02 October 2009

Personal Technology: Zap2it for TV listings

I mean, I used to subscribe to TV Guide. Back in the days of the digest size. When I was a child. Or at least 12 or 13. Yes, that's still a child, I'm sure. Finally, in adulthood, I despaired at the timing of the magazine's arrival in the mail. It arrived just in time, not days ahead so that I could preview. (Do all boomers like television this much?)

And then the price started going up. I persisted in buying TV Guide at the grocery store because I relied on it for keeping up with popular culture. It's where I learned about Y necklaces in time to sound alert when my teenaged daughter wanted one. I kept up with a slice of Hollywood gossip without having to ever buy People. That's right. I have never purchased People. Same with the tabloids. These are small stands against promoting paparazzi.

Eventually, the price for TV Guide ended my devotion to the publication. My purchases became fewer and fewer and I began to rely on the online version for TV listings. I smiled broadly when I saw the magazine increase its physical size to a standard format (and I started buying occasionally, no doubt influenced by the cover, proving that to capture boomers' attention you have to make the pictures big). Aha! Enlarged print to satisfy an aging population! Boomers being served! Because I cannot imagine that the demographic includes that younger set of folks who have an entirely different perspective on television, let along television listings.

Where does this get us? Heavy reliance on the online web site, tvguide.com. And so when it reconfigured this Fall to (presumably) create a flashier display, I lost patience. I will not wait for the web site to be perfected. Clicking on a listing used to create a pop-up description. Today, the click expands the grid to (presumably) display a description that can be toggled for display and hide. Well, it doesn't work.

Guess what does? Zap2it. com—with smooth functionality and better customization than tvguide.com's offering.

Now, if you try it out, you might want to go ahead and register before you start customizing. And when you fill in the questionnaire, you might want to leave blank the space for nickname. Rule-follower that I am, I filled in a nickname. "Already taken." So, I filled in another. "Already taken." It took multiple efforts to get to a viable nickname. That's when I realized that the purpose is to have a "handle" for posting comments; it actually wasn't a required field.

So, not that I ever post to any commercial web site, or even to listservs, you'll know it's me if you see sweetpotato on your Zap2it screen.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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