"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 30 October 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

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

live today.


[Commericial Web Site Pie]

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

this before.


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.


[Rates And Services]

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,

we're online.


And we suck.


[Press the Eject]

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collection of out-of-date, "More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

Web, fer chrissakes, in the New

York Times and in the Wall

Street Journal. They tell their

flunkies to order up some

presence and have no idea what

they've done or what it should

look like.


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.


[Web TV]

Not here, not on the Web. Not at

my company. Not even close.


The Web is TV by the blind.


courtesy of POP