one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

UPDATED: Whoops - What a dick move by Einstein Simplified


Oh wow. This is why I hate URL shorteners in general. All of this, all of it, is because when concatenating the *original* post Einstein Simplified posted on Facebook, the message got completely screwed up.

Of course, I screwed up by not checking their Facebook page. I was in a hurry and had to poop, what can I say? My apologies to the guys at Einstein Simplified. My beef isn't with your act or you, it was with what I thought was a shitty trick. Turns out the trick was a total accident, and a weird one at that.

But it does point out the problem with automating posts to social networks! And URL shorteners, which I still detest.

Here's the original FB post. When you see my jerkass response to what I saw on Twitter, it's almost comical how misunderstood the tweet was.
The tweet cut off at "now that you've read this," and looked like a Facebook link, which turned into a non-choice joke to vote for them OR go to an explanation of links. Weird, but totally an accident and not a scam. Wish I'd seen the "vote for us" part! Sorry fellas.


I'll never be in Einstein Simplified, so I can pretty much say this and not worry about being "banned" from their group. (Side note: It must be nice to be the only improv group in town for the past 20 or so years, huh?)

Today they tweeted this:
and the link looks like a Facebook link, right? But it isn't. Check out where it takes you:

Cute, right? Your choices are to "enter" while voting for them (even if you've never seen them before!) or "exit"... which takes you to a Twitter page explaining links! What the fuck? I was hoping it would explain more about this "fund raiser" but I guess I'm supposed to search the Web for that specific info (I hope the folks they are raising funds for are cool with all these shenanigans). 

See, here's the thing. The URL is: from the link. So I guess this is supposed to be a joke? The problem is, it's like making a racist joke if you're from Mars, and understand nothing about race on planet Earth. 

I'm sure these guys didn't mean to game the system. Or maybe they did, but perhaps they aren't attuned to how the Internet, and more specifically, the Web, works. It's a Web built on trust, really. We, the users, trust that you, the developers, won't try to redirect us to places we don't want to go. Your links should be specific, declarative, and honest. Einstein Simplified's "prank" fails on all three. Oh, and it fails to be funny in any way.

But perhaps I don't "get" their audience. Given how much I interact with smart people in places like New York, San Francisco, etc. I maybe take for granted that I live in an area where people think banning hand-holding in high schools will actually lower teen pregnancy rates. Around here you're just as likely to get punched for saying you don't like the military aggression of the USA as you would if you besmirched Dale Earnhardt's name. 

So perhaps Einstein Simplified was just playing to an audience of idiots. Personally, I wouldn't pander to that crowd. The smart crowd is far more loyal, and tends to be better paid. But that's just me. With my over 20 years of experience on the Internet and having been there at the birth of the Web. I've only been making my living on the Web for the past 7 years -- what the hell do I know? 

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