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Net Attitude

When I wrote Net Attitude 12 years ago, I thought that by now, all organizations would be exploiting the Internet effectively. Sadly, this is not true. There are so many web sites that do not do what they are supposed to do. You enter a date or a phone number or a social security number, and the site says you left out the dashes, or you can’t have dashes. The incredible computing power available to virtually all users and the ability of javascript programming to be embedded directly in a web page makes it easy for the page to add or delete dashes and slashes and present the data to a database in the format that the database expects. Many websites such as AT&T are next to impossible to navigate. You are presented with att.com, att.net, consumer pages that are labeled as being for the enterprise, and on and on. Many sites ask you a set of questions before they let you find what you want to find. Others have an obvious priority that the site is for their benefit, not yours.

Many websites allow booking of flights, theater or dinner reservations, and other appointments. However, many of them still do not provide the basic and simple idea of adding the reservation to your calendar. Hundreds of millions of people have electronic calendars on their smartphones, yet many companies do not effectively enable them to be used. Others offer one choice — add to Outlook. Do such companies think that everyone in the world uses Outlook? Don’t they realize that millions of people use Apple, Google, or Yahoo calendars? Even more mindless and benighted is what Delta Airlines does. After making a reservation, they offer an option to add your flights to your calendar. Bravo! I booked a couple of flights the other day and added them to my calendar, but after looking at the calendar entry, I was greatly disappointed. The entry said, Your Itinerary: Laguardia — Jacksonville, GY3MQ. No where in the visible part of the calendar entry did it say Delta Airlines. No flight number appeared. What could they have been thinking? Perhaps that all flights that you book are with Delta? My conclusion is that they were not thinking at all. Websites have come a long way in the past 20 years, but many still don’t have Net Attitude! We are still in the early days of the Internet.