Johnny and Eric reply  
 

 

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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 others.

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 takes.

[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 editors/proofreaders.

[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.


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Originally written 6 June 2003, last update 18 Mar 2011
Copyright 2003 by David M Rowell.
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.