February 2009

Hulu is shutting down Boxee, taking two steps backwards

Hulu Blog: Doing hard things.

Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence — bumps and all — we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners. Without their content, none of what Hulu does would be possible, including providing you content via Hulu.com and our many distribution partner websites.

Apparently doing the right thing in this situation is simple: screw the users.

Wrong

The right thing to do here is keep the users happy while working out the hard details. Ads are still being shown; revenue is still being generated.

When will these content producers realize that they can’t possibly “own” any content—without an audience to watch it? Keep screwing customers, but don’t come crying when they are compelled to steal the content instead.

Any company that feels safe enough to screw their customers rather than innovate deserves to lose.

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The problem with a website “redesign”

An important comment about the concept of a website “redesign,” from #3 on this list:

Because corporate websites are under-resourced, they are often neglected for long periods of time. They slowly become out of date with their content, design and technology.

Eventually, the website becomes such an embarrassment that management steps in and demands that it be sorted. This inevitably leads to a complete redesign at considerable expense.

This concept of investing considerable money to “reshape” as things get “stale” is a hold-out from two prior models: 1) the distributed, desktop software model from the IT perspective, and 2) the brochure model from a marketing perspective.

The truth is that websites defy the rigidity of both of these models. A website can change organically—that is, many slight changes over time—without the need for new distribution, packaging, etc. This is a more natural approach for users and allows the website to better adapt to the changing needs of the marketplace—without ever having an overbearing and costly “redesign.”

Read more from the list here:
10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites | How-To | Smashing Magazine.

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