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Website Owner's Manual

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 40

Michael J. Ross writes"Experienced Web designers and developers will readily admit that the most challenging aspect of their professions is not the technical work itself, nor learning the tools of the trade, but rather dealing with clients. Within that area, the most frustrating type of work — aside from the ever-joyless chore of collecting on invoices — is getting (non-technical) clients to understand the possibilities and limitations of Web technologies, design decisions, and all the other factors that can make or break a website project, as well as the site itself. Yet this process can be just as unhappy, and far more confusing, to prospective site owners, who typically are quite knowledgeable of their own fields, but have little to no understanding of how best to ensure the success of any website project they sponsor. Aiming to bridge this gap, is the appropriately-titled Website Owner's Manual." Read on for the rest of Michael's review.This book was written by Paul Boag, a veteran Web designer and the Creative Director of Headscape, a British design agency. He speaks at industry events, writes articles for various Web design publications, and cohosts Boagworld, "the podcast for all those involved in designing, developing, and running websites on a daily basis." The book was published on 1 December 2009 by Manning Publications, under the ISBN 978-1933988450. The publisher makes available a Web page for the book, where visitors can order print or electronic versions (purchasing the former entitles one to the latter), read the ancillary portions of the book (the table of contents, the index, etc.), read some reviewers' comments, and download two sample chapters for free: "Chapter 1: The secret to a successful website" and "Chapter 7: Ensuring access for all."

Spanning 296 pages, the book's material is grouped into twelve chapters, covering the following topics: the role and challenges of a website owner; planning a site development project; crafting a project brief, and choosing the team to implement it; how to work with a designer and understand design basics; optimal website content; site usability and testing; site accessibility, and what can undermine it; content management systems; an overview of the Web, browsers, and hosting; online and off-line promotion, including search engine optimization and marketing performance; how to develop your site into an online community, and the many benefits of doing so; preparing your website for the future. The dozen chapters can be thought of as forming three parts, although they are not formally labeled as such.

The book's first chapter is titled "The secret to a successful website," which is also the book's subtitle — at least, as shown on the cover, but oddly not on the title page. It is a poorly chosen chapter title, partly because the author repudiates it on the first page, and partly because it suggests that there is but one element to a successful website, and it is being kept a secret. (One can only hope that the publisher's marketing department is not planning on keeping it a secret.). Fortunately, the silly title does not reflect the chapter's content, which may be brief, but offers sensible advice to any business owner who decides that she needs a new website, or works within an organization and has been given that role. The reader is warned of the dangers of information overload, specialization in only one area of site ownership, and the common failure to comprehend the critical responsibilities of that role: balancing conflicting priorities, defining the role, and planning for the future. This chapter, like all that follow, concludes with a "Next actions" section, containing several tasks that the reader is advised to implement, in order to get the most benefit from the chapter's recommendations.

Chapter 2, titled "Stress-free planning," explores several ways that a website owner can proactively lay the groundwork for a successful Web project: understanding the objectives of an entirely new site or changes to a legacy one, and the organization as a whole; consulting with stakeholders; developing criteria for success; obtaining feedback on an existing site, if any, as well as the competition's sites; and understanding the site's future audience, and representing them in the form of personas. The author posits that this information forms a prerequisite for writing a site brief and assembling "The perfect team," which is the title of the third chapter. He begins by listing the major advantages of either using an internal Web team or outsourcing to an external agency, or choosing a combination thereof (an option that far too many business owners fail to consider, even when it may be the ideal choice). Perhaps one of the most valuable sections of the book is the discussion on how to create an effective brief, and the reasons for doing so even for small and/or internally sourced projects. However, readers may be confused by the assertion on page 49 that revenue can be estimated from profits, when in fact profits are calculated from revenues (less expenses). The chapter concludes with some excellent advice on how to choose the ideal outside team to complete one's Web project, if one has decided to outsource the work.

The second part of the book begins with the fourth chapter, and presupposes that the reader has created a brief and a statement of work, selected a team to implement the latter, and everyone involved has attended a kickoff meeting. Now begins the critical phase of site design, and the author provides sound recommendations on how to avoid some of the most common Web design pitfalls: neglecting the target audience, failing to test the design, designing by committee or on-the-fly, micromanaging the design decisions, overloading the site's homepage, and settling for a corporate brand or page layout that ill-serves the site user and thus the organization. The chapter concludes with discussion of some key topics in the design world: the user's screen resolution, the fold, and the three options for page layout (fixed, fluid, and elastic). Chapter 5 delves into "Creating killer content" — specifically, the importance of context, brevity, logical and user-centric information architecture (through card sorting and use cases), and text that is engaging and easy to read.

In Chapter 6, the author examines a number of aspects of user testing: costs and benefits thereof, techniques for dramatically reducing the former while maximizing the latter, the selection of test subjects, and how best to run usability test sessions and then capitalize on the results in order to hone the website before and during its design. The subsequent chapter — which covers website accessibility — shares common ground with user testing, in some respects, because site testing is an effective post-development strategy to discover accessibility problems. Yet this should be supplemented proactively with an adequate understanding of how to make one's site accessible using standards-based design and coding. The author makes clear the many advantages of separating presentation from content, and of maximizing a site's accessibility — largely by building upon said separation. However, his advice to website owners to read and understand the WCAG 2 guidelines is arguably unrealistic, given that those specifications are admittedly "extensive and highly technical in places"; all clients in my experience would dismiss the suggestion immediately.

Mentioned earlier in the book — as a potential tool for creating a wireframe of a site — content management systems (CMSs) take center stage in Chapter 8, which explores their advantages and disadvantages. One of the criticisms leveled at CMSs — that they reduce site quality by allowing greater user input — is unfair, since a hand-coded, non-CMS site could only allow similar user input with far greater risk (imagine non-technical employees butchering HTML files by editing them in word processors!). Nevertheless, the issues raised by the author definitely need to be considered by anyone planning a CMS-based website. When researching and comparing available CMSs, a business person planning a new site will encounter a plethora of technical terms, many of which are explained in Chapter 9, titled "Decoding technobabble." Yet these terms are just as likely to be encountered during the phases discussed in the book's earlier chapters, and thus this material should have been placed at the beginning of the book, with the suggestion that tech-savvy readers could skip over it; or, the chapter could have been made an appendix, with a similar message at the beginning of the book, pointing to the appendix for those unsure of Web terminology. The only glaring mistake is the statement that "the web consists of a vast network of computers spread across the globe"; that's not the Web, but rather the Internet. Nevertheless, the author's lucid introduction to Web technologies and terms could be a real help to non-technical readers.

The last three chapters can be thought of as the post-launch part of the book, because at this stage in the process, the website owner has completed the build phase, and is now ready to begin increasing the popularity and usage of the site. Chapter 10, titled "Driving traffic," explains the pitfalls and best practices in trying to promote one's site using search engines, social media, and other methods of reaching an audience and measuring the results. The material serves as a decent introduction to the topics, including a brief overview of Google AdWords (although it incorrectly states that AdWords prices start at $.10 per click, when in fact it is one cent). The next chapter explores what is involved in building a vibrant community online, as well as the costs and benefits of doing so. The final chapter, "Planning for the future," begins by warning against the wasteful but common practice of organizations commissioning brand new websites every few years, to replace the previous ones that fell into neglect, oftentimes because the website owner failed to maintain a strong relationship with the site designer. The bulk of the chapter explores emerging trends in the Web world, such as rich media, Web services, and mobile devices.

The book concludes with an index that is quite complete — a characteristic now rarely seen in programming books. Credit should also be given for the neat format and indentation of the table of contents, which facilitates quick scanning.

The text is interspersed with some screenshots, graphs, and, most welcome of all, cartoons that reflect the author's sense of humor and illustrate the conflicts and misunderstandings that can arise during site development and maintenance. All of the screenshots and other technical illustrations are well captioned, except for the one on page 33, which contains an extraneous space after the "link:," and would be baffling if taken at face value, without examining the Google Search screenshot. Sadly reflecting our era of texting and grammatical sloppiness, the chapter titles are not presented in title case, but instead in sentence case — which is especially confusing when they are embedded within sentences in the text. On several pages (45, 60, 86, 91, 102, 140, 185, 186, 209-211, etc.) at least one paragraph contains an errant newline character or is missing an indentation of a paragraph. In general, the production quality of the book does not match the value of the information.

First editions of technical books are usually riddled with errata, and this one is no exception: "Aesthetics refer[s]" (page 5), "principle" (should read "principal"; page 6), "We respects" (page 7, in the form), "site [owner] considers" (9), "Planning give" (16), "possible accessibility problem[s]" (30), "us the web" (37), "she is gives" (37), "a internal" (45), "amazon.com" (47, twice), "suitable [ones]" (48), "are [a] number" (56), "Recommenede" (56), "a RSS" (73), "Resolution affect[s]" (82), "branding and designs" (86), "Pages... needs" (91), "to[o] hard" (94), "This techniques" (95), "can't achieved" (96), "was" (should read "were"; 102 and elsewhere), "content stand out" (104), "Using" (should read "Use"; 104), "on the identifying," (105), "used. and" (111), "longer that than" (115), "This also it" (118), "a certainly level across" (141), "approach take" (141), "JavaS-cript" (143), "then if" (147), "Wordpress" (157), "pervious version" (no joke!; 161), "a enterprise" (161), "open [a] web browser" (173), "photo book" (should read "phonebook"; 173), "than are" (should read "that are"; 175), "in obscure language" (178), and at that point I gave up and stopped recording them. Given the modest length of this book, there are far too many errors such as these.

Readers will likely find that there are two major weaknesses in this book: Firstly, some of the discussion, especially in the first half, is a bit too high level, at times almost like an outline for a meatier discussion — one encompassing more specific information as to how the reader could implement and measure the principles provided. Similarly, because many of the suggestions are fairly general, they would greatly benefit from more examples — either contrived or, even better, real world occurrences — perhaps from Headscape's past projects, with names changed if needed. These could demonstrate the key ideas, and make it easier for readers to see the truth of those ideas in their own past experiences, and then apply them in the future. Fortunately, the book does employee several hypothetical case studies that are incorporated into the narrative, at various points; those are helpful, as are the screenshots that illustrate violations of design best practices.

Secondly, and more importantly, almost no advice is given as to what to do when things go wrong. What can the website owner do when an external design agency begins missing deadlines, but appears to be making an honest effort? What can be done when interdepartmental bickering threatens to sink the specifications process? These and other critical topics are not addressed. (Readers undoubtedly could think of other common scenarios.) It would have been terrific had the author shared hard-won lessons gleaned from his background and those of his colleagues, as well as what methods they found to be effective in squelching those crises, and which ones proved ineffective, and why. Those case studies alone would most likely have been worth the price of the book — again, with no need to disclose the names of the participants. Perhaps there would prove to be enough material to make for a second book.

The writing style can be described using Web design terms: fluid and accessible — although there are some run-on sentences from a lack of well-placed commas. The author explains the topics in a straightforward manner, without the assumptions and jargon that undermine communication between Web experts and non-technical businesspeople. This is one reason why this book should be of value not only to people responsible for websites in organizations of all sizes, but also to designers, developers, user interface specialists, and all other Web professionals who communicate with project managers and end-users.

Website Owner's Manual is a valuable resource that benefits from the experience and insight of a veteran Web designer, and clearly presents guidelines that site managers can follow for maximizing the odds of successful site design, implementation, and maintenance.

Michael J. Ross is a freelance website developer and writer.

You can purchase Website Owner's Manual from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Xmas Present... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515570)


limitations of Web technologies, design decisions, and all the other factors that can make or break a website project, as well as the site itself

Hmmm... I wonder if Amazon can deliver to Taco by Xmas if I put a rush on it.

Re:Xmas Present... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519042)

If you hate D2, turn it off. It's really that simple.

Re:Xmas Present... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30523072)

whoosh

Re:Xmas Present... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527622)

Forget that. I wonder if Amazon can deliver *a* taco by Xmas if I put a rush on it.

In my experience... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515588)

People expect too much from a web site. They don't grasp that a web site is something that needs to be advertised, contrary to their expectation that a web site is advertising. This puts the web designer in a difficult position: No matter how well the site is done, it can't satisfy the expectation that it will generate customers all by itself.

Re:In my experience... (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30517202)

If you're decent at optimizing a website for Google, you won't have that problem.

Using proper meta tags and a handful of other tricks one can practically Guarantee my customers they'll show up within the first 2 pages if they enter the 2 best words to define their business and the city they are located in.

"Oh you do Hardwood Flooring? In Calgary? I'll build you a site, it'll use paypal to handle orders online. You tell your customers to visit the website to see more flooring patterns, a month after launch you'll be on the front page of a Google Search."

Don't do too much web design myself, but I know experts who do, and this is what they stand by and how they earn the big bucks. If you can come through on getting them up on Google and they can come through on getting their regular customers to visit the website, you both will be very happy. In fact, if I recall Correctly, my peer actually charges extra for Google Optimization. I believe he charges $500 for the first page after a month, $200 for the second page, and if he can't get it on there it's free.

Re:In my experience... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30517508)

Using proper meta tags

You don't use meta tags for search engine optimisation anymore. That's so 1998. Search engines, and especially Google, get key words and information from the site's HTML and content now.

Re:In my experience... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519054)

meta tags form a subset of HTML.

Re:In my experience... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519112)

Fine, Sherlock. I meant the HTML between the body tags.

Google *does* attend meta tags, if... (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519270)

If you carefully select fewer than a dozen on-topic keywords, Google does seem to respect them. I have had success getting pages listed on terms that are not in the page's text but are in the keywords meta tag. Google also seems to be very good at detecting keyword spam, though, so tread carefully.

Re:Google *does* attend meta tags, if... (2, Informative)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519368)

The point is that it's a deprecated practice. You should make your HTML documents semantically rich instead.

Re:In my experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518476)

I usually shoot for #1 on the business name and first page for primary service or product and city name. The problem is: Most people want a web site in order to attract business from a larger area and those potential customers don't search for "widget elsewhere". This also doesn't reach the people who don't know that your product exists or that it meets their need. A web site basically only reaches people who would find you anyway if they'd use other means of looking, like yellow pages. In my experience business owners expect more from a web site.

Re:In my experience... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524834)

Using proper meta tags

Oh, really? [blogspot.com]

Re:In my experience... (1)

jocabergs (1688456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30520120)

Actually I've found that most of my clients expect too little. I have so many clients(aside from e-commerce clients) who think that the point of having a website is only to have a presence on the web and don't think about things like using the site as an tool for marketing feedback or as an effective place to put details about products that they can't get across with their 30 second TV spots. Not only that but I've had to beg clients who pay me 10k for their site for answers to questions like "what does your company do?" or "what is your target market". I recently had a client ask why I had a confidentiality clause in my contract, because he said I really didn't have to know too much about the company to design the site... sigh.. maybe I'm crazy but websites should do more than just exist, they are an incredible tool, if you actually plan them, but I'm getting to the point where I hate clients with a passion because they act so stupidly with their money. I'd much rather say that I made a site which preforms a number of business functions and looks pretty that design and implement a pointless pretty site. As long as their money is green I guess...

Two clichés that apply to web sites... (5, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515604)

1. Measure twice, cut once.
2. Plan for the marriage, not for the wedding.

And one which never applies: if you build it, they will come.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30516150)

Unless it's a porn site?

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (0)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516700)

Of course.

Or, alternatively, if you are posting right-wing conspiracies about the government trying to take your guns, euthanize your grandmother, and kill your babies.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519754)

Of course.

Or, alternatively, if you are posting right-wing conspiracies about the government trying to take your guns, euthanize your grandmother, and kill your babies.

Or left-wing libel against right-wing phantoms.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30517112)

1. Measure twice, cut once. 2. Plan for the marriage, not for the wedding.

And one which never applies: if you build it, they will come.

Etc. etc. etc.

When I saw this review, I felt a small spark of hope that someone was actually attempting to express the essence of the web to people who don't really get this stuff. Unfortunately, all we seem to have is yet another fucking cookbook for managers who lack even an iota of imagination.

I would love to see a Sun Tzu-style book, a collection of simple, pithy aphorisms that properly express the essence of a website, its dynamics and the general rules that govern it. Something similar to this brilliant summary of programming truths [computer.org] .

If such a beast ever did come into existence, I'd be a very happy man. If nothing else, it would allow me to end a conversation with some wild-eyed, head-in-the-clouds client by quoting the 20 words that best encapsulate why their idea is madness itself. And if that didn't work, it would be small enough that I could hit someone over the head with it without injuring them seriously.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30517540)

So many clichés, so little paper.

I'd like to see a book like this which has side-by-side real-world examples of each aspect of web design, one example of success and one of failure. And I mean long-term success, not just "we met this month's budget". Maybe a whole book on just how to define "success" for a web site.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (2, Insightful)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30519094)

Search:
Success story: Google
Failure story: Yahoo!
Morales:

  • Don't fill your search home page with random crap.
  • Your first focus should be on the search algorithm--revenue is second to that.
  • Don't enter the search market now that Google controls it.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30520850)

Parent's link has malware infected advertiser - just a warning.

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518322)

But All You Have To Do Is.....!!!!

Re:Two clichés that apply to web sites... (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526148)

measure with mics
mark with chalk
cut with axe

and/or

cut to size
beat to fit
paint to match

Umm, duh? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515646)

...is getting (non-technical) clients to understand the possibilities and limitations of Web technologies, design decisions, and all the other factors that can make or break a website project, as well as the site itself.

Most people who do web design/programming already know that it is a hybrid field. It has a lot in common with technical support, and a lot in common with graphic design: Both fields are less about what you know and can do, and more about how well you can market yourself and understand your client's needs (in the case of tech support, special needs). A lot of people think that because they're good with computers, they should head into IT work. And everybody needs a website, right? Web technologies are fairly easy to master, and so there are always books and classrooms eager to accept money to teach people this. But then they get out in the real world and realize that they've only got half the puzzle. People get out of the field as often as they get in because of this.

IT work is a spectrum from engineering to marketing. But most of us are in 'glue' positions -- our job is to improve existing business processes, which means we need to understand that business process first. It's an aspect of our field that even most people who've been in it for ten years or more can't really articulate. You can't really teach interpersonal skills per se, you have to earn it with experience.

Re:Umm, duh? (2, Interesting)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516022)

I'm a freelance web developer. I asked one of my clients for a testimonial, and he responded with a glowing writeup saying how I was their go-to "IT guy" and a real "techie." I was completely blown away.

This was from a guy who is also outsourcing his *real* IT to an IT company. So you're right, people see us as a solution. If we really want to grow, we need to grow socially, so peole *like* seeing us as a solution over other potential solutions.

Re:Umm, duh? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516200)

I generally try to get people to see me as a problem.

NIGGER OWNERS MANUAL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515668)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER bitches ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

So the big news (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515872)

is that deal with people is hard. In other news water is wet and snow is cold.

Re:So the big news (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515928)

is that dealing with people is hard. In other news water is wet and snow is cold.

I'll get this english thing eventually, it's only my first language.

Re:So the big news (1)

c_sd_m (995261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516414)

is that dealing with people is hard. In other news water is wet and snow is cold.

I'll get this english thing eventually, it's only my first language.

Never having been taught anything useful about a language is a pretty good excuse for errors. Most of the strong English speakers I know do have it as a mother tongue but speak a related language too. The other are old enough that the curriculum wasn't diluted to just reading when they were in school. Actually studying grammar and structure seems to make a difference.

What a great idea for a book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30516092)

It is about time a book like this was written. I mean the subject is precisely what I -- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

shorter website owner's manual (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516338)

How about making your own website? Or making a website with people you know?

Not everything has to clone the old-media approach of speech and media as "content" production [fsf.org] .

Nit-picking review (2, Insightful)

Ratface (21117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516750)

When I read a book review, I am usually less interested in a grammatical analysis of the book and more interested in the book's content and usefulness. I found it difficult to get much out of this review because of all the nit-picking. It would have sufficed to point out that the book contains grammatical and spelling errors rather than detailing them all. That information would perhaps be more interesting to the book's editor.

Re:Nit-picking review (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30516808)

Perhaps that was the point, as your experience with the above review mirrors the reviewers experience with the book: it was difficult to get much out of it because of these annoying details.

296 Pages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30517476)

"Spanning 296 pages, the book's material is grouped into twelve chapters"

I can hardly get a client to read an entire email much less 296 pages of a book.

Re:296 Pages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30519436)

I know! Client asks me a "how to do X" question. I invest a considerable amount of time into figuring out an answer, doing research, comparing options and (the hardest part) dumbing everything down for them. Then I redact my email because it has become too long and unstructured. I hit send and never hear back from them about the issue. No followup questions, no "I don't get it", not even a "never mind".

I think it's because clients don't want to understand how stuff works. They're not like us. They're not curious. Even when they ask you a question, what they really want is not an answer. They want us to make their problem go away without explaining what we're doing.

The initial sentences of this review made me hope for a manual on how to handle clients. That one is still sorely missing.

/EP.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30518718)

don't fe3l that Partner. And if

I don't understand... (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30520326)

...what all this tech + sales hybrid hooplah is all about. Any job that involves an individual selling their skills is such a job. Be it law, music, video productions, industrial design, consulting, politics, hair styling, whatever. It may be a coincidence that many freelance web designers emerged thinking their job was unique, but that has nothing to do with how the world really ticks.

If you suck at sales, get a job at a firm where they only need your tech skills. If you suck at tech, but are great at sales, get a job at the same firm but in the department opposite. If you think you got what it takes to do it on your own, go for it. The real world will readily provide you with a real world answer to whether you have what it takes.

Looks interesting (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30524944)

Clients From Hell [tumblr.com] seems like a relevant link to add here...

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