When a company doesn’t care about the product!

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I wrote in my blog ages ago. Many things are changed in the latest two years and lately I have this wish to write down my thoughts again. Anyway, first news is that this blog will be, from now on, only in English. I will try to write about many topics, and English is the right coiche. Of course I will not write only about ‘tech’ things, but I will try to cover all the wide range of interests and passions I have.

When I was in China working I had several time discussions with colleagues cause in my opinion only few companies really cares about their products. In my example I took Apple as a leader, not technically nor in pure marketing, but in try to think what we user wants and do it carefully in every single details (ok, with iPhone 5C and their bubbles covers, they just demonstrate something has been lost from Steve Jobs era).

Today I was watching two potential gifts online I want to buy for Christmas, so I had a look at the new Amazon Kindle (http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B007HCCOD0/) and the Bellroy Note Sleeve Wallet (http://bellroy.com/wallets/note-sleeve-wallet); they are both good gifts, and I particullary find the new Kindle (at 59€ discounted price) an ‘evergreen’ gift for Christmas, cause it’s useful, it’s nice, doesn’t replace a Tablet (at least integrate more) and I love the paper-feeling while I read (and it’s nice to think knowledge of human beings can only grow by reading), I couldn’t think of a better gift. On the other hand I recently discover Bellroy, a ‘wallets’ company that has behind them a great product designer and story teller (visit the whole website it’s worth), not to mention the designer even took great care to photos (and yes I like photos too).

If you just see the links associated with the products you could already see a small hint of what I’m going to say, the URLs are readable for Bellroy and are not for Amazon. I’m a developer, I don’t expect every product has a readable URL, but Kindle as I said is probably a great product and could really be the Chritmas of the Kindle, do a readable URL. They did indeed, but it’s a redirect to the unreadable URL.

So I tried to share these gifts on Facebook, cause I wanted some feedbacks, and then I discovered something horrible, just have a look:

Do you notice? Now, Facebook is de facto The Social Network and one shouldn’t be a genius to know that sharing on Facebook a product link (especially of someone entusiasth of it) it’s nowadays the best way to sell a product, it’s ‘the social advertising’, and with that I mean not only the annoying ads on the right side, but the  social behavior behind a choice, so if your friend like it and found it useful, you will take into HIGH consideration to buy it. It’s like in real life, there are no better ‘advertisements’ of people telling how they love that product. As we can see the first big error is the preview image associated with the product, the second is the title that doesn’t contain any clue about the ‘Christmas Offer’ (something like ‘Amazon Kindle – Christmas offer: only 59€’, the third is the description that it’s just title repetition. But this is Amazon.it, so I tried with .com to see, maybe only the italians are lazy.

Ok the result it’s maybe slightly better, the description is very good, but the preview image still wrong. Why maybe? Cause in the Italian version, at least the third image was a good wide photo, in the US version you can’t choose.

By appreciating Bellroy I got curious to see if the designer was so good even of that, and let’s say he didn’t betray my expectation:

What to say, perfectly clear, and even the use of the smaller image is on purpose cause it gives more value to the text (and you sell wallets, that closed they almost all look the same).

But I’m a technician, so I did a step further, and I discovered how actually Facebook retrieve this information. In the past Facebook did that by scraping the page and try to figure out first content and image in the page, from a bunch of years they invented Open Graph (http://opengraphprotocol.org/). It’s very simple, you define special metatags for the image URL, the title and the description, that’s it. Open Graph it’s more powerful than that: for example in a page with a video, you could actually tell Facebook to build a link like ‘I’m watching this VIDEO’, where watching is an action that Facebook can use in the future to tell you what you recently watched or what you watch more (they are doing that lately with the Music). As a note, best image you can use for the preview is an image that is wide twice the height (ratio 2:1), that’s cause actually Facebook use that ratio in the ‘wide’ preview of the image associated with a post. And it’s the same ratio they use for internal advertisting, just a coincidence?

To conclude, how is possible a so big company, that make its fortune cause Internet, doesn’t use Internet in the best way? This lack of ‘care’ it’s really bad and from the CEO to the last employee no one cares about. And they even spend money to promote their page on Facebook, I will buy the Kinde anyway despite a so bad lack of care, they are lucky I choose based on the product not how they market (and actually even Apple and Microsft fail this simple ‘sharing’ test, PS4 that lately pushed a lot on good ads instead is good as expected, and Google good as well with Nexus 5).

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