Posts Tagged ‘DanLevy’

Google+ Rolling Out Custom URLs To Users But Doing It Horribly

November 7, 2013 70 comments

Google Plus Logo

A few weeks back it was announced that Google+ was finally going to allow regular users to adopt Vanity URLs for their profiles and rid themselves of URLs like (yes, that’s my real Google+ URL). Sounds great, right? Finally the common folk would be given on Google+ what most other modern social networks had from the outset, the ability to pick our own screen names and have a URL to link to which isn’t ridiculously unwieldy and next to impossible to remember.

All sounded fantastic until you went to the Google+ Help page and read their “Getting Started with Google+ Custom URLs” file. The second one reads:

“You’ll see the URL(s) you’ve been approved for. If you see more than one option, select the one you like best. You may also be asked to add a few numbers or letters to make the custom URL unique to you.”

So wait, I have to use the one Google approves for me? I can’t be which is  my screenname on darn near every other social network I use? OK, well maybe they’ll lighten up some day and I’ll be able to change it, right? NOPE! Check out the sixth rule in the red box below

Google Plus Vanity URL Rules

“Once approved, this URL will be linked to your Google+ page or Profile, so be sure everything is exactly the way you want it. Once your URL has been approved, you can’t request to change it.”

I was feeling a bit pessimistic when I read that but friends who are way bigger Google+ users assured me, “You can request a different one if you have a valid reason” and “There is flexibility… You just have to request it…” so I decided to see what Google did when they finally got around to offering me a custom URL. Well, today that finally happened!

Google Plus Vanity URL  Notification

The notification appeared at the top of my Google+ profile page and I clicked the blue button excitedly. That excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I saw what Google was offering me as my Custom URL. Read more…

Simple Things About Facebook That Need Changing!

August 9, 2010 2 comments

I am not writing this post about Facebook privacy. This is more about the user interface of Facebook and how I feel they can make it more user-friendly.

I was, as usual, on Twitter today and a friend of mine tweeted asking:

How much spam do you get in your Facebook inbox? Or am I the only one who gets all this crap?“.

I responded that of course she was not the only one who gets all that crap. The question brought to mind a realization I had about Facebook’s Message Inbox deficiency a little while ago. The deficiency being that you can’t search for anything in your Inbox aside from messages from friends. This means that all those messages you get from events and groups of which you aren’t a friend of the creator or organizer are impossible to search for by name. This is something Facebook needs to fix in my opinion.

One other thing that I think helps contribute to Facebook spam is the fact that even after a Facebook event has occurred the organizers of the event can still access, and send a mass message to, everyone on the guest list. This means that if you have any events in your past events listing that you just clicked the “Not Attending” button when you decided to RSVP – or even never clicked anything and they’re still “Waiting for a Reply” – the organizers of that event have the ability to mass message you at any time of their choosing until you click the “Remove from My Events” link at the bottom of the event page. Facebook needs to add an optional setting at the very least that if you click “Not Attending” or never reply that it should automatically delete the event after a given amount of time.

The reason why I say the setting should be optional and why I say it should be after a given amount of time is because I believe there ARE benefits to having the list saved for both the people invited and for the people who organized the event. As well, even the benefit I see for the organizers is really also a benefit for the invited people (whether they attended or not).

    Benefits to the invited people:

– They can keep track of what events they have been to and where/when it was. Sort of like a journal of things you’ve done. (Assuming you don’t click Attending and then don’t show up).
– They can, after the event, have an easier time finding a new friend they met at the event on Facebook assuming that person was invited to the event.

    Benefits to the organizers (not including ability to spam the invited 6 months to a year later)

– They can send out a survey and see what people liked & did not like about their event and then try to improve on it in the future.
– They can offer people to join a group for photos/videos from the event or send them a link to the same offsite.

But like I said before there should be a termination period for the time you are listed in an event and event should be eventually deleted off your list. At the very least the ability for people to send messages to the attendees of an event a year ago should be removed so we don’t keep getting these spam messages.

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