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September 17, 2004 12:31 AM

Broken: Site personalization

1to1Linda Burlison writes:

I went to, a website run by Rogers&Peppers group, who consider themselves gurus in the area of providing a personalized, one-to-one experiences online.

They've written many books and white papers on the topic and also have a white paper posted on their site discussing how to build a great 1-to-1 website (using their own as an example).

Well, I decided to download this paper. After I registered, I got the following message from the site:

    $FIRST_NAME, thank you for registering at
    Click here to download our white paper, "Building a One-to-One Web Site."


Typical programming error. I wouldn't think of it as broken, rather a mistake in code-typing.

Posted by: Selcuk at September 17, 2004 09:31 AM

If it needs fixing, it's broken.

Posted by: Bob Sifniades at September 17, 2004 09:47 AM

"A typical programming error" -- that goes uncorrected -- is broken. All they had to do to fix it was have one person test it before putting it in production. How confident would you be, as a potential client, in paying for their services after encountering this? Shameful.

Posted by: E.T. at September 17, 2004 10:47 AM

I appreciate the irony of such a mistake. Is this indicative of their service or a one off mistake?

Posted by: HJK at September 17, 2004 10:50 AM

Reminds me of the "programming error" in the junk emails I get with subject lines like:

"Dear %FIRST, great deals! %RND_CHAR"

Posted by: Rob at September 17, 2004 11:26 AM

"If it needs fixing, it's broken."

Yeah, but it makes for a dull post.

Posted by: mendel at September 17, 2004 12:04 PM

On any other web site, it would be a development gaffe. It shuold never have made it past QA testing. But even so, it's just a bug. But for a site promoting a company whose service is personalisation, this is more significant. It doesn't reflect well on the company.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at September 17, 2004 12:54 PM

Personally, I'm getting sick of all these online errors submitted. It's obvious there are going to be tons of errors made online, and that lies in the fault of the programmers, not the product.

This isn't quite the case of this website however. I agree that it's broken, I just felt the above paragraph ought to be said.

Posted by: Ilan at September 17, 2004 03:02 PM

Yeah, it's just a bug. The QA/Test team should have caught this, not the programmers. The fault really lies in companies that won't let people test from home or their favorite internet cafe-- I'd guess it probably worked fine in the office.

Posted by: Simon Trew at October 2, 2004 11:30 AM

this is especially stupid because, knowing a couple programming languages myself, I know that that error is caused by ONE MISSING CHARACTER!

not saying it's not broken, in fact that fact kind of exacerbates the irony

Posted by: fakename at December 21, 2004 05:02 PM

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