The ways of the Web

It’s certainly fair to say that I’m an impulsive person. The smallest trigger will instantly turn me in the direction of a new hobby, most of which are short-lived and expensive. The latest interest is Kayaking which, as it turns out is expensive even by my standards. Then again, a combination of equipment from forgotten hobbies and eBay are funding this one so I guess it’s clearing out the junk if nothing else.

One of the really great things about the World Wide Web is the ability it provides to really research a product in depth before buying it. Most of my usual product reviewing centres around computer equipment which is documented and reviewed to the point where I’m generally flooded with information. The websites in question are excellently presented and the information is of a professional nature. In summary, for computer equipment the Web is an invaluable tool.

Whilst the Web has come of age for many avenues of shopping, Kayaking is lagging far behind. In some respects this is a good thing as the shops retain a very good personal quality. For example, last weekend Lou and I attended a try-out day hosted by Camel Canoe and Kayaks. It was friendly, relaxed and informative. It was also completely free! I plan to repay their generosity by buying all my stuff from them. One item of which is the RTM Disco Sit-on Kayak. RTM’s Website is a class example of how to turn a buyer off a great product by having a crap website. Naturally I’m very keen to learn all about my potential Kayak and the manufacturers website should be the source of all the information I want. In reality, it’s a complete turn-off. The main page on the Disco contains a set of links to the available accessories, all of which just loop back to the same page. There’s an About RTM link that contains product news but doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2007. There’s a link to a Kayak Blog which is completely broken. They also have no links to any 3rd party reviews, despite me finding one glowing one publicly available on the Web.

I fail to understand how such a seemingly successful company with an international audience can make such a pathetic job of presenting their products. I mean, how difficult is it to maintain a website with current information and to update a Blog once ever few months? Whilst many companies are completely over-the-top on sales and marketing, this one is clueless. Maybe it’s the proud French way, (RTM are French) to let the product sell itself but geez, it’s frustrating to me. I want more information!

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