How to Engage the End-User

We keep wondering why users won’t RTFM, but just look at our FMs! Nice brochures are printed on that coated silky paper that begs to be touched, while the manual is printed on scratchy office-grade paper. Even just that one change–making the user manual as touchable as the marketing material would be a good start.

Why marketing should make the user manuals!

I remember the time that I first attempted to use someone’s ‘s bioni-age souped-up digital SLR, which, to my chagrin, no matter how much I tinkered with it, stayed on the “P” mode.

I don’t usually go about RTFM when the product or service is easy to use in the first place. What really ticks me off is a terribly developed product or service accompanied by a terribly designed FM. Just because something is complicated does not mean it’s smart. It’s just complicated.

Kathy Siera‘s post about focusing too much on the tool rather than the user (or the use of the tool) makes a lot of sense. A few key ideas:

  1. Are we focusing too much on the tool (e.g. camera) rather than the thing our users are trying to do with the tool (e.g. photography)? And by “focusing”, I mean that your documentation, support, training, marketing, and possibly product design are all about the tool rather than whatever the tool enables.
  2. Is the product just too damn hard to use even if a user does know what they want to do with it?
  3. Do we encourage/support a user community that emphasizes mastery of the thing the tool is for?
  4. Do we train our users to become better at the thing they use the tool for, in a way that helps make the need for all those other features seem obvious?


Some days are like sh*t rolling down the hill. And then you find hilarious videos online such as this one showing Conan O’Brien playing 1864-style baseball. I always enjoy watching Conan, especially when he makes fun of himself.

And who could top Pinoys’ hilarious take on the English language? Funny Pinoy signs anyone?

funny pinoy english
Bres para sa ngipon gives you that million-piso Kodak smile.

funny pinoy english signs
No shit!

funny pinoy english
Gotta have me one of them Canvers New Star.

(More at Witerary.)

Boracay Pics

Finally, the photos of our Bora trip have arrived:

boracay regency cafe cristina buffet breakfast
Breakfast buffet. First of the many attempts by Regency to fatten us up.

Lunch at Regency's food plaza
Lunch at Regency’s food plaza

Boracay main road
Beachwear hehe…

swimming pool
Boracay Regency’s pool

bacon waffles at zuzuni
My favorite – bacon waffles at Zuzuni


Boracay Station 2
Station 2

lamps and henna
Buy lamps or get a henna tattoo by the main path.

Guimaras Oil Spill in NASA Photos

NASA guimaras spill

By August 29, the government of the Philippines reported that the oil covered 245 kilometers of coastline; 16 square kilometers of coral reef area; 1,128 hectares of mangrove area; and 1,143 hectares of a marine reserve. At least 17,435 people had been affected by the spill, and many coastal residents were evacuated because of toxic substances on the shore.

–NASA Observatory.

guimaras oil spill map

This Radar satellite image map shows the extent of oil spill in Guimaras island following the sinking of Solar I tanker. The oil spill (yellow) covers an estimated area of 66 square kilometers.

Visit Sludge for more udpates about the Guimaras Oil Spill.

Visit UNOSat for more images.

Banksyfied Paris Hilton, Asia’s hottest, wiki model, romance

  • 100 Hottest Companies in Asia – Red Herring is unveiling within the next few days a series of 100 hottest companies in Asia, which is a list of what it considers the most promising startups:

    The 100 companies on this list could serve as a snapshot of the pecking order of venture capitalism during the past year in Asia. They represent 10 countries, with the largest number of companies, 33, from China, followed by India (24) and South Korea (20). Of course, there are selections from Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. We also found companies we liked in Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and even Sri Lanka.

  • Banksy gets a go at Hilton.

    Hundreds of Paris Hilton albums have been tampered with in the latest stunt by “guerrilla artist” Banksy.

    Banksy has replaced Hilton’s CD with his own remixes and given them titles such as Why am I Famous?, What Have I Done? and What Am I For?

    He has also changed pictures of her on the CD sleeve to show the US socialite topless and with a dog’s head.

    More at BBC News.

    Click here for more images of Paris Hilton’s Banksy-fied album.

  • New Websites Seeking Profit in Wiki Model – A nice New York Times article about how startups are harnessing the power of wikis.
  • Is It Over? Log on and See – Another Times piece on the role that social networks play in today’s romance and breakups. Note: your status is important.