As much as I complain about getting shafted by lousy customers service and shlocky telephone answer trees, it is well worth my time to flip a positive nod to an amazing level of response. How… um refreshing!

Okay, so I was chipping away tonight at a few more examples notched off for the 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story workshop — still about at the 40% mark. For a shift, tonight I took a stab at Toondoo, one of the comic strip creation tools. I had steered clear of these knowing they might be hard to work with (limited space and possibly limited graphics), but I found Toondoo fun to work with- a lot of graphics in their library, an ability to upload your own photos, and rock solid embed code.

I spent about 45 minutes doing my first “Doo” and when I went to save, it just sat there with the spinning logo and the guy behind a curtain saying “Please wait.” An uncomfortable sign was that the top link indicated I was not logged in. I let it sit while I took a break out back, let the doggies run around. No change by the time I got back in. So I went to the page that ought to have listed by work, and it was empty. My effort had gone up in smoke.

For some insane reason, i thought to try it again. My second one was a bit better as I had learned the tools. This time, before I saved, I took a screen shot, so I’d have an example to at least show.

And darn if the same thing happened again. So I gave up, and started writing my notes up with some negative recommendations for this site. And I decided to send them an unhappy note, thinking as in most cases, where you never get a response, and if you do, it is the automated, “Thank you for your feedback. A Representative will contact you before the end of the next Ice Age.”

I sent my message at 9:40 pm.

I got a reply, not a canned auto response, a real human reply at 9:49 pm:

Give me a Mo, Alan.
We will look into this right away.
You are the first user among 17000 to come up with an interesting
problem like this.
We are concerned.
We will be right back.
We promise!

At 10:30pm I heard back from Rajendran:

Sorry for the trouble. Your story about the spotted dog is live now.

We had run into a temporary publishing glitch. As you had noticed, you
had to do nothing as the files were already properly saved.
The publishing mechanism had gone out of commission for a brief while,
and you had tested ToonDoo at exactly that moment.

That is just utterly amazing. I have spent longer time than that on HOLD with other companies.

So needless to say, I am throwing some big milk bones to the folks at Toondoo!

You had me at “reply” ;-)


  • Rajendran Dandapani

    Thanks a lot Alan!
    Those bones taste too good!

    We would love it if we could also see your published toons embedded at your blog! Do try embedding them, and let us know!

    Thanks again!

    ToonDude from

  • a. woody delauder

    I have noticed this with a few web app companies. Most noted… I had a few problems with pageflakes about a month ago… an employee replied to my message in about an hour with a response and an answer to my problem. I was impressed and surprised that it wasn’t a canned automated response

  • Alan


    Actually it is embedded- was not linking right away- Toondoo is one of the 50 tools I am using in a story creating workshop hosted on wikspace, #21 on

    and my embedded example is at:

  • Larry Ferlazzo

    I really like your list of 50 tools and the whole set-up and idea of the story-creating workshop.

    Fifty is certainly quite a good number. If you decide you want to add more you might find some additional ones on my Examples of Student Work page:

  • Alan

    Larry, thanks for the long lost of student work! I’m hoping to harvest some from there.

    And too bad you missed the movie- during the cockpit seen Samuel L Jackson directly speak to you (just kidding, I’ve not seen SoaP)

  • Larry Ferlazzo


    It’s good to see that at least one person read my article. I feel validated!


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