One of the things I love about Web 2.0 is some of the creative designs out there. One of the things I hate about Web 2.0 is the lack of originality in design and typography. Let’s take a recent company that was reviewed and all the rage in the blogosphere.
The other day I was interested in a company that was profiled on TechCrunch. I’m a stat junkie so this company had a product that interested me. I looked over the product review on TechCrunch and I read the comments.
Mike Arrington is quoted as saying “breathless over blogstorm.” A few comments made me think okay this a great tool. I should check it out. Expecting to find a decent design + a decent product I made my way to the site.
What I found shocked and angered me.
I’d take a nice screenshot and show you but I want to see if you understand my anger so let’s fire up the old browser and head on over to Blogstorm.
Does anything strike your fancy about this website?
To me it looks eerily like Copyblogger’s new design.
Let’s take a peak at the exterior. On the outside the similarities are fairly noticeable. Both 3 column sites with nearly exact column widths. Site exterior framework is nearly identical with ads and top posts being in the right hand column.
None of this stuff is anything that is to huge. It’s a fairly straight heavily inspired design. No biggie really I see it all the time. A new design comes out one a popular site and 1-2 people copy it hoping for success. However this copycat got a nice review on TechCrunch. This makes me ill.
What in the world was Mike Arrington thinking? Obviously the guy doesn’t know beans about design because this is bad news for the designer in question. He basically just authorized mainstream theft of designers who deserve to be paid for their hard work.
Let’s take a peak under the hood now. Surely these guys aren’t so lazy as to copy and paste code and use it right? One thing I know about design is this. Every designer leaves behind footprints that make it easy for someone like me to tell if I get to know a designers code who that designer is.
I’ve worked with Chris Pearson a lot. So I can easily tell if he designs something without looking at the site in question. If you handed me some css. I could tell you if Pearson did it.
I’m looking at this Blogstorm code. You can too by checking out this link. There are two very different styles. It’s almost as if two designers were working on code and they didn’t collaborate properly.
CP codes Horizontally. I can recognize his style in an instant. Whoever started coding Blogstorm codes Vertically. However there are large ‘chunks’ of code that are obviously scraped from somewhere else that highly resemble CP’s code from Copyblogger. It’s a rather ugly style sheet because they had to ‘scrape’ inspiration from somewhere and it certainly wasn’t the right thing to do.
In some cases they even kept various image references and paths and just renamed them. Whoever it was spent a great deal of time on the site. But truthfully someone should roast for this. It’s cheap and it’s tacky. And to be honest although some would say you can’t copyright CSS. It’s just downright stupid to steal someone’s hard work and claim it as your own.
1. If you are going to do a design for a Web 2.0 Startup don’t under any circumstance borrow inspiration by copy and pasting CSS. Start from scratch or hire a good designer.
2. If you are going to report a new startup Arrington please double check some basics like why the heck the site looks similar to one that is in your feedreader. If it’s not in your feedreader it should be.
Among online businesses affiliate marketing is the most popular one. To run a successful affiliate business powerful web hosing is strongly required. Affordable reseller hosting plans along cheap domain registration are also being offered by the high flying hosting firms. Some times hosting firms offer web design assistance as well as act as ISP too. The AJAX is the most prominent software being commonly used by these ISPs to upload data to their servers. Wireless internet also helps a lot in making the work of ISPs easier and reliable.
Originally posted on June 25, 2007 @ 5:29 pm