Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Jimmy Carr and the ruthless user

Back in 2007 I discovered the 8 out of 10 Cats podcast. It livened up many commutes.

But, it was badly made. Occasionally the audio would disappear from one ear. Hish and crackle were plentiful.

Image: WorthingTheatres

And? Well, at the time I was learning about standards: standards for audio, standards for website construction, standards for accessibility. By day I was hearing a myriad of rules for making better sites. And by night I was avidly listening to a podcast that knew no rules.

You see, most of the time people don't visit sites because they look lovely, or are well-coded, or boast top-notch audio quality. Let me say that again: most people don't visit websites because they look good. Web professionals sometimes lose sight of that fact.

People visit sites to have a laugh. They're out to learn something, or to buy something. They're online to chat with their friends. People like websites that are useful or fascinating.

8 out of 10 Cats was funny. I like to laugh. It was a good match.

We spend a lot of time talking about how to build websites. Isn't it time we talked about how to be funny or dramatic? Couldn't we think about useful things to do online?

Late in 2007 I gave up on Jimmy Carr and his friends. Radio Four had started their Friday Night Comedy podcast. It was just as funny, and didn't frustrate my ears.

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