Wasn’t just Gilchrist?

While millions of cricket lovers were rejoicing the Deccan Chargers’ win last Sunday, little did they know that their joy is not really due to Adam Gilchrist, or any of the other 10 Hyderabad players, but the “real reason” DC won is because of “water flowing in front of [Deccan Chronicle’s shops & offices]”.

Says who? Says Business Standard. Or someone who has just posted there. I can’t see any name (of a writer or a reader who might have posted this as an opinion). Just that it is under “Opinions & Analysis”. “[T]hose who know these things” they say…. Can anyone tell me what these “things” are? Is the writer of the piece so afraid to bring up names like “Vaastu” and “Feng Shui”, lest they be labelled as un-modern?

Feeling WTF? Of course I am. Last I checked, Business Standard was a business periodical, not an occult evangelist magazine.

Thank you Pallavi for enlightening me about the “Chinese Whispers” column in Business Standard, which is a satirical piece in the otherwise serious business daily. I’m sorry if anyone from BS or its readers/fans were upset with what I wrote. But then, there is one observation about the web version of the paper. The page’s contents do come across as genuine, and to read them as satire, one needs to be a Business Standard regular. Maybe something can be done there so people like me are not misled into believing that the paper actually endorses the views on the page.

Smart Web – How Smart?

While reading this Rediff.com story about Maruti Madhavrao Phad, a Maharashtra government employee who got injured during the recent terrorist attack on Bombay, I noticed something.

It is not related to the story as such. If you scroll down to the end of the story you’ll see the credits for is particular story. It reads “Image: Maruti [Get Quote] Madhavrao Phad at his home. Text: A Ganesh [Images] Nadar. Photograph: Uttam Ghosh

See the screenshot of the line. Notice the yellow areas? These are smart tags which apparently the engine parsing the code of the pages inserts to “enrich” the user’s browsing experience, by providing additional information related to the content the user is browsing through at the moment.

Note the word “related”? Now see what the yellow highlights in the image show. “Get Quote” for Maruti. Here Maruti is the first name of the hero of the story, not the name of a car-making company. Yet, the Rediff engine treats it as the company’s name, and is offering you stock quotes for it. And for Ganesh, the link is a Rediff search link with the string “Ganesh” – marked “Images”. Which means that it would return images of the Lord Ganesha, and other celebrities called “Ganesh”. Not images of the author of the article in this case, A Ganesh Nadar.

And both these tags are intrusive, they not only break the text they are placed in, they break proper names of people. Intrusive and irreverent. Considering the tone of the article, even more so.

Were they really necessary?

Published… not quite :)

klueLESS gets an article in The Economic Times on Nov 21.


The game does not need recognition like this… since it has got its own recognition its own way – the current version is the fourth avatar of the game, but well, for an old-timer like me, seeing the name of something I created in ET is big news.

And then I’d like to thank Chandoo for the awesome name. After three years, only his contribution is constant, the content of the game changes with every avatar 🙂

Oh, and the not quite part. Understandably, the article is about klueLESS 4 mainly, so none of the original team gets mentioned. Big deal 🙂

Please provide a what???

A Calcuttan missing his hometown opens up the website belonging to the most read newspaper in that town. Pleased with what he saw, he clicked on one of the sections of the e-paper. The site tells him that he needs to be registered in order to go deeper into the contents. No problem. He is ready to register. So he clicks on register and fills up a form. Presses Submit. And see what he gets:

Email ID? The form does not mention email ID anywhere, let alone ask for it. Oh, the error page tells him that the “Username” field should have been populated with his email ID.

Who would have thought? 🙂

If you were that person, would you fill up that form again and continue to use the website? I didn’t. Who knows what other ‘mistake’ I would be chided for next? Is the phone number field actually supposed to contain my height?

Is it so difficult for web designers and companies that hire them to make websites that are free of inconsistencies and are helpful instead of carrying the old ’80-90s attitude of “I made this thing and it works at my end. You need to learn how to make it work for you if you want to use it.”?

It is all adding up to the user experience and thus the brand in the end.