I've noticed - and I may be wrong - that all the folk in the UK are unfazed by the swearing and have reacted quite positively either in person or on Twitter.
The Americans, by contrast, seem a lot more upset about the swearing. I wonder why that is?
Either way, I do wonder if some sections of the tech community are to... corporate in their approach to language. Look at the fuss when Linus went on a rant about Nvidia. That's how people speak in real life when they are angry or passionate. We shouldn't lose that simply because of a perceived lack of professionalism.
The swearing, in my tumblr's case, is designed to be repetitious to the point of banality. It is, if you like, an exercise in over-reaction.
There's a prudish streak in the US that I really believe comes from the fact that the country was originally settled by people too religious and too concerned with overtly moral social interaction to be tolerated in 17th century England.
That may seem like too easy an explanation but I really do think there is some truth to it. Despite the excesses in American culture, that sort of casual swearing still gets backlash when it goes beyond people who are familiar with each other.
I've mentioned it here before, but Your Mother's Tongue: Book of European Invective is a great and extremely funny book on the subject.
But more to your argument, Roger Williams was a Puritan, but anything but a prude. He figured that going to Hell was punishment enough to justify practical acceptance of non-believers in this world.
Our National myths don't necessarily conform with the facts, amigo.
Don't have a problem with cursing used in moderation when used appropriately, but like any ingredient in a recipe, too much is a bad thing.
George Carlin, inspired by Lenny Bruce
Which to Brits is ridiculous as to them "rocks" are rather larger bits of stone that are pretty hard to pick up, let alone throw.
I'm told. Not being a native speaker of either British or American English I wouldn't know if this is true or not, but I thought the story was amusing enough to share.
After all, when it's time for a proper riot no one really cares about the subtext of the name of the thing they're chucking. "Hey, share some of those stones with me, I bet I can smash that cop's windshield." "They're rocks, Jake - we're anarchists, not perverts."
The English aren't exactly swinging naked from the trees now are they? Every freaking day in France some man or woman is letting it ALL hang out, having a public chat with poor little children around no less, and nobody gives a shit!
Hah, hah, Anglophones are prudish in general, although we probably take the cake in the States.
It ends up being a good measure of a social situation. As soon as I decide I'm around people that might be interesting, I will slowly decrease the child-friendliness of my language. The subtle reactions to the first use of "fuck" tells you a lot about how open-minded people are likely to be.
I can understand being careful in your use of language in corporate environments, simply because -- at least here -- offending the wrong people with colorful expression can easily compromise your employment or promotion opportunities. Granted, I'd say that's not a great environment to work in, but some people don't have quite the flexibility in what they can do or where they can do it in terms of taking or leaving job opportunities.
I know it sounds trite, but it's mostly about the children.
I couldn't care less about people dropping F bombs around me (although it does taint my opinion of them if it's done for no particular reason), but the less kids hear the word, the more they realize that it is not to be used lightly.
It's been fairly effective in the US, from what I can tell.
Seems something of a straw man. It's not like we swear in front of our children over here in the UK :) I can count the number of times I heard my parents use profanity, before I turned 18, on one hand. And the lecture I got for using the word 'pissed' in front of my mother, aged 14, still rings with me!
However, during my travels in the US I found people very adverse to profanity even without any children in evidence. And it's not like I am particularly foul mouthed!
Of all the countries I've travelled in, the US is where I'd make a point of not swearing ever. Which is sad; just in general I often feel I have to self-censor lots of my personality/language in the US.
I hardly ever swear anymore. It's not so much that I perceive it to be rude, but that it seems to show up more often as a placeholder than anything else. To the point where any power in the word is completely gutted and it comes off as lack of confidence in communication skills. Similar to people saying 'like' or 'um' all the time.
Now how Linus/Zed Shaw use it, and as well how it's used in a site like this, all I have to say is, awesome.
It really takes a skilled person to give the tired-old swearwords some zip. The insane sorority letter that went viral a month ago was remarkable not only because of sheer quantity, but also the quality of the swearing (for example, the verb "cuntpunt.")
> the less kids hear the word, the more they realize that it is not to be used lightly
I don't agree. The less lightly kids think swear words are to be taken, the more they will use them to prop up their own attempts to be taken seriously by their peers and the adults around them.
Once a kid hears someone who swears every other word, they realize that overusing swear words dilutes their impact until they become effectively meaningless. They come to the natural conclusion that, in order to maximize effect, swear words should be kept in reserve for truly exceptional circumstances.
And really the "right" answer depends on the viewpoint of the observer (i.e. whether you approve of profanity or not).
See: "begging the question".
From http://begthequestion.info/ :
"Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.
laureny is claiming that it's "about the children", but the implicit assumption there is that there's something wrong with cursing in the first place. laureny assumes "it is not to be used lightly" and that children need to understand this - but that's exactly the item under discussion.
There is when it's used in regular speech for no reason, like using "like" every other sentence instead of just pausing.
This has probably been posted before but Stephen Fry's opinion on swearing is pretty valid in my opinion.
Swearing is a really important part of one's life. It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing... There used to be mad, silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of a poor vocabulary -such utter nonsense. The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves... The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest or -is just a fucking lunatic... I haven't met anybody who's truly shocked at swearing, really, they're only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, you know, that's preposterous... or they say 'it's not necessary'. As if that should stop one doing it! It's not necessary to have coloured socks, it's not necessary for this cushion to be here, but is anyone going to write in and say 'I was shocked to see that cushion there, it really wasn't necessary'? No, things not being necessary is what makes life interesting -the little extras in life.
Stephen Fry on the joys of swearing. Stephen Fry: Guilty, BBC4, September 8th 2007
A pirate captain by the name of Bartholemew Roberts captured a British official by the name of Plunkett who had double crossed a company of pirates and shot them down under a banner of truce - few things could enrage a pirate more! Old Roberts was incensed and, upon finally capturing Plunkett, took to cursing him in the most foul and heinous of language - of which a pirate dialect was primarily composed. Seeing himself a dead man and with no other hope left to him, Plunkett stuck out his chest and being a proud and experienced Irishman, gave back a measure and then some more in such illbegotten slights of character on Old Roberts name that the crew hung limp and incapacitated with laughter. The whole exchange inspired such a regard for Plunkett's tongue that dispite his crimes against pirates, the whole company agreed to send him on his way no harm done.
And yeah, we Brits really couldn't give much less of a fuck :)
This is the internet. There are Americans here. In fact, most of the sites with these annoying mobile experiences are American companies. Let's assume for a moment that the generalization is accurate... Consider: Successful persuasive writing must be written with a particular audience in mind.
Consider the term "f-bomb". The reason the term exists is because it's evocative: a bomb produces a "sudden and violent release of energy", typically intended to destroy a target or to draw attention, often producing a sentiment of "shock and awe". The word "fuck" can intensify a destructive sentiment, or draw attention and produce shock. It carries some amount of emotional payload (possibly more in the US, but some wherever it's spoken); you would not be using the word otherwise.
The effect changes when you lob f-grenades indiscriminately. The underlying sentiment you're trying to draw attention to can get lost in the chaos -- being "repetitious to the point of banality" makes the mobile app criticism into an indistinct mass of lexical white noise (see the alt text on http://xkcd.com/1210/ ). I found your tumblr obnoxious, not so much due to lacking professionalism or corporate-ness, but because the commentary is flat, tiresome, and flavorless. You've gone way beyond spicing it up with f-pepper, and all the way to burying it under f-spam. With some nuance and cleverness, you could turn it into hilarious overreaction rather than banal overreaction.
See also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3212694
Am I wrong? Is it more common in America?
Also to me it always seemed less descriptive and more an attempt to link the concept of bombs (which we can probably all agree are bad) with the word. Maybe it's a cultural thing.
My read is that "f-bomb" (and other -bomb terms) can be merely a case of being uncomfortable with swearing, but it is also used by people of various demographics to describe the conversational effects. I hope my use of terms like "f-grenade", "f-pepper" (which came from the previous article), and "f-spam" are likewise evocative.
I agree with the content though.
Some cultures apply morals in their actual life choices, where other cultures apply them in their pretend politeness. Some of them seem to believe that being nice equates acting nice. But acting is deceit and manipulating, hence by definition not actually nice behavior.
But they do mean well, its just that they focus more on the symbolism of "good" behavior, than the reality of it. And thats generally the pattern: cultures that focus strongly on symbolism will also strongly apply morality symbolically. For example: americans worship their flag, but hate their government.
I'm English. I'm unfazed by it. But it's not a good example of lots of swearing. It's just lots of "fucks" and "fucking" scattered through the text. There doesn't appear to be much rhythm or flow to it.
It's not funny. It's not effective at conveying anger. It's just poor writing. That's fine, not everyone is a great writer, but don't try to defend shitty writing with some kind of "Anyone English gets it and it's only you uptight Yanks who don't like it".
You're no Malcom fucking Tucker.
As a cauliflower faced, bucktoothed, tea swilling brit I didn't have any issue with it at all. My concern is the potential ramifications of a 'colourful' post. Given the job market and the general sensitivity in the work place it can cause real and genuine problems.
When I recruit I look for talented and colourful people (geeks of old?) but when the shoe is on the other foot I do try and be much more conservative then I otherwise would be.
It's a sad fact and one that has proven true more than once
Pseudonyms are useful if you need a good rant. Take Inspector Gadget - even if he was outed by some spineless journo
My impression has always been that England is a very well-mannered country, even in the ghettos (of course they swear, but it just seems that a sense of etiquette permeates the country)
This is exactly how I interpreted it's meaning. So, another UK data point...
I agree. He's created a very good and useful showcase of a specific frustration that many of us would prefer to never implement or deal with. For an exercise in venting, this style makes a lot of sense.
> His word choices are not hate speech or discriminatory so the fact that they may offend your sensibilities has precisely zero relevance to anything.
The language chosen to express his feelings means that I can't reference this site to anyone I work with in the enterprise world. For giving people materials in fighting against implementing these things, it collects a lot of great examples of why this is frustrating. Unfortunately, sharing it with the people who make these kinds of decisions has "career-limiting move" written all over it.
Maybe it will be (is?) licensed in a way that allows for business-friendly adaptation.
I'm a brit living in the US so add that as a datapoint too!
It doesn't even register on my offensive scale... did we have this same hand-wringing over zed shaw's programming motherfucker website? I don't recall it if we did.
On the contrary, most people really motherfucking joined in.
Does it have to? In my experience, taking into consideration how the message receiver might be offended is more important. I'm not personally offended by the language of the tumblr, but I still wouldn't bring it into a business setting because of how others may feel.
> did we have this same hand-wringing over zed shaw's programming motherfucker website?
To me, the target audience of this site is far different. Some of the same rules apply, but Zed Shaw's site is unlikely to be the basis of an argument for or against any sort of business-level decision. With that being said, I probably wouldn't point an aspiring programmer (or anyone) toward Zed's site unless I knew they were very casual with profanity.
If not, please take this as permission to copy those images and make your own non-sweary version.
Nice work in collecting all of these. They make for a great showcase.
According to Paul Fussell's Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, aversion to profanity is a middle class thing. The upper class do not use euphemisms for profanity or obscenity. Fussell wrote that Jilly Cooper reported "I once overheard my son regaling his friends: 'Mummy says pardon is a much worse word than fuck.'"
I doubt that many members of the upper class (see Fussell's book for a definition of upper class, it is roughly the tastes of "old money" but not dependent upon actual wealth) read Hacker News. It is likely that those who do not object to obscenities such as the word "fuck" are more socially liberal freethinkers who dislike formality. Those who do object are likely to be members of the middle class who believe (foolishly) that in censoring profanities and vulgarities, they are emulating the upper class. The phenomenon of "professionalism" is also a product of the middle class — to the upper class, selling things for a living is distasteful and déclassé. "Professional" language is usually very timid and full of circumlocutions as the primary goal is to not say anything that anyone may find offensive.
It's a good book, and I'd recommend it if you have an interest in this area.
What pisses me off however is the judgmental bullshit excuses Americans use for their intolerance, like swearing being "unprofessional" or "childish". Utter nonsense.
Please stop pretending your oversensitivity to "bad words", which in my experience is unique on the planet, has some kind of logical reason, and stop lecturing people about it.
Especially on HN, a place one assumes is mostly visited by well-educated worldly people, such lecturing seems completely misplaced.
If you have an issue with swearing, keep it to yourself. Even grammar nazis are more constructive and useful.
As far as goals go, I'll use whatever language I think will get the point across that I'm trying to make. Sometimes it's nice that there are words that I can reserve as "I'm really crossing a social line here to demonstrate irritation."
That said, I generally avoid making people uncomfortable or offending them for no reason. For instance, I don't think there's anything inherently unethical about cussing around someone that thinks cussing is immoral, but I'll generally avoid it if there's not really some strategic use to the language. It saves them a little discomfort (however unjustified someone might think the discomfort is) and it can save me a little big of grief if they're really adamant about it.
I follow the same road with how grammatically correct I try to be, or how politically correct I try to be. It's ethically N/A to me, so it's more useful strategically. I do the same thing with clothing/fashion, pictures I post on social media, etc. There's no use for me to self-righteously defending myself if I do something I don't really care about when know will be poorly received. Could just be a lazy path-of-least-resistance thing, though.
I will say, that if it's within my design and goal (and this website seems squarely within the authors intent), I'm not going to lose any sleep over someone finding my website and being offended by my language. I might do my best to be considerate in public, or where it makes sense for me, but if we're hanging out somewhere semi-private or you're on my website and act pissy about the presentation or language, well, no one made you read it, and I'll just as happily ignore you.
Oh yeah. Also. I hate app requests. Make a slick mobile website and leave me alone pls tx.
Just because you choose not to do something does not mean that people who do that thing are lower than you.
Also, replying to GP, I'm pretty sure swearing is less "low-class" and more "not middle-class".
Calls to download a fucking app when you're in the middle of doing something else, and when the app itself is entirely unnecessary and doesn't provide any more value, are incredibly annoying and lead to strong language.
If you were in a hurry and tried to heat up something in a microwave, and the device insisted you must absolutely set up the time first, you'd swear and probably kick the thing. So why not here?
The app strategists deserve this and much more.
Of course the point of the article is probably more interesting so I agree with you on that point.
When I come to your site it is very unlikely I'm looking for any sort of long term relationship. What I want is access to the information I'm looking for as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Secondly, your app probably wants various permissions on my system. No.
Third, why the hell would I want hundreds of apps grunking up my menus?
Fourth, you already have my whole screen, what more do you want?
So yeah, you make my experience of your site worse and probably even reduce your already small opportunity to advertise to me.
The daily mail is actually better because they _explicitly_ wrote "you wont see this again for 7 days", which is insane, since if I didn't want it the first time I don't want it the second time.
As for quora, well they are run by people who wants to make the world a worse place to be, so no surprise there.
I actually quite like Quora. Any particular reason for the hate?
If I feel I reach a point I can contribute something useful to a community, that is when I create an account. However, I think forcing people to create an account either detours some or nudges others to participate more (whether they have anything useful to contribute or not).
There is your usual suspects: combat spam and the anonymous coward effect but even then there is many ways to combat these without invading my privacy / lessening my security online.
I think it mostly comes down to lazy analytics and shitty metrics. "we have xx registered users",90% of those are made up of shell accounts and inactive users but at least the numbers sound good.
This app thing is just the new incarnation of shitty metrics and the same old story of
developer: oo new tech, me want to makey makey.
boss: can you justify it, isn't our mobile site fine?
boss: ok ok, jesus, fuck. Just, we'll have to make sure users actually install it though, or we'll be out of the job.
Imagine having to register and install a special program for each website in the world -- the WWW was made to make it possible for everybody to read it.
Maybe it's just cargo-cult programming.
Some could think that Apple is indirectly pushing an app ecosystem with its broken mobile browser experience and I am just seeing excited folks traveling to some worldwide dev conferences and building shitty apps for every and anything. For end users there isn't often any additional benefit and for developers building a native app is a nightmare -- software development like 20 years ago, long release cycles, different platforms and on top one gatekeeper deciding about your fate, wtf and no thanks. No surprise that most mobile first and only startups are struggling like living crap.
Web based apps are still the way to go for most use cases, just check the awesome mobile versions of Airbnb and LinkedIn, both based on Node, fast and ultra responsive. Building native apps belongs to the traditional publisher business model and are good for games and interaction heavy use cases (Facebook, communication, photo sharing, etc.).
EDIT: downvoting != disagreeing
It's a tiny thing to override this CSS property and makes mobile browsing of desktop sites so more convenient -- there's is no difference between Chrome on a mobile device and Chrome on desktops in terms of speed and usability of sites. In contrast, using the web browser on iOS is a real pain considering that Apple forbids to install any other rendering engine.
And if you don't like the text reflow just turn it off, it's optional on Android. Finally, it's a much better solution for visually impaired people since you can scale the fonts quickly as big as you want and the text just reflows. This even works on mobile sites since you can override zoom locks. There are so many benefits Apple just ignores with their "design decision" (mainly driven by commercial interests in favorite of the app store).
There's nothing broken about it. You can zoom in just fine; you just have to scroll back and forth, much like if you had a desktop browser opened to a tiny size.
What you describe is "broken" is actually conforming to HTML and CSS spec; Android is the one that's technically "broken". Internet Explorer had a knack for creating "features" that broke spec, too, and look how that turned out.
> Finally, it's a much better solution for visually impaired people since you can scale the fonts quickly as big as you want and the text just reflows.
Again, accessibility has always been the responsibility of the the web designer and developer. Do you also expect web browsers to analyze images and generate missing alt text? (That would actually be pretty cool, but again, there shouldn't be an expectation for it).
I understand why Android has chosen to include those features, but by doing that, they're potentially breaking the UX that the web designers expect the user to have.
It really has nothing to do with commercial interests and everything to do with separating the responsibilities of the web browser and the web developer.
EDIT: I'm not saying that Android is wrong for including that functionality, but to say that people should be up-in-arms at Apple for not including spec-breaking functionality is a bit ridiculous.
Personally I'm a believer in the original scheme where the site provided the content and it's largely up to the user agent to decide how to present it. This whole "Every rendering engine should create the exact same rendering of the page down to the pixel" is super useful for web apps and stuff, but most of the time I just want to read stuff. Honestly, I'm surprised there's no web browser that just runs the Readable scriptlet on any page that looks like an article by default.
It's a bad decision. I should be able to size and flow the page to fit my display, wrapping it appropriately.
Yes, the designer should a layout that does this for mobile devices anyway. But the phone should also make it possible to sensibly read sites that don't.
What I assume Android browsers have is something like Opera mobile, which force-wraps all text no matter how the site is coded.
Yeah that is another company that has decided to make world a worse place. What I can't understand in how they got so many content owners to ruin their websites by using their crap.
"This site is a dish best
served on an iPad"
"The content you’re trying to view has been optimized for viewing on the iPad, unfortunately there’s no desktop alternative available right now."
#doorslam on Android or Win8 tablet
But it turns out that websites are really freaking easy to update, and apps are not. And now you have two completely disparate codebases to maintain. So once something rolls out on the web property, the shiny new app is not so shiny and new, and may be missing critical features. Some companies do this well, Facebook for example finally has an app that more usable than the mobile site IMO. But Facebook has serious resources to dedicate to this type of thing, and it took years for them to get to the point they are at now, their app was barely usable for a long time.
Case in point: I've been using Piazza for a number of classes over the last few years. They have an iOS app, and a lot of people in my classes have expressed that they are glad of this and use it exclusively. But it hasn't been updated for the iPhone 5 so the app display is cropped. Worse yet, there is now a course documents section that some teachers use almost exclusively, that you simply can't get to on the app. And the web page itself does not work terribly well on mobile Safari. So I hardly ever use it on my phone, and my overall impression of Piazza has seriously declined because I've spent so much time cursing the (lack of) usability on my phone. Plus you get the #doorslam every time you try to go to the web site on an iOS device.
These calls to install apps are just as annoying. Several years ago I remember going to LinkedIn.com on my iPhone, it prompted me to install their app, I installed it. I must've agreed to something I didn't intend to because suddenly my contacts list was filled up with all 350 connections I had on LinkedIn, rendering my phone contact list all but useless.
Currently, I'm struggling with higher-ups who have decided that we must have apps.
They don't know what these apps will do or who will use them, simply that we have to start pushing out apps because, well - others have apps. Therefore, we must have apps too.
They don't seem to care that the apps they envy have dismal reviews and download stats, that we lack a mobile website entirely or recognize that spending a few hundred thousand on an "enterprise" framework does not equate to instant apps.
Egocentrism inclines me to think that apps were written for me. Reason leads me to believe they were not.
Apps can gain access to all sorts of information inaccessible to the browser.
Most common reoccurring problem I find is that all links off-site, are displayed in a webframe. Which doesn't give me access to the normal things that Safari does - I can't email the page, add it to my reading list, or bookmark it, so inevitably I always open it in safari. I'd've rather stayed there in the first place...
But this is not the only sin, just the one that leaps to mind.
You ossified wank rag.
[Obligatory smiley face so you don't think I actually hate you. I do, obviously, but the emoticon might sooth your fucking soul.]
What makes the article weaker is that the author goes off topic and criticizes the institutions over unrelated matters - "Daily Fail" wallows in lameness.
Simply put, in this instance it is acceptable to explain the joke because a large percentage of people are pathetic fuckwads.
And defending the Daily Mail newspaper to top it all (they are a poisonous bunch of scumbags in case any non-UK people don't know it).
I think the idea was to start a conversation. A conversation about why so many companies are thrusting these stupid apps on you. The idea was most certainly not to start a conversation about swearing, which is what 90% of the comments seem to be about.
That one got a chuckle out of me.
Apple tried to fix the obtrusiveness of these popups with "smart app banners" in iOS 6:
Please use them!
Unrelatedly, I feel like I saw a presentation about security flaws with these a little while back? (Not a danger to people using them on their site, but rather they could be used to sniff various information about the user's device)
I'm sure there would be some challenges to this, but I imagine it could be done.
Quora. (n). A site that used to appear in my search results.
.. Maybe wrong thread?
Imagine you had to download an app on your desktop computer before you were able to visit any website for the first time. How crazy are these people? Why do so few companies put user experience first.
Most "shares" are _still_ links copied in emails if I'm remembering apocrypha correctly.
Few apps are properly written, and all require me to look extensively at permissions.
Stephen Fry says it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM
As to the point in discussion: yes, it can be extremely annoying at times when companies prompt you to download their app. they have good reasons to do it too.
a) you spend good money to build an app, you want to drive users to the app instead of the site
b) many times , the app can be more functional than the site
c) one of the harder things for companies to do , is to retain user engagement. ex, if you have a firm that delivers stock quotes for users, you want to modify the users behavior to use your firm instead of a yahoo finance, or google. by making the user commit to download your app , in a way you get the users commitment to use your service.
d) you get a piece of users mental space , when you get their phone's screen space.
I personally think, having a small, disappearing toolbar to remind the user an app is available is the best way to go. Since every business with a website, also trying to get a mobile presence, a dual strategy of mobile web and app, seems to be the norm.
p.s I usually upvote the stories that I find interesting enough to comment. I choose not to do it this time.
They (companies) may have reasons, but their motivations are not parallel with my own.
a) It's very nice that you spent a lot of money on your app, but please don't pester me at every pageload to use said app. I'll choose my own medium, thank you kindly.
b) I understand that the app can be more functional than the site. This is often why I intentionally use the site instead of the app, to prevent sites like Facebook and LinkedIn from messing with my address book, as they have both demonstrated they will do at their convenience. This is unacceptable to me.
c) I completely understand retaining user engagement, but my point is that by pushing and shoving me towards your app when I have already assessed both and chose the website will simply drive me away from both. Good job.
d) This is why I don't want your app on my phone. Your app isn't important enough to me to deserve said mental space, and until I decide that it is, you don't deserve it.
I agree with you that a small toolbar would be sufficient, and I'm disappointed that more sites don't do this, but I would add that I think it's important to have an option tucked away in the user preferences so that I can disable said toolbar if I choose to use the website.
I'm up-voting your comment not because I think you're correct, but because you have interesting arguments which could foster good discussion. And I would do so regardless of your use of profanity.
a) "Throwing good money after bad", see also "Sunk Cost Fallacy"
b) If the functionality the user wants is "Read the fucking article in piece without having to deal with app stores and downloads and installing and finding my article again once I've got the app installed", then the only reason your site is not functional is 'cause you're pushing the app.
c) This one is probably an acceptable reason if you don't care about the people who are driven away from your site by the stupid pop-ups, and only about the small percentage who download your app and actually start using it instead of better sites that just give you the information you need. It may make business sense, but it's still sketchy.
d) Point D is actually the biggest issue for me: I have a limited quantity mental space, and I don't want sites I don't give a fuck about to take it up. No-one but you cares about your "brand". Be good at answering my questions and I'll prefer your results in my searches. Nag me to install an app, and I'll avoid you.
It upsets you? Do we need to call a doctor? Millions of people are dying from war, but this upsets you? Some people hate others for the color of their skin, but this upsets you?
You do realize that morality only has value in reality, not in symbolism? That words are just characters that express either ideas or emotions? That to be upset about symbolism, means you dont understand the difference between being nice and acting nice? The differce between having empathy (for example by allowing somebody to express themselves) and being a sociopath?
I hope this concept upsets you.
Besides, those good reasons aren't.
a) You spent good money, but did you make it a good experience for the user?
b) But usually the app is trash compared to a web browser, and offers a far worse experience.
c) Retaining user engagement is hard when you pop up unrelated nag screens instead of making the user's task easier on your site than your competitors'.
d) I want a website, you want to implant a brain worm.
This is exactly why I would agree with the poster. Tons of entitled nonsense justifying making your users' experience worse - for them.
What sites are you affiliated with?
"trotting out tired justifications nobody asked for maybe you're just using any excuse"
I never asked you to respond to my comment, but you still did! I am part of the discussion , the same way you are. and to take a step back and think why things are the way they are, IMO is very good thing. billions of app downloads happen for a reason. I was not justifying the the practice. in fact i did say
"I personally think, having a small, disappearing toolbar to remind the user an app is available is the best way to go"
there are enough apps to draw an example for every case discussed (good mobile app, bad thick client vice versa..)
a) linked in does
b)fb, the app is way better than the mobile website
c) I agreed with this. "yes, it can be extremely annoying at times when companies prompt you to download their app"
d) this is jsut hyperbole and i have nothing to say to this.
I agreed with the poster too. I had trouble with his tone like many others. with app downloads not slowing down, it is important to understand why things are the way they are. this might also help to predict the winning strategy.
and it is not just big firms that prefer an app over a website. piggy backing on my previous example, a search for stocks brings up an entirely different list of services in the apple App Store than google. the mechanisms in play are different when it comes to mobile apps.
As a coder, i prefer rich mobile websites to app's whenever possible. But, I am unsure about the trend ( as it seems many business are..) and that is a discussion I look forward to have.
Well, he does make a good point here.
Thanks to James Fucking Whatley for the tip.
Relax. For fuck's sake.
We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
I somehow think that saying something like "Relax. For fuck's sake." isn't going to help.
"It's starving people rioting to reclaim common land taken as 'enclosures' by the rich people." == Complaining about having to click a cancel button on a mobile browser.
If instead we can only access the web via apps and those app are controlled by the likes of Apple or Google, then we don't have a free web anymore. Maybe today the apps are free (as in beer), but maybe tomorrow they won't be. We would no longer be in charge and the web would have been appropriated by business interests.
I don't think you need to worry about only accessing the web via apps - it just won't happen.
FWIW, I abhor the popups in question but I can understand a company's decision to add them to their site. However, the way to stop this pattern is by showing decision makers statistics that prove they don't work (if that is true of course). The blog in question just seems like one big hissy fit - not the most convincing of arguments.
That's all right then.
Last night I watched for the first time "The Gilmore Gang" podcast and was surprised to hear all but one pundit talk about the future being apps + Internet, and not the web. I don't want to see that. There is so much content, including interactive web apps, that fit well with HTML5.
See http://imgur.com/yRLTOsd and Go Pens :)
This is particularly annoying for me because I actually use an Android tablet as my "programming workstation", and so I get these popups on both my desktop service and when mobile.
Of course the irony us that tumblr where this site is hosted has such a pop-up as well... http://imgur.com/uPMetSR
Here is how I live today:
Web is good for me. Porn is good for me. Anonymity is good for me. Given that I have an iPad, Galaxy Note 2 and a Chinese tablet with Android on it, the total installed 'app count' of my toys is zero. Zilch.
I have said it a numerous times before, and I'd proudly say it again ... I hate all the native apps on the planet. Keep all that great, smooth and butter-y experience up your garden's ass.
Make it bigger, if you can.
As time progresses, people will get a better understanding of who uses mobile, when and for what and will adapt development of mobile apps accordingly.
I've found and am using Readability increasingly (both desktop and mobile) to get around just this and many, many, many more failures of both mobile and desktop Web experience.
On a side note - darn fine IT Manager looking for a new home on the UK South coast - I'll email a CV - just don't point me towards a web form!
And now the question: why do people build apps and shove it down other people's throat?
Most of what they do can be done via a ("mobile") web site. Hell! Most of them are useless without internet connectivity anyway!
So why not make a great web site and just let people bookmark it?!
Thank you Mr Jobs for making the internet proprietary again.
Never seen the point being made so fucking clearly. ;)
You should make an app to display this list.