July 23rd, 2007

distributed postmodern agitprop

It's not just cream that floats

Harlan Ellison once claimed the two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. Considering that Sturgeon's Law seems to be a universal truth, Ellison's rule is pretty easy to demonstrate, but sometimes you run across examples that just cry out for sharing.

I'd like to formally nominate some especially sterling examples I recently found ...:

Bubble Gum And Duct Tape category: For the most egregious fix of something that could have more easily, more quickly, and more elegantly been replaced.

Today's nominee: The header image from GotSky.com! Because nothing screams "professionalism" like taking a pre-cropped 360-pixel-wide graphic from your existing website and telling your graphics guy that that same picture has to be reused at 500 pixels for the redesign.

Nothing Beats A First Impression category: For website designs that best maximize clickthrough/visibility/search engine placement while minimizing actual utility. (Unintentional successes only. Spam sites are excluded from consideration, as they do this deliberately.)

Today's nominee: MoreMagic's incredible Google summary when you search for their company name*: "spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic, spacer graphic ..."

Get Thee Behind Me category: For superlative application of technology in a manner that is simultaneously dehumanizing, terrifying, and entirely unnecessary.

Today's nominee, and likely winner: Redbook's photoshopping of Faith Hill (Edit: Link appears to be down; see here instead for analysis and here for the original flipbook-type animation) for a recent cover shot. The image is large, so I won't repost it here, but I urge you to go look. And then pick up your jaw from the floor.

Any other nominees? There can't be any shortage of candidates.

* Stumbled across while trying to reach the awesome story of the "More Magic switch" in the Jargon File.