It’s a noise that’s getting louder and it’s got to stop. I refer to
the whining and moaning of Netties whose sites have been slighted in our
Interactive Gallery reviews.
One particularly distraught fellow, who shall remain anonymous, wrote to
ask why he had not been contacted by our reviewer and given the chance
to explain how the site in question worked. You mean like Barry Norman
has to do every time he reviews a movie?
Other complaints have been equally bemusing. Someone was upset because
’the client spent loads on this and you’ve ruined it’. Another said we’d
reviewed his site too early, before the advanced Shockwave and Java bits
had been added.
I’m afraid such whingeing only serves to underline the immaturity of the
Internet as a medium and of (some of) the people who work in it.
No Web surfer who happens across one site or another has the benefit of
a pre-surf pep talk. A site is either self-explanatory and easy to
navigate, or it is not. If our reviewer is confused, or cannot find his
or her way into ’the most exciting part of the site’ (as another
complainant wittered) then it is safe to assume that a good many other
users will experience the same difficulties.
And what of this notion that a site has been reviewed too early? Whoever
heard of such a fate befalling a TV programme, a film, a book or a
Isn’t the truth that the site has gone online too early?
As most people acknowledge, Internet surfers are fickle beasts. They are
so overwhelmed with choice, and so obsessed with their own favourite
areas on the Net, that new Websites have to fight very hard for their
attention. One visit - by definition, the first - is the only chance
your site has to hook a visitor. So why on earth put your offering up
before it is good and ready?
Of course, sites do, and must, evolve. But they must also be of an
acceptable standard before they are launched. And if they are acceptable
enough to be foisted upon the Net and its users, they are ready to be
reviewed by this or any other magazine.
So hush now. And get to work on something you can be proud of.