I haven’t posted anything for a while. Hey, I’ve been busy, you’ve been busy—we’re still friends right?…
I wrote this to a site that offers both purchases and online content today. I have modified it to remove references to the company. It should be obvious that some companies are already doing this but for darker reasons. Also, I am not aware of any company doing this within their particular area of interest.
I have been a Mac user since 85, and developed web sites and scripts/code since the 90s. Plus, I have worked tech support since then as well in addition to doing layout and design work. So, I am very well verse on ways to get the content mobile. The real genesis of this idea is convenience more than anything: if you guys continued to offer DLs or a way to link digital purchases to user’s online accounts, you could create a fluid ecosystem where customers would not only have access to all the great content we have access to online, but also an additional layer of convenience for digital purchases, not online. I always tell people, in terms of UI: never discount the perceptual value of a single convenience feature. While switching apps is incredibly minor, the lack of having to do that, and being able to keep all my content in one virtual library would be a huge boon to productivity. Consider this: if I had access to all of my content, both online and purchased offline. It might be conceivable to also be able to leverage your search feature to search not only online content, but offline content. Not to mention organizational (folders) features, etc. As a DB designer and Web Dev (as well of other light dev) I realize the amount of work building such a system would entail: the many disparate systems, etc. But from a value-added perspective, I think the financial and customer perception bonus would be invaluable. I consider the company one of those companies that champions doing things right, and establishing ethics/user-friendly standards in they way they do things. This is a big reason I want to put my money where my mouth is — I see your company as one of the good guys because they are fair. If you guys established this sort of precedent by being able to say: hey, look at what we offer—maybe you customers that subscribe can think about true user-centric user-efficiency design like ours and use us as inspiration in your own work? I know this is pie in the sky talk, but I think the only way computing advances is if we, who know the “magic incantations” and secret end of line winks “;”, also take the time to both advance the standard and champion the ethical use of technology. I rant about this stuff all the time: tech has good uses and bad uses, and if we had more people focusing on meeting users halfway instead of data-mining them and selling their info, we would be closer to the future we see in Star Trek than the future we see in Continuum.
I realize my ideas are bucking the ad-money trend, but I would rather see a Star Trek society than all those dystopian ones we seem to be heading toward… and that starts with those in the front line of technology.
Okay, enough soap boxing. Thanks for reading.