The whole point about ecommerce.

Snazzy graphics. A nifty product description. Call to action buttons. Easy to read fonts. Simple navigation. Search. Categories. Item suggestions. Peer reviews. Multiple payment options.

Obviously, every feature on a site is geared on easing the user towards one objective: the sale.

Does the site owner actually care about implementation? Not really. I’m currently in the “roll it out ASAP” frame of mind, so to me the speed of the rollout and product strength is more important than window dressing like the stuff I just mentioned. If your product is good, people will want it regardless of your site.

Analogy: If you have a lousy tasting hotdog for sale, no amount of mustard or ketchup will change reality.

My point? Stick to simplicity, get something usable with minimum fuss and push it out. Have faith in your product, spend your energy on brand awareness and market it to the world, rather than spending ten years making your site look perfect. Nothing is perfect, things will change with time. You will get another shot at a site revamp later on, so spend your energy on what matters.

The end. This is your pearl of wisdom for the weekend, and you’re welcome.

Amigurumi handicraft: Geek Central Station – Jack Sparrow & Gandalf!

After writing about Geek Central Station’s amigurumi dolls, I succumbed to temptation and ordered two dolls; Jack Sparrow and Gandalf.

Sammi from Geek Central Station was really friendly and prompt in her replies, and soon things were in progress.

  • Date of confirmed order: 29 Jul 2008
  • Date completed: 28 Aug 2008 – a month later
  • Date received: 08 Sep 2008 – a week to arrive from the States! Pretty fast : )

Cost was USD$100 inclusive of shipping, but I had quite a bit of spare cash from completing surveys so I didn’t really mind.

Less talk, more pictures – onwards!

Notice Jack skulking around in the background; he’s trying to get into the picture too.

Single portraits, looking really good. They are actually about 6 inches tall, not as small as you might imagine them to be.

Excellent detail on the accessories, look at the sword, the pipe and the staff.

Kudos to Sammi again for the great work; fantastic handiwork should always be recognised and given support! : )

Tech: Google Chrome – Google’s new browser

I’m not really a hardcore Google fan, but Google products have always been pretty good in my opinion. Examples would be like GMail, Google Docs, and even Google Apps. And how about their crowning glory, the Google search engine?

And so I came across the webcomic of Google Chrome in my random surfing yesterday; the product sounded pretty good so why not?

Better memory management is always a good idea, and this is the part I like best: each browser tab is run as a separate process. So if your tab hangs, just say goodbye to the tab – no need to close the entire browser and start bitching about how you lost everything.

(Today’s the first day of the beta release BTW.)

The new browser installation finished its download within five minutes so I’m guessing it’s not that big. Installation was smooth and hassle-free, and looking pretty sleek and works pretty well so far, despite the fact that it’s a beta release.

Image sourced from the Google Chrome homepage.

Things to do:

Goodbye MSIE, I’m kicking you out after all the constant hangups after that recent Windows update.

Check out Google Chrome if you haven’t!

Keinian ideals – Cowboy Caleb philosophy that makes sense

I have always enjoyed reading Cowboy Caleb’s random links and rant posts, and here’s a couple of the recent (ok not so recent actually) that make alot of sense to me.

The picture grows clearer from the back to the front of my mind: this post pretty much says what I have always believed in: material possessions are second to experiencing life.

“.. Owning shite won’t make you feel alive, you have to live life to actually be alive.”

Here’s a zany idea on management: Interesting perspective, but it makes sense in a bizarre sort of way. I’m always trying to make sure that I do not hold others up because of a stupid inability to make an effective decision.

” .. The worse thing that can happen to a manager, is to be perceived as somebody that doesn’t move. Such folk don’t get things done.

To avoid such a situation, make sure people think you can move shite – get things done.

Assume that you’re slightly talented. Out of 100 decisions made, you should be able to get at least 60-70% correct.
Nobody is going to blame you for the remaining 30% incorrect decisions, because you’re a talented manager that gets shite done but is only human.

In fact, people will revere you as a leader because you’re not afraid to make decisions.

Getting it right or wrong, is a totally separate matter.”

Cool stuff : ) I like.

Video: So You Think You Can Dance – Will/Courtney & Twitch/Katee

Two hours spent watching So You Think You Can Dance on TV tonight, elimination time for the top 8 dancers so far. And these two performances were simply excellent.

Will & Courtney
Slow hiphop routine choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon

Emotional isn’t it? The longing and the feeling of being embraced by the ghostly male lover, memories long gone.

Twitch & Katee
Contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels

This one’s full of entertainment value. She wants him, but he simply plays it cool. Excellent characterisation!

Amigurumi handicraft: Geek Central Station

Quoted from Wikipedia (because I know nuts about it and I’m lazy to spend too much time researching):

Amigurumi (lit. Knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. Amigurumi are typically cute animals (such as bears, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.), but can include inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features. Amigurumi can be either knitted or crocheted. In recent years crocheted amigurumi are more popular and more commonly seen.

.. The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities.

In summary: they are similar to the buggers you can see in this shop from JJ Market in Bangkok:

And of course, these two little fellows that I bought belong to the same category.

I came across this on a Geekologie post titled I Must Have It! Little Knitted Link Doll. Look at the Link doll, you can see the level of effort that went into making it.

Cool eh?

So I got hooked, line and sinker. Here’s what I ordered from their Etsy shop:

Captain Jack Sparrow! You could almost expect the doll to start waltzing prancing around frivolously like the real Captain.

Gandalf! Awesomeness. Now if they had the cart for him to ride, and the Shire to complete the picture.. *slurps*

Sammi from Geek Central Station responded real quickly after I placed my custom order, which is something I like. Customer satisfaction! Shipping is gonna cost $10 via USPS, and I’m looking forward to the dolls when they’re completed heh heh. More photographs in a later post when I get them.

Note: payment is via PayPal if you prefer it. If not? Well I’m gonna use that so I don’t know about other options at all.

Have a look at these other characters: Ecto from the Ghostbusters, Link from Zelda, Cobra Commander from GI Joe, Aragorn from LOTR, Indiana Jones, and a fantastic looking Witchking (the chief Ringwraith) from LOTR. Check out the rest of the pictures on Flickr .

WordPress: A cute trick to combat WordPress spam #2 – Simple Spam Filter

Well, here I am again.

The original name verification worked for like two weeks before the porn/drug comments slowly started up again, so I began looking around for an alternative. Simple Spam Filter by Joe Tan seems to be a good and simple solution to all the crap comments, so here I am having a go at it.

Note: remember to take a look at your dashboard, under Comments – Spam Filter. Configure and enable the reCaptcha option inside, and have an updated list of the blacklisted words.

Sample screenshot from the author #1: how to configure.

Sample screenshot from the author #2: how it looks like when reCaptcha is enabled.