Friday, September 26, 2008

Have you seen the ad for Wario Land: Shake It?

Have you seen the ad for Wario Land: Shake It? Best web ad I've seen in ages.

dealnews Redesign

Hi folks! I have just a few quick comments about our redesign.

The main reason we implemented this redesign was to remove the right sidebar on dealnews so we could use that space for other purposes, now and in the future.

This redesign was shown to the heavy dealnews users that make up our User Advisory Board. It received extremely positive ratings, far more than any redesign we ever launched. Nice.

You can compare the old and new here:

The changes may seem dramatic since we changed the very top of the page. But scroll down and you'll find that the redesign changes very little.

Changes of note:

  • The category list on the right has moved to the top of the page.
  • "Today's Hottest" is now a gadgety widget, which allowed us to add product images, but we can only fit the top 4 now (we had up to 6 before).
  • The right sidebar has been eliminated. This gave us an area on the right to add more tools to each deal. The first is a new "Report an Error" link.
  • Links to the three most recent "Feature" articles have been added to the upper right.
We removed a couple of features that fewer than 5% of our visitors use: The Ability to "hide" the big area at the top of the page, and a few alternative views of our home page (like "Tile" view). For web site stability, it's important to every once in a while remove site features that haven't proven popular. (The less code, the better.)

As you browse around, you'll find that the sidebar is still on a few of our pages. We're upgrading those pages soon.

Special thanks to the designers and programmers who worked on these changes. Extra special thanks to our readers who've given us feedback, much of it used in this redesign.

Please leave us comments, either as a follow up to this blog post or via our email feedback form at (Update: If you're reporting a problem, please provide your browser version and platform. The more detail the better ... for example, Firefox 3.0.2, Mac OS X 10.5 would be great.) Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Babysitting cooperatives

I'm not a parent, but I am cheap, and what a great idea: Brooklyn Based found a babysitting cooperative for Brooklynites. That's FTW if you're already cash-strapped from the cost of living in NY.

In a handful of neighborhoods — Prospect Heights, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Carroll Gardens, Windsor Terrace, and Bay Ridge to name a few — you don’t need to pay qualified adults to care for your child when you need to go to the doctor’s, work at home alone, or want a date night out. You just need to be willing to return the favor, as a member of a babysitting cooperative.

Bill Heard locations in U.S. shutting down

Bill Heard, the largest chain of Chevy dealers in the U.S., is shutting down. Huntsville has a Bill Heard dealer (HAD! ... although it will apparently be bought out and reopened by another company). I certainly feel bad for the rank and file employees. But the sales staff and management? Everyone I've ever heard talk about Bill Heard has described it as an underhanded, downright slimy place to buy a vehicle. Here's how management handled the shutdown:

Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, employees at the Huntsville dealership were asked to gather. They were told that the dealership was closing and that they should leave the premises.

Classy til the end.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time Warner DVR v. TiVo

This dude's complaints about the Time Warner DVR (versus TiVo) are spot-on:

ZDNet: How I dumped my DVR for a terabyte TiVo