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Monday Never Comes / Joseph Dunphy
Underemployed Mathematician / Electrical Engineer living in Chicago. Go to Stuck in Limbo to find the links for returning to your ring and getting update notices for this account.
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Unthinking actions on the part of the staff have, at this point, created a huge problem for new users of the comment hosting system in the short run, and as I've pointed out, for the company itself in the not very long run. I give specifics about the problem. How does the staff member member responsible for moderating the company blog respond? Censoriously. Forget about serving the company and letting real problems be openly discussed. This individual covers the backside of whoever was responsible for making a series of unbelievable bad decisions by squashing any mention that they had been made. What does it say about the current state of the company, when gross ineptitude is protected from exposure in such a way? Some people, I'm sure, will try to claim that I was trolling, and justify the censorship that way, but this is nonsense. Telling people what they need to hear, instead of what they want to hear, is honesty, nothing else. In pretending otherwise, these people (perhaps unintentionally) point to the problem with the broadly written prohibitions against "offensive" content seen at many providers. That word is so easy to redefine for the most venal of purposes. To protect one's own abysmal performance on the job from proper scrutiny is not a noble purpose.
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Let's compare this lengthy, time consuming and completely unintuitive procedure to what had been the process for getting to that form, until fairly recently: Go to dashboard, click on button marked "blogs", and choose the link off of the drop down menu, if I remember this correctly. If I'm not remembering this correctly, I merely err by giving the Typepad staff more credit than it deserves, this time. How difficult should it be to figure out that a feature this basic should be linked to from the dashboard? Or that failing this, that they might at least be sure that the FAQ gave the user the proper procedure for getting to the page he needed? On both scores, the staff failed, raising an obvious question: just how hard were they trying?
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Look at how many steps a would-be user of the Typepad Connect comment hosting system has to go through, just to find the form for submitting his information. Look at how many different links there are on each of the pages in that sequence for somebody to try, with Typepad doing nothing to help point one in the direction in which one should look. In fact, the instructions given in the faq point one the wrong way. This is terrible design. Is it any wonder that it would take a user a few hours, a few pointlessly squandered hours, to find where the darned thing was, and even so much as begin the process of submitting his information? Which is something that he has to do before installing Typepad Connect. How many prospective users are going to put up with this, and how many are going to say "forget it", and install Disqus or IntenseDebate, instead? Notice how much easier installation is for either of those two services? Which is not to say headache free, but nothing like this level of hassle is seen out of either of those two competitors.
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The correct way of installing Typepad on your blog, if that's really what you want to do, as of today, January 26, 2011: 1. Go to the Typepad homepage, at http://www.typepad.com/ 2. If you are logged into Typepad, click on the link marked "Typepad Dashboard" in the upper right hand corner of your screen. You'll find it at the end of of a sentence reading "Go to your TypePad Dashboard". Doing so will bring you to this page. http://www.typepad.com/dashboard If you aren't logged into Typepad, you'll see boxes for your e-mail address and password. Enter those, click on the button labeled "sign in", and, again, you'll end up on the dashboard. http://www.typepad.com/dashboard Either way, we're now in the same place. Page title: "Dashboard | Typepad" 3. Looking at the top of the screen, you'll see a link marked "Account". Clicking on that, you'll go to http://www.typepad.com/account Page title: Account | TypePad" 4. Look at the links along the left hand edge of the screen, located inside a darker blue box (darker than the light blue you see around it). See the bottom link marked "connections"? Click on that, and you'll go to http://www.typepad.com/account/access/connections a page with the title "Connections - Account | TypePad" 5. Once there, in the white box in the middle of the screen, you'll see two links, one atop the other. You want the top link, marked "my communities". Click on that. You should now be here: http://www.typepad.com/account/access/developer#communities on a page with the title "Developers - Account | TypePad" 6. Now look at the right hand side of the screen. See the darker blue box in the upper right hand corner with the words "Help with APIs"? That's not what you want, but it is directly above what you want. Start scrolling down. You'll see two lighter blue boxes below it, along the right side of the screen. You want the one on the bottom, the one with the words "TypePad Connect Use TypePad's powerful commenting technology on other sites. Try it now." Clicking on the link marked "try it now", you'll wind up on this page http://www.typepad.com/site/blogs?connect=1 which has the title "Add a Blog | Typepad". 7. You are now on the page where you submit your information. Fill in the information, click on the button saying "connect blog", and the system will walk you through the rest of the procedure for installing Typepad on your blog. For now.
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That space stripping surely is a lovable feature of Typepad, isn't it? You do seriously need to view the previous on my blog, with spaces and formatting still in place, to make much sense of it.
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This gets better and better. Just now, I'm at the Typepad Connect Page http://www.typepad.com/connect/ where I see this "Energize Your Community Turn your audience into a lively community with a suite of powerful commenting and community tools. * Make your blog the center of discussion * Track and manage comments with ease" So, mystery resolved, even though nobody at Typepad has been willing to help me with this, so far? Not really. I click on the "sign up" button, which points to this url http://www.typepad.com/connect/register and discover that, at least when I'm logged into Typepad in the same browser, this url seems to be occupied by a redirect to this url http://www.typepad.com/dashboard You know, the dashboard for my account? The one on which there is a button that says "blogs", which if you click on it, gives one a drop down menu? A drop down menu on which "connect a blog" used to be one of the options, but it isn't any more? Which is the reason why I'm here, seeing if there is any possibility at all of getting one of you to answer in a helpful way? Which I'm beginning to doubt. Wasting a little more time, because the FAQ https://www.typepad.com/connect/faq.html is out of date, telling me to follow these instructions to get started: "How do I get started with TypePad Connect? 1. Sign up for a free TypePad account. If you already have a TypePad or TypeKey account, you can sign in to TypePad Connect with your existing username and password. The first time you sign in you will be sent to the dashboard." Done. I did that before I even wrote to you about this. "2. Update your profile and then select "Connect a blog" from the main navigation." As I've pointed out, there is no such option. You've removed it, and I guess, decided to stonewall any user who wanted to know what the new procedure was, because five days later, I still haven't heard from you. Raising the question of how, exactly, it is that I'm supposed to figure that out, when Six Apart is not willing to keep the FAQ of Typepad Connect up to date, and Support at Six Apart doesn't seem willing to resolve the mystery. Again, since you guys are the ones who are laying the site to begin with, if you're not willing to tell us where you moved something, how exactly are we supposed to figure that out? Are we expected to try every possible url on your domain, until after maybe a few thousand years, we accidentally trip across the right url, because G-d forbid one of you should take two minutes to answer a simple question? Do you begin to see why somebody might see such a position as being a little bit unreasonable? "3. Follow the TypePad Connect installation instructions." Since you've chosen to make step two a physical impossibility, and refused to answer a civil, reasonable question of how one is to get past that, step 3 is a non-issue. As a prospective user of your service, I'm being asked to follow instructions that you've hidden. How insane is that? Unless this is one massive exercise in corporate level trolling, and your company is deliberately trying to get people REALLY angry with it, what is the point to doing that? At the bottom of the FAQ, I find a link and a comment: "Have a question that isn't listed here? Check the TypePad Support Knowledge Base." so I go there, seeing if you've bothered to update that. I click on the link, and end up here http://help.sixapart.com/tp/us/ I do a search under the term "Typepad Connect" http://help.sixapart.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?search=%22typepad+connect%22&IncludeBlogs=3&limit=20 and get this menu of options Facebook Comment Syncing multiple Editing Your TypePad Profile Account: Notifications TypePad Connect CSS Documentation: Comment Threads TypePad Connect: Settings & Account Management Overview none of which seem to apply. So, naturally, I try all of them. The one on the bottom, marked "overview", http://help.sixapart.com/tp/us/overview-page.html leads to a page which can't even be viewed in Firefox, giving one little more than a plain dull grayish blue space, with a dull green band on top, and the Typepad Logo. In Internet Explorer, one sees much the same, with the words "Search the Knowledge Base" toward the top, in red, followed by the following words and phrases in the same color, widely spaced on the page: Blogs Blog Settings Compose Comments Design Advanced Design Typelists Photo Albums Account Billing Domain Mapping Tips Typepad Connect General That's it. Everything. No content underneath the bold red titles, no links, nothing. All that I can do is back arrow my way back to the menu.
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Eventually, with absolutely no help from the Typepad staff, I did find the current location for the instructions for installing Typepad Connect on a blog. The next comment you'll see (ie. the one above this one on my profile) is what I was writing as a followup to my problem report, right as I wandered into the right location. As you can see, Typepad had done nothing to make that location easy to find. You might want to go to my blog to read this next post, because Typepad strips spaces out of our comments as they are fed onto our profiles, and that's going to make this next comment particularly difficult to read.
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The previous comment on this post was not approved on Everything Typepad. I didn't stop with a little snark, though. I did open a support ticket at Typepad, and never heard back. This is what I wrote. --------- I tried to install the Typepad (formerly Typekey) comment hosting system on a blog of mine, but found that I couldn't even begin to do so, because the instructions weren't to be found for doing so, any more. I've looked and looked and looked, for the last few hours, and have found nothing, other than a good deal of annoyance over a morning that has been senselessly put to waste. Where are those instructions, and why weren't they put in a place that was easier to find than this? I assume that you'd like your system to be used. How does hiding the instructions for installation encourage prospective users to do so? Or even to be willing to post to blogs using the Typepad comment hosting system, because they have to know that if no new blogs can have Typepad installed on them, then eventually the natural process of attrition is going to leave Typepad installed practically nowhere, and the service being shut down as a result. Who would want to submit comments or any other content where one would expect it or them to evaporate in the near future? Unless you're intending to get out of the comment hosting business, you folks need to fix this, yesterday.
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Congratulations to Mr. Reine. As a user, I have something for him to do, already, which will allow him to make his mark, and gain endless appreciation from his user base. Just now, I tried - tried, mind you - to install the Typepad comment system on a new blog of mine. You know, the system we're using, now? I found myself completely thwarted in this, because somebody took the instructions for installing the Typepad comment hosting system (formerly known as the Typekey comment hosting) on one's blog, and hid them in a place so well concealed, that nobody I know can seem to find them. Even Google doesn't seem to know. After a few hours of looking, I still didn't where to look, either, other than maybe in the answers to a question I could post on the capriciously censorious GetSatisfaction site - assuming that the question stayed posted and the right person saw it - but I did have a thought that applied to this situation. There's a limit to how much time and effort that I or anybody else should be willing to expend to deal with somebody else's willful insanity. Is the comment hosting called something else, now? I don't know. There's no reason why I would, because there's nothing on the Typepad homepage that even hints of where to look for those instructions, or under which product name to search. We're just supposed to know this, psychically, I guess. My suggestion is to find the person who thought that hiding the instructions was a dandy idea,and fire his sorry backside, sending him on his merry way with a job recommendation so bad that he wouldn't be able to find work pumping gasoline in Fallujah, at a Shiite owned station, that had an Israeli flag flying in front of it. Having done that, post directions to the bridge he's taken residence under, so that we can all drop by, and give him our thanks for so many wonderful hours that he has brought into our days, like the ones I just spent. Help me out, on this one - are you guys trying to go out of business?
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I did try creating a blog on Blogger. If you're viewing this comment on my profile on Typepad, you'll see it linked to as one of my communities (Blocked on Typepad / MNC II at the moment). As you can see, I posted two comments to it, both of which appeared on said blog immediately, but neither of which has appeared on my profile, two hours later. I have, as I have said, reported the problem to Support, but given that I have another ticket from last week that hasn't been answered, I'm not optimistic. I don't believe that the problem is going to be fixed, so this is how it is, for this little blog I've created for reposting comments that have been blocked on other Typepad equipped blogs, in order to have those comments show up on my own profile. For that purpose, I'm stuck with what Typepad gives me, whether it's good or bad. But I will say that I will refuse to install Typepad Connect on a blog of any other sort, until this problem gets fixed. That reminds me - I did try posting a few comments to Everything Typepad, and got blocked. I'll have to repost those.
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Trying again to see if this works: I've followed the title of the post with a long ellipsis, because Typepad insists on appending the id for my blog at the end of the titles of posts on it, when listing comments to it on my profile. At least the title will have an ellipsis between it and the spurious addition? It will still look like garbage, but at least it will be readable garbage? I'd write to Six Apart to report the problem, but the last time I did something like that, I got stonewalled by Support, like a lot of people, I understand. As a result, instead of having something that works, I'm forced to resort to half baked "hacks", because G-d forbid that anybody should be expected to do his or her job any more, or that one should be expected to take any kind of pride in one's work. No, let's go with a system more modern, or would that postmodern, under which everybody feels free to foul up to his heart's content, and expects everybody else to clean up the messes he leaves behind on the job. Yeah, that will work. It will be awesome. Whooooooo !!!!!!
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Another test to see if Typepad will keep mangling the titles on the posts on this blog.
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Seeing if this comment will appear on my Typepad profile.
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Speaking as somebody who actually does live in Chicago: Our children do, indeed, deserve better. But are they going to get it? Those lunches have long been known to be incredibly light in protein, and unless I've missed something, the CPS hasn't addressed that. If the kids are being asked to get by on salad and fruit, with maybe a granola bar on the side, they're going to be really weak and hungry, and that's going to be a problem for everybody. Typical CPS lunch dish in the past: two slices of wonderbread, soaked in grease, with a light sprinkling of hamburger crumbs between the slices. Maybe an ounce of meat, probably less - it's really more garnish than entree. No sources of vegetable protein offered, because the lunch ladies don't even know what that is. The cheese on those nachos, when the nachos were being offered, might very well have been the vast bulk of the day's protein for the kids. In the specific context of the Chicago Public school system, this cure might very well be worse than the disease.
Future home of some of my remote blogging, if I ever get hooked up for that, and a greatly enhanced Twitter until then? Unlike Twitter, Typepad can include images. See, here's one now, the first non-utilitarian upload to my Flickr photostream: ............... In one way or another, what you're going to be seeing is what I'm seeing or playing with, right now. Not today, not this hour, but this second, and I hope you'll take it in that spirit. This will be rough, unpolished work, nothing that I'm inviting you to hang on a wall. These are just works or... Continue reading
If you entered my pages through this microblog or through my Typepad profile, then you should see the code for your ring below. If you entered anywhere else and wish to return to your ring, you have a number of options: there are ring return pages on Webring Webspace and Blogger, backup links accessible through the World of Webring (1 | 2) and backups to the backups at Blogger (again) and Tumblr, if you'd like to go back to the ring return page instead of just back to a copy of the code you need to get back to your... Continue reading