Wednesday, February 27, 2008

23) The user view versus the company view

I came across a very interesting website for a GPS tracking system for vehicles called GPSMate.

This company has two products for sale. The first product is for individuals, the second is for companies. I am going to paste the details of each and then discuss the specific language used to target each audience. Both products are designed for the reporting of driving activities. I will change the font on the points for discussion to Bold Red.

What is BuddyTracker? BuddyTracker is an online service for GPS tracking and position sharing. offers buddy tracking and vehicle tracking services and many integrations to third party applications.
With BuddyTracker you can follow people and objects that have a GPS with an Internet connection. You can also share your own position by connecting your GPS to

Note: You are always in control as you decide if you want to be seen, and who you are visible to!

Product number 2 for companies VehicleTracker
GpsGate VehicleTracker is a web based vehicle tracking application. It is available both as a hosted solution at and as a server product. If you are looking for your own vehicle tracker installation have a look at our GpsGate Server here.

With VehicleTracker operators can follow their vehicles in real-time and display historical track information for selected vehicles. Track data can be exported in KML and CSV (Excel) formats for further processing.Access rights are defined for each operator for a set of vehicles and each operator has a personal account for security and flexibility reasons.You can also get read access to your database, the possibility to translate and re-brand your user interface as an option.

Fascinating language

I think this web site has done an excellent job of defining the view of CRM, from the perspective of the user and the company.

User Language: The term "Buddy" is a friendly term containing no element of threat. You can "Share your position" infers you have complete choice over this decision to again lower the threat level of this product. In case you don't quite believe this, there is a final, separate point, highlighted by an exclamation, that provides comfort in knowing that you can always turn the system off, and decide who sees where you are.

Company Language: We aren't tracking our "Buddies" (People) anymore, now we are tracking "Our vehicles".

For "Security and flexibility reasons", our company can deny access to the the system by operators of our vehicles. The "Comfort language" here, is that we can keep people from turning off the ability to track our vehicles, or see the information we are recording.

Now, I know that GPS transmitters are used in trucks all over the world and these systems offer huge benefits. If I was a driver, on a highway, with a load of plasma TVs, it would also be comforting to know that my company knew where I was. I am also sure that in today's tight labor market, companies spend little time harassing drivers over frequent bathroom breaks. In companies that have chosen to monitor human behavior with GPS tracking, I wonder if drivers have employed "Gaming" techniques, but I have no concept of what they might be.

Users want to be able to avoid tracking, and companies are seen as wanting to enforce tracking, because users want to be able to avoid tracking.

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