Marc T.'s Profile
Member Since: Jan 23rd, 2015
Last Online: Jan 23rd, 2015
|I came to this podcast, like so many others, in the awful dry period between the end of Mike Duncan's "The History of Rome" and the announcement of his "Revolutions". I was starved for a history-podcast fix, and even more I felt I'd been left hanging at a critical point in the story. Well, thank the podcasting gods for Robin Pierson!|
His historical research is thorough, his writing is excellent, and his podcasting delivery is a pleasure to listen to. He alternates stretches of narrative episodes with episodes detailing the cultural/religious/societal landscape at various points; as a result, I feel I have a better feeling for what Byzantine life was like that I ever did when I was studying the subject.
|Like a lot of people, I was heartbroken when Google Reader announced it was shutting down; I'd become addicted to getting my own personally-selected newsfeed whenever I wanted it. There was a bit of a gold rush at the time, as developers scrambled to fill the sudden demand; I tried a bunch of the new replacements, but the one I liked best was go read.|
The design is bare-bones, stark and simple; I prefer it this way. It's fast, stable, and just plain good.
|Woot! was one of the first deal-a-day websites. They started out as an electronics liquidator (although I'm not sure they'd ever have described themselves that way) with an innovative business model, cheeky irreverence and cheerful self-deprecation. Along the way they got bought by Amazon, added multiple sub-domains and diluted their business model a bit (in addition to the daily deals, there are now multiple longer-duration sales in each category; they started out selling a single product at any given time, and now it's well over a hundred). The irreverence and self-deprecation have remained, as have the (generally) great prices, $5 flat-rate shipping, and traditions such as the Woot-Off and Bag of Crap.|
I've dinged them a bit for service/support. Because of their business model - constantly changing product lines and minimal inventory - they really don't _do_ returns. If your product is defective they'll take care of you, but if you receive your purchase and realize it isn't what you want, they'll essentially tell you to sell it on eBay. (To be fair, their prices are generally low enough that most people are able to do just that and make a profit. But it's not very convenient, and it ain't for everybody.)
I wouldn't be human if I didn't sadly shake my head over the good old days, but I still check the site several times a week (several times per minute during Woot-Offs) and occasionally still find spectacular deals. Woot!