Thursday, July 31, 2008


I haven't blogged anything for a while: it wasn't right time or right mood for that. A lot of things happening, however, not sure this is a good place to talk about them. The most of them are pretty personal.

Well, speaking about other things, I received my Blomus business card case today. I found it originally at Amazon, but end up ordering at other place. I wasn't very sure did I make the right choice, as it didn't look attractive enough on the Web. But I liked it European roots though.

It arrived today. It was a long story as well - the Fedex driver turned around while me watching at him, got back to his car and marked that he couldn't deliver the package. I called the Fedex, received the standard "Sorry", but was advised to wait for it until tomorrow. When I insisted that I want more then "Sorry", I've got connected with the local Fedex guy who finally instructed the driver to come back. No appologizes from the side of driver, except, "Didn't I call you and you never picked up the phone? Oh, maybe I called the other guy."

Anyway, now it's here. I paid for it barely $20 with shipping and handling costs included. I didn't expected too much, but the fancy design. But I was wrong. First of all, it was nice boxed.

When I opened it, it was looking great, well done and actually much thinner that it feels to be on the photo.

The Blomus logo has got a perfect placement as well. Very small, but very nice.

It opens and closes perfectly. And it fits about 12 pretty thick business cards.

Well, it might take more, but I'd better not do it. You can also check out my photoset at Flickr. This Blomus business card case worked out to be the best one I saw anywhere so far. It feels so solid and so nice that you want to have it with you all the time. ;)

My curiosity is killing me as I really want to see (and try) how the other one from Blomus looks like. You can find it at Amazon as well. I had many doubts about which one to choose. I don't have any concerns now, but I still pretty interested about the other one. ;)

So that's for now, still waiting a few more surprises to arrive, so I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I have switched all my feed traffic through the Feedburner... Hopefully, it wouldn't screw up everything. ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Interview with Olexiy and Alexander Prokhorenko, |

Interview with Olexiy and Alexander Prokhorenko, |

Thank you, Ben. ;)

However, my name is spelled wrong again because of that crazy spelling. My name is really Alexander, however, my international passport spells my name turned into Olexandr, because it first translates into Ukrainian (orig.: Александр - Олександр - Olexandr).

I was born in Soviet Union, everybody spoken Russian, my name is Alexander. However, when the Soviet Union crashed, I've appeared to be the citizen of independent Ukraine, and became Olexandr.

P.S. However, I'm lucky enough to name my son Ivan. His name is pretty universal ;) (orig.: Иван - Iван - Ivan).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Atomkeep has a new release

We are trying to keep the Atomkeep's release frequency high and introducing new release with new systems, new features, new design elements and less bugs. ;) You're welcome!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Atomkeep meets Sarah Lacy at Drinks 2.0

Few nights ago me and my brother had chance to meet Sarah Lacy, the author of Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good at the Drinks 2.0. Thanks for Andrew Warner from Mixergy for arranging such a nice event. :)

Some pictures... although Sarah Lacy looks pretty scared, I'm not that bad, trust me...

Here's me and the book. I even had chance to read it before the event. Somehow, not much people there even knew about the book at all, so I was getting questions about the book pretty often.

We're pretty pressed in time on the event so I was a little bit afraid that I'll not be able to make it, but finally, I got the book signed. Sarah is a very nice person and I'd be happy to chat more, however, too much people were around who also demanded on her attention.

Hopefully, she'll be interviewing Atomkeep one day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good to Great - good book about great achievements

I've recently finished listening to Good to Great audio book by Jim Collins. I found it to be pretty nice, but no rocket science though. However, it's good collection of common sense statements in one jar.

Recommended if you have time for it (it'll take a lot).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Customer service

I had a pretty complex professional career way. And while I'm still at the beginning of it, I already took a lot of steps to get here. So it means that I've started my career from the very grounds and I saw it all. :)

One of my first steps in IT career was a position of Support Engineer on the phone in NOC (Network Operation Center) of one of the first ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in my city, Alkar Teleport. It was about 10 years ago and Alkar was a pretty "luxurious" employer those days for every IT person in our city. It was an established company with a pretty solid team and great people relations inside. It was kind of a community for those who worked there.

I wanted to get there so much, however, there were no job openings for my job position those days (System and Network Administrator). The most technical job was Support Engineer in the NOC. It was very little about solving technical problems and finding greal solutions, but more about routine DIYs or HOWTOs that everybody hates. But I took it with mostly no hesitations, as I wanted to get in, whatever it takes. I was very sure that I can get promoted to System Administrator position shortly, and I didn't want to waste any single minute.

Support Engineer position was a 24x7 job and had two shifts: the day and night one (yeah, that were cruel days ;). There were days when I was taking both shifts. Most of the time that happen because my colleagues were getting drunk on the parties and had no chances to say even "Hi". Well, I did that (drink and getting drunk), too, so we're pretty even. :)

It was a great school for me, 18 years old, ambitious, with pretty decent technical skills (I started early), but pretty modest personal and communication abilities (lets call it that way). However, the biggest lesson that I took from there was not how to communicate, but what is it all about. I mastered how to communicate pretty easy, the first days were terrible but I quickly found the way how I can enjoy the communication process, and it worked well. It's hard to remember, but I think I enjoyed the conversation itself.

You know, sometimes people were scared talking to technical person just because they're afraid that they can't explain what's wrong and they wouldn't get the problem solved. Someone thought that being aggressive is an excuse for being lame. Well, it's not and I did my best to explain that to several of such guys (and few gals :).

We had no cliches, no templates, no scenarios or scripts (fuck the outsourced customer support lines!). The only one thing we had to say is "Hello, this is Alkar Teleport and my name is ...". It's more then enough. Everything else had the only one goal: help the person on the other side. That's it. Simple to say, but hard to achieve. :)

As I said already, it was a great school. I found myself enjoying talking to other people (well, not all of them, but still nice :) and I got some grounds of how you can help, if you really can't. That was mostly the answer to what is it all about. And the answer was simple: you can be a winner even if you can't help. Just do your best to be helpful. Don't give up too soon. I had millions of opportunities to give up just because this is not something we supposed to help with. Well, as I said earlier, I was over skilled for the current position and I could help with much broader number of questions. However, the most thankful people who even took time to call next day to my boss and say that they're very happy with the service and me, personally, were those whom I really didn't help. But I really tried to.

You can't fake your willingness to help. You can either help or try to to pretend that. And if somebody thinks you can fake that feeling, you can't. It'd be a lame try that gives you even more negative points.

What's my post about? Well, first of all this is my history thing. What's more important though is to remember what the customer service center is all about. Customer Support is supposed to be a real live person, reading your email message, receiving your call and reading the mailed letter. The job is not to follow stupid, bureaucratic and corporate-envenomed script, but help the person. Whatever it takes.

Well, sometimes you don't need your skills just to be helpful. This doesn't mean you should take this chance as an excuse and forward the person to the answering machine or hang up on him: just help or quit the fucking job. Asshole-ish customer support can end up with more problems than the person really comes with.

Here, at Atomkeep, I want every our user to know that I'll personally do my best to help anyone who contacts us. We have no scripts, no scenarios, not even "Hello, my name is ..." (although, we'll have it someday ;). All we care about is are you happy or not. I want you also to understand that we might not be able to helpful all the time. There are some things that are behind our possibilities. However, what I can assure you about is that we'll certainly do our best.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Widgets, badges, ...

HOWTO and DIY on Atomkeep' widgets — an unofficial guide.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Atomkeep's widgets. This is the typical one, mine, taken few days ago (as a picture).

So what's that? First of all, it links to your Atomkeep profile, so everyone can see your most recent information, of course, if you allow them to. To allow people to see your Atomkeep profile you need to click on the checkbox I want to share my profile and make it visible to other users in Profile Settings tab.

Okay, so going back to the widget. The icons on the right of your name are direct links to your accounts on different networks and sites. You — are the only legitimate owner of your information, so why should we point them anywhere else? Besides, what if there is somebody trying to reach you, but doesn't know how? That's the way out — find the network's link and go through it.

The most interesting thing is on the right side, the vertical status name. We've got several of them. It indicates the number of networks and sites that you're linked within Atomkeep. The more connections — the better. It's also one of the privileges indicator in our system. The most connected people are the ones who are willing to experiment (most of the time). So why not let them do that? ;)

Try us, see who are you? at Atomkeep and let us know what you think.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Atomkeep on TheFunded

Some interesting stats...

As I discovered recently, Atomkeep takes the 4th place on TheFunded Connect by the number of supporters for it. The number of supporters sounds like a relative measurement of being an interesting project.

While the 4th place is not the 1st one (and easy guess, right?), it's still better than nothing for 14 days old Atomkeep. It makes even more sense especially when you'll consider that there are 15 different companies running live on TheFunded Connect (and potentially compete for number of supporters there) and 47 more that can't make to the list, yet.

More to come, first three spots are taken by the companies that generate some cash already and make $100-250K annually in revenue. The 1st place is breaking even and want to expand their business, the other two are still struggling, but making some cash. Atomkeep doesn't make any money, yet and we clearly state this.

Well, I might be wrong considering this as a competition, although, this is just the way I am — sometimes I feel to compete with anyone :). More likely it's just a nice measurement of what are you actually doing. I like what I do. And I happy to see that people like it, too.

We've got pretty much plans for Atomkeep. It's impossible to tell you everything in just few sentences of company introduction. We made a good judgment and don't stick to just one idea. There is no golden bullet, but the more times you fire, the more chances for you to get closer to the target (even occasionally and unintentionally ;).

Some of our ideas are already in development and hopefully will show up soon. Some of them are still waiting for more resources to come. We are receiving a lot of feedback these days. While we'd be happy to make everything that we've been asked for, sometimes we've got to make decisions and to pass on something. We don't remove anything from our tasks, though, we just save them for better days.

Some of your feedback really opens up a golden niche for us. I wish I can tell you more, but my partners would kill me and throw into the ocean within the few hours after posting that. ;) So I'd better keep silence. But, please, keep getting back in touch with us! ;)

P.S. My personally thanks for Adeo Ressi, the person who stands behind TheFunded. He's a pretty nice guy and I hope to meet him for a cup of coffee someday next week. ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Позавчера Atomkeep заключил первую (дебютную ;) партнерскую сделку с небольшой нишевой компанией занимающейся подбором персонала. Как показала практика, о нас говорят больше чем пишут.

Обо всем об этом будет официальная новость в блоге Atomkeep и, со временем, на самом сайте. Ждите новостей. :)

P.S. Новый релиз на носу. Вы просили - мы сделали.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Business the AOL way

I've recently finished reading (err, listening) the books Business the AOL way by David Stauffer.

Only a few words about it: too old, too bothering, more a time waste than something valuable, unless you'd like to know more about AOL history. And even for history reasons, you should better dig the Internet - much more information in a better and more objective form.

I didn't like at all. Sorry about wasted time.