Introducing page translations…

I’ve been watching my stats, and although the extreme majority of traffic to my website is obviously from the US and UK, as well as other English-as-a-first-language nations, more and more visitors who don’t speak English natively are finding their way to this little website. I can even see some of the translation sites showing up in my traffic logs. Well, thanks to a plugin from WordPress community developer lovelucy, every post now has a “Translate” link near the bottom, next to the various social networking “share” buttons. It’s powered by Bing Translator and appears to work pretty well. I hope this helps some of you, and if anyone has any questions or suggestions for making the site easier to access internationally, please leave a comment or contact me and let me know!

GoDaddy's big or bigger blunder?

So earlier this week the world saw what would happen if GoDaddy were to suddenly close up shop and leave town. Reports spread quickly, and an a member of “Anonymous” stepped forward saying he is the one who brought GoDaddy to their knees.

Although this may or may not be true, GoDaddy emphatically and categorically denies that such a thing happened. They say an internal error caused the several hour outage.

My co-workers and I crunched a few numbers yesterday and it could be said that GoDaddy is affiliated with some 30 million domain names, if we looked at the right information. Maybe more, maybe less… But would it really matter? Would you like to admit that a mistake, one wrong keystroke, brought down such a huge chunk of the internet? Or would you rather hope that your customers are sympathetic to your plight, that you were an unfair target and they were the collateral damage of a DDOS attack by “some nasty hackers.”

Was their mistake causing their own problem? Or was their bigger mistake admitting it? Does that open them up to a wider swath of people who want to leverage a class action lawsuit against them? They may have had a lawsuit dropped on them either way, in fact you can nearly be certain it will happen, but will more people be likely to pile on without remorse knowing that GoDaddy themselves caused the issue? It’s hard to say for sure, but I think GoDaddy may have slipped up big, this time.

How Microsoft over-thought Windows 8's Start Menu

When I look at the Windows 8 Start Menu, I see what a lot of other people see. Clutter. I’ve heard it from so many people, that the new start menu looks like a mess. There are so many icons it is overwhelming.

Microsoft’s great researchers and usability statisticians came back after Windows 7 and said the Start Menu is dead! Someone, high up in the ranks of Microsoft, decided that nobody uses the Start Menu anymore, they put the icons they want on their desktop, for faster access! And in their brilliance, during this eureka moment, they realized they could just put the icons on the desktop.

Microsoft tried this before. It was the original basis of Windows. Windows 95 brought us the Start Menu for the first time. But before that? In Windows 1-3? There were simply icons– on a Desktop.

So with Windows 8, we see a return to form, but people don’t like it. It’s obvious why, as well. Although I’ve seen desktops with literally dozens, maybe hundreds of icons, I think most people have a few more icons than they would like on their desktop, but overall most people keep it pretty clean. The thought went from “nobody uses the Start Menu anymore,” to “users just put the icons they want on the desktop,” to “let’s just put everything on the desktop.” This is where I audibly sigh.

People don’t use the Start Menu actively, but they do use it passively. In other words, the thought process should have noted the phrase “icons they want” are what people put on the desktop. They “passively” use the Start Menu by hiding the things they don’t want, within the Start Menu. When you install an application in Windows 8, who knows how many icons will end up “on” (not in) your Start Menu. Hiding them, manually, is just a pain. It’s just another one of those things that is messy and not clearly thought out in Windows 8.