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wave your magic internet wand February 26, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Did I Hear That Right?.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I work for the web development department for a largish corporate entity. As such, things happen that are beyond my control.

A couple of years ago, we purchased access to a system that allows customers to sign up for text-message alerts when their servers go down. Sometime last month, my boss got an e-mail that the system was buggy and we should stop advertising it. Today, my boss told me this*. So I went in and looked at the application signup page.

Which is fairly prominent on our site.

In fact, last summer, I was tasked to build a graphical splash page that prominently incorporated it.

Now, we offer a second text messaging system (through another third-party provider) that allows clients for whom we build sites to distribute their content via text message. I said, “should I just change the iFrame URL to that other system?” He said yes, so I did.

Then I looked at the page.

Completely and utterly counterintuitive. And I said so. And I also said “would you like me to just put up a message that says we’ve had to temporarily discontinue the service while we make improvements?”

The response:

Just take the page down.

CC-licensed image by Flickr user ninjapoodles.

CC-licensed image by Flickr user ninjapoodles.

Yeah. I’ll just wave my magic internet wand and make a page, which is prominently featured in a huge splash page graphic, go away. Along with every other reference to it on our entire website. Because that’s how it works.

What bothers me most is that, before he hired me, it was my boss’s job to do all this stuff. He’s been a webmaster for quite some time and he knows that just taking a page down isn’t always as easy as renaming a file.

To be fair, he’s under a lot of stress. But still.

So I went with the counterintuitive approach. I’m pretty sure no one’s going to notice it anyway. After all, I redid our splash page last summer and it took until October for someone to drop by my desk and say, “hey… that splash page… where is it, exactly?”**

I figure I should get dinged about this in April. Plenty of time to redo the graphics on the splash page. Or just wave my magic internet wand and make them fix themselves.

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* He’s a bit behind on his “to do” list.

** Someone — at the corporate office, I think — had reloaded an old backup of our site like right after I uploaded the new stuff. Fortunately, I had backups.



1. you’re doing it wrong « corporatespeak - May 8, 2009

[…] things to do, he doesn’t bother doing them at all. Instead he just expects that someone will wave a magic internet wand and the content will appear all nice and […]

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