Turning a blind eye

Turning a blind eye

: Seth Godin is the god of listening to your customer, giving your customer what your customer wants, giving your customer something extra, making your customer feel special.

But for some reason, he refuses to give many of us customers what we want: HTML.

I ranted about it again and again. No response then.

Doc Searls just ranted about it:

See, the manifesto is a @#$%^&*()+!!{{{{{FUCKING}}}}}!! .pdf. Have I made it clear I hate .pdfs? I do.

Says here “our PDFs don’t suck.” Because they’re beautiful and “a joy to read.” Excuse me, they do suck if what they contain isn’t also on the Web in relatively ugly but open, unowned, nonproprietary, standard and non-infuriating HTML (or its more modern and no less standard successors and derivatives). PDFs, no matter how beautiful, are not a joy to quote (how about all them line breaks you have to edit out?), or to link to.

Forgive me. I’m in a bad mood today about people breaking the Web.

Now Seth replies (in HTML — because you can’t reply in .pdf):

We got some mail on this as well.

I hear you. But I think the comparison is not apt. The right comparison is to compare our PDFs to books.

Books are not searchable. They cost money to reproduce. You can’t print multiple copies and Google searches them even less well than they search PDFs.

You don’t hear anyone whining about books. You don’t hear about anyone sending long, detailed emails to book publishers explaining why they should abandon printed books and start publishing in HTML.

Well, actually, yes, I’ve been reading fewer books lately because they’re staler and duller looking and you can’t link or interact. Just like .pdfs.

What’s the deal, Seth? Why the format orthodoxy? If customers want HTML, too, what’s the harm? Hell, you can put ads on my HTML pages and sell me stuff. That’d be OK. I agree with Doc. I @)_*u$@_*($_@*i@poi#p@ING HATE .pdfs.