers would agree that Nassar kept the debate a considerable distance from his employer. The broader reaction has been one of disappointment at the termination* of the @stephenconory twitter account (although it is suspected that Nassar may have removed this to avoid conflict with his employer). Many consider the profile a part of Twitter nostalgia given the brilliantly written tweets that were posted daily. History has shown that brands that censor rather than support in these situations do not fare well. We’ve set up a poll below to let you voice your opinion:

Did Telstra make the right decision in silencing @stephenconroy?

If you feel strongly (ie: should Telstra ask Mr.Nassar to continue to run the @stephenconroy account please post a comment below).

Todays smh article:

Click image to visit SMH story above.

BigPond connects to customers with Twitter

October 8, 2008

Telstra BigPond recently launched its new “support channel” to find and assist BigPond customers through the popular micro-blogging application, Twitter.


The BigPond email support team is watching for conversations about its services, jumping in to assist when necessary.

Since launching nearly a month ago, Telstra’s approach has been widely criticised for being too “robotic” and it appears the criticism has been noted, with a noticable change in tone of the @BigPondTeam in the following weeks.

Though not the first aussie Telco to jump onto Twitter – Internode have been publishing news items since May – they’re the first to be directly interacting with customers. Not surprisingly, Internode have started to directly communicate in the last week. iiNet have also come to the party, but with very few updates.

Optus, interestingly, don’t appear to be interesting in Twitter. @Optus has no updates and is probably  just acting as a placeholder.

BigPond are probably taking a leaf from Comcast’s book, here. Six months ago when TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington was having trouble with his broadband connection he tweeted this (warning: NSFW language) but, Comcast were watching.

You can see a fantastic Flickr photostream of Telcos and ISPs on Twitter by Mark Pollard. Also be sure to check out his collections of other companies on Twitter.

Long iPhone Queues in Australia. Sold out? Almost…

July 11, 2008

I’ve never seen anybody in this Optus shop on Oxford street, Sydney, but today the line stretched way back with people lining up for a good old distance – desperate for the next big thing in mobile – the 3G iPhone. With it taking 30 mins to sign each person up, this is one slow moving line. What most of the people in the queue don’t realise is that there are only white 8Gb iPhones left (seriously we do wonder why anyone would want a destined to look really grubby white phone), and there’s a 3 week wait for new stock. I imagine Optus will be doing swift business as their packages include 700MB of data for $79 and no upfront fee for the iPhone. Vodafone appear to be about $200 more for the same kind of plan.


The latest stats are that iPhone users are 5 times more likely to access the internet than regular mobile users so this is actually good news for the digital industry.

iPhone pricing announced for Optus Australia 3G

July 3, 2008

Full pricing from Optus (here).


The lowdown:
$0 on a $79 Cap plan over 24 months which provides $550 of calls, plus 700MB of included data.

No news on Vodafone as yet…

The lazy toads at Telstra

January 16, 2008

lazy telstra shop wokers

I’ve just returned from the Telstra Shop, with my Creative Director, after waiting 1o minutes for someone to serve us. Whilst waiting, I snapped these 4 lazy shop workers with a demo phone, emailed it to myself from the shop and hey presto – it’s up for the world to see. Hardly a tabloid scoop, but I quite like the idea of busting their idle asses with the product they should have been selling me.

Next time you’re near a telstra shop, go in, take a photo on the demo phone and let’s see what gems we can gather.