Why I Love the Internet (to be Followed Closely by Why I Hate It)
August 25, 2004
First, the love. I like many of you have been watching the Olympics off and on, and as always I am just about as interested in the commercials as I am in the Games themselves. I find I get a lot of design/creative inspiration while watching what others are doing with television production, particularly surrounding a big event like the Olympics.
One of the commercials that have really caught my eye is a spot produced for Bell Canada. You can see the spot here (It is the middle commercial labeled wave). I'll wait.
I love everything about it, particularly the way the imagery captures the multiethnic feel of Canada and how the music builds through the commercial. I had seen this about a hundred times when I realized I really liked the song that drove the spot. But alas, no one I asked knew who it was. No problem, I have the internet.
So I start to search around. I stumbled across a site that I had no idea even existed, AdTunes. Devoted to the music of TV ads, film trailers and more, AdTunes has a quick search forum where I found my answer in all of about 3 minutes. The song was "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for a Cutie (iTunes Link). Two more minutes later I had thrown a buck in the wind and iTunes delivered the song. I never had to leave the couch. Almost made a brotha weep...
But sometimes, I feel like punching the internet in the mouth. Take this example. I design a brochure. I send it to a printer. The printer sends back 5,000 brochures that are virtually identical. Every person who gets one of the brochures sees it just as I intended for them to see it. Try this on the web. Just make sure no sharp objects are close by.
My latest stats here at bradleyboy.com show people coming with several browsers in hand. IE, Firefox, Safari, Camino, Netscape, Mozilla and the list goes on. It's like the printer sent back 5,000 random brochures with little offsets here and there, different font rendering and colors that are different from piece to piece. After designing a site for almost a week, I switched over to Windows to check it out. It looked awful. Font rendering on Windows (yes I have ClearType on) is a joke compared to OS X. And don't even get me started on the gamma difference between monitors and operating systems. And of course, the new version of bradleyboy.com has some major issues with IE/Win which I just really don't have the time for right now.
All of this coupled with the fact that some people have the misconception that this is all real easy to pull off. They have seen their kinda-geeky friend pull a web page out of his hat using FrontPage or something, without any real world knowledge of pulling off large scale sites with all these factors in mind. The line between web novice and web professional isn't as fine as most think. Don't let 'em fool ya, this is hard, frustrating work sometimes. And you thought it was all glam, right?
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