This morning's New York Times had an article about a new show called The Big Gay Sketch Show. It airs on Logo, MTV Network's gay- and lesbian-themed cable channel. The show looks like a hoot, and I've always loved sketch comedy.
“One cast member, Kate McKinnon, portrays everyone from Heidi Klum to Rachael Ray to an original character named Fitzwilliam, a nasty little British boy who yearns to be a nasty little British girl.”
I had no idea if I could even get Logo. I went to the Austin Time Warner channel listings, and saw that Logo is indeed available here, so I wandered over to LogoOnline to get on their mailing list.
I was surprised to see that the Big Gay Sketch Show wasn’t featured on the front page - I'm sure they knew the article was coming out today. I realized later that it was one of 4 shows featured in rotation on the home page. Still, it should be heavily promoted today.
Back to that mailing. Where do I sign up? I could find no such place. I was stunned to realize there was nowhere for me to sign up for a newsletter of any kind. If there was, it was way too buried.
So I found the Contact Us button, and was presented with this screen (click to enlarge). Wow! They want my birth date, income, sexual identity, and ethnicity before I send them feedback? I haven't seen anyone make this flagrant a usability 101 error in quite some time. Normally I’d simply leave the site, but I really wanted to contact them. I wrote the following note:
I saw the article about the Big Gay Sketch Show in the NYT today. I got online, and was thrilled to discover that I get LOGO. I immediately came to your website. LOGO is on channel 261 here in Austin - I rarely channel surf that high, so my first thought in visiting your site was that I wanted to sign up for the newsletter, so I'd be reminded to watch the show. I was kind of astonished to realize there's no such thing (or if there is, it's way to buried). Your site looks nice, but your making some very basic usability errors, and are missing all kinds of opportunities for creating buzz. I’m sure you're on a limited budget, but I’m pretty certain you could drastically increase your viewership with some smart, inexpensive changes.
I do a lot of this for a living (I run vpchat.com, blog at juliegomoll.typepad.com, and do consulting on social media/web 2.0 strategy). I'd be happy to discuss some of this with you.
I'm so glad you’re here - I wish you all the best,
There at the bottom of the form was a checkbox where I could opt in to their newsletter. So they do have a newsletter! It's even more unacceptable, then, that it's not featured on the front page. So I checked the box, and clicked Submit.
I got a “please enter all required fields” error message. What?! I filled in all the required fields, even my income. What could I possibly have missed?
My response was too long. Wow, these folks really don’t want me to watch their new show, do they?
Update: I did not end up on their mailing list after getting the request for more information. I have since re-entered my info, and pointed them here for my comments.
4.28 Update: Even though I successfully completed their form, I have heard nothing from LOGO. Not even an auto-responder :(