November 9, 2001 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Iconocast -- a fairly well known (I think) Internet marketing newsletter -- has redesigned its site. Founder Michael Tchong thinks the new, Flash-based design's "fun interactivity" will one day become "the hallmark of all online media." A dangerous claim to make, especially now.... (Google cache of the old design is here.)
posted by mattpfeff (12 comments total)
"On average, e-mail garners 5% response rates." Mmmm email marketing, the revolution is... boring... How iconclastic. Oh sorry, I'd link to that but I'm on a dial-up and I got tired of waiting for the swf to load.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:29 PM on November 9, 2001

I like the site. Don't think it's in any way an effective marketing strategy, but it's pretty cool.
posted by rushmc at 1:36 PM on November 9, 2001

I like the possibilities offered with flash -- it is "fun" and, er, well, it's hard to say it is not "interactive". However, I think one probably needs to show some restraint in designing navigation that differs substanially from the typical html/hyperlink interface. of course, i get particularly annoyed by programs that don't follow an OS's menu standard (ie, file/edit/view toolbar for windows) so maybe i'm just a big grouch.

my postion: design/experimental/art sites, go nuts with the flash, whatever. News sites??? ... no craziness -- just give me the content.

the same idea holds to print, i think... If i buy 'sleaze nation' or some other lifestyle/arty rag, i want things to be a little off-kilter; part of the content is presentation. If I'm picking up a newspaper, i'd like it to be a bit standardized -- i just want the damn facts, not some fontographer's crazy new helvetica-based interpretation of globalization.

are these ideals contary? sure. uh. i've .. uh .. got my license over h -- ZOOOOM.
posted by fishfucker at 1:36 PM on November 9, 2001

I have been a subscriber to this newsletter for about a year, and what annoyed me most about this style change was the number of hoops *I* as a subscriber had to go through to get to the content.

The old newsletter contained an active webpage, emailed to my inbox with full content. The new email looks very much like Davenet's NextDraft, but rather than including the full article, I'm forced to link to the Iconocast site, where I get to read the exact same teaser as was in the email, now shoved into a hexagon. Click to read more, and yet another window opens, this one containing the full story. I now have three windows open in order to read what used to be in one. I thought usability was a key tenet of good web design?
posted by me3dia at 2:12 PM on November 9, 2001

postion being like a position pirate. yeah. that's it. arrrr.
posted by fishfucker at 2:56 PM on November 9, 2001

Flash for a text-based content site = stupid and unusable. FoxSports does this too, and I've used ESPN more since the switch.
posted by owillis at 3:12 PM on November 9, 2001

Ugh. What is UP with FoxSports? Welcome to our creepy, odiously mechanized stainless steel future.
posted by coelecanth at 9:55 PM on November 9, 2001

What is UP with FoxSports?

Again, I like it. ::: shrug :::
posted by rushmc at 10:58 PM on November 9, 2001

Again, I like it.

Me2. Both a little cheerful for my taste, but then, very little isn't.
posted by Opus Dark at 11:55 PM on November 9, 2001

Whenever I see an ad pop up, I close the window.

It took me a while, to realize that the window I closed was supposed to first hold an ad, wait for several seconds, then display another ad, then display a worthless summary, before it just took me to a normal web page.

If this "fun interactivity" is indeed the future of the web, well, then count me out.
posted by ckemp at 4:16 AM on November 10, 2001

If this "fun interactivity" is indeed the future of the web, well, then count me out.

Yeah. I mean, at what point does this kind of gimmick become so tedious and annoying that it turns users off? Sure, it gives advertisers a better exposure, but it seems abusive to the user.

Iconocast's choice to do this is interesting -- I'm pretty sure they ads they sell inside the newsletter itself generate sufficient revenue to turn a decent profit (though I dunno how the slowdown has affected them). And Tchong is the sort of guy who would do this to demonstrate the principle even if he didn't need the added revenue (I think) -- he really believe seems to believe in this stuff. On the other hand, he has a product that quite a few marketing executives say they couldn't live without -- so he has a somewhat captive audience. Hopefully he'll publish some stats showing how the redesign affects Iconocast's popularity....
posted by mattpfeff at 7:14 AM on November 10, 2001

If they think it'll make them a lot of money, they're going to use it. That's the point of marketing, isn't it?

Flash is a tool. Sure it's not a very great tool at the moment, but it's being improved as we speak. We'll see what the future holds for the internet. Don't throw out your Web browsers just yet.
posted by Down10 at 12:19 AM on November 12, 2001

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