Archive for June, 2007

Carbon Offsets?

June 17, 2007

Can I get a carbon offset for not having any children? Even delaying having a child for a year should be worth something. Shouldn’t it?

RSS Feeds for Forums

June 17, 2007

Is there a reason for forums not to provide RSS feeds for new posts? Especially when the forum has a low rate of posting and advertising revenue doesn’t factor in? For examle, Perceptual Edge. The site has a ‘New Posts’ feature, but it still takes me going to the site to find out if anything is new. Why should I do something manually when my feed reader can do it for me?

When your site’s down

June 11, 2007

LibraryThing occasionally runs contests where LTers send in pictures of their books related to a theme. Here’s one for cooking.
But LT is down for maintenance right now so they are running an impromptu bookpile contest using Flickr. What a great way to keep the community involved and occupied during the down time! By giving the users something to do they reduce the frustration of not being able to what they wanted. Bravo! It is this kind of thoughtfulness that makes LT users friendly and supportive of the site.

Boo Who?

June 6, 2007

James says that boo.com is doomed. I’m inclined to agree.

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Type Phoenix into the big search box and hit return. Nothing. Sante Fe, nothing. Las Vegas, nothing. Huh? Try Phoenix again and click the magnifying glass next to the search box. Ahh, a selection list with Phoenix AZ, Phoenix OR and Phoenixville PA. OK, pick AZ. There’s basically no user content, OK, so say they’re new. But the weather?
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Weather.com has it as mostly cloudy and 78F, although it’s the wispy high clouds that just keep it from being a scorcher (I looked), not really cloudy and certainly no showers.
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A Shopping Experience?

June 6, 2007

Suppose you’re walking in the mall and you come to a store. It seems they’re offering some printing services but it is not exactly clear what. Before stepping through the door to find out more they want your email address.
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Well. There’s not even a promise not to spam, so maybe you enter a fake email and poke your head inside the door for a look. After you give them the email you still don’t get to look at the products, they want more information.
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At this point, I think you’re likely to say that your time and personal information is too valuable and walk on down the mall. There’s no privacy statement to say what they will or won’t do with your information. Without the web site demo to Refresh Phoenix last night I would have concluded this was an email harvester and been thankful it was a fake email they got. Only after all this information is entered does it become clear that they do business and promotional cards with the common themes from the free blogging sites.
A thorough review from a usability standpoint is in order. Involving a usability expert at the beginning would have saved time, money and generated more business.

Predict the future?

June 2, 2007

Would you have believed the current popularity of the Macinsosh, Ruby and Javascript in 2000? Now do you think you can predict 2013? Here’s how.