I've been getting irritateder and obnoxiated every time I inadvertently get sent to an ow.ly shortened url only to find it's been link-jacked. So I just did some 'research' and discovered that NOBODY USES OW.LY except your popular range of Twitter clients. People love your client, and they love sharing links. This results in them sharing links WITH YOUR CLIENT. Which results in me swearing and owls being threatened.
This means you are squarely to blame for this annoyance that I face on a daily basis. So knock it the crap off.
In my frequent rantings about this on Twitter and Buzz, people always say "Oh yeah! I HATE that!," so I know I'm not alone. I'm just one of the few bothered to say anything about it. Here are a few that I ran across today:
@ahockley - I consider the use of ow.ly as an indicator of someone I probably should ignore
Linda Lawrey - Oh.. Now I know.. I don't like those links for that exact reason!
Duncan Rawlinson - You're right. I forgot how annoying that thing is! I turned it off although it really shouldn't exist at all...
Woodsy the Owl - Give a 'hoot' don't pollute... the Internet with your shitty linkjacking.
Seriously. I'm beginning to hate owls now. And it's your fault.
UPDATE: Someone from HootSuite contacted me and clarified a few things. First off, they say ow.ly shortening is "opt-in," that users have to go out of their way to get HootSuite to shorten the url via ow.ly, that they are free to use whatever external shortener they want. It's just that prominent 'Shrink It' button that uses ow.ly.
Secondly, they point out that one can just click the X in their linkjack bar to turn it off "permanently." I've clicked that X a number of times, yet keep seeing it.
Thirdly, they advised that I install browser hacks to circumvent their doucheyness on a more permanent basis:
and that if I want to keep my content from being linkjacked, that I should just install 'framebusting' code which has been used for years. Great, so I need to take action to prevent not only myself from being affected, but also my content. Douchey.
There you have it, straight from the owl's beak. They know what they're doing is douchey, but don't give a hoot. The solution offered is a really simple one, though: "Don't click on the links your friends send you."
And that's the plan. I hope you'll keep this in mind when you decide how you want to share links.
UPDATE UPDATE: I asked why they jack links if the service doesn't make them any money. This was the reply:
The Kindle is nice and all, but it's a lot of money for a dedicated device for reading books when I already have tons of devices capable of reading books. A screen, a wireless connection and a keyboard. That describes a Kindle. That also describes laptops, cellphones, iPhones, PDAs, etc.
If you want to sell lots more ebooks, I suggest you release Kindle software for some or all of those devices. Specifically I would suggest laptops and iPhones. The iPhone is my preferred way to read Kindle books (it is way smaller and lighter than Kindle, and I already have it with me all the time), but it'd be really swell if I could wirelessly purchase the books from you and not have to break the law in order to read them.
Now that Apple has 3rd-party apps for iPhone/iPod Touch, I HIGHLY recommend that you make a Kindle app for them. You'll sell bajillions more books than you already do. BAJILLIONS.
It's me again. Since our last conversation, I've realized something else you could do to make our time together in Reader more productive and less angrifying. Know how I share lots of stuff in my "Shared Items," despite only like 4 people seeing them? Well, it'd be really helpful if I didn't have to be subscribed to my own Shared Items. I mean, I shared them. I don't need you showing them to me again. (Despite that one time that I accidentally saw something cool in there that I forgot had gotten there because of me, and went ahead and shared it again. Sharing an item from my shared items... that's classy.) At the very least, could you make sure they actually get marked as read after I read them? I perpetually have 11-or-so "new" items in there that I've seen a hundred times.
Seriously, Google. I'm beginning to think this conversation is one-sided. Don't make me start writing to SkyNet instead.
I know we're not the bestest of friends, but you may have noticed that we spend a rather large amount of time together. I've been thinking: I'd like for you to do something for me to make that time just a little bit more pleasant.
You know how I use <a href="http://reader.google.com">your Reader</a> to read all the blogs and stuff to which I subscribe? (Of course you do. You know EVERYTHING about me.) Anyway, I frequently find that, after reading an article in
It is hard enough for me to convince people that GIMP is quite capable of doing pretty much everything the average user of Photoshop would require from it without you guys up and moving shit around all the time, and/or releasing "stable" versions that don't function properly. Had I not had 10 years of wonderful experience working with GIMP before running the version that Ubuntu installed for me, I would have not only been pulling my hair out, but I'd be advocating that no one ever waste their time with it in the first place as well. Stuff just doesn't work. Weirdnesses to which I had finally adjusted are now either gone or weirder. My active layer keeps getting into a state where neither I nor plugins can change it. Selections are behaving strangely. I'd hate to have my income be dependent upon using GIMP, because I'm having serious troubles getting anything done with it right now.
Granted, Ubuntu is giving me a somewhat outdated version, but I would think that however old the version is, coming from the "stable" tree would ensure that it, you know, would WORK properly? I suppose it's possible that the Ubuntu folk may have broken something after you were through with it, but I can't help but wonder whether most of the Internet ravings from Photoshop users about how GIMP is worse than MS Paint might be as a result of crap like I'm running across now. I know that GIMP is a top-notch application that, aside from some annoying quirks from time to time, is perfectly capable of replacing what 95% of Photoshop users use it for (despite that not being the intent of GIMP in the first place), but trying to get anything done with this release (2.4.2) is proving impossible for this 10-year veteran self-proclaimed GIMP 'expert.' I'm pulling my hair out trying to get anything done; I'd suspect new users, however, would just tell their friends how much it sucks and be done with it.
In the decade or so that I've been using GIMP I've gone from the bleeding-edge compile-it-myself-the-minute-it's-released type of user to kind that just uses whichever release his package manager presents him with; I'm pretty sure the latter is the group that most of your user-base falls into. You need to make sure that those people don't come across crap like this, because they're the ones who aren't going to put up with it and end up saying bad things about you. Isn't that why you have the unstable tree in the first place?
Would it have killed you to have made the 'new tab' button in Mobile Safari automatically put the new tab into URL entry mode? I mean, what else could I possibly want to do with a new tab other than go to a URL?
See, I never used to eat fast food. Never at all. I was lean, mean, and healthier than anyone I knew. Chicks dug me. My doctor wrote a paper on human bodily health using me as a benchmark for perfection.
Then I saw you eating all that delicious-looking food in your film Super-Size Me and everything changed. I had to have some. Then I had to have more. Now I can't go a day without eating greasy, fried, DELICIOUS food from any number of drive-thru eating establishments. The larger the portions the better. Hell yes I'd like bigger fries for just $0.39 more.
Thanks a lot,
p.s. "30 Days" is very enjoyable, even when I can see the hands of the editors shaping things according to the message you want to put forth.
As you know, today is my birthday. Taking a day off work and having time to sit and think like this makes me really start to reflect on the relationships in my life and whats important to me. I'm afraid that we just can't be together anymore -- it isn't you, it's me. My needs have changed, and it is no longer fair for me to try to make you change along with me. Some of the things I've decided that are important to me are:
I expect you to actually deliver any mail that is sent to me. I'm sorry.. I've been keeping tabs.. I know for a fact that you lose lots and lots and lots of messages -- and never tell anyone about it. Being unable to deliver messages from time to time is expected, but for the love of God, bounce a message back telling the sender that it wasn't delivered.
I should never click on Inbox and see a popup that says 'System unavailable, try again in a few seconds' at least a couple times a month for 5 minutes at a time.
I expect that when I mark a message with the subject 'v14gr4' as spam, and then 10 minutes later when 2 more identical messages show up, that you treat them as spam as well.
I expect that when I set up a filter and tell it to have certain labels skip the inbox, that they not be downloaded via pop3.
At one time your gigantic, round, firm pair of gigabytes were something that appealed to me, but physical size just doesn't mean as much to me anymore.
I'm sorry Gmail, we've had some good times and Lord knows I didn't expect to fall in love with you in the first place. I was really just experimenting and fell under your spell, and I'm sorry I can't be as committed as you want me to be. I'm sure you can find someone to share your gigabytes with, I just don't want it to be me anymore.
PS. Can we still be friends?
If anyone feels like updating their addressbooks, firstname.lastname@example.org is how to get in touch with me. You can keep trying to send to email@example.com, but the chances that it will get to me grow slimmer all the time.