owlmoose: (quote - irritatingly weird)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2011-09-28 12:15 am
Entry tags:

Delicious update

1. I've signed up with Pinboard. It has almost all of the features I need, and it looks to be both easy to use and flexible. The big downside is that it's not free -- there's a one-time signup fee that's currently a little less than $10. For a service I use on a near-daily basis, I think it's worth a small outlay by my financial standards, but mileage may, of course, vary. Still, I recommend checking it out. The guy who runs it seems really helpful and responsive, although I do wonder how sustainable a one-person shop will be over time.

As ever, I'm owlmoose over there. Feel free to follow me! I'll most likely add you back if you do. And of course I'll report back, once I've used it awhile.

2. Many other people reporting more thoroughly on the Delicious situation and its implications for fandom. The most thorough source I know of is [personal profile] bookshop -- check out her entries here and here. If you have another good source, let me know.

3. What is it about Internet services and massive fail in the areas of interface and customer service lately? The Google+ real names issue, the Netflix debacle, Facebook's much discussed interface change, and now this. Whatever happened to focus groups, and controlled beta testing, and soft launches? Why do so many sites dump huge changes on their userbase without so much as asking their users what they want? The answer I come back to doesn't please me, but it's starting to look very likely to be the correct one: they don't care. I'm put in mind of this cartoon, which started making the rounds on Facebook after the interface change and resulting outcry:

It's an uncomfortable truth, if one that gets a little sticky for sites like LiveJournal where many of us do pay for the service. And it doesn't mean that we have no leverage at all, because if we weren't there, providing the content, there would be no product to sell. But it does go a long way toward explaining why some site owners seem so callus about their user base.

All day, I've been remebering FanLib and Strikethrough, the controversies that led in no small part to the creation of AO3 and Dreamwidth, respectively. And I keep coming back to the same conclusion today that I did then: if fandom wants a social bookmarking service that's going to work for us, take our needs into account, and not disappear when a higher bidder comes along, we need to build it ourselves. We need to own the servers. The OTW has expressed an interest in being part of the solution, which I think is great, and I look forward to more developments from that direction, but I hope we don't just sit around and wait, either, if someone has an awesome idea for building a tool that will work for us.

4. On the other hand, weirdly, when I open a Delicious webpage, as of this writing (approximately midnight)? I see the old interface. I'm almost afraid to admit this, lest I jinx it, but there you are. This isn't a caching error, because I see it in multiple browsers, and I see it on pages for users I haven't looked at in months, and I see it when I'm logged out. And I accepted the new ToS, and I saw the new interface when I first checked the site this morning. Has this bizarre reversal happened for anyone else? Is it possible that they're slowly walking the changes back? Very curious to see what this will look like in the morning....

5. Last word goes to the ever-wonderful George Takei, whom I think I love more every single day. (The video is about the Facebook interface change, but I still find it appropriate.)
wallwalker: Venetian mask, dark purple with gold gilding. (Default)

[personal profile] wallwalker 2011-09-28 12:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I couldn't help but giggle at that cartoon, even though it really is true.

Whenever things like this happen - whenever a site makes a change that apparently alienates a large part of its userbase - I cannot help but wonder if the changes were deliberately intended to do that. Do sites periodically need or want to clean up their userbase? Do they look at the service they've provided and the people whom they've attracted and say, "Okay, this isn't want we had in mind"? So they take a passive-aggressive route and make changes that they know will inconvenience and alienate the users that they had, or a portion of them, and figure that they'll get new people who don't mind the changes and move on from there. Like, say, destroying the structure of a tag that is very common amongst fandom communities without giving any warning or auto-replacing the offending symbol with something else (not the best solution, I grant you, but it would've at least shown they were trying.)

...not that I know what Delicious's new target audience IS, right now. People who don't want to use the same tags more than ten times ever? *scratches head* "Stacking" seems to be the new bundling, but what longtime Delicious user is going to want to go back through thousands of links and regroup them when they were grouped together perfectly well to begin with?

Anyway. Point is, I could be wrong, but this really does feel sketchy to me. And I do kind of want to try Pinboard, once I figure out how I'm going to pay for it.
wallwalker: Venetian mask, dark purple with gold gilding. (fairest of them all)

[personal profile] wallwalker 2011-09-28 04:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I really should remember that saying. My paranoia gets out of hand sometimes. I'd never heard of Hanon's Razor, specifically, so thanks for telling me about it!

Honestly, thinking about it, I think you're right; they probably just didn't really bother to understand the demographic that currently uses the site, and probably sincerely think that they're making it better. I just wish I felt more confident that they'd listen to the people who say that they really aren't.
wallwalker: Venetian mask, dark purple with gold gilding. (Default)

[personal profile] wallwalker 2011-09-28 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, a service by fans and for fans would be ideal. I'd be happy to work on something like that, if only I had any programming skill whatsoever.

Editing that last bit out now... were those links there in your post before? I don't remember seeing them when I read it before. I feel silly now.
Edited 2011-09-28 18:02 (UTC)