Patrick O'Brien, the CEO of the trouble-plagued Domainz domain name registry
has announced that he's packing his bags and will depart the company at
There can be no doubt the vacating of his office will cause riotous cheers
amongst his detractors and pose the inevitable question "did he jump or was he
During the past few months, Domainz, and O'Brien in particular, have come in
for some stinging criticism for the seemingly unending list of bugs, design
flaws and security problems associated with the roll-out of a new website.
The website was developed by Glazier Systems, which is now part of the
4 Advantage Group
and a look at their website perhaps gives a good insight into why the whole
thing turned to custard.
The Advantage Group's own website is an attrocious example of bad ergonomics
and showcases some of the worst misapplication of today's Net technology I
think I've ever seen.
A Flash-based menu that sometimes causes the intended selection to move away
from your mouse pointer is just plain stupid! Needlessly including a Java
applet does little except significantly slow down the page loading for users
of Netscape browsers and the site's structure just plain sucks!
Mind you -- it's still better than their first attempt which, if your browser
only had Flash 3 installed -- simply showed an animated logo and then stopped
dead -- with no links or way of progressing to the rest of the site.
Here's an exercise for those with more than a few minutes of spare time on their hands
and a masochistic bent...
Assume you're a prospective customer who wants a website designed -- try to locate
where on the site you'll be able to find information on this service. Let's make it
realistic by starting at the
Webmasters site (now a member of the Advantage
Shouldn't this kind of information be clearly and unambiguously linked from
the front page?
Would you hire this company to build you a website based on this sample of their work?
This must be all rather disappointing for Webmasters -- as their work has
always been of a very high quality -- whereas the work of Glazier Systems has
been the subject of criticism in this column on a number of occasions.
I note that the shambolic Domainz site isn't included in the proud list
of references quoted by the Advantage Group -- I wonder why that is?
Is Telecom Sweating?
With its stock price falling, the spectre of possible legislation
hanging over its head, and competition increasingly nipping at its heels,
Telecom is showing signs of nervousness.
It seems that they have recently commissioned CM Reasearch to check out
the market's opinion of some fairly dramatic changes to its product packages
and tarrif options.
According to an Aardvark reader who was approached by CM Research, the
research questions focused heavily on local-loop options, including media
bundles with things such as Sky TV channels and Jetstream high-speed Net
access. Look out Saturn?
Could it be that Telecom is preparing a comprehensive response to the
inquiry in to telecommunications? Are they hoping that most Kiwis would
be prepared to pay a per-call or per-minute fee for local calls if the
monthly rental was dropped low enough? Such research would lend weight to
the call for the Kiwi share to be dropped perhaps.
And then, of course, there's that 0867 issue to consider....
Another month passes...
My goodness -- Friday's casual comments that yet another month had rolled by
with no attempt by government to remove the road-blocks hindering our
path to a new economy provoked a huge amount of response -- far more than many
of my previous commentaries on the subject.
Even some of those readers who, in the past, have been strongly
supportive of the government's plans -- and equally critical of my comments,
now appear to have finally had a guts-full and are also disillusioned
with the rhetoric.
I must sincerely thank all those who have emailed me, especially the ex-pats with
their glowing reports of life on distant shores, for keeping me up to date with
the sentiments of workers and mangement within the IT and Internet industries.
The offer I made to the government on Friday has now been relayed to the
relevant ministers as a formal communication (by email) and, while I have
promised to keep the detail of it and any subsiquent discussions confidential,
I can say that the ball is now squarely in their court. I'm willing to offer
what I consider are a number of bloody good ideas to help if they're willing
to accept my input.
As always, your feedback is welcomed.