24 Mar 2006

self advertising is annoying

don't you hate it when a tv channel advertises itself on the same channel you are watching? hey, i'm already watching your damn channel, there's no need to remind me what channel i'm watching.

this stuff extends a bit into the online world as well. recently, after the release of netnewswire 2.1beta, i registered for a newsgator account. the reason is i work on a mac and linux machine, and sometimes i want to procastinate a bit on my linux box and check out my rss feeds -- and the nice way to save time is to use newsgator to sync what i have read online and use their free online version on linux using firefox, and netnewswire on my mac.

problem is newsgator online is javascript heavy, and therefore really slow when switching between feeds. when i say slow, this is compared to bloglines, which has a basic interface, but is surprisingly snappy. i get around 5 seconds of complete ui stall every time i switch feeds or click on "mark all as read". the upshot is that it looks nice, i couldn't stand the ugly bloglines interface.

today i started getting this advertisment that is not clickable and uninformative:


if you read it, it says:

coming soon to newsgator online. we are making some significant changes to newsgator. these changes, are driven by user requests, are coming soon to a computer near you.

you will be able to add feeds by selecting the "add feeds" link:
lack of capitalisation is my edit. reason is i can't cut and paste that message because they decided in their infinite wisdom to put that stuff in an image. there are two problems with that passage above:

1. OK!! i get it!! you are working to improve your service, that is is great, especially for a free product. but do you really need to tell me that or do i really need to know? i'm already using it. why don't you talk about that on your front page and and advertise that to people who are "considering" to use your service?

2. second thing is, your so called "improvement" is already there in the version i'm using -- the add feeds link is right there on the top left. so what is different? am i getting some weird ad rotation?

see, i wouldn't mind if they advertised newsgator for outlook, their paid version. but even then, i would think that they have user agent details and can tell that i am using Linux rather than Windows, so there would be no point advertising to me. given that they know so much context about me because of the feeds i subscribe to, you would think that would be a good place to put a relevant ad, somewhere that a tech company might think of buying. because if you are using newsgator, chances are you are pretty clued in about computer related things, and therefore maybe a group of people that advertisers are trying to reach.
the equivalent of this would be microsoft windows having a popup every time you open IE saying, "hey! you know what, we're working on IE7, but it won't be ready until, well, 2007. so hang tight there buddy. we're going to give you an even more horrendous interface for a browser."


oh don't get me started on how incomprehensible IE7's interface is. why the hell did they decide that the address bar should be above the menu bar? what piece of ui research did they use to think that is a good idea? the mind boggles.

You can reply to me about this on Twitter: