Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Seeing the World Through a Series of Tubes

That's the Internet version of tunnelvision. It's when you work for a company, and you deal with their website issues all day, every day. And that website is REALLY important to you, so you can't imagine it's not just as important to everyone.

It's a delusion. Most of the things that are important to you are really just specks to everyone else. And that's fine. Recognizing that is the key to sanity. Because if we all cared about the same things the same amount the world would suck. (The world would be like the Bush administration.)

But some people or organizations don't get it.

And here's a good example.

You know when you want to read an article in a newspaper online, and they make you go through that registration nonsense? Because they're selling your personal information to anyone with ten bucks and a spam to send?

So you either go to bugmenot.com, or you give them one of your disposable emails and a username like "Oliver Clothesoff" and a password like "eatme69" and you read the article and you never go there again. And then you're bombarded with emails for the rest of time from them and from everyone they know.

One such paper (that I've visited twice in the last three years) just sent me an email I wanted to share. I'm hashing to protect the innocent:

Dear Subscriber,

We're upgrading our e-mail newsletters system. You will now have one location to go to manage all of your ######## e-mail subscriptions and information. To access it for the first time, you will need to create a password and verify or provide some personal information.

To create your password:

Click on the following link, or cut and paste it into your browser.
https://login.##############.com/login.d#####=bW#
#####dWZm######50####&verify=#####476e4e0####
####6813de######


when you are asked for a password, type or cut & paste the following:
Your Temporary Password is: 4###g0##k4a##

You'll immediately have the ability to create a permanent password and verify your personal information.

Notice they're not asking me to do this. It's an "upgrade" that gives me something I'll "now have" so I "need" to do this so I can get an "ability."

Creating a password and verifying my personal information is, I repeat, an "ability."

Just like Clark Kent and Peter Parker have "abilities." Cool,huh?

(So if I don't do all this, I suppose I'll have a "disability"... and no one wants that.)

Is it a big ordeal in the grand scheme of things? Of course not. But it's indicative of a corporate tunnelvision when they impose a multi-stage process and make absolutely no effort to make it user-friendly.

When they
ask you to do something without actually asking you. There's no "will you please?" or "we'd appreciate it if you'd."

They never even say "thank you." I looked. Not once.

All so they can more effectively whore out my data.

So, yeah. I'll get right on that.


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