Okay. Now I’m in hot water. Hazel, our Bavarian Butterscotch Badger Hound found out that Watson and I did a podcast without microphones. She was livid, to say the least. Had it not been for all the pawdagraph seekers screamin’ for Watson and poundin’ on our door just moments after we posted it, she might never have known. So today, in the interest of domestic peace and tranquility, Hazel gets her shot.
Again, I am the interviewee. We’ve talked about my voice. Hazel’s voice is mostly through the nose, sometimes with a hint of a lisp, often with a rasp – and it works for her. She has a slight underbite which might account for some of her speech patterns. And she’s a country girl. Hers is a very distinctive voice to say the least. I’ve been informed there will be no softballs today because this is Hazel’s revenge tour. Hopin’ she’ll settle down before this goes too far.
So let’s get started.
Hazel: Hi. Hello. Good morning! Welcomes to podcast without microphones Number Two. This will be much better than Watson’s interview because I’m, well, just better.
(Heard from upstairs: IN YOUR DREAMS!)
Hazel: Brent, we really need to invest in a soundproof studio.
Me: You realize we don’t even have microphones yet, yes?
Hazel: You know you’re sitting in front of a computer, yes?
Me: I do.
Hazel: And when you do your morning Googley calls you talk into your computer and other people can hear you. How do you think that happens if your computer doesn’t have a microphone?
Me: Well, I meant nice studio mics and soundboards and stuff.
Hazel: Like that would make you sound better…
Me: Hazel. Move on.
Hazel: Hot topic. One of your favorites – AI. It’s taking over the world. I’ve seen stuff that says 90% of web content could be created by some sort of AI by 2025. Yet you refuse to let it write your blogs. You know resistance is futile…
Me: Well Hazel, I read that article. Coincidentally, I never would’ve known it even existed if it weren’t for spam. I think it’s hogwash.
Hazel: Wow. That’s a pretty bold statement coming from a kid from rural PA with a BA in Communications. I’m pretty sure the people proclaiming such things are way more smarter’n you on this stuff. They prolly got PhDs and such.
Me: Don’t care. I love the use of the word “could” in their prognostication. Doesn’t say “will” or even “likely will” be created by…so me, bein’ a lover of the language, I picked up on that right away. That’s like me sayin’ “It could snow 3 feet here today.” And I don’t live in Buffalo where that’s possible even in August. But by and large, “could” adds a level of subjectivity to any statement makin’ it seem more plausible and adding faux gist to an…
Hazel: Brent! Focus!
Me: Yeah. Tangent. Where were we? Oh. AI. Here’s another thing about it. AI has no life experience. Unless you’re writin’ straight up and all clinical, I think addin’ life experiences and real-world examples to blogs and content makes it a little more engagin’. I’m certain the PhDs could – there’s that word again – refute that with white papers and stuff, but I stand by that statement. Pretty sure every writer I know will too.
Hazel: You know you use this AI stuff every time you punch in an address on your nav thingy or search for photos on one site or another…
Me: I do. More proof to me that it ain’t there yet. Wanna know how I feel about the AI spittin’ out directions when I take a road trip? Click here. And as far as searchin’ for stock photos, well, where to begin? Let me just say to all the stock photo companies out there – you need to get better. Chicken ain’t beef.
Then there was the day I was searching for images relating to ‘About Us’ on the site of a major player and one of the first 10 images to pop up was ‘raw chicken gizzards on a white background.’ See also: Lessons Learned. Maybe that makes sense to someone, but I say the AI is broken. Badly.
Hazel: Okay. We have a pretty clear idea of how you feel about AI then. But I still think you’d be better off accepting the reality. You’re gonna get swallered up elseways.
Me: Rage Against the New Machine.
Hazel: Good luck with that. So let’s talk a bit about the creative process and the mockups you either create or are supplied when you start building a website. I’ve heard you scream about them from time to time.
Me: Indeed. Seems there is no general consensus on the importance of havin’ a mockup be representative of the finished product. With me, it’s pretty cut and dried. I want whatever ends up bein’ to be as true to the mockup that I’ve made. I know. I have issues. But I’d argue what’s the purpose of a mockup if it’s not what you want your site to look like? That seems a GGO to me.
Hazel: Wait. What’s a GGO?
Me: Glaring Glimpse of the Obvious.
Hazel: Like anybody would know that.
Me: They do now, thanks to you. Then there are other issues with a lot of mockups. Unless you send an Illustrator or native Photoshop file, we’re kinda guessin’ at colors. And fonts. Oh how I hate jpegs in this case. I’m not that fond of playin’ “Guess The Font!” anymore. So many fonts. So little time.
And when you sample colors from an imported jpeg, there’s a 99% chance they’re at least a half-shade off. And it often turns out the font someone used in their mockup up isn’t even the one they want in the finished product. The Maker of Mockups forgot to change it from the program default. Wuf.
Hazel: So I don’t do this stuff for a living, but the solution seems obvious to me. Why not just include the font families and sizes along with the hexadecimal colors and other important stuff?
Me: Wait. You don’t do this stuff for a livin’ but you understand about fonts and hexadecimal colors?
Hazel: You prattle on about this in your sleep.
Me: No wonder I wake up tired. But yeah, a simple solution to a recurrin’ issue would be the inclusion of a little more info. I suppose I could come to terms with the inconsistencies concernin’ mockups if the creators of same would say somethin’ like “This is a rough idea. Don’t take it to the bank.” Or “Just get close because we know you love doing things twice.” Probably shouldn’t have said that out loud…
Hazel: Um, no, but you just did. ERASE, ERASE, ERASE!!! There. I fixed it. You owe me.
Me: That was a close one. Thanks.
Hazel: So what else rattles around in your head at night? You know you overslept this morning. Which is really weird, given that it’s bread baking day. What was going on in that little head of yours?
Me: Once again, silly things. Like folks still don’t realize that what they can do with a glitzy printed piece is generally much more difficult and expensive – if not nigh on impossible – to pull off on a web page.
And that there are currently around 2161 PMS colors and over 16 million hexadecimal colors. Oddly enough, not every PMS color has an exact match in the wild world of hexadecimals. 2K versus 16MM. There oughta be a perfect match. But it doesn’t work that way.
Then the recurrin’ nightmare. Murphy’s Immutable Law of Proportions. The very first blog I wrote here at <engine/>. Wish more people could grasp that concept.
Finally, there’s the What/How/Why Conundrum in the context of things breakin’. Web pages that work fine suddenly snap when nothin’ has changed, at least as far as we can see. We usually figure the “What” quickly enough. And the “How” – as in fixin’ the “What” – follows right behind. But the “Why” – not so much a lot of times. Over the years, I’ve learned to let go and move on. But sometimes, the “Whys” nag at my brain and go bump in my head at night.
Hazel: Very interesting Brent. There’s probably a pill for all of that. But that’s for my WebMD podcast which is no doubt, just around the corner. I’ll be in high demand after people see this.
Me: Don’t quit your day job.
Hazel: Heh! I don’t have a day job.
Me: What if I told you that there is a LAZY way to make $7,300 daily with ChatGPT and TikTok?
Hazel: I’d say you’d caught some very special spam in your nets again. I’m just a little girl and even I know better’n that.
(Heard from upstairs: ASK HIM WHO TIMMY IS!)
Hazel: You’re not going to answer that are you?