Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, go down quickly from here, for your web developers whom you have outsourced from India have acted corruptly. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them; they have made themselves cheap plastic pencil toppers.’ - ‘Dude’ronomy 911
On the 5th day of kitschmas my webmaster was struck down by G*d.
Because of … and let everyone sing together: “5 Jesus pencil toppers.”
I’m sorry folks, but this one bugs me at a variety of levels. In part because it’s just flat-out blasphemy by unbelievers, and those who do worship the Christ, idolatry.
“They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood [or perhaps plastic?]!” - Jeremiah 10:8
Apostate or apostle, this false image of our Lord not only provides everyone with the near perfect example of how commercialism has lead some down a false path - but because this pencil topper is actually not an eraser - this plastic crap also gives us an object lesson in a not as serious sin I sometimes find on church and charity websites: faux navigation.
False navigation can come in a variety of irritating and confusing forms:
- underlining text that isn’t a hyperlink;
- formatting hyperlinks so they blend into the text;
- menu titles that do not match the title of the pages to which they are navigating;
- anchor links that effectively go nowhere; and
- DuHTML-driven drop-down and slide-in menus that don’t work the same across all browsers or user age groups
“All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.” Isaiah 45:16
The point here is to realize that the primary purpose of any navigation is to get a person from point A to point B as intuitively as possible - that is without several pages and/or hours of instruction.
Here’s a good question to ask yourself regarding website navigation: if it’s not obvious, then perhaps it’s over done?
Oh and for those who’d like to discuss the finer theological points of the aforementioned merchandise, please allow me to direct you to a website I myself just discovered as I researched this item: A Little Leaven: Jesus Pencil Toppers - whose description of this item accurately asserts:
Our internal studies have shown that use of the Jesus Pencil Topper in high school classrooms reduces incidences of cheating by .001%. But, it increases blasphemies by 600%.
Tell’m Mean Dean sent ya!
On the 4th day of Christmas my webmaster brought to me, four neon colored kazoos! Yes folks, even if your singing sounds like an injured cat in a trash can, you can still harmonize with that “Mitt Romney sings your Favorite Carols with the Mormon Tabernacle” album your great aunt bought you back in 1987 when you’re equipped with one of these cheap, plastic “Jesus Loves me kazoos” pictured to the right:
Speaking of the sound of fingernails being dragged down an old, faded chalk board, I’d like to employ today’s “Kitschmas present” as a metaphor for yet another type of annoying surprise that I continue to find on a number of church websites. That is, the earsplitting gift of music - and now videos - that automatically play when the web page loads.
I mean how effective do you think a church website is that ambushes someone within earshot of their boss with some tinny rendition of Peter Schickele’s “The Seasonings” - especially in a work place where there is a sensitivity regarding music downloads and US Copyright Laws?
Fact is that though 47% of the U.S. is now online using some form of broadband, most still dislike the time it takes to load media files - not to mention the unwanted legal headaches such files present.
Fortunately services such as YouTube give content providers the opportunity to act smart by embedding a click-to-play image that we can surround with useful summaries; in turn offering the user the freedom of choice to play or not to play.
A good example is my own post entitled “Dean takes a dive in the dead sea that ‘rocks’” where I take the ‘Nestea Plunge’ into the Dead Sea with a 25lb rock on my chest - but only after providing users a brief description along with the option of clicking the play button - before showing the silly 1.5 minute video.
Point is, so long as you have the rights to the content and feel it contributes to your websites conversion goals, provide it, but in an opt-in format only. Otherwise your love comes across like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal … or in this case, more like some krummy hot-pink kazoo in the key of B#.