Sunday, August 05, 2018

Going backwards like Herbie, Google and Amazon

Not actually a post about steering a boat backwards, but come to mention it, I am getting a bit better at it, so I’ll briefly say what I know on that subject.  Someone much better at it than I told me this:

Go as fast as you dare.  (scary!) Greater flow over the rudder helps steer and greater flow along the sides of the boat helps keep it in line.

Don’t look where you are going (even more scary!!), keep looking at the bow of the boat.

When, inevitably, the bow goes off line, push the tiller over in the opposite direction to the movement of the bow.

That’s what I try to do these days and sometimes it works.  I think the depth and width of the canal make a big difference to how well it works.

Any further tips welcome.

Anyway, what I was really going to write about is how technology companies keep making stuff worse instead of better.

First, Blogger, part of the great Google empire and how this blog gets to you. Recently I find that the side panels on my blog don’t appear until I click on the heading of the post.  How bizzarre is that? Can anyone tell me what is happening? I’ve been through the layout setup and all that but I can’t find the reason

Second, reader Chris tells me that Amazon wouldn’t let him post a review of my book. (thanks for letting me know by the way) How dare they?  This is the message he got.

"To submit reviews, customers must make a minimum number of valid debit or credit card purchases. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts don't qualify towards the purchase minimum. For more information, see our Customer Review Guidelines."

I checked that up and here is the relevant bit in the guidelines.

To contribute to Community Features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers), you must have spent at least £40 on using a valid payment card in the past 12 months. Promotional discounts don't qualify towards the £40 minimum.

Needless to say, I’m not happy about it.  It makes me think I should be looking elsewhere to publish the books.

Has anyone else had a review rejected? I’d love to know.  If so maybe you could send me a review in the comments bit on this blog.  I think you might be able to do it anonymously, so I don’t strangle you if the review is bad.  Any reviews, good or not good are a big help to me if I want to improve.

A Good Hiding is still free until Tuesday. Selling like warmish cakes.


Nick said...

If you've got a fairly strong and currently unused crew member, it's surprising how well you can steer a reversing narrow boat by resting the long shaft on the stem post and trailing it in the water.

stevefree said...

Amazon have this restriction in place to clamp down on people creating loads of accounts and putting bogus 5 star reviews on their own product. I have seen products where it’s obvious the reviews are all from the same person, just by how they have been written.

Heather said...

I’ve done a review Neil but I do buy books from Amazon yours included

Herbie Neil said...

Bless you Heather and many thanks! Without reviews it hardly seems worth it. When I'm rich and famous I'll remember your kindness.


Vallypee said...

Neil, I have endless trouble with Amazon and reviews. Not only have they made all these new conditions, but if they even get a hint that someone has had any contact with the author in whatever dimension, they remove the reviews. I lose as many as I get, seriously. Social media counts for friendship these days, so I'm guessing I might not be able to review your book. I'm buying it, and I'll let you know.