[thelist] flash detection

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Mon May 7 22:36:19 CDT 2001

> From: Erik Mattheis <gozz at gozz.com>
> Don't you think it's weird that so many of the forwarded emails you
> get from your niece are to Flash movies?

i've only gotten 1 Flash movie forwarded to me *ever*, vs. the 47 
this week (so far) that are either plain text or images...

heh, but that's like the whole plain-text vs. HTML mail thing again, 
and i think we know where i stand on that...

> OK, (very generously) 10% of web users might not have the Player. So
> all you have to do is find more than 10% more visits because of Flash.

ok, this i'm gonna hit... not only is that kind of a silly way to do it, 
it's a bit inaccurate... first off, i don't run a store without a ramp and 
look at the 10% of my users on crutches or in wheelchairs (from 
snowboarding accidents, i presume) and say to myself, "ok, gotta 
get 10% more people through the door..."  why not just get *those* 
10% through the door *now*... hell, most of your work is done, 
they're *there* already...

second off, i have three machines here that have Flash plug-ins, 
but none of them has the processor power to run at least half of the 
Flash-centric sites i see... so, how does the statistic so oft-quoted 
by Macromedia account for low-end CPUs?  or hell, even the bad 
HTML surrounding their plug-ins that makes 'em not work on all 
browsers (that otherwise qualify as 'Flash-capable')?

> I can't prove it, but seems obvious to me that the average Internet
> user really digs Flash ... I have no other explanation for how a Flash
> site can get over 50K visitors in the first month with a
> marketing/promotion budget of $0.

i don't agree with that... the average internet user digs eye-candy... 
 this doesn't mean they dig Flash... you know that logic is flawed, 
so i'm not going to camp on it...

however, i know other Flash sites that got 50k of visitors in the first 
month with a minimal advertising budget, and they want kaput... 
like Boo.com... i think Balthazar went away... a local one went in 
the crapper... thing is, 50k of visitors is great, but can they do or 
see what they came there for...

ok, *best* use of Flash this last month, based on how *i* surf...

i went looking to price out cars... i went into the requisite 
customization tool and added parts and features and even changed 
colors... took me a while to realize it was Flash and not a horse of 
JavaScript and cached images because it was so smooth... and it 
was only *part* of the page, so bookmarking it and otherwise using 
my back button and such was still enabled...

bad use, another car site had a Flash menu that animated every 
fecking time i clicked it, slowing me down by 2-4 seconds per 
page... i didn't price a car there, and it didn't make it into my car 
hunting rounds around town (armed with my printouts), so they 
definitely lost my business (or chance of business) because of 
their Flash use...

other (oddly) appropriate uses of Flash... a client wants 
background music on her site... she's a musician and it's her 
record label, so i'm not challenging it... well, Flash has better 
support, and if done properly, better controls (like a nice 'stop' 
button when we build it) and a smaller footprint than using the 
Quicktime plug-in or built-in browser chunkage to stream that 

overall, folks, we have to keep in mind two truths:

- any technology can suck if implemented poorly...
- everything has its place...

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