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The Target
Shallow Theft
Is It Fixable?
Geeky Details

Part I: The target

I chose Winklet Web Design for a very simple reason. It has nothing to do with the fact that they appear to be a small organization easily made fun of. It has nothing to do with the fact that their product seems (to me) to be rather shoddy. In fact, truth be told, the decision was more shallow than you can imagine. I think the name has got to be one of the worst I've ever seen. It sounds like a really bad porn company from China. Or a really good one from Germany. Either way, 'winklet' should never have been a name for a company that doesn't sell me movies about goats, midgets, dangerously long cucumbers, and raspberry tartar sauce.

That being said, it does help that the company has a shoddy product. If they didn't, there wouldn't be as much to make fun of.

Moving forward.... Winklet claims that you can "GET A PROFESSIONAL CUTTING EDGE FLASH WEB SITE IN A FLASH!" It is important to note here that this may be a bit misleading.

1) If you've seen many truly professional-looking websites, you know they're rarely written in flash. Flash is neat, and does some really great things, but it's just not a good solution for a professional. It doesn't get indexed on a search engine. Not a concern for the end-user, but definitely makes it tough on the professional trying to get his or her site found. It doesn't work like HTML. Sometimes that's a good thing, but when building a "website" as opposed to an animation/game, it can be very confusing for the end user (buttons may be in unexpected places and look less-than-obvious, for instance). Finally, it's oriented at being flashy, which tends not to be a trait of many things that are really professional. It seems like professionalism - on a website, brochure, television ad, or just about any other medium - is about being clean, simple, and straightforward. HTML works well for that. Flash can do that, but that's just not what it was made for.

2) They call it "cutting-edge". Yeah, cutting-edge. "The position of greatest advancement or importance; the forefront", according to a couple online dictionaries. Flash was cutting edge when it first showed up. It's still flashy and fun and has great stuff for making cool animations and such... but it ain't cutting edge. In the case of Winklet templates, it's not even all that different from this Web 2.0 shit I see so much of lately. In fact, it may be less cutting-edge. Plus that, even an ugly "Web 2.0" site still is a true web site that works more or less the way people expect (and still gets indexed by google).

3) I have it on good authority that getting a template will take, on average, 24 hours from the time of purchase. Looking at the trial, I can't really fathom why this is the case for non-custom orders. With a little work, I can steal a winklet faster than that. Not exactly my definition of "IN A FLASH!" Well... unless maybe they meant "IN A FLASH IF YOU DON'T MIND STEALING"... but more about that later.

It should be noted that the purpose here isn't just to elevate myself by putting others down. I'm here to expose what I think is a bit of a scam in the flash development community. Selling unremarkable "full featured" websites written exclusively in flash. Selling these products to people whose only crime is not knowing any better. Exploiting the ignorance of the average web-goer in order to gain money. In other words, I'm jealous that they came up with the idea before I did. 100 Hot DVDs