Archive for March, 2007

Myspace and Corporate Idiocy…

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I was reading and article the other day about how Myspace is angry that other businesses are building themselves up on the backs of their service. Their logic is that because their users are on Myspace that all content should come from Myspace tools and plugins. They think this is desirable because they want 100% of the advertising opportunities to be monetized through their offerings. Their main example is youtube. Myspace argues that youtube would have never become popular if it wasn’t for Myspace users putting videos up on their sites. They now believe that they deserve a piece of the pie and so are limiting these 3rd party services from being used on Myspace sites.

This is complete idiocy! Don’t they realize the synergy between their services. Myspace benefitted at least as much from allowing users to post youtube vidoes as youtube did. Myspace can’t create every tool that users want, and frankly they shouldn’t even try. These 3rd party offerings are what makes Myspace usable for their customers. When corporate greed gets in the way then foolish decisions are made.

I look at it from the point of view that plugins and 3rd party offerings are what makes Bluehost so successful. Fantastico in our backend is used hundreds of thousands of times a year. It is a product that allows the installation of 3rd party sofware with a single click. There are almost 50 different choices of software, in many categories. I don’t look at Fantastico as competition or something to make money on, I see it for what it is – Added value for our current customer base. Customers appreciate the 3rd party offerings we provide and they show it with their renewals. Why does everything have to monetized in todays economy? Sometimes it is enough that it provides benefit for the consumer.

Thanks,

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Browser Compatibility!!

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I’m a little frustrated right now! I just spent almost 40 minutes to get a plane ticket for my wifes Grandma to fly out to Utah from Vancouver, BC for a visit. Why all my problems? Browser compatibility issues with Delta Airlines (Who is my favorite company to bash as they are inadequate in almost every way).

Delta.com doesn’t work with Safari, which is the default web browser on all Mac computers. When you select the departure and arrival dates it uses only the first digit of all their dates. This means if you select the 9th of the month “09” it gives you “0”, or if you choose the 24th of the month it gives you “2”.

Now me being the productive person I am I simply can’t work on a Microsoft Windows machine ever again, so using Internet Explorer really isn’t an option for me anymore. My experience with Macs and Windows is the meat of several other blog entries in the past, so I will bypass that argument in this entry. What gets me is that this wouldn’t be tested on a large site like Delta.com. My best research shows that Apple sold 1.7 million Macs last quarter alone and will sell over 2 million this quarter. Why would you not test your site against ALL major browsers including Safari?

In 1997 I could understand if you had a site specific to a single browser. Those days were different and the DHTML/Javascript was incompatible between browsers in many ways. In 2007 there is no excuse for this. As the vast majority of my readers run sites of their own I implore you to verify that your sites work in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Konquerer, Camino. At the very least they must work in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. If any of those browsers have issues then you are forcing visitors/customers to leave your site and go elsewhere.

Please, for my sake and for those millions of “other people” that don’t use Internet Explorer make sure your site is compatible. It doesn’t take a ton of effort to fix and the benefits far outweight the detriments!

Thanks,

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Kids… They are the greatest!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

I am busy! I have Bluehost and other web companies that I run. I have over 100 employees, I have several properties that I own/manage (A TOTAL pain), and most importantly I have a wife and five kids to contend with. Of all those responsibilities family comes first and usually that means my children.

My kids absolutely wear me out, and I love every minute of it. My children range from 7 months to 9 years old. For those that don’t have kids it means that I am now an expert basketball coach having done it for 5 seasons in a row for various children. It also means I am an expert on “Dora the Explorer”, the start times of every “Sponge Bob” episode, and I can choose underwear wisely based on which cartoon character is imprinted on them. This all goes with the territory and is something that most parents cherish as their time with their little ones goes by so quickly.

I know this is a bit of a sappy blog entry, but I think I have finally arrived at a point where I truly realize that my family comes first and everything else comes second. I would never even consider missing one of my kids basketball or football games to get something done at work. Don’t get me wrong, I still stay up late working every night after everyone goes to bed (12:15 in the morning right now), and I still love doing web hosting, and I still have a hundred things that I want to improve and get done on Bluehost. I simply know that those things come after playing “Puzzle Bubble” with my 4 year old twins for 20 minutes before I go to work because that is their favorite thing to do with Daddy.

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

Health and Bluehost…

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

I am sorry that I have been neglecting my blog. Entries have been sparse to say the least and regular readers have all but given up on my writing anything new :) I will be more diligent in the future.

I am still a young guy, 35 years old now. Recently I have had some health issues that have taken me a little out of the ball game. Don’t worry, nothing serious is wrong with me and my problems were temporary but it made me realize how important health is to my life. I know everyone says that, but being unable to work well for a few weeks has made me SO grateful just to be able to work. Today is really the first day I have felt good in a while and I forgot how great it is to be back!

There are many things that stand in the way of living your life. Most are self inflicted in my opinion, but health is one you certainly don’t have full control over. If you are reading this and feeling great then thank your lucky stars and make the most of it while you have it! There are many who would give anything to be in your position right now!

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com