Archive for June, 2007
I love the idea of Wikipedia. A user generated encyclopedia, where people decide what information needs to be addressed under each topic. Theoretically, people who are well studied or professionals in a particular field can contribute to a topic and make it a great resource of information. However, I feel that the current Wikipedia is a complete failure.
Wikipedia’s failure can be summed in a single word: ‘accountability‘.
Because there is no accountability for what is written, people write about topics that they have no business writing about. Because there is no accountability for creating false information, people correct topics that they have no business correcting. And because of the lack of acknowledgement due to the lack of accountability, the people who actually do have the knowledge and ability to write informative, professionally and concise, don’t!
Here’s how I would fix it: Give credit to those who write, and penalize those that spam and those that create inaccurate or personally biased information.
I have seen several good contributors driven completely away from Wikipedia because their articles were mutilated, or some passerby thought their resources were spam. The articles that those authors had created or edited to a professional level, have since been reduced to garbage. I myself have downgraded to only removing spam links (which is a daily event) and no longer actively contribute content. When 10-year-olds question the whole concept, maybe it’s time to make some changes!
When a visitor reaches a page on your website that doesn’t exist, by default they get a nasty, ugly document, that very well may end any future interaction with your company.
It is extremely important to create a custom 404 error document for your website. More than any other error page, you must customize your 404 error page to hopefully route those lost visitors back to your mainland.
404 error’s are for the most part unavoidable. I have never seen a website that doesn’t serve a 404 error every once in a while. Whether you mistyped a link, the visitors misspelled a page in their address bar, or anything else, at some point your server will send a 404 error.
Mitch at practical ecommerce posted an article about helpful gadgets for ecommerce owners.
I decided to throw together my own list of programs, and hardware that I currently use that really makes developing and managing websites, and generally using a computer much more efficient. Many of these are not free however, they have all paid for themselves many times over in the time they have saved me.