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With a login here, and a login there…

I posted two pictures to Flickr in succession, but the pictures really don’t have much to do with one another, as I can see from a couple of comments, so Let Me Explain.

Catching up after major away-time, I tried to do some committee work, which included a requirement to log in to Online Communities. Castor oil would have been preferable, but I tried logging in anyway. Q.v. this Flickr entry with the massively self-referential focus to iMis. My point here: the OC login page is a problem–and that’s just the beginning of the problems with OC.

After fussing with OC, I thought to myself, all my mail is still coming to my quickly-expiring work email address. I should update my central ALA profile. (Note: this won’t actually change any of my list subscriptions, which are now on two separate list software installations–Listproc and Sympa–or the many other places that have information about me that is or will be incorrect.)

So I logged into the ALA website (–which I assumed has almost no interaction with OC–to change my mailing address, default email address, and so forth. That’s where we get this picture of me trying to outfox the profile page, which says bolded entries are required but doesn’t point out that this is also true for some un-bolded entries. In other words, the instructions should be, “This is a crap shoot–good luck, muah ha ha!”

I submitted my changes, got an email confirming my changes, then logged back in to see that the changes had not stuck and the old information was there–spooky, considering the email I had just received. I re-entered the data, got the email, logged in, and saw the changes had held. I’m afraid to look at this point.

Note that one of the statements I hope we can start avoiding is “As a 64,000 member association…” First, I think it’s 66,000 this year. Second, it sets up an expectation that the problems with ALA’s technical infrastructure have to do with the size of the organization. Yes, managing the technical infrastructure of a large association isn’t easy. But that statement passes it along to the membership–if only we didn’t have so many members, we’d be cool–and also invites comparison with organizations of similar size–and we don’t want to go there! I’ve used that statement myself, and while it is occasionally valid, I see also where it leads to defeatism and mislaid emphases.

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