Monthly Archives: July 2009

A day in the limelight

If I’d known I was going to get all this company, I would have cleaned the place up a little.  My “Should your website have a Flash intro” flow chart turned out to be very popular on Reddit (and a few other sites). So much so that it was the top post on Reddit for most of the day and it was the top post for the day on WordPress.  When you’re as shallow and ego-driven as me, this makes for a good day.

Although, in all seriousness, I really would have taken more care with the post if I had known so many people were going to see it.  There were a couple of appalling typos in the first paragraph (which I’ve since fixed) and several people rightly pointed out that the jpeg of the flow chart I embedded looked kind of shit.  I didn’t bother to change the image.  Give me a fucking break – it’s a hosted blog that doesn’t make me any money, how much of a shit am I actually expected to give?

I did get a good laugh out of the goon who had no idea how stupid he made himself look telling me to fix my “grammer”.  It’s always a good idea to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes with your own spelling or grammar if you’re going to criticise someone else.  Besides, if I wanted to get really pedantic towards annoying pedants I’d make a big show of pointing out that they were typos, not errors of grammar.

I would like to say thank you to all the supportive commenters, both here and on Reddit.  That ratio of positive people to morons has been truly gratifying.  Maybe some of you might even come back.

One of the things I found interesting is the recurring theme of people who want to show how clever they are by pointing out who did something “first”.  You don’t have to do comedy/satire for very long before you realise there really aren’t any new jokes.  And you don’t have to put your work out to public view for very long before you see how many people who will never create anything original of their own are eager to find fault in what you do.

This Toothpaste for Dinner cartoon was pointed out to me – it is essentially the same joke but I’d honestly never seen it before. It just shows that it isn’t a particularly original idea for a joke.  One person in particular was obsessed that I’d ripped of this blog post (referring to it here on my blog and on Reddit as “the original”).  True, this one is actually about using Flash (for a whole site rather than an intro) but I’m not shy about saying (a) I’d definitely never see it before and (b) mine is way clearer in its intent and, in my not so humble opinion, way better.

The flowchart I’d actually seen a little while ago that was what I was thinking of when I did mine was about showing cops when to use a taser (hint: only use a taser if the only alternative is using your gun).  I wish I could find it but I spent all day searching with no luck.  So I’m copping to it barely qualifying as an original idea but the self-proclaimed “orignal police” got the specifics wrong.

One last thing about the day that made me laugh (which probably won’t make anyone else laugh).  This blog had settled into about 600 views a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  And here’s the stats chart for the big day:

blog stats

That line at the bottom isn’t at zero.  It varies beteen 500-800. But when the day’s total went over 60,000 it’s so out of scale with previous totals that it looks like it used to be zero.

This is my third most popular post by the way.  My most popular post was about the diet pill “alli” that makes you shit oil uncontrollably.  I’m not sure if this is a step up.



Filed under Blogging

Should your website have a flash intro?

When Flash first landed on the World Wide Web (we still called it that back in those days) it was very popular and it became common for websites that wanted to look “cool” to load a Flash animation when a visitor arrived at the site. The standard method was to force the user to sit through this animation to convince them of how cool you were.

As time passed it became widely accepted that this practice was, to use the technical term, totally fucked. Despite years of frustrated users screaming at the websites to get that stupid fucking intro out of their way and let them use the site, some sites argue that there are certain cases where a Flash into is still a good idea.

Maybe so. I’m a helpful guy. Really. So I’ve provided this handy flow chart for all web designers and marketing people to consult before they put a Flash intro in place. Use this and no matter what your product, no matter who your target audience, you will always reach the right decision:

Flash flowchart

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelmingly positive response to this post. I fixed the appalling typos that were in the first paragraph after they were pointed out to me.  Interestingly (to me at least) this post has also been translated into Italian:


Filed under Charts & Graphs, Internet

YouTube causing pain with censorship

People often ask me why I get angry and why I swear.  I’ll fucking tell you why, because science fucking tells me to, that’s why.  A study conducted at Keele University in the English Midlands (which I’ve never heard of but is clearly the best fucking university in the world) has shown swearing helps you withstand pain.

Volunteers who swore were able to withstand more pain than those who didn’t swear during the same test.  Thus science has proved that swearing is not only big and clever, it’s fucking useful. And people who don’t swear are clearly into pain and are probably the sort of sick fucks who like to be tied up and whipped.

This also show’s YouTube’s attempts at censorship (threatening to delete or at the very least not promote videos just because they have some fucking swearing, introducing the censoring of swearing in comments.) means they want to hurt us. If we are allowed to swear we feel less pain. YouTube wants to reduce swearing. Therefore YouTube want us to suffer more pain.

Fucking bastards!

For those who can’t tell, including references to YouTube’s “censorship” policies is a joke. I point this out because I think people are far too casual in their use of the word “censorship” when it comes to YouTube.  To cite the two examples I used, in 2008 YouTube said they would be trying to make videos with profanity appear less prominently on the site by “algorithmically demoting” them.  This does appear to affect big name users – Cory Williams of SMP Films has been affected by it a couple of times but I haven’t toned down my swearing at all and I haven’t suffered for it.  I would get pretty pissed off if/when it affects me directly.

More recently, YouTube introduced a feature that allows users to censor swearing in the comments on their videos. If this feature is invoked and a commenter calls someone a fucking cunt then it will appear as ****ing ****.  It appears that on the first day this feature was live some goombah launched it with “on” as the default setting. This caused quite a few people to freak right the fuck out, thinking that massive censorship had been imposed.

It may surprise people to learn that I think this is a good feature. So long as it’s set at the video owner’s discretion and not imposed as a blanket rule, that is.  It should be obvious that I’m anti-censorship but within their own domain people should be able set whatever rules they like.  If someone doesn’t like swearing and they particularly don’t want to cop volumes of abuse directed at them on their own channel I say they are well within their rights to block swearing.

And I don’t give a fuck if that offends some purist libertarian streak in people.  If someone imposes limits on my ability to express myself within my own domain I’m gonna get really pissed off.  But it’s absolutely hypocritical to say “I demand liberty for all and nobody is allowed to disagree with me.”  If YouTube enforced this level of censorship across the site I would be leading the user revolt but as an option I think it’s perfectly acceptable.  I may even use it myself on some of my videos.  For instance, my kids are in a few of my videos and they like to see what comments people are making on the videos.  I don’t want them exposed to the typical lowest common denominator profanity that’s common on YouTube so I might censor the comments in that case.

Another way I can see it being good is the sort of no life fuck-up who makes a regular practice of leaving hater comments on people’s videos is easily frustrated.  The main reason for this is the useless pieces of shit never produce anything of their own – the only thing that they have is trying to upset people who are actually doing something.  Take that away (for example, by deleting any swearing in their comments) and they have nothing.  So the whiny little fucks chuck a fit and wet their pants over how unjust it all is and I, for one, laugh right in their ugly fucking faces.

This is why I frequently delete obnoxious comments and block the perpetrator.  Fuck censorship, I just want it to be clear that these sniveling little fuck-knuckles that they have no power in my world.  And I want them to be upset.  I want to know that they are bitching and whining about their “rights” being infringed.  Because fuck them.

So yeah, most of the hyperbole about YouTube going mad with censorship is overblown (not least because of the number of idiots who conflate copyright claims with censorship).  It does seem clear, however, from their public pronouncements that YouTube see themselves as becoming some sort of new broadcast network.  And they aren’t even a little scared of blanding things out if they think it will make them more money.  Even if science proves they are reducing our capacity to endure pain.


Filed under YouTube