There's a trend among Web 2.0 sites (in particular) to be cute when things aren't working. You know what? It's obnoxious. This morning, while doing some research (for a client!) I came across a couple of examples of this.
Here's one from Technorati, where frankly, something's always broken. (Here's an opportunity: create a site like Technorati that actually works and you can kick their butts into oblivion, somebody. Are you listening, Google? Add some features to your blog search and Technorati becomes a Web 2.0 footnote, and nobody will shed a tear.)Ha ha. The Technorati monster. Judging from my experience with the site, the Technorati monster has left the building, bought a ticket to Tahiti, and is sitting on the beach with a nice cocktail laughing his monster ass off at you.
And then this one:
Wow, cute and obtuse. So helpful.
Yes, I know that things break. And I know that I'm using free sites and my expectations should be lower.
But I'd like an error message that tells me what the error is and even better, when I might want to try it again. These messages give me the sense that behind the curtain, there are a bunch of 17 year olds giggling and saying, "OMG, Betty spilled her Diet Coke in the server again!"
No, really, this kind of stuff is the engine of a business revolution. Really. Trust them!