Obstacles In Communication

One of the most annoying things online for me lately are the obstacles during different phases of communication – blogging, contacting people, sending feedback. Most of us are busy and look for the easiest and fastest way to do anything online, and our attention span is short enough to abandon an idea if the process is cumbersome in any way.

Which is one of the reasons I love WordPress in the first place – making it easy to launch websites, products and services.

Blogging

But despite of the fact that I use WordPress since 2007 or so, I don’t think that it’s the best platform for writing now. It may be the most professional one, including hundreds of plugins that would help you write better, validate your SEO, curate content, link other resources, embed tweets and such, but it’s not the easiest platform. Even the distraction-free writing mode doesn’t make it incredibly better.

Try LinkedIn Pulse or Medium for example – a clean sheet with your cursor, that’s it.

TinyMCE

TinyMCE is like democracy. As Churchill said in 1947:

“Democracy is a very bad form of government, but I ask you to never to forget it, all the others are far worse”

I do programming for a living, yet I don’t enjoy blogging in the Text editor. But it works so much better in comparison to the Visual editor. It doesn’t add all of the extra paragraphs, breaks, misalignments – not to mention pasting text from different applications.

It’s supposed to work and it’s more superior than the other WYSIWYG editors, but blogging with TinyMCE is not a pleasure.

Captcha

We all know that spam bots are terrible, and cleaning your blog out of spam is just an awful way to spend your time.

I was using my 3G USB stick last weekend while working from a coffee shop. Turned out CloudFlare doesn’t like my IP address and many reputable websites asked me to enter captcha before I was able to browse them. It was demotivating to say the least, and the lack of trust in my humanness in 10 websites in a row was disappointing.

And have you seen the Google Recaptcha – the one prior to the checkbox model? I usually refresh 4 or 5 times before I can actually read a text. I bet that a robot can do better than me with those captchas.

Comments SPAM

I used to love reading blogs and commenting. But ever since Google Reader was discontinued, I haven’t been using a feed reader. I subscribe by email (simple as that) and follow some social media channels or aggregators for most online resources.

But even when I read something and I would like to comment out, I get some captcha input field under the comment field. I fill it in anyway, and then I hit “Comment”. “Your comment is awaiting moderation”, it says. Sometimes that takes days, or it hits a SPAM filter and people never live to see my reply.

Site owners also forget to add “Subscribe for comments” so that the communication can go on.

Social Media

I have a special policy about Facebook – I add back only people whom I’ve met before or I know personally. It’s a personal social network for me.

On LinkedIn though I tend to add anyone. Why? It’s a business network. And making business contacts is always helpful. But LinkedIn is always limiting people by trying to find a common company or high school that you both went to. When the process requires a review, why should one be stopped to apply in the first place for a business contact?

That’s the main reason I spend most social time on Twitter. No boundaries – everyone could contact you. Unlike Google+, if you tweet, your followers will see that. You don’t limit your posted content to specific groups. Communication is open, and you can still restrict it should you want that.

That magnitude of privacy, security measures and complication is hilarious since we all know that the large corps behind these networks and services store all of our data. I actually helped a client in one consulting startup last month, answering a WordPress multisite question in a private chat. A week later, my reply was curated and published as an article, since it was helpful and the startup team decided to combine my live chat text replies into a short article.

The more obstacles we got in our communication, the less people would be willing to waste their time for a process that is supposed to be simple.

2 thoughts on “Obstacles In Communication

  1. I hate CAPTCHA so much I just leave 90% of the time instead of even bothering. It’s one thing I go to the proverbial ‘matt’ on with clients.

    I get them to agree to not put it on unless it becomes an issue and it never really becomes an issue.

    1. Ditto, and yes on the problem with the moderation – I’m not saying that I don’t have to use some of these after a massive Chinese botnet attack, yet it doesn’t make it any more convenient when it happens.

      Also, it’s more or less the default behavior of WordPress, which requires extra action in order to disable…

Your thoughts?