Amazon has been my favorite store (and website) for nearly a decade.
As I’ve said many times before, they are the greatest store known to man. They have saved me thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time spent shopping. They do unto customers as they would do unto themselves. They are my movie store. My book store. My music store that auto syncs with iTunes. They are a treasure trove of user data, helping me reach for products that are consumer approved and well rated so I get burned less often. They ship free and often return free.
Plus it’s just fun getting brown cardboard boxes wrapped up in shipping tape. Heck, their boxes even have a smile on them. For that, I unabashedly love Amazon.
And then they go and do something like this, as if I needed any more reason to shout my love for them from the rooftops with free word of mouth advertising: Continue reading…
Among other things, I’ve been working as a media consultant for the state of Utah this year — specifically related to Utah Lake. To help promote the lake as a tax-funded and public resource, I helped officials launch and now maintain a new editorialized website at utahlake.gov (pictured).
Local media, however, isn’t a fan — at least not yet — and rightfully criticized the site’s birth warts. “Government officials have launched a website aimed at helping locals stay home to vacation on Utah Lake, but the launch hit rough waters,” wrote Caleb Warnock, reporting for the Daily Herald. “On Wednesday, repeated attempts to find recreation information were greeted with this message: ‘The page you were looking for could not be found.'”
Not only did the site launch with broken links, there were a few proofreading errors too, not to mention editing notes that were never meant to be made public.
Kind of embarrassing. Continue reading…
Since quitting Facebook in May, I periodically visit My Life Is Average for a good chuckle. Here are some of my favorite recent stories:
This is cute: “Do we still need websites?” asks some guy writing on a website.
Next time write it on Facebook, mister, and see how that works for you.
DISCLOSURE: I regularly design and publish websites.
As this report so eloquently states, media is still best consumed with a mouse and keyboard, passive video, or with opposing hands leafing through pages of information. “Interactive media” as seen on the iPad is as useful as “multimedia CD-ROM dictionaries” from the 1990s, m’kay?
Now if you’re talking about entertainment, I’m all for gesture based interaction. But for straight consumption of information, give me visual ads, easy flowing editorial, and search.
Griffio, my web development boutique, today launched the redesign of HistoricalArts.com—a rad architectural metalwork company from West Jordan. It’s the fourth new site we’ve launched this year, and the second for Historical Arts since becoming their web vendor in 2005. Nice to finally see it live.
In addition to being a gun-for-hire, savvy readers know that Smooth Harold is also a part-time proprietor (aka entrepreneur on the side). I’m not a very good one—at least in terms of making money. But I enjoy building things. So I build websites. This is my latest.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Beta, that silly subhead you see on so many websites, has been dead for quite some time. It just took a while before someone came out and said it. Here’s my latest from GigaOM, also syndicated on CNN/Fortune, entitled “Beta is dead”:
“Beta, as it pertains to web sites, has seen better days. Not long ago, saying the word as part of your web development cycle could help land venture capital even faster than claiming “community,” “paradigm shift” or “disruptive technology.” Now, the term is dissipated and confusing.
“While the specific origin of its use is unknown, beta as a tagline was popularized by a Google with the release of Google News in 2002, and later, Gmail in 2004. From there, startups quickly followed suit. By 2006, it seemed like every new web site was “in beta.” Continue reading…
Every so often, when my technology gets out of hand, I trim fat to reduce unwanted noise — to simplify my life.
Last year, I put my RSS reader on a diet, going from over 400 subscriptions to just 67 (I’m down to 46 currently). This year I’m cutting two “unsociable” networks from my geek intake: LinkedIn, the high school year book of web professionals, and My Space, the new Hotmail of social networks.
LinkedIn is stale, lifeless, and has yielded zero fruit for me personally since first joining in 2004. So I’ve begun the archaic process of deleting my 90 connection account via email, as opposed to a simple button click and confirmation (I told you they were stale). I’ve heard the removal turnaround can take weeks. I’ll update if and when it happens.
Additionally, I’m deleting my unused My Space account after less than a year of membership. Sure it let me connect with old high school buddies, but the site is trashy and far inferior to Facebook.
So long, suckers.
File Dropper: Great for sending large files across the internets in two easy steps. Get that cumbersome FTP upload process out of my face!