24 January 2007

Do these people really want you to write about them?

Welcome to Advance Nanotech it says on the home page. Unfortunately, it says the same thing on every page I visited. That's because the poor souls at Advanced Nanotech have been sold a pup by some whizzy web site designer.

Here's what's wrong with it. You have to visit the web site to see what's new.

I have several ways of tracking web sites for their press releases. The most obvious, but least productive, is that you sign up to receive press releases from the people behind the site.

A slightly better choice is to use a "robot" to visit the page at predetermined intervals and to report back when it finds something new. For this I use a nice bit of software called Copernic Tracker. I have it set to do an early morning trawl before I start work. It checks some pages daily, others once a week, and some every month. If it finds that a page has changed, it highlights the new bits. I can then click on the links to get the new material.

The best option for following a changing web page is the RSS feed. This automatically lets me know when there is something new. Such is the boom in RSS feeds that you almost feel tempted to forget about any company that doesn't offer this feature.

None of these approaches works on the Advanced Nanotech web site. Whoever designed the pages has come up with some neat visual effects. Sadly, they are user hostile. No "sign up here for press releases" slot, no RSS feed, and pages where Tracker can't find a unique address that will change when something new crops up.

Pity, it is an interesting company, worth reporting. I'll see if the company's PR consultants can explain this strange behaviour.

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