You Can’t Get Something For Nothing

IKEA International Group
Image via Wikipedia

Call me gullible!  I just fell for one of the oldest tricks in the books.  Someone I know and respect sent me an invite to get a free $1,000 gift card from IKEA just by becoming their fan on Facebook.  Ah, if it were only that simple.  I should have known better but seeing a trusted friend’s name blurred my vision I guess.

So I went over to Facebook – became a fan then started following the rules for getting the gift card.  I should have bulked when it said you had to invite ALL of your friends or you might not qualify.  But no I blindly went ahead and sent an invite to all my friends.  The next step is what really brought it home to me that this wasn’t going to work – when you click on the register part you think all you have to do is enter your email address so they can notify you about the gift card – NOT!  Once you enter your email address you then have to select 2 offers from sites such as Netflix or VideoProfessor or others offered via GiftDepotDirect.com.   Then you are expected to take a survey that wants a lot more information than I am willing to give out.  I was ticked off because I had been duped.

I went back to the Facebook fan site and tried to leave a comment shaming Ikea for going this route.  Interestingly enough it would not allow me to make a comment.  The box appeared and I could type but when I hit enter the whole page refreshed and did post my comment.

Only thing that has made me feel better is knowing I wasn’t the only person sucked into this.  Several of my friends got suckered by this as well.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

If

Many have speculated that the rise of superbook stores like Barnes & Noble or Borders heralded the end of the library.  So far that hasn’t happened.  Both have managed to survive and in some cases even foster a partnership or symbiotic relationship.  Then Google and the Internet in general was surely going to bring down the grand ol’ library of yesteryear.  Made a dent but has it totally demolished libraries, I’d say no.

But what if people found what they were searching for – would they still use your library’s web site?  catalog?  come into the building?  ask the staff?  During a meeting today that was discussing usability, I commented that I really want to know what the remote user is doing on our web site or catalog.  Because we don’t hear from them.  Someone else piped up and said “we only hear from them [meaning the customer] when they can’t find something”.

The main goal for me in usability is to find what isn’t working, what isn’t intuitive, what isn’t user friendly and then fix it.  So if we that, made everything easy to find, would we only see our customers for their reserves (barring going the way of Netflix and mailing everything) or our programs/classes/events?  Sure our die-hard fans would still come in.  But if the goal is to make everything easier to find (discovery and delivery again) would we see an increase of web usage but a decrease in door counts?

I’m not suggesting that we make our web sites or catalogs harder to use to keep customers calling in or asking at the information desks.  I’m just pondering the day when we can actually give the customer everything he is searching for (assuming he is coming in via the web) without having to step foot into a physical building.  I don’t see it as a demise of libraries but just another chapter (pardon the pun) that will require library staff to rethink what it means to not only be a librarian but a library.