Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Mystery of the Disappearing Blog Post: An Overconnected World

So, back in week 8 I wrote a post about the wonders of viral videos, referring to the latest craze of viral dances i.e. the Harlem Shake and Gangham Style. This morning I woke up, and thought to myself, "Maybe I should check to see if anyone's commented on that." I turned on my laptop, loaded up the page, only to discover it was nowhere to be found.

At first I thought maybe the post had just failed to upload, which would be a pain because I'd typed it straight into the blog publisher, and so would have to write it all over again. However, as soon as I went to write a new post, I knew exactly where the post had disappeared to; it had been posted to my old blog that I haven't touched since I was a teenager.

I realise this is partly human error, and largely my fault; I should have checked. However, this for me is becoming one of those everyday annoyances. Too many of my accounts are now synced, which means when I need to access something on what should be separate websites I have to log out and back in again. For example, my Hacking the Book account was set up using my student e-mail address, because it is part of my student life. However, my Youtube account is set up using the e-mail address I have had since I was 8. Because Youtube and Blogger are both owned and connected to Google, it means I have to switch between accounts every time I want to check this blog or watch videos from my subscription feed. Of course the one time I forget to switch would be the time I actually need to do something important.

I also have an issue with my Facebook and Hotmail chat being synced. It's lead me to block every single person on my messenger systems, so that when I log into my Hotmail account I can just check my e-mail and not be stormed by  conversation "bloops". I did try disconnecting these two systems once, only to have my inbox spammed by Hotmail asking me whether I'd like to reconnect them. Everytime I would delete the e-mail, and every time a new one would appear within 48 hours, to the point where I gave in and connected them again, just to get them to stop badgering me.

I suppose though, that my problem is not with websites being synced, but that they are the wrong websites for me. I'm one of those people with multiple e-mail addresses, and I was so pleased when Hotmail introduced the feature allowing me to hook up five accounts and pass quickly between them. However, they have now "upgraded" one of my accounts to Outlook, a programme I have deleted from every laptop and computer I have had since I can remember. Not only is it slow, clunky and prone to glitching my attachments out of existence, but it means I can no longer jump back and forth between accounts on my phone, unless I decide to "upgrade" all my other accounts.

It would also be great if I could sync my deviantArt with my current blog, so that I could show people what I'm up to creatively with out all the messy links.

I guess what I'm arguing for is a world of option, rather than forced connectivity and sparse choices. The internet is a supposed to be a democracy, where people's views and shares have the power to make things popular, but surely we should also be able to choose how we view the material. If you want to check your e-mail in peace, you should be able to, and if there's no need for your Youtube to be connected to Blogger, then you should be able to disconnect them.  

(On a side note: I found it very amusing that the spellcheck on here doesn't know how to spell Google, Blog, or in fact Blogger.)

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