Photo by Oskay
I thought I should try to be a bit more positive about stuff here. It's very easy to slag stuff off. I mean I do think the majority of ads are shit, but then that is true of almost everything so is an incredibly boring thing to point out. And surely the existence of stuff that is shit is what allows us to appreciate greatness? If, as is often said, good design should be invisible, surely we need an absence of good design to see it?
Plus, a quick perusal of Scamp's comments demonstrates how depressing constant moaning is. It's a fascinating blog, that one - Scamp himself is a great read. The comments are a bit like Zoo. It says on the cover "Abi Clancy Naked". You pick it up and flick through it. You look at Abi Clancy naked. You put the magazine down, having learnt or achieved nothing, feeling depressed and and faintly disappointed in yourself. Then Nuts promises Sophie Howard and before you know it...
So you read Scamp's post, which is usually thought-provoking and interesting. You see the bit underneath that says "120 comments". And you know what is in there, but there's like 120 comments! So you click on it and emerge 10 minutes later, depressed and faintly disappointed in yourself.
Does it make sense to explain your reasons for not being negative by being negative about negativity? Hmmm.
Anyway, I was setting up a website for a friend and chose DreamHost as the host because they offer one-click installation of Wordpress (this blog will be moving to Wordpress soon - it's pretty awesome)
I entered my address details but put Surbiton in the "address" rather than the "town" line. It wouldn't let me register that way, so I moved Surbiton. But if you pick up and drag something on Firefox, it drags a copy, unlike Explorer. I only noticed after I clicked submit.
Having worked in DM for a while, few things irritate me like a badly addressed letter (I know, the coddled life I lead. Sometimes the free coffee in work isn't as hot as I'd like either). So I knew that I had just entered details that would mean I'd get a letter with Surbiton in the address twice. This gnawed at me, it annoyed me. I couldn't take it. I pressed the stop button and deleted the extra Surbiton.
And then, a great thing happened. A pop-up box opened on my screen and said "Hi, I'm a DreamHost sales bot. I'd like to offer you a $50 voucher. Click here to claim your voucher". I clicked on it and got $50 dollars off my purchase.
That is genius, isn't it? It saw me cancel my transaction and immediately weighed in with a big offer to keep me. I've rarely been made to feel so important by an algorithm. It made me like DreamHost, a fairly impersonal service selling commoditised product way more than three years of TV. Well done them.