While the concept may appear sound at first glance, it's based on a false, 
misleading and dishonest premise.

The simple process of adding a "favorites link" on a web page is a 
proprietary function attributed to a single browser designed and developed 
by its manufacturer solely as marketing mechanism for said company.  While 
on its face this may appear as a user benefit, the actual benefit is just 
for that single browser and its creator.   Web developers sought to 
develop similar code so that the function would work in other browsers 
such as Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc., with no appreciable success.  The 
mere name "favorites" should have been the clue since that term is also 
proprietary to that single browser.  The actual industry term is bookmark.

On the other hand, RSS feeds and links, "Subscribe to my RSS feed .." is 
an industry term using code accessible to all browsers.  While created by 
a proprietary development group, its growth and development was more of an 
open standards approach.  It eventually became an industry standard and it 
works in all browsers.  Comparing "favorites" to "RSS"  is unfair.  It is 
comparing fish to bicycles, in more ways than one.  The former smells in a 
relatively short period of time (and may contain chemicals not conducive 
to good health) while the latter will actually take you somewhere that you 
may choose to go, and you will feel better, too.  Perhaps the analogy also 
applies to each function's pedigree as well. 

Standards are about equity of access.  While some may be inclined to 
include a "favorites" link on a web page as a method to retain customers, 
bear in mind the function requires the user to support a proprietary 
process as well.  Still, some may not care.  However, for those of us with 
legal requirements to provide equity of access regardless of the method, 
use of a "favorites" link is an implied endorsement of a particular tool 
from a particular manufacturer, and that is a big no no.  It is a denial 
of access to others who do not live in a company town, who do not live in 
a company house, who do not buy from the company store and who do not 
respond to every query with, "Yes, Sir! May I have another, Sir!"

Dennis Lapcewich
US Forest Service Webmaster
Pacific Northwest Region - Vancouver, WA
360-891-5024 - Voice | 360-891-5045 - Fax

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing 
it." -- George Bernard Shaw

"Rick Faircloth" <r...@whitestonemedia.com> 
Sent by: li...@webstandardsgroup.org
03/25/2009 02:48 PM
Please respond to


RE: [WSG] add to favorites?

Spend a little time on Google searching
"internet marketing call to action bookmark this page"
and you'll get a ton of info on the subject and you'll
see many other examples that are similar to bookmarking,
such as "Subscribe to my RSS feed..." even though there
is a button right on the page already.  These types of
call-to-action are typically scattered throughout a
page's content and are considered critical for successful


-----Original Message-----
From: li...@webstandardsgroup.org [mailto:li...@webstandardsgroup.org] On
Behalf Of Andrew Maben
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:41 AM
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Subject: Re: [WSG] add to favorites?

The argument continues to be shaky at best. "...compel a user..." in 
particular seems to display a fundamental misunderstanding of the 
realities of the web as a medium.

I wonder if anyone knows of any user studies around this question: Is 
this an often-requested feature? When available, is it a much-used 
feature? I would guess that the answer is "no" in both cases - but by 
all means prove me wrong!


On Mar 25, 2009, at 11:20 AM, Rick Faircloth wrote:

> As was mentioned, it's a "call to action".  Those who are familiar
> with marketing will understand this concept.  Also, it a user-friendly
> way to compel a user to bookmark the site for future reference without
> jumping through the hoops the browsers require.
> It's the same principle as putting "Call us today at 918-878-8787 for
> more info."  Instead of just putting "918-878-8787".
> Rick

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