Be Your Own Annoyance (on Facebook Quizzes)

Facebook has it’s own ups and downs, including sometimes funny and (most of the time)  really annoying quizzes.

I don’t know if the quizzes in Finnish are more annoying than the ones in English, still annoying.

And know what?

I take those quizzes. I don’t know why. I hate them.

The Finnish ones are full of spelling mistakes (yhdys sana for example).
Results all either fucked up or just plain stupid.

And know what?

I still take them.

Because it’s so thrilling to see if I’m “a True Finn” or wheter my co-worker does the same things I do this summer. Or is my political view what I believe it to be?

Or the quizz about my military rank? What’s with it? My rank is what my rank is – and I certainly know what it is.

Be Your Own Annoyance

And you know what? I won’t complain more, I’ll just do a quiz of my own.

It seems, according to small empirical test, that the hip app for quizz -making is “Make Your Own Quizz” (link leads to Inside Facebook’s app-page). According to app itself:

“Making a Quiz has never been easier! Making a Facebook app has never been so fast! Make your own quizzes and turn them into your own real Facebook applications!”

Jolly good.

Ok, Iäll just go to app  at FB and make a quiz.

make a quiz-application on facebook

Above is a screenshot about the first page, fugly highlights by me. First highlight is the language – I want my quizz to be in Finnish. Second one is picture, it actually says “This is very important! It will make your quiz more popular!“.

So, I have to have a picture.

I chose one about stairs at Pispala and named my quiz to “Kuinka korkealle pääset Pispalan portaissa” (how high can you reach?).

Next page was about the results, screen grab below:

Make A Quiz on Facebook, results page.

Make A Quiz on Facebook, results page.

Typed some results, put on some images.

My images, however, were too big. The “useful” error message stated “2MThe uploaded file exceeds the maximum file size of %1 bytes.“. Perhaps someone should’ve told about the file size limit earlier?

Anyhoo, downsized the pics manually, tried to upload them.

Kaboom!

Everything gone.

Oh well, another try, luckily not from scratch.

Then the actual questions!

I just basically make something up as everyone does.

Make A Quiz On Facebook - questions page

Make A Quiz On Facebook - questions page

After setting up the questions, a new app for the quiz:

Setting up the application for my Quiz

Setting up the application for my Quiz

And voila, there it is (after just one step – I won’t paste that here).

My own little quiz, whee. (Find it out for yourselves if you fancy).

Conclusions and pondering

  • Making ones own quiz isn’t that hard. That’s certainly the reason for all the annoying quizzes!
  • Result (of the quiz) can be something totally different than the maker intended as the answers and outcomes are connected in my opinion in somehow awkward way.
  • Quizzes can be used to influence people and their opinions
  • Quizzes can be used as part of marketing

All in all, quizzes are here to stay (although really, really annoying), so why not use them?

The Power of Feedback (Gefilus, once again)

I wrote shortly about Valio and it’s Gefilus-pages some time ago.

What has happened since?

I wrote a short e-mail to Valio Consumer Services about the Gefilus and SEO, linking to these pages. Short and polite reply came pretty quickly, stating that they will deliver the feedback to developers of the site.

And now?

What was earlier like this:

Sivusto vaatii toimiakseen selaimen joka tukee freimejä. Ole hyvä ja päivitä selaimesi.

Looks now like this:

Gefilus – Vahvistaa vastustuskykyä. Sopii kaiken ikäisille

What can I say?

Now the <noframes> -element even has a nice little link to some other site (which sadly is the same Flash-based site as Gefilus.fi).

Power of feedback is remarkable, I’d say.

And why did I do this, someone asks?
No-one paid me any money. Pro bono. Free. Kansalaistoimintaa.

I might have just as well done nothing. Or just laughed my tiny ass off.

I didn’t. Now the problem is somehow fixed.

What else?

At the original posting I wondered who on earth makes only Flash-based sites with no proper content for search engines.

Well, who makes them?

The link at <noframes>-element leads to Vapaatila.net, or actually SEK&Grey, Finland’s biggest ad agency.

Sic.

You might as well draw your own conclusions about SEK&Grey’s own website (Flash, Whoo-hoo!), source code below:

<noscript>
<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" name="sek" width="100%" height="100%" align="middle" id="sek">
  <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
  <param name="allowFullScreen" value="false" />
  <param name="movie" value="sek.swf" />

  <param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
  <embed src="sek.swf" scale="exactfit" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="100%" height="100%" name="sek" align="middle" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain" allowfullscreen="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
</object>
</noscript>

I rest my case.

Anyhoo, I’m glad that Gefilus is somehow better;)

Gefilus (Valio revisited)

I wrote a short post about Valio.fi some time ago. In the aftermath I got distracted and Googled Valio (people do strange thing when trying to work).

When going through the results something caught my eye, Gefilus. Google result looks like this:

Valio

Sivusto vaatii toimiakseen selaimen joka tukee freimejä. Ole hyvä ja päivitä selaimesi.
www.gefilus.fi/ – 2k – VälimuistissaSamankaltaisia sivuja

Yes, you say, and then what, you continue.

Well yes. Gefilus is a Valio product line in which all dairy products include Lactobacillus GG Bacteria and should be healhty for each and every one of us.

Now, that’s not the point.
The point is the Google result for Gefilus which looks exactly like above. (They even have bought a Google Sponsored link to tell what the hell this is all about!)

Why all this?

Finnish text at Google result says (in english):
“This site requires a browser that supports frames to work. Please upgrade your browser.”

My browser? Oh yes, newest Firefox.

Google’s browser? Why that’s a whole different matter – and believe me or not, it’s not Chrome.

Google has no eyes or ears. It doesn’t support Flash or frames properly (and it’s not even supposed to, IMHO). (See Wikipedia on Web Crawlers for more information.)

And as Googlebot, Google’s search robot (or web crawler), doesn’t support frames, the only content Gefilus.fi shows to Bot is the (in principle properly used, mind you) <noframes> -element and it’s content.

Thus the awkward Google result.

Conclusions

  • If you still use frames at 2009, do use the <noframes> -element.
  • … and if you use the noframes-element, put some meaningful content in it, because that may be everything the allmighty Google sees.
  • … and if it’s not in Google, it doesn’t exist, does it?
  • which leads me to wonder what the hell  the ad agency behind Gefilus.fi thought when doing all this? (Flash, frames, page titles (whole Gefilus.fi is named “Valio” according to HTML)).
    Looks pretty, yeah, contents are fine but what about the technical side?

Valio.fi – anna elämän maistua.

Continuing my series of (re-)design reviews (Tampere United, Nokia Sports Tracker), I’ll present Valio.fi (a finnish company “that secures milk production in Finland and the vitality of the nation’s countryside by processing milk into tasty products that promote well-being”, source), which published their redesigned pages some time ago.

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Home - Valio.fi's front page

Above is a screenshot of Valio.fi, front page (in english).

The english version of finnish site is somehow empty, so I’ll use the finnish side instead (sorry!).

I’ll review the site shortly on three two aspects (as I’m lazy, this is my blog and the third category, usability, got me bored):

  1. Design and looks
  2. Technical side
  3. Ad Hoc usability and Information Architecture

Design and looks

In my opinion the new design looks good and fresh – as it should when advertising dairy produts;)  Compared to old design the contrast is great, or what would you say? (Screen grab using Archive.org below)

etusivu_1237120224698Especially the orange compared to new blueish theme is somehow annoying in the old version,

Flowerish logo theme is repeated at page background and images, nice!

Technical side

Platform

On technical side the site uses Oracle Portal as platform (as did the old one, too). Oracle’s platform is sturdy enterprise level publishing platform which suits high traffic sites like Valio (although according to TNS Metrix it isn’t one of the 250 Top Finnish sites).

HTML Validation

Opera Mini Simulator Test (mobile use)

  • works pretty well

Styles

  • What site at 2009 uses document specific styles (with <style> -element)? Ah, I remembered, Valio.fi.

Random

  • Page naming is awful (simple SEO, Search Engine Optimization,  anyone?)
    • example 1, front page is titled “Etusivu” (front page)
    • example 2, Tilauspiste page is simply titled “Tilauspiste”
    • would it be better if it read Valio somewhere?
      for example:
      Etusivu – Valio.fi
  • URL‘s are quite pretty, no page ID’s used, nice.
    But:

    • technical platform is visible in every URL:
      http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio
    • so, get rid of the /portal/page/portal/ -part and yes, better!

Conclunsions

  • Redesign looks good and sports some nifty new contents.
  • Quite good a redesign on top.
  • Technical side of the site is sturdy and working, but doesn’t validate.
  • It’s generally good idea to select a CMS (Content Managemment System) to suit one’s needs. Perhaps Oracle Portal is the best solution here.
  • URL’s are are important, too. They get printed on magazines, on milk cartons (sic!) and sides of cars.
    Try printing:

    • www.valio.fi/keittokirja in stead of
    • http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/Valio/Keittokirja
    • See any difference?



On Google AdSense Ads on GMail

I’m a regular user of Google’s Gmail. Like it quite a lot in spite of the criticism and obvious issues.

One feature, however, is annoying, funny and useful at the same time. I mean the Google AdSense ads in e-mails.

This one chain of e-mails was about a meeting at Helsinki, between me and four other people (all part of a marketing group for a nonprofit). We discussed possible meeting times and places.
Which ads were relevant, according to Google?

Following text ads were presented (in finnish, english translations for titles follow):

Oletko raskaana?
Raskauskalenterimme ilmoittaa mitä tapahtuu sinulle raskauden aikana.
(Are you pregnant?)

Freelance graafikko
Ammattitaitoa kuin
pienessä kylässä.
(Freelance graphic designer.  Editor’s comment: Typo at finnish title)

Kaikki odotuksesta
Tietoa, vertaistukea ja arjen komiikkaa.
(Everything about expecting a baby)

Vihaatko tyrkyttämistä?
Lue B2B-markkinoijan pikaoppaasta mikä on markkinoinnin hunajapurkki.
(Do you hate pressing (your customer)). Editor’s comment:  hard to translate.)

********-äitiysvaatteita
Mallisto, jälleenmyyjät, verkkokauppa. Tervetuloa!
(****** -maternity clothing)

Ei krapulalle
Juhli ilman krapulaa
Kokeile hintaan 0,20 €
(No to hangover)

Vauvan nahkatossut
Käsinvalmistetut vauvan nahkatossut -Yli 40 hurmaavaa mallia!
(Leather slippers for babies)

Miltä vanhempien juominen
näyttää metrin korkeudelta? Muodosta mielipiteesi täällä!
(How does it look from height of 1 m when parents drink?)

Conclusions?

Yeah. Right.

I do have two children.
I drink occasionally and yes, who likes hangover anyway?
Yes, I’m interested in B2B marketing.

Was the marketing then targeted right?

Yes and no.

I still wonder if it should have been different. Topic of e-mails was something completely different, nothing about children, drinking or pregnancy. Marketing, yeah. Nothing else. The freelance designer was a good one.

All in all, not that good results.