Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snap Decisions

What They Said:

Doug Fisher @ Common Sense Journalism asked his readers for feedback on Snap Shots in general and a feature called Snap Shots Engage.

What We Said:

We just wanted to make sure you know this auto-enhance feature (which we call Snap Shots Engage) is optional. You can turn it off at any time from your account. In fact, in a week or two we are doing a new code push which will make this feature an advanced, non-default option. Also, we suggest you inform your readers who don't like the Snap Shots functionality at all, how they can turn it off on their (client) end...

  1. Move your cursor over the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the shot, and select "Disable".

  2. Select "THIS site" if you want them turned off for the site you are on, or "ALL sites" if you want them gone for all sites.

  3. Reload the page and you are done.

Unfortunately this did not get to Doug before he decided to remove Snap Shots all together...

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's 2008 and the obssession continues

What They Said:

Peter Van Dijck won't give it a rest:
Snap preview still really really sucks.

What Really Happened:

Peter is trying to promote

What We Are Doing About It:

Seeing as we've already responded to him ad nauseum, we're trying something new:
suggesting alternate hobbies:
  1. Track AAPL
  2. Get a good laugh on YouTube
  3. Find yourself with GoogleMaps
  4. Play World of Warcraft
  5. See what the crazy kids at MySpace are up to
  6. Read a blog
  7. Indulge a conspiracy theorist
  8. Grow a beard
  9. Reflect on some beautiful music
  10. Remember an old movie
  11. Contribute to the world's knowledge base
  12. Get a jump on your holiday shopping
  13. Fall in love with the world's most popular alternative UX
Peace out, PVD, and thanks for all the fish,

Paul Angles
Marketing Director

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Misinformed And Sweeping Generalizations

What They Said:

Lorelle VanFossen once again grossly overreaches in her misinformed and sweeping generalizations re: Snap Shots in her year-roundup on the Blog Herald:
Bloggers are getting the hint and turning off Snap Preview or whatever it is now called because while they thought it was neat, their readers hated it.

What We Said:

Some people love Snap Shots while others don't. We enjoy steady new publisher signups and some 2,500 end-users that download and install the Snap Shots browser add-on (so they can bring the functionality with them to sites like Google, Amazon and YouTube) every day.

Lorelle, it is time that you start speaking for yourself or back up your statements with facts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Pain In The Web's Butt

What They Said:

Gerard Van der Leun @ refers to Snap Shots as "a pain in the web's butt", "pop-ups" and generally proclaims his dislike...

What We Said:

Thanks for the mention, Gerard!

If you don't like Snap Shots, you can easily turn them off:

  1. Move your cursor over the cogwheel icon in the upper right corner of the shot, and select "Disable".

  2. Select "THIS site" if you want them turned off for the site you are on, or "ALL sites" if you want them gone for all sites.

  3. Reload the page and you are done.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snap Shots Doesn't Suck (Mule Testicles)

What They Said:

In the beginning of Nov'07, a courageous anonymous individual went through the effort of registering the domain name and continued to put up a collection "negative mentions" regarding Snap Shots under the call to action "Haters Of Snap Preview, Join Us".

Despite trying to build a case for the general evilness of Snap Shots based on 9 month old observations of others, as well as grossly violating the 1st rule of technology design — "You Are Not The User" — the text is written with intent, supposedly addressing an audience of publishers that either have Snap Shots on their site or are consider adding them.

Please note: The author refer to Snap Shots by the initial name "Snap Previews".

Snap Previews Sucks (mule testicles) because:

  1. Everyone the anonymous author knows "hates these things".

  2. Publishers who share their own user testing on the subject are clearly lying because the anonymous author has "been around the usability block a few too many times to buy this" and "In reality, snap previews are 99% bad".

  3. The fact that anyone can turn Snap Shots off at any point doesn't count because that's a "fake argument".

  4. The navigational benefits of Snap Shots are dismissed with razor sharp arguments such as "ever heard of the back button?".

What Really Happened:

We responded to all the issues regurgitated by the courageous anonymous author of back in Feb'07 and we have rev’d the product numerous times since, and continue to do so, in response to user feedback.

To summarize why Snap Shots doesn't suck:

  1. The default configuration for Snap Shots is what you see on this blog — each enabled link signified with a link icon — an enhancement added (in Feb'07) as a direct result of user feedback that the functionality was unexpected.

  2. To further minimize the number of accidental triggers the publisher has the option to make the Snap Shots fire on mouseover of the icon only (as opposed to link text + icon).

  3. Snap Shots address a user need. If it wasn’t, how come some 2M site owners have added Snap Shots to their sites? How come some 2,500 end-users download and install the Snap Shots browser add-on every day, so they can bring the functionality with them to sites like Google, Amazon and YouTube?

  4. The importance of realizing that You Are Not The User: When an advanced user roll over links — that often are not blue nor underlined, are not particularly well defined within the opening and closing of the anchor tag and do not include the title attribute — he or she has been trained to glance down at the browser status bar, parse the URL visually in a blink of a second, and hedge his or her bets by opening the links in a new tab. This is not the case for most users. For example: the Safari browser ships with the status bar and tabbed browsing disabled by default...

  5. Snap Shots is in fact a timely attempt to evolve the hyperlink, for everyone. It is only natural that this will rub some people the wrong way in a time when online publishing is no longer an exclusive activity of the technorati elite. There's a decent chance that an individual reacting so strongly to change is still disgruntled by the advent of graphics in HTML... or the Graphic User Interface for that matter. Why, oh why do they keep coming up with these so called innovations?

That being said, we are committed to making Snap Shots more useful for more people, so if you have suggestions for how to improve the experience, we are all ears.

I would also be more than happy to show anyone all the features and configuration options available and to discuss this 1-on-1 or anywhere/anyhow you like.

After learning about this blog, Peter Van Dijck claimed responsibility for the web site. We welcome the increased transparency and encourage Peter to engage in dialogue on how to improve the Snap Shots experience.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Following Directions

What they said:



"One more thing:

Those fuckers from are flat out liars. You know the company that provided those annoying little pop-up previews?

As far as I’m concerned, they’re either frauds or grossly inept. Either way, if you operate a blog, stay away from them."

Here's what happened:

A few weeks ago, we invited to participate in a beta test of a Publisher Program and they agreed.

Inexplicably, they did not follow the very simple directions we gave them, and, because of this, we were unable to track their performance and properly credit their accounts.

So, naturally, they blame us, flame us, and call us nasty names on their blog.

Here's what we're going to do about it:

Nothing. Not a thing.

--Paul Angles

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Editorial Notes

On this blog you will see 3 types of entries:

  1. When someone critique Snap Shots in a constructive manner, based on a sober analysis or well founded observations, we will praise the author and encourage further dialog.
  2. When someone criticize Snap Shots based on a blatant misunderstanding, with an intent to spread misinformation or simply to offend, we will respond with the facts.
  3. The case in between...