Friday, November 16, 2007

Word from Q

I asked Hassan whether it was really necessary to have a shopping basket in Flash and he said Yes. He explained:

What I have in mind is something where a short story title lies on top of a
long underlining line with a synopsis underneath, perhaps the whole thing
enclosed in a rectangular border, not sure, but anyway when you click on it,
the synopsis text rolls up into the line to fall back again as the extract
of the story with scroll/page flip buttons on the bottom or the side of the
text, as the entire unit moves to take over the page. Sort of see the
picture? And then that allows this to be visually related to the shopping
basket that will faithfully maintain the HoV ideal, which unfortunately is
offline at the moment so I can't refresh my memory.

Now all I need is the Aston Martin and the vodka martini.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I too think if you are going to have a shopping basket at the very least it must be in flash.
--smb

hassan said...

Well said smb. While it might take a while, it will be done (!).

And, well, since I'm here, I might as well add that the new user form is almost done, and hopefully tonight, (six hours), we should have something much cooler to look at, as well as personal profile expanding flaps for the markers on the display map (which is under construction and therefore not working, unfortunately...)

Can I also add that, WOOOHOOO, I'm seeing Thomas Ades tomorrow in concert, for his New York debut in Carnegie Hall?!! I now know why I moved out here.

Ithaca said...

The problem with putting it in Flash is that I am then back with a page on my website that I can't edit myself. My first webdesigner did the whole site in Flash; I don't have Flash, which costs about $600 in the ME version; since I don't have it, I obviously don't know how to use it, so getting it would mean learning taking time away from writing a book to master Flash. So for 3 years there was virtually no change to the website because it was in software I didn't have and didn't know.

I finally thought: OK, but I do have Dreamweaver and I can do some things with that, if I paid someone to put the website in Dreamweaver I could edit it without much additional investment of time. Unfortunately the friend who brought it into Dreamweaver also had the idea that getting something that looked good mattered much more than getting something that the owner of the website would update - so she put it all in CSS, which I don't know. So, great, one thing I can do is take time away from writing to learn CSS, another thing I can do is just leave the website alone. The website does occasionally, very occasionally get updated, but basically it remains largely static because someone used a feature of the software that she herself was very comfortable with, rather than thinking about what would be comfortable for the user.

If, for the sake of argument, I had a shopping basket designed in Flash, I would have the choices I had with my first designer:

1. Leave updates to Hassan, and just hope that he will be permanently available to make updates no matter how busy he is doing other things.

2. Spend $600 on Flash ME and learn Flash, so that I myself could make updates.

The problem with taking choice 2 is that the general point of a shopping basket is to make money. But it's really very rare for people to buy stories online. At a guess 10 people have paid $5 to buy the stories currently on sale on the website. Perhaps more would do so if there were more stories, or if there were a cool shopping basket - and of course, if I leave this to Extremely Fabulous Hassan, whatever money comes in is still a profit. If I decide that I want to make changes myself, though, I'd need 120 people to buy stories just to cover the cost of the software - and that's not including the time taken away from writing a book.

I was talking to someone the other day about other things one might do, for instance a pamphlet that took the reader through the first 20 lines of the Iliad, starting Greek from scratch, going through the alphabet and relevant grammar. This might not look publishable to a publisher, but readers might like it and might buy such a thing online. To put it up, though, one has to write it. That too might be a better thing to do with the time than learning Flash.

Anonymous said...

oh my god.
You do not have to BUY flash.
get it illegally.
who BUYS flash?
I have never heard of such madness.
Did you buy your office tools?
your anti-virus?
I never knew people still did that!
this is so interesting.
--smb.

Ithaca said...

SMB. I'm not sure how I would react if someone came up and offered me an illegal version of Creative Studio ME - could be I have never been offered serious temptation. I think all the software I have now is in legal, registerd versions, though.