This morning's temporary YouTube overload didn't bring civilization to its knees. But I love the error message, "please include the following information in your error report" followed by a page of spew. My knowledge of software engineering is years out of whack now, but I have to ask: If you can deliver this data to the user's browser window, why do they then need to cut and paste it into an error report?
"Some blogs, like TechCrunch and Mashable are so loaded with widgets that they take at least 30 seconds to fully render," gripes a post by frequent Valleywag commenter Alan Wilensky. So true! When I was a website producer, I used to plot page load times versus daily pageviews. Load speed affected traffic — and hence revenue and brand reach— far more than I could convince my managers.
Sometimes a picture is worth 100 words. Note the "VA" up top, too. (For non-Valleys, Google Street View shows where Yahoo's famous roadside billboard sits along the San Francisco onramp to the Bay Bridge.) Yahoo's lavish parody of a Holiday Inn sign went up during the craziest part of the Web 1.0 boom. The message — "A nice place to stay on the Internet" — was crafted to counter the conventional wisdom that Web surfers used "portals" like Yahoo for a quick search, then clicked away to spend their time at "destination" sites somewhere else. Yahoo needed to convince investors and everyone else that its site was a destination, not a portal, and that it was "sticky" even though everyone eventually went somewhere else after a few minutes. Hence the Internet-motel metaphor. Pop quiz for geeks: Can someone calculate the monthly electric bill for this thing? (Photo by Ben Roodman)
While the direct effects of the WGA Strike have been well-documented ($3.2 billion in economic impact, the cancellation of the Golden Globes, the greenlighting of Quarterlife), it's harder to quantify some of the strike's more indirect effects. For example, if the Writer's Strike had never happened, Heroes probably would not have gone on hiatus until the summer, which means that the world would likely never have been subjected to the latest nonsensical video ravings of Milo Ventimiglia's Divide Social Club. The group, which consists of the aforementioned Mr. Ventimiglia and two of his meathead buddies, was founded in March of 2006, but it wasn't until Milo found himself without steady employment a few months back that the group's work began to take off. And by take off, we really mean devolve to a level of inanity that makes Chris Crocker look like Daniel Webster. Take, for instance, the video clip above, which documents Milo and his pursuit to eat poolside nachos ... with sour cream.
Have you forgotten that it's Audit Bureau of Circulation time? Whee! People's sales declined, probably because a steady diet of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears grows tiring after a while; we need some hot new celebrities to hit the rehab circuit and, sorry, Amy Winehouse just won't cut it. Over on the serious side of things, Time takes a massive hit, dropping 17.1% in paid and weekly circulation against the same period last year. A Time spokesperson claims that the drop is a result of the magazine's heroic struggle for transparency—shedding copies distributed to doctor's offices and the like—and that the industry will eventually be forced to follow suit, which sort of jibes with our theory that it's all part of new managing editor Rick Stengel's plan to make sure there are only seven people who read Time, but that those seven people absolutely savor every single word. [WWD]