Monthly Archives: July 2009

a note (or is it a comment?) on feature blur

Brad just pointed out that Google Reader added new features familiar to Twitter and Facebook users: marking a post as something you “like” and setting a status message. They didn’t remove similar features, though, so the result is a blur of options:

Google Reader feature blur example

So when I want to remember something, do I “star” it or “like” it? If I want to let people know about it, should I “like” it or “share” it? Is my “note” shown as a “comment” or somewhere else?

I recognize the thinking here; if users are looking for a feature by a familiar name (“like”), they might not find it by your own convention (“star”). This half-baked mix of features isn’t the answer, though. Each addition should have been weighed against the existing choices, and if the benefit justified the new feature it should have replaced the old.

the Bechdel Test and sci-fi shows

Voyager's Janeway and TorresSo I’m still looking for a sci-fi or fantasy film I’ve seen that passes the Bechdel Test. While I’m searching, let’s move on to something that seems easier at first glance: TV shows.

It’s almost trivial for a long-running show to pass the test; just have two women talk to each other about something other than a man in any episode. Some shows do better than others, though, passing the test in more individual episodes. Continue reading