Dr Mumbo

Go rate yourself – NBN style

Dr Mumbo knows what it’s like to have people point out his mistakes – but it’s been a long time since someone printed out one of his articles and corrected it by hand, only to photograph it and send it back to him on Twitter.

Actually, that has never happened to Dr Mumbo.

But it has, it seems, happened to news.com.au technology writer Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson who has been corrected pen-and-paper style by NBN PR head Karina Keisler for an article on the network ‘rating itself’.

Dr Mumbo notes the mixed-media dispute began when Dudley-Nicholson tweeted: “Frustrated by the NBN? It gives itself a 7 out of 10” – linking to her article. (Dr Mumbo, in his bid to help out in the peer review process, also notes the original tweet, screencaptured below, included a headline which indicated the ranking was only 1 out of 10).

Keisler responded with a corrective pen, which Dr Mumbo thinks may have been more intimidating if penned in red.

First Keisler weighed in on the headline, drawing a box around the words “rates itself” and noting: “rating provided by customers”.

Then she attacked the suggestion the NBN “blamed” individual ISPs for negative sentiment, saying: “No. We pointed out various links in the chain”.

Then Keisler settled in, tearing Nicholson’s homework – err – story apart.

The story said the NBN “rated itself” – “rubbish” Keisler scrawled, before noting the story even had the cost of the “$46 billion” network wrong.

“$49bn – this is well publicised.”

Moving from what she saw as factual errors, Keisler then offered Nicholson some style tips after the story noted: “The company revealed the score following pressure from an increasing number of vocal, frustrated users…”

“Unrelated but dramatic,” Keisler offered, before saying it was information declared regularly – “at its annual results as it does every year”.

Kiesler then moved back to the numbers and the story’s claim that “Less than half of households and businesses who could connect to the NBN actually did so” – responding: “On day 1 this number is 75% (above target) at end of migration window”.

Keisler’s final comment barely hid her incredulity when Nicholson wrote the NBN reported “just” 2.4 million active users.

“Really?” she responded.

Dr Mumbo gives this peer review exercise a 7 out of 10.




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