Thursday, November 19, 2009

Web 2.0 Fail

I watched a documentary tonight on the CBC called "Up Against the Wall". It was about how, since 9/11, a number of countries have erected physical walls with the intention of stopping migrants from the developing world from crossing into their countries. (Examples were the US/Mexico wall; the walls built in Spain to stop migrants from crossing from Morocco into the EU; and the wall Israel is constructing between Palestinian and Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.)

Very informative about the laws of unintended consequenses and, I thought, a very useful documentary to share with my co-workers, who constantly seek to keep abreast of developments in the area of migration and immigration policy and practices. So I went to the related CBC website and sought to find out where I could find a way to order a copy of the doc from the producers, "Stormy Night Productions", to add to our library.

And got this message: "You must have a minimum of Flash 5 installed to view this site."

To quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Aw. That's a shame."

Does the production company know how many people they're locking out, and how many sales they're losing, because their gee-whiz website development assholes are fixated on offering only the latest gee-whiz thing?

Who knows. I know they lost one sale today, and I know that I am heartily sick of the recent trend of not including low-tech versions of websites for people on dial-up, or people who haven't downloaded the latest version of Flash, or Quicktime. Do these web whizzes even understand that thousands of government or corporate users can't install new software because they need permission from IT to do so?

Anyway, no sharing of this very worthy documentary with my team. Too bad.



Blogger Mike said...

I've seen that marketing issue for years and there is no cure unless (gasp) someone in the front office were to say, "Cut this out! We're trying to be customer friendly!" And front office people are afraid of the Internets, so that won't happen.

Which works both ways, I hasten to add. Just had to move the folder of bookmarks for all my daily stops from Firefox to Chrome because Firefox has a conflict with a particular level of Flash that is necessary to run Quark, which is necessary if I want to make money with my computer. I'm not upset that Quark has a high level of whiz-bang, because it's supposed to. But how could Mozilla, inundated with these complaints on their support forum, simply suggest that you uninstall Flash and Real Audio so you can use their browser?

Never mind the customers -- full speed ahead!

7:49 a.m.  
Blogger Carl said...

Flash 5 is not the latest anything. It's very, very obsolete. In fact, I'd be surprised if it worked with modern browsers.

2:35 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

You both make points about why the experience is so screwed.

Bottom line is: consultant web designers care about the gee-whiz demonstration for clients, and not about users.

Kind of depressing, actually.


9:18 p.m.  

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