Ivor O’Connor

July 13, 2012

WTF is wrong with Americans

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:52 pm

I saw this post and thought to myself this pretty much represents what most people in this nation are probably thinking.


July 10, 2012

Evil Google? Yes indeed!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:35 pm

UPDATE 2012-09-07: They removed all my reviews except for three. I’ve sent numerous emails and they say they lost them. They won’t even respond any longer. They say it happens and there is nothing they can do about it. I seriously doubt it. I suspect it’s because I refused to do PPC advertising with them even after they did their soft-sale of PPC with me over the phone for over an hour. This is one very evil company.


UPDATE 2012-07-14: I received a postcard from Google today. Entered the code in as requested. My listing and reviews reappeared almost immediately. Still it shows I’ve only done 80 or 90% of what I’m suppose to do but it’s not clear what it is I’m suppose to do. So I can’t complete the last percent. Furthermore Google noticed I complained bitterly on the forms, or here, and asked if I’d be willing to participate in an hour long study next week with one of their staff. Naturally I agreed. I don’t want this to ever happen again and if I can help them prevent this in the future it will be time well spent. Maybe the are proactive?

I received the email below and in less than 17 hours, probably less than 12 hours, my business was removed from Google! (A customer called to say they couldn’t read the Google reviews or leave one but wanted to thank us for our great work yesterday.) In disbelief I checked the email and followed their procedures.

I clicked the link provided in the email. I got an error that looked like it was a bad link. I try to reply back to the email from Google though it says do not reply. I hoped that was just a means to cut down on abuse. Nope, it’s a bad email address and I immediately get a rejection notice. I try the link again and this time it works. Guess Google has performance problems.

I fill out the information requested using the steps outlined. Only one catch. I will remain unlisted for weeks! I have to wait for a postcard via snail-mail they say they’ll send in two weeks or less! They mention about having an operator verify this for you over the phone but I can’t find any telephone number.

Google is like a big entity in the heavens that can unilaterally smite you without even knowing it. But they do it on purpose. For instance they could be responsible and provide phone support but they choose not to. They know mistakes are made. Their hubris doesn’t allow for feedback. And the email and their actions clearly prove they are messed up. I wish there would be a large class-action lawsuit demanding billions of dollars from them. They need to be responsible for their actions. Whether or not they offer services for free.

For years I’ve carefully cultivated my Google Places listing. We have more than ten times the industry standard number of reviews. All but one of these reviews, which was only four stars, have been five stars. Google could have easily checked to see these reviews are valid from people who leave reviews elsewhere. Or contacted the reviewers if they thought something wasn’t right. No, something in Google’s machinery is fouled up and we must suffer the consequences.

In addition to this they now have a goofy review system that really only works for restaurants and similar businesses. They apparently bought some companies software for this. It doesn’t fit. So all of those five star reviews have been pushed into perfect reviews on their new system and it’s a bad joke. I will have to start telling customers to leave reviews elsewhere. Free places elsewhere.

I think Google’s slogans is to “do no evil”. That slogan is clearly just a slogan and not followed.

Dear Google Places user,$
We’d like to tell you about a recent update to our quality guidelines. This new addition, which affects service area businesses based at a residential location, states:$
If you don’t conduct face-to-face business at your location, you must select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option within your dashboard. If you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.$
Why the addition? We want to ensure that Google users do not attempt to visit your business at the location listed publicly on Maps — it’s a bad experience for you, it’s a bad experience for them.$
Over the next few weeks, we’ll begin strictly enforcing this guideline, more so than we have been since the policy change. This means that if you don’t have a storefront, and you haven’t hidden your address, your listing is not in compliance with our updated quality guidelines and subject to takedown. We wanted to give you a heads up both to give you enough time to be in compliance and to ensure your listing remains live on Google Maps going forward.$
To hide your address:$
Go to your Google Places dashboard $
Click “Edit” on the listing to view its details$
Select “Yes, this business serves customers at their locations”$
Select “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing”$
Hit Submit$
You can also read a step-by-step guide to hiding your address in our Help Center. Note that it will take a few days for the address to be removed completely from the live listing.$
Please update your Google Places listing to ensure it remains active on Google.$
The Google Team$
© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043$
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Places product or account.$

July 3, 2012

GMail’s Web Interface is Difficult

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:14 pm

Google has been upgrading their web interface. It no longer shows 100 emails so I’m constantly reloading to get the right page. Gmail no longer shows how many emails I have, instead it says “1-50 of many”, so I can’t tell if I’m achieving my goal of clearing off ten a day out of thousands. Gmail no longer shows granular time stamps so I can’t retrieve something I know I got around 6pm on Monday or Tuesday of last week. And furthermore I can’t scroll to the next page by clicking on an arrow. Instead I have to click on a drop down button and then select “show more messages”!

Perhaps Google is telling me I’m a slob and I must change my working style. Thanks Google. I know I’m hopeless. In the meantime as I try to become a productive, responsible, functioning computer user. Neat and organized one too. I’ll use Thunderbird.

I haven’t used Thunderbird in years. It didn’t install on this debian laptop but it did install nicely on the windows 7 laptop. Since it’s only meant to be a short term fix until I get my email life in one piece I think I can live with just one copy of it.

Personally I’d like to go back to Pegasus email that I used in the mid 90s. It was by far the best email client I’ve ever used. Mostly because it allowed me almost complete freedom to do things the way I wanted. With regular flat files and complete control over almost every aspect of the email protocol which I haven’t seen even mentioned in other clients. I see http://www.pmail.com is still there. Maybe…


Update 2012-07-10: I wonder if I put pmail’s home directory in dropbox whether it would work on all the various computers. I’ll have to look at security…

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