Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brand Loyalty (or Browsers vs MySpace)

First published on MySpace blog - 26/10/2010

It has occured to me (yet again) that the SpaceMonkeys' ongoing policy of ALWAYS CHANGING THINGS discourages any sort of brand loyalty. I'm talking about finding the internet browser that suits you and sticking with it. In an ideal world, that is what we would do. But nothing is 'ideal' in HTMLand.

I long ago decided that M****soft's flagship internet browser was not for me. I've not used Internet Explorer since first dipping a toe in the Windoze waters about fifteen years ago. In them days, sonny, we wuz using Windoze 95 (or even earlier models) and I think IE had got up to about version 4. It was slow and ugly. But nobody knew any better.

Then a lot of people started using Netscape Navigator, because the AOL browser was based on it. It wasn't quite so slow to work, but then we only had dial-up connections, and webpages looked ugly anyway, so who knew any better?

The trouble was that HTML written with one browser in mind worked differently on the other. It was like two different regional dialects of a common language. A 'good' web designer had to check his work on both browsers. Certain Dynamic HTML features were a no-no, if you wanted everyone to see your webpage in the same way. It sure put a damper on your creativity, I can tell you!

Not to mention all those non-Windoze computers out there, who had their own ideas. If you ever saw the version of IE that was supposed work on Apple's System 7 and OS8... well... No wonder Apple quickly came up with a browser of its own!

Things moved on and other flavours of browser came along, most of them coded around a small handful of different 'engines'. There were a number of them which acted as a more user-friendly portal into IE. Netscape kind of mutated into Opera, which used to be covered in adverts to help pay for it. The Mozilla engine yielded Firefox - Hooray!

As soon as I was able to own a computer of my very own, it had Firefox installed on it. And it's been there ever since, in various versions. But I have most of the OTHER browsers installed as well, because, for my sins, I design web pages. Although everyone is supposed to comply to a WorldWideWeb standard, laid down in an HTML 4 document THIS thick, there are still differences. So I 'check my work' on them all before I go public with my websites...

...and now there's HTML 5 and "WEB 2.0"... sigh...

The trouble with high-end developers who BETA TEST their sites in public, is that things don't always work universally, and the public are expected to make do with all the quirks while they 'sort things out'. Once upon a time, when all computers were much of a muchness, a developer would design his apps to fit the hardware. Nowadays, the consumer is expected to update his hardware, otherwise it won't run the latest software.

That is why I find myself switching my internet browser allegiance every five minutes. Just when I settle on one that I love, the Spacemonkeys will move the goalposts and I find that things don't run so smoothly anymore. It is now common for me to use one browser for MySpace and a more favoured one for 'everything else'. As I said, I've long been a Firefox man. I also used Opera, because of its unfeasibly fast downloads. But with every 'update' comes another problem with compatibility.

Not so long ago, I 'tested' MySpace on all of my browsers and I found Apple Safari to be the best all-rounder, so I happily switched. And raved about it to all.

Now I find that MySpace doesn't suit Safari anymore, so I've gone back to using Firefox for working within The Space. I have no doubt that I will have to change again before long.

MySpace has now started advertising the latest M****soft Explorer 9 on its pages (well, not on mine,'cause I've got the AdBlockers, tee hee hee). You need Windoze 7 and a 64-bit system for it to run at anything like its best.

It wasn't that long ago the Spacemonkeys were recommending Google Chrome! But that one wasn't 'fashionable' for very long. Thus proving that cyberspace is run by (and for) a bunch of fickle kids with short attention spans. As you always suspected.


The Glass Virgins... Rebranding means work, work means money, money means profit, profit facilitates rebranding. We are all shafted by a continual reinvention of the wheel. Nothing really improves. Rant over...
PP... "and BEAUTY is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..." They pay people to tinker with it; The people who get paid have to be occupied with some kind of tinkering; So that they can justify paying them; So they tinker. Continuously.

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