[thelist] flash detection

Mike Hardaker mike at angloinfo.com
Mon May 7 18:16:03 CDT 2001

> Most commercials have zero replay value.  A select few continue to be
> entertaining...
> In addition, we are conditioned to accept interruptions in our viewing
> experience.  That is why it's so disturbing when TV networks
> replay movies,
> and then disrupt the flow with commericals.
> Flash lives on another medium with different expectations, so it
> should step
> aside if it's impeding access to information.

I think this is almost right, but missing a few wrinkles.

Firstly, watching TV is a relatively passive process, so we can't be
bothered to switch channels (or switch off) when a commercial comes on. The
Web, in its current form, places the consumer more in the role of an active
particpant - and many Flash (or similar) elements force a moment of
passivity which is unacceptable. It's like being given ten minutes in the
Sin Bin, forced to watch others play *your* game.

Secondly, most *decent* radio or TV commercials *do* have reasonable replay
value - although some great ones have been designed as one-shots.
Furthermore, a well-designed broadcast slot actually enhances the (passive)
experience of the audience. How many Web "multimedia presentations" can be
said to do the same? They are more like the self-serving crap you have to
watch on the video screen at a sales or press conference, where you can't
get up and leave because you'll look rude. Only, on the Web, you can. And

This is a diferent medium, yes. But some of the fundamental media rules can
still apply - and that includes an understanding of what the consumer
*wants*. Get that right and then - and only then - can you start imposing
elements that you want, and only on the understanding that you don't
interfere with consumer enjoyment.

And when the consumer is, in essence, directing the show that can be hard.

But who said it was going to be easy?

Mike Hardaker
Founder & Publisher
www.angloinfo.com (Web)
wap.angloinfo.com (WAP)

More information about the thelist mailing list