"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
TV By The Blind
[Today's Suck is written by a guest reporter who's made a simple, understandable request - that we not include his name or point to his company's site. The sad part is that we don't need to name names, since this story rings true for half the sites on the Web...]
"They did it! The bastards finally did it! Damn you all! Damn you all to hell!" - Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes
So my company's Web site went
Three months ago, our new
Marketing VP stormed into his
job all full of vim and fire,
ready to roll up his sleeves and
dig in. He knows marketing, they
told us, he knows the market. He
knows what he's doing. He's done
I sent him e-mail telling him of
the prototype company Web site
I'd done, how he was welcome to
it. I told him how he could get
it completely free, how it would
let him jump-start our new
marketing campaign, how I
thought it was pretty damned
good. How, y'know, we're a
computer company and the Web is
where it's happenin' and we've
got all these servers lying
around and y'know.
He said that he'd be happy to
stop by and see what I'd done,
he said that he appreciated the
effort. But, he said, he'd
already made the decision to go
with a professional designer.
Meaning, we discover, a friend
of his. Not that he ever came by
to see what I'd done.
And so, three months later,
And we suck.
The "professional" site is
amateurish in the extreme. It
lacks style, content, or any
sense of attitude. It's a
collection of out-of-date, "More
to follow..." press releases and
technical documentation in
left-justified black text, on a
gray background. Ugly, confusing
VCR-like buttons line the top of
each page, the lack of a
blinking "12:00" the only thing
keeping a bad metaphor from
I'm embarrassed to be part of a
company that presents this as
it's face on the Web. It's like
having a cardboard sign scrawled
with our name tacked to the
front of the building.
And so we come to the crux of it
all. This isn't going to be
news, but it's my first real
contact with the slow, cold rage
that comes with seeing something
so completely fucked; that comes
from doing it right and being
They don't get it.
The chokers, the people who pay
for all this stuff. They don't
get it. You've heard it a
million times - at the water
cooler and in shot-through
newsgroups - but it's absolutely
They don't browse. They don't
keep up. They read about the
flunkies to order up some
presence and have no idea what
they've done or what it should
They're virgins who've been told
about sex and think they have a
clue. They're experts
This medium we're using is held
hostage not only by shallow,
puerile, greedhead marketeers,
but by shallow, puerile,
greedhead marketeers that have
no idea what they're doing.
You think television is bad. Ha!
At least the people who make
television can see. They watch
other shows. They compete. They
know what's going on.
Not here, not on the Web. Not at
my company. Not even close.
The Web is TV by the blind.
courtesy of POP