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18 January 2006 @ 03:27 pm
So I got an email  
and every email I get at the moment is greeted with the increasingly frustrated hope that it might be the confirmation that my ADSL2+ (up to 24,000 kbps!) connection is ready to be processed. Alas, I am again dissappointed to find it is not. I really hope they get a wriggle on, as I am edging ever closer to my monthly billing date for my current ADSL connection.

Even more annoying, is that the email I just received has no actual content, other than an annoying insistence that I update my livejournal. That's right, someone used the "nudge" feature on me. This is a feature with a lot of downsides, and very few upsides.

To me personally, it isn't so bad, and actually served as an okay little reminder that I hadn't updated in more than a week. However, it's usefulness is severely limited and, as I say, it has a lot of drawbacks:

It's impersonal

Gee, thanks, you sent me an automatically generated form-letter when you could have emailed, lj-commented or, jeez, telephoned me.

It is (or can be construed as) rude

And not just rude, but whiney. Entertaaaain meeeee. As if I don't have a life outside of LJ (it so happens that I don't, but that's beside the point).

It's intrusive and could be an invasion of privacy

As far as I can figure, people who don't even receive their comments and replies as emails will get nudges in their inbox. There might be a good reason why you don't want to get emails from LJ.

It's spam

Unsolicited email asking you to participate in an online service. That's spam in my book.

It's easily abused

Whilst, granted, the nudge feature only applies to mutual friends; people have some sick, sad friends sometimes. Hopefully LJ had the forethought to limit the frequency with which you can nudge any particular user.

EDIT: It has been confirmed that you can, in fact, continually nudge someone until they make a post. Oh joy, limitless spam from your fuckwitted friends.

It's difficult to opt-out of

The opt-out option is done via an admin console command, not exactly user friendly. Not to mention the fact that the nudge feature was implemented before the option to opt-out was (at last check it still hadn't been implemented). Way to go LJ, introduce an intrusive feature without giving people a chance to opt-out of it. Like I said: spam.

It can serve as an unexpected reminder of grief

As someone, in some comment somewhere, pointed out: the nudge page conveniently sorts the deceased to the top of the list (or at least will, eventually). Not something that applies to me at this point (touch wood veneer) but something that might come as a bit of a nasty shock to some people checking out this "feature" for the first time.
Jacobyak_boy on January 18th, 2006 10:20 am (UTC)
Wow. This really is a bit of an exaggeration. I agree with you that it's a problematic feature, but you make it sound like the devil incarnate.

Just because I listed all the problems I see, doesn't mean I think it's a major disaster. I just like making lists.

I am really not concerned about this feature at all, as it pertains to me, I was just merely pointing out how a "feature" like this has been implemented without enough thought going into the potential pitfalls.

It's more of poke-in-the-eye to the decision makers of the world who don't do enough planning and testing.

I stress: the nudge feature is of little consequence to me. This is merely, as the tag says, a rather pointless little rant. I only wrote it because (*gasp* the irony!) I was nudged and wanted, therefore, to make an update.

The problem is the lack of a suitable opt-out, and the lack of restrictions on the use of the feature.

Which is what I said (amongst other things).

Of course, what you're fearing is that one of your mutual friends will abuse the feature. I suppose in my case that might not be such an issue (if I was that worried about a person, I doubt they'd end up on my LJ friend's list, thus it's quite small). So, that too might be a problem.

You're assuming that I am worried about the nudge feature being abused on me. I was just talking in general.

Anyway, people "friend" all sorts of random strangers, and being able to un-friend them might be too little too late, when important emails have been deleted because their Hotmail account is over its limit (of course, their own fault for using Hotmail, but I digress).

Serves them right for not updating. It's really a tenuous complaint. It's not just about dead people, of course. It's also lost friends who quit LJ and all sorts of other things. I'm sure there are people who will face these problems, but that's just what grief does.

I mean, spend a second thinking about everyone who lost someone in 9/11. That's not something the media will let them forget. It is, in the end, just LiveJournal providing a service.

You're right, but I didn't really list that because I thought it was really a serious problem that was going to seriously fuck people up. I wrote it because it's vaguely amusing. Black comedy, I know you're familiar with the concept because you yourself just used it.

"the nudge page conveniently sorts the deceased to the top of the list"

Does that sound likely a serious complaint, or a darkly humourous observation?

They can't take your email address and copy and paste it into the CC field a few hundred times. No, they have far too much self-control for that.

Ah, but here's the kicker. Your LJ friends don't have to know your email address to nudge you.
Robet Éivaayvah on January 18th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
All right, all right. But it wasn't so much just the post, but a few of the comments that led me to comment myself...

Forgive me my stupidity. :P

"being able to un-friend them might be too little too late, when important emails have been deleted because their Hotmail account is over its limit"

Actually, you get a decent 250mb nowadays. It's no Gmail, but if your inbox gets full then you've really gotta start worrying about how awfully you've been organising it.

I just hate it because it has no "search" function... Or any of the other spiffy Gmail features -- like the lack of ads. And it's prettier. :P
Jacobyak_boy on January 18th, 2006 10:52 am (UTC)
I never said you were stupid, but I forgive you. :P

OMFG 250mb!!!!

You'd be surprised how many people think it's absolutely vital they keep every email.
Robet Éivaayvah on January 18th, 2006 10:58 am (UTC)
Well, I guess it depends on how many attachments you're sending around.

But if LJ is going to push you over, you're already kind of in trouble.

I've kept every email on Gmail... Well, except from the newsletter sort of stuff I guess...

I'm looking at about 705MB... But about 600 of that is made up by one series of emails.
Kittymoorekittie on January 19th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
What's wrong with keeping all your emails?

Jacobyak_boy on January 19th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Well, since the vast majority of my email are LJ comments which are kept at the actual website...

Even then, most email missives are pretty pointless and hardly worth keeping.

Don't get me wrong, I do keep a lot of emails. Even stuff that serves no real purpose to keep. But I don't use Hotmail/Yahoo or even Gmail, so my storage space is only limited by my hard drive space (of which I have plenty, and can always buy more).

I also find it funny when people complain that a free email provider deleted their emails. I mean, first of all, you have to read the Terms of Service, secondly it's FREE; what do you want for nothing?
Kittymoorekittie on January 19th, 2006 01:02 am (UTC)
Ahh, I see.

I tend to keep everything, except for LJ comments because, like you said, they're on the website. I don't know if I keep everything because I think I might need it one day or because I use gmail and I feel like I can never fill it up.

Either way, I'm sure I'll always keep them all. You know, memories. and something to read when I'm bored.
Jacobyak_boy on January 18th, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)
I, of course, use an ISP email address. Which is about to be a huge pain in the arse for obvious reasons.
Robet Éivaayvah on January 18th, 2006 10:58 am (UTC)
It's a pity it's not transferable like phone numbers.
Jacobyak_boy on January 18th, 2006 11:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, they need to implement Email Address Portability, or EAP for short.