This morning, one of my regular check-in sites, Mashable.com, posted a link for a movie promo partnership they initiated with Cinemanow.com. They were giving away free digital copies of Terminator: Salvation. I’d never gotten a chance to see the movie, and I’m always curious about new streaming movie technology, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
If you’re not aware, I’m a tech savvy guy. A master programmer I’m not, but anyone who knows me will tell you I’m an honorary member of the Nerd Herd, and generally the go-to guy for computer issues. Well, from the moment I set foot on Cinemanow.com, this “simple movie download” was anything but simple.
First, I click the download button. It doesn’t work. So I think “browser problem” and move from Safari to Firefox, which gives me the following insightful error: “You must use Explorer or Firefox.” Um, really? Pretty sure I just did that. Back to Safari. The internet gods smile upon me and the button magically works this time, but now leads me to a “Download this software” page. It starts to download an .exe file — as worthless to my Mac as a clock in a DMV office. At this point I’m strongly considering giving up. Then I recall reading somewhere that you can use DivX, so I install DivX and reload the page. It now gives me an option to actually download the movie, which I consider to be a helpful step in the right direction of actually watching the movie. Unfortunately the DIvX player is clunky and flaky on my machine, but it seems to be working. I’m in business!
But is this a success? I’m not sure.
For any organization, this is the downside of the new economy: choices. Consumers have a nearly obscene number of options for places they can go to get whatever it is you do/sell/provide. I don’t really care what it is you do/sell/provide, with Google on the side of the customer, they can always find somebody else.
We don’t get many chances to get it right anymore. Most people will click the link to your free movie and when it doesn’t work, move on with their day and forget all about you.
Best to get it right the first time.
Outliers by Josh Allan Dykstra on March 6th, 2009
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The Work I Do—And Why It’s Not “Soft” by Josh Allan Dykstra on May 12th, 2016