Clunky ... the Like Canberra website.

Clunky ... the Like Canberra website.

Okay, enough of the cheering, marching band. I may be a born-and-bred Canberran and (mostly) lifelong resident, and I may spend an inordinate amount of time defending this funny old place with all its idiosyncrasies, bless it, but I’ll always stick the boot in where it’s needed.

To wit: the Like Canberra website.

I don’t like it.

Hungry Jacks in Garema Place.

Why is Hungry Jacks on the list of things we can like about Canberra? Photo: Marina Neil

And, annoyingly, the fact that I don’t “like” it hasn’t changed the fact that I’ve accidentally “Liked” it (in the annoying Facebook sense of the word) by trying to click on some of the things that other people have nominated – to find out more - and inadvertently casting my own “like” instead. Annoying!

The screen is too crowded, and the layout is clunky and slow and difficult to navigate. When you click on a category, it unfolds below or above the screen so you have to scroll up or down to get to the list.

And the categories make no sense. Why does The Canberra Times appear under “Only in Canberra” (der!), while “free newspapers such as City News and Canberra Weekly” get a look-in under “Ease of Living”, and Radio 2XX – a community radio station – under “Business”?

And why – why – do McDonalds and Hungry Jacks appear under “Restaurants”?

And under suburbs, why are only 26 listed, some of which have clearly been nominated by people taking the piss? It’s as though there was no editorial discretion exercised at all. Or perhaps there was too much editorial discretion?  

Look, Canberra is a quirky place. It’s filled with things that would make no sense to outsiders. Like, having to pay for parking at Dickson shops, and the ejaculating fountain in the middle of Lake Burley Griffin that is actually modelled on the one in Lake Geneva, and the Legislative Assembly, and the bus system.  

But much – so very, very much - has been made of the fact that the Centenary is a celebration for all Australians, and if that’s the case, the Like Canberra website just seems like a wasted opportunity.

Non-Canberrans are going to be looking at this website as well. Why allow it to basically enhance all the things that outsiders find so annoying about this place? Yes, yes, you can hear yourself saying, almost automatically. There are long stretches of nothingness between town centres, and yes, that’s right, there are very few places to eat after 9pm, and yes, okay, you do have to scroll as soon as you click. That’s the way it is.

But it doesn’t have to be!

I mean, are we still having website problems, now, in 2013? In this day and age, where absolutely everyone relies on, you know, websites as their primary source of information for almost anything, is it not possible to predict the very things that might irritate or confuse or flummox the average person and avoid them?

Surely I’m not the only one who doesn’t, like, like Like Canberra?