Joe Ganley

I make software and sometimes other things.

 

Due to Blogger's termination of support for FTP, this blog is no longer active.

It is possible that some links from here, particularly those within the site, are now broken. If you encounter one of those, your best bet is to go to the new front page and hunt for it from there.

Most, but not all, of the blog's posts are on this page; the archives are here.

 

Open letter to web services companies: When you send me emails that need me to follow a link to respond, don't make me jump through a bunch of hoops to do so. For example, take Twitter. About twice a week, I would get an email telling me that someone wants to follow me. All of these are spammers. In order to block them, I have to click a link in the email, log into Twitter, click a button to block them and then another to confirm. Instead, there should be a link in the email to accept and one to block, and neither should require me to log in. This is not a high-security situation; I wouldn't want emails from my bank to work this way, but for Twitter there really aren't any consequences if someone gets into my email and accepts a follow, or if I do so accidentally. In the end, the easiest way for me to solve this problem was to just terminate my Twitter account, which is what I did.

Similarly, Meetup: I get an email asking me to RSVP. They conveniently provide Yes, Maybe, and No buttons in the email. However, in order to follow them, I have to log into my Meetup account. It's a pain. So, when my answer is "No" (as it usually is), I just don't bother. This can only end up hurting the meeting organizers, and thus ultimately hurting Meetup itself.

For an example of doing this right, take Netflix. Periodically I get an email from them asking when a DVD was sent, or when it arrived. There are appropriate links in the email. I click the right one, and I'm done. No login, no confirmation. One click. The companies who are doing this wrong should take a lesson here.

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