Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dear Google: Why You Guys Now Suck.

I am writing this not out of a desire to take up my rhetorical bludgeon and beat the crap out of Google, but because I mostly like Google.

I really do.  I well remember the days when the leading search engines were Ala Vista and Yahoo.  A search would yield two pages of paid advertising, which you had to scroll down through before you could see your desired search results.  That was a real pain in the ass.  The results pages also had a lot of advertising graphics.  Because most people back then had had dial-up service through Assholes America on Line[1] and other dialup services, it took forever for the search results to load. 

Then came Google.  Its clean interface and relative lack of advertising were astonishing and users (including your humble scribe) began using Google.   Google grew and began offering (and buying up) other services.

The grownups at Google[2] have not messed with the search engine interface.  The search engine is Google's money tree.  Those early engineers, the guys who now have their own G650s or BBJs, would probably immediately fire[3] any one of the Google kiddies who mucked around with the search engine interface.

But the kids have to have their fun.  So Google lets them play around with the other, lesser, Goggle products.  That is why Google has, in this year, changed the interface for both Gmail[4] and Blogger.  Not because the changed interfaces are any better.  Not because the users were unhappy with what they had.  Google changed it because they can.

It is no different than the model changes that Detroit used to introduce every year.  Bigger tail fins!  More chrome!  New shades of color![5] It was change for the sake of change. And it was both wasteful and stupid.

A very long time ago, when I was but a butter-bar[6] in the Navy, a very senior officer came for lunch and talked to the young officers.  His comment about work was this:  "If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong."  It's not like I make any real money doing this.  Blogging is sort of a hobby.  Google's changes to the blogger interface have made this less fun.

So I'm going to mull over where else I can take this blog.  But in the meantime, expect to see fewer of the "wow, I ought to put up a short post about that" sort of blog entries.  
[1] There was a time when everybody in the freaking country would get junkmail from AOL with a disk containing the latest version of AOL, first 3.5" floppies, then CDs.  The CDs made good coasters.

[2] The few that apparently exist.

[3] Or simply have them killed. 

[4] I'm switching, slowly, away from Gmail as well.  Nice going, guys.

[5] And pretty much the same crappy frame, engine and drive train.

[6] Ensign.


Chuck Pergiel said...


D. said...

Fortunately for me gmail is only for sending résumés and stuff relating to that. I expect that I'll be forcibly upgraded on blogger but now I'm refusing. It wasn't broken.


Anonymous said...

Wordpress.com is an outstanding free blogging platform, with much better themes, interface, commenting, spam filtering, etc.

Ruth said...

Wordpress is hijacking customer information to create "new!!" accounts for them without approval from the customer. Unfortunetly there's not much of a choice. Typepad does have a freebie version though.

Anonymous said...

Wordpress is not "hijacking" customer information, nor are they creating "new" accounts. Here is the explanation from a Wordpress official concerning the situation you allude to:

There is quite a bit of speculation here, and while I can't address every single point, I'd like to point out that one of the many reasons behind this change was to provide greater control over your own identity within comments at WordPress.com.

Anyone who knows your email address could have easily linked their comment to your account in a way that was indistinguishable from you leaving it, and you would have no way of knowing it or stopping them. Now comments linked to your account are always going to be from you.

Here are a few more points to keep in mind, which should address the majority of your concerns:

1. To control what shows when you comment, you can edit your profile at Users -> My Profile in your Dashboard.

2. Folks can still comment just like before, but if they use a registered email address, they need to log in to prove that it's really them.

3. This extends to both Gravatar and WordPress.com accounts, which actually are the same thing, the same user names and passwords. Folks who are sure that they do not have a WordPress.com account may have forgotten that they registered a Gravatar account years earlier.

4. If folks are still unsure, they can use the Forgot Password links at either http://wordpress.com/ or http://en.gravatar.com/ to regain access to their account.

5. Just as before, you don't have to require your commenters to use an email address, it's an option under Settings -> Discussion.

6. We're happy to help people who are having trouble commenting, logging in, or resetting their passwords. Let us know steps to reproduce the problem and we'll do our best to help the person or fix the bug.

Ruth said...

They took my personal information and used it to create new accounts I did not authorize and they REFUSE TO DELETE THEM. I put a second email on my Gravatar account as a backup. They took that email and created a SECOND wordpress account, seperate from the first, that I did not authorize. They hijacked my personal information. If they had added the second email to the original Wordpress account I'd have been annoyed but not like this

Ruth said...

(hit publish by accident) never mind that though THEY consider Gravatar and Wordpress.com to be the same there was nothing in the Gravatar TOS that I agreed to that stated they would be using my personal information in their other products. If they were the same accounts I'd be able to log in with the same set of information and I can't. Regardless of how they try to wiggle word it they hijacked my personal information and they refuse to delete the accounts to correct the error.