Daily Placebo

  • Monday, October 08, 2007
  • Bring The Pain.

    Ok, so I dunno if you watch the office, but chances are that you do because you're cool.  I mean, I assume you're cool.  You're here after all, right?  Anyway a couple weeks ago NBC launched an office participation site called Dunder Mifflin Infinity.  Its part of a new corporate strategy implemented by Ryan on the show.  Basically you join a branch and participate in weekly tasks for the long-shot chance at some office swag.  So anyway I've been trying to do this but honestly I'm not sure I can any more.

    I'm starting to think its on purpose, but this site is terrible.  Half the links don't work, they just say "coming soon" and the ones that do work mostly seem pointless.  You create a "profile" that consists of a picture, your favorite character and a quote.  There is a message board for each branch, but no way to group conversations.  So everyone is basically making random comments with no continuity at all.  Also the tasks SUCK.  The first week the task was to design your branch logo.  You had to use the "Dunder Mifflin" text, the infinity symbol and you also had to use their crappy graphics web app.  This meant that you could rotate, resize and drag shapes onto the canvas.  Are you serious?  How interesting of a logo are you gonna get if all I can do is turn the text upside down and drop a red star on it?  Weak.  I'm not graphic designer but I could do way better if I wasn't strapped in to this torture device you call a website.  I eventually gave up trying to make even a rudimentary entry because the interface was the single most frustrating UI I have ever come across.  It was the WORST experience I have ever had.

    But maybe that's the goal.  They're trying to simulate the frustration, anger and eventually the lifeless apathy of working at Dunder Mifflin.  I was transfered 4 count them, 4 times last night.  For no reason that I can see except that the application process is all effed up and branch managers all over the country got applications from when I first joined the site.

    I could totally see this being the implementation Dunder Mifflin comes up with for their website, but I am shocked at how poorly it reflects on NBC as a media and entertainment provider.  If they can't put together a site that is useful, beneficial and doesn't crash as soon as they flash the url on the screen they've got troubles.  On the other hand, many other NBC sites run just great and seem like you'd expect.  Is it just much more complicated to set up a social networking site like this?  Did NBC skimp on the budget for this promotion?  Is it really supposed to be this terrible as a promotion of the show?

    digg it

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