Friday, January 13, 2006

Fatal flaw in Geek News Central site

The fatal flaw in Geek News Central site, a brand spanking new baby in the blogosphere, born in January 2006:

is not obvious at first glance. It's only when one attempts to interact with the site, that the catclysmic mistake is experienced first-hand.

I read this article about how iTunes is capturing data about what song a user is listening to, and "phones home" to tattle-tale, letting Apple Computer know your preferences and activities.

Read the whole story about iTunes user data capture at Boing Boing-"iTunes Update Spies":

What about a company that monitors the song titles and artists for political, anti-terrorist, or anti-government implications or connections? Many interesting questions have plagued technology-ethicists as they observe the ongoing battle between privacy rights and marketing research.

I am a marketing person, with long experience in direct response marketing. But I am even more: a consumer advocate.

Consumer rights champions make the best marketers when they master fundamental and advanced marketing principles. What is good for people will easily make providers wealthy and successful. User needs come first, before profit or publicity efforts.

But when a company, like Apples iTunes, provides a service for free, I think that company is allowed to derive some kind of benefit. Not intrusive, manipulative, or opportunistic, but letting the benign provider of a beneficial service gain something honorable in return.

So here's the comment I tried to post at Geek News Central:


ITunes is a free application. May they ask for a favor in return? I say yes.

I think that if they inform users what they wish to do, what they will do with that data, and you click on a consent button, they can darn well collect that info.

Is this not fair and reasonable, that iTunes get something out of providing such a nifty and easy to use service?

steven streight aka vaspers the grate


My comment submission failed, because I'm not registered at the site.

Guess what?

There's no "Register" link anywhere that I can see.

Am I going blind and messing up? Should I retire? What is going on here? I wanted to post a comment, I wrote the comment, I went up to Edit and Copy'd the comment (always do this prior to clicking "submit comment" or "say it"), and submitted the comment...

...and got what web usability analysts call an Unresolvable Error Message. This falls into our category of Catastrophic Error in the interactivity value of the user experience.

Catastrophic Error = Fatal Flaw

The site is dead in the water, without a "Register" functionality. If there is such a functionality, please tell me where it is. I don't see it anywhere. I went to the About page, an act of sheer desperation. I thought maybe it might be there. No.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



My back hurts too much tonight to make digital art images for this post.

Blogger had technical problems tonight with the server. So there may be disruptions in my posts and posting. I'm migrating to the "electrica", my WordPress blog that I'm slowly working on. It's nice to have a blog at an alternate host, with different software capabilities.

I think "Categories", the weakest aspect of this blog, is easily created in WordPress. You just select or create a category for each post in edit mode. You can manage a WordPress blog in many dimensions quite easily.

What do you think?

Let me know your opinion, by email or by posting a comment.


[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate



Anonymous said...

If you look below the Post a Comment Title you will see this

Post a comment

You are not signed in. You need to be registered to comment on this site. Sign in

The Sign is a hyper link

steven edward streight said...

Sorry to be a pain, but is this the best solution?

The problem is that a user expects to interact with a blog-like object via comment posting.

For a user to not know that registration is required to post comments, after the user went to the trouble of writing a lengthy remark, until the submission of said comment fails, and an error message appears, is this the best time to introduce this?

"The Sign is the hyper link" does still not tell me what to do. I click on the phrase "Sign in"? or some other "sign"?

I suggest you

steven edward streight said...

...pause and reflect.

interrupt the

steven edward streight said...

flow and begin to know.