Why Jakob Nielson Sucks (Most of the Time)

Ok, I guess he doesn’t really suck most of the time, but his recent alertbox was half amusing and half ironic. First, as he mentions at the bottom, it was a near clone of an old article he wrote about frames. Although, realisitcally, I think we can all think of a bunch of times we’ve been pissed off at frames on a website, but probably have some trouble coming up with a similar list of sites that use AJAX. In any case, despite the fact that he makes some good points, he lists this near the bottom: “Next month: Micropayments will take off in 2006.”

For god sakes, will he please stop talking about Micropayments? He started yammering about them in 1998. In his 5 year retrospective in 2000, he said that “I repeat my prediction from 1998: micropayments will happen in about two years (of course, this now means 2002, not 2000).” In his 10 year retrospective in 2005, he doesn’t mention them at all. Now I guess he thinks they’ll be hitting the scene big in 2006. Well, I admire him for sticking to his guns but he should really give up. Micropayments never took off, and never will, for the reasons Clay Shirky outlined in 2003. And now, with the dawn of Google AdSense, I think it’s fair to say that Micropayments are dead. If my content is really good, I’ll charge a subscription to see it (ex. the new york times). If it’s not great, I’ll give it away for free (ex. this blog), and if it’s pretty good but I’d like to make a few bucks off it, I’ll set up Google AdSense (ex. digg). Someone tell Nielsen to drop the micropayments talk before we start treating everything he says as irrelevant ( even though most of it is pretty good).

2 thoughts on “Why Jakob Nielson Sucks (Most of the Time)

  1. You know that Ajax article isn’t written by him, right? Read the last line: “Constructed by Chris McEvoy with apologies to Jakob Nielsen.”

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