Because some people might perceive my review as
critical, I wanted to ensure that it reflected all opinions as fairly as
possible, and so offered authors John DiScala and Eric Leebow a chance to
reply to questions and raise any other points they wished.
The purple text below are questions from me.
The brown text are their replies.
[David] What parameters did
you use for choosing what was and what was not included? I'm interested
both in general and also in the specific case of, ahem, why you didn't
include my own site!
When choosing what was
included, it was our goal to choose what best represented some of the best
of JohnnyJet.com and informative sites that would be valuable for
travelers. It was especially important to include quality information that
everyday travelers would find useful and most importantly easy to use.
Some of the criteria we
looked at when choosing what to include in the book included quality of
information and content, overall design and look and feel of site,
uniqueness of the offerings and services provided, structure and
navigation, and most of all first impression. Of course when using
multiple criteria, there are some qualities of a site that outweigh
Your site is one that is
included on JohnnyJet.com. Of course there is a need to be somewhat
selective when choosing. Sometimes first impressions is all that it
[David] Similarly, what
made you choose between which topics had no entries but just a JJ Code,
and which topics had printed entries in the book?
The reason certain parts of
the book were chosen to be Jet Code oriented was because it made it so
people would utilize the book and Johnny Jet site in tandem and likewise
people would realized that information on these subjects would be fully
upgradeable and information could be added.
Some topics were unique,
which added to the value of it being a Jet Code. For instance, "crop
circles" or "cathedrals" are certainly unique categories that worked well
as Jet Codes. Parts of the Johnny Jet site get overlooked at times and
that is where Jet Codes where especially helpful and useful. There is
information that would be easier when used as a Jet Code.
[David] Any plans for a 2nd
edition, or for annual editions, or anything like that?
The book was just released.
Of course we would be interested in a 2nd edition, but we have to
concentrate on getting the first edition out to consumers.
[David] Why is the index
not totally alphabetical?
It was our attempt to make
it alphabetical, errors can and do happen of course though when you're
adding information and the book goes into the hands of
[David] Is there any way to
make the Jet Codes on the website more closely match what the reader sees
in the book?
We are working on making the Jet
Codes better, which makes it upgradeable through the site. Perhaps
there is a way to make it clearer which sites are in the book by color
coding them or designating them with an asterisk. That's the
advantage of the Jet Code, or at least what couldn't be easily updated via
the book would be updated through the use of Jet Codes.
We are also working on enhanced ways
of presenting the Jet Code option to website visitors. The concept
of Jet Codes is new to us all, and we're continually enhancing the user's
experience based on their feedback and suggestions.
Another comment about the
difference between the book and the Johnny Jet site is that the book has
actual Web addresses in it in addition to the Jet Codes. A reader
can write notes in the book, and likewise actually bookmark pages to refer
to later. The part that you mention about a link may no longer be
working happens - sometimes sites are down temporarily, and others go down
indefinitely. It's inevitable for any book or search engine to be on
top of this all the time. From my experience though, many of the
sites do stay up when well researched, and therefore the Jet Codes work
well at combating any obsolescence. In
case you find any site that is not accessible in the book, there is a site
that may have the answer to this -
www.archive.org that archives sites.
[David] Leaving the big
question to last, why do you think people should buy your book, and in
what way will they find it useful?
First, the book is a
tangible representation of a piece of the Web. Not everyone grasps as much
off a computer screen, and there are people who feel comfortable with
information out in front of them or that they can flip through.
Secondly, the book makes a
gift item for anyone who likes travel, appreciates researching their
travels, finds travel good, or just loves the spirit of Johnny Jet (Johnny
Jet has a lot of loyal fans).
Thirdly, the book is not
just a link encyclopedia, there is more to it, there are tips, interesting
chapter intros, jet codes - a unique feature that adds enormously to the
value of the book, and with our ability to update the links on each jet
code page, helps keep the book current and up to date. We also
feature solid reviews of some of the web sites that help people choose
where to browse.
Of course there are also
search engines, but this narrows down searches and likewise provides a
gateway reference alternative of some sort. People know that sites
may go down or not be up to date, but likewise they know this when
purchasing a book.
For the most part, many of
the sites we have chosen for the book have been selectively chosen or
handpicked. Of course there are ones that we may have picked that not
everyone will agree as to our selection, but likewise people have the same
issues with search engines.
We don't claim to list
every website. But we do claim to offer carefully selected websites
- we are offering our readers quality rather than quantity. This is
one of the key value-adds we offer to people that choose to buy our book.
[Return to Main Review
written 6 June 2003, last update
18 Mar 2011
Copyright 2003 by David M
You may freely reproduce
or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.