Many thanks for your invitation to ‘SkillPages’.
Unfortunately, the idiots who built this system have clearly not even done basic testing on their platform before releasing it into the wild. This seems to be par for the course these days. One would think that after all this time, people who profess to be expert software designers would at least have some clue; but then — as I’m sure you know judging by your efforts to publicise the low-level ozone problem — there are experts, and then there are egg-spurts…
If you’re not interested in the description of the problems I encountered then please feel free to click away to something more interesting, with my thanks for providing me with this opportunity to vent my spleen, and best wishes for the festive season :). I feel pretty sure anyway that only SkillPages Holdings Limited would be interested in this, but as they’re not paying me for assistance in designing their system, I can’t even be bothered to look for a ‘feedback’ link (after all, there may not even be one). And I’ve had experience in the past of having my suggestions for systems improvement ignored, or, worse, dissed: so why should I bother?
The sequence of events resulting in the problems I encountered was as follows:
- I received an email from the SkillPages system purporting to profer an invitation from you to join ‘SkillPages’.
- After a basic sanity-check to reassure myself this wasn’t a scam, I followed the ‘continue’ link in the email.
- I noted that the web page to which this sent me asked for personal details so as to allow me to ‘Sign Up’ — but it was served by an HTTP, not HTTPS link; ie, no ‘padlock’, and therefore, in theory at least, an ‘insecure’ connection (though that’s a rant for another day).
- I inserted an ‘s’ at the end of ‘http’ in the web address (so as to create a ‘secure’ connection to the website).
- Having already taken a diversion from the Maker’s intended sign-up route, I thought I might as well take a look around…
- I skimmed through the usual verbose click-thru-‘agreement’ (unusual of me, I know — most people don’t even bother to do more than click the ‘I agree’ checkbox, terms unread). Cynical me noted the line “we do not sell your personal information to third parties” and paused to wonder whether that means they reserve the right to give it away for free. Or maybe barter with other sites for personal data they’ve collected. Oh, and look, the first paragraph in section 23.1 (‘privacy, general statement’) is duplicated in full as the second paragraph, which kind of suggests that not even the folks at SkillPages Holdings Limited bothered to read through their own agreement…
- The site seemed reasonable enough — and, who knows, it may even come in handy at some time — so I clicked on ‘Sign Up’, and skipped on through.
- The system told me to expect an email to verify my email address (fair enough). I checked my email, and, sure enough, there was one. I followed the link in that.
- Then the system reported that I had two messages. One was a ‘welcome’ message. I felt reasonably confident that the other would be your invitation, but after reading the ‘welcome’ message and deleting it, I could find no other message — even though the system was still reporting that there was another one. Duh.
- Nothing for it but to follow the link in the original invite email that had sparked off this total waste of time (or give up in disgust) so, that’s what I did. The resulting page did not offer me the option to sign in to the account I had just set up (which, I would have thought, would be simple common sense, but for the fact that such stuff is in very short supply)…
- … it simply asked me, as before, for name and password. At this point I was intrigued to find out how the system would react, so I filled in the requested information. I was totally unsurprised to be presented with the message “Error: this email is already in use”. Even though I hadn’t provided an email address at this point. Bad cookie, I guess.
Something tells me SkillPages, like all other social media wannabes, will have to do a bit better than this if they’re to compete with the inertia generated by the early birds in this field.
Oh, and if you (not you, Gail!) happen to be a free market fundamentalist whose ideology won’t allow you to accept that market inertia does in fact exist (which gives the lie to the ‘power of the free market’), I’m sure I’m not alone in thanking you for everything you’ve done in contributing to the rape of our planet to date.
Rant over :D