Would you pay a premium for simple & flexible?

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I would. It is hard to find things that combine simple and flexible these days.  There are plenty of “single purpose” web services and apps these days, but they sacrifice flexibility. And anyone that’s used Ebay lately will tell you that the other end of the spectrum is the only thing worse.

Recently it was hard to find what I would define as a “simple” wordpress theme and most applications I see aren’t simple and flexible enough.  Yes, the two can go together.

I spent a lot of time on  http://themeforest.net/ and countless other sites looking for something like this blog theme.  I would have paid $50 to $100 for something even simpler instead of the $20 I paid for this theme.  Yes… I would have paid more for less done really well in a flexible way that would enable me to do something like this. 

I classified 90% of the themes I found as unusable. Everything was image heavy, rounded,  3d scrolling , cufon font having, etc.  Let me translate these “features” for you into what they mean: 

  • image heavy = not easily flexible.
  • Rounded = Poor browser support
  • 3D Scrolling = Bad Performance. 
  • Cufon Fonts = Bad Performance and sacrificed simplicity

The other day someone left a 2-star review of GoodDay on iTunes that read:

“This is about as simplistic of an app as you’ll ever find.  For what it does it should be free.  There are other apps that are free or cost $1 that have way more features…”

I took this as a compliment. The goal was to create a flexible app that was so simple I could open it up, rate my day, and close it in < 30 seconds with as little need to forward, back, click, or swipe as possible.  Adding a bunch of features that the competitive apps he mentioned contain would have made it take more than 30 seconds to rate your day. This person was clearly not someone that believes what I believe and, if I could, I would get him his $1 back in iTunes.

How about you… would you pay a premium for simple and flexible?

TelliTip 25: Publish Featured Polls in Community Server

communityserverSo you like polling people huh? But you want some more attention for polls so you can collect more user data?  This tip will teach you how to publish a featured poll to the front page of the forums in CS 2008 using the forum post widget.

1. Create a new poll in the forum of your choice.

2. Log into your site as an administrator

3. Visit the control panel and navigate to Site Administration > Customize Site Themes. (That’s this URL off of your community /controlpanel/Settings/ThemeConfiguration.aspx)

4. Pick the sidebar tab (NOTE: This only works for themes that support dynamically themed sidebar content enabled like Hawaii. Custom themers may find themselves out of luck here. Your mileage may very.)

5. Find “Forum Widgets” and use the dropdown to select “Forum Post” and click “add widget”

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6. Click configure on the forum post widget

7. Remember that post you created in step 1?  Well you need the URL and you need to grab the PostID out of the URL and paste it here.

8. Click OK and Save your theme changes.

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