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honestly Telstra! (BigBlog *almost* launches)

Big Blog - coming soon

Can someone explain to me why Australia’s biggest Telco, and one of Australia’s largest companies, thinks that its appropriate to launch their brand new blogging service…. when the service is not yet available?

Why didn’t they at least bother designing this page? Maybe telling me *when* it would be launched. Maybe getting my email address and sending me a little note when its up?

Perhaps they could have cleaned out all the dodgy test content before sending the site public?

And I certainly hope someone is going to take a good hard look at that ‘BigBlog Community page’. An alphabetical index does not a ‘Community’ make….

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blogbeat – what a difference a little usability (and design) could make.

after the great review that BlogBeat received on TechCrunch and given my current addiction to stats (yes, I’m sure it will wear off sooner or later… although Stowe Boyd’s ongoing obsession with his Technorati ranking gives me some concern that things may go from bad to certifiable)… I decided to sign up for a free 30 day trial and see how cool it is. Afterall, there’s a few things that a specialised blog stats package could tell me that I’m not really getting from Analytics, without having to engage the left side of my brain (which I like to do as infrequently as possible).

So, to signing up. Looks simple, then you get started.

BlogBeat signup

a few things:

  1. can someone tell me *why* I have to have six or more characters in my username? its very annoying for people like me who like to have usernames with 5 or 4 characters. Is this an arbitrary number? Do techie people like it for techie reasons? Is it a security thing? Someone enlighten me. At the moment, its just an annoying thing.
  2. RSS or ATOM Url: what? I’m supposed to know that? Off by heart? Admittedly, it didn’t take long to find/work out… perhaps you could put a bit of help in there for those of us who have only been blogging for a month? (or less). We like statistics too, you know. In fact… we might even be your target audience.
  3. Time Zone – I was loving this because I don’t think that Google knows that I’m in Sydney, Australia and not in Mountain View (maybe it does… I can’t tell). So I enthusiastically scanned the dropdown to find the right one for me. Now… call me a doofus but I don’t know how many hours ahead or behind of GMT I am. I did a Google Search. Turns out, I’m GMT + 11hrs at the moment (daylight savings). Return to dropdown. Not an option. They have GMT +12hrs, but that would put me in New Zealand… which is nice for a holiday, but not forever (heh. settle down Kiwis!). Um. Why? I want a Sydney timezone option. And I’m a little miffed that it’s not there right now. What kind of a decision was that?

I haven’t even gotten to putting the code in my blog yet, so I don’t have much of a review for you, except for one screen…

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windows live mail beta: is there something missing?… well, yes.

Windows Mail Live Beta

I don’t really use Hotmail very much anymore, but I do love a Beta test, so of course when they asked me I said that I’d be happy to play with their beta version of Windows Live Mail, the new and improved Hotmail.

Well, yes, it is new and improved.. but then, that’s not saying much is it? Hotmail was an utterly ugly dog of an interface that we only put up with because it was free. And then along came Gmail. Say no more.

Back to the story… some people do still use my hotmail address to send me email, and so it happened that today I went into the new-ish Windows Live Mail to check out and reply to some email. Except, I couldn’t.

I was using Firefox, as I do. And they haven’t enabled ‘Reply’ for Firefox yet.

No, seriously. You can’t reply. Only make new mail and delete it.

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case study (offline): License renewal at the RTA

Eye Test

I went and renewed my drivers license at the RTA this weekend. They have that process down pat now, and although its well supported by technology, its the overall experience that is impressive. Here’s the process:

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