I’ll start today’s rant with the dumbest thing since Labor Day. No, I don’t mean to imply that Labor Day is a dumb thing – that’s a temporal reference – and yes, I’m using that term in an effort to make Mary think that I’m thinking of Star Trek, which I am. She probably won’t give me any bonus points, because I’m trolling for them, but it’s Monday and I hope she takes pity. So, the dumbest thing in the past six weeks??? Google. Gmail to be specific. What did Google do to Gmail? They “improved” it.
Since the folks at Google don’t know anything that isn’t on Google, they might not know this. When things are working fine, they don’t need to be fixed. I searched, and all Google could tell me is that I should have said “when things are working well, they don’t need to be fixed.” Fine! Have it your way Google, but please fix Gmail, because it was working well, and now it’s not.Gmail used to put a benign little message in a small yellow box above the tab area of Gmail in the browser whenever you did something to your mail. It was a harmless message. It would tell you that you deleted 23 messages, or that you moved 18 messages to your blog. When Google fixed Gmail, they made that message bigger – I think more than twice as big – and they made it black, and they positioned it over your folders and inbox, near but not at the bottom. In short (he says after 350 words) it’s in the way.
I’ve complained three times. Each time, Google sends me to a list of comments that “might help” and it’s a list as long as your arm of complaints by other people about the same thing. While it’s true that misery loves company, confirming that is not helping.
Oh, and while you’re at it Google, please make the “Compact” view (I’m sorry, ‘display density’) small again – like it was before you fixed it and made it small like a Golden Corral salad bar.
Now onto Facebook. I’ll try to use fewer words. See, ‘fewer’ – I got that right. Google might have told me, but the Editor has corrected ‘less words’ so many times, that I got it. It’s like when Joey said “there are two Ts in dessert so it’s better” – she meant Ss, but she wrote Ts and I haven’t made the dessert/desert error since. Anyway, Facebook used to let you choose which FB persona you were representing. I could be Dan, No Facilities, AIIM New England or my work account. Now, I can get to all those pages to manage them, but Facebook “intelligently” figures out who I am. Except it doesn’t. I can change who I am commenting as, but I seem to need to do that on a comment by comment basis, and when I do, Facebook gets stupid.
Recently, I replied to a comment a friend left on my No Facilities page. Facebook alerted me – “No Facilities” commented on your post. Then, Facebook told me that No Facilities and I have a friend in common. Really? That’s awesome, Facebook. Please, tell me more. Better yet, remember that I’m always Dan, so that when I reference ‘Faith,’ you realize that I mean my daughter Faith…which you don’t when I comment as No Facilities, which, ironically, has no facilities with which to comment without, you know, Dan.
My last gripe for today, newsletters and mailing lists:
I recently googled a specific car model’s length (research for my garage renovation). I got the length, but I also saw an ad from a local dealer. I clicked on that and immediately was asked for my street address so they “could better serve me.” What the front-bumper? If I am interested in stuff you have for sale, it’s only necessary that I know your street address.
I see a lot of offers to sign up for newsletters. I’m not going to.
I follow links to websites that plaster a “Don’t miss a single story – sign up for email notifications” banner across the screen as soon as the page opens. I’m fine missing most of your stories. I only came here because my friend recommended this article. It’s the only one I want to see. My friend knows this. This is what social media is good at. Thank my friend for recommending you today and leave me alone.
It’s all about data. Social media platforms, search engines, bloggers and people who sell stuff all want more data. The problem is, they only want that data so they can sell you stuff, or so they can sell the data they’ve collected about you. They really don’t care about providing better service.
Rant over – for now.
The images in today’s gallery wer borrowed from the Editor’s camera. There are quite a few pictures of one or more of five monarch butterflies visiting the Tithonia in her garden. None of these have been edited, although I did slap my copyright on them (it’s automatic unless I turn it off, and I forgot).