One community of web users that you probably don’t know about unless you’re one of them is the home-improvement culture. Improving your home is tremendously reference-intensive: you’re always looking up mildew-resistant paint or miter saw kerf tolerances or lag bolt length tables, and the Web is a boon.
Everybody paints, and almost everybody, at some point or another, buys paint from Benjamin Moore. But don’t visit them on the Web unless you have IE 5 or higher, or you’ll get a nasty message saying:
“Welcome to BenjaminMoore.com This site has been created for usage requiring Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or higher.”
Well, Benjamin Moore, welcome to my doghouse. Say goodbye to every tech geek in the world, to every person using a non-PC, and just maybe, an increasing proportion of the AOL users.
Memo to self: make sure there’s no B.Moore in my investment portfolio.
Memo to world: you can produce good-looking, colorful, ready-for-business, robust web sites, that work in whatever weird browser assuming it’s modern, and degrade gracefully in the old browsers; just play by the rules. All it takes is a little intelligence, and of course that you care about reaching all your potential customers. Hello, Benjamin Moore?
Hmm… I see that Sherwin-Williams does care about my business.
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