Quick Note: You’re Incompetent, Parler. Count Me Out. [Corrected]

Your big chance, and you fall flat on your face…

I believe it is essential that social media platforms emerge to challenge the left-wing censorship of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest. Since I am preparing to quit Twitter as a matter of principle, I attempted to register for the new service, Parler. It purports to allow free speech without censorship.

I failed. Why? The sign-up process is not only ridiculously complicated, it’s flawed. The process asked for my phone number…not my cell phone, just my phone. Then it sent the last stage of the process, my verification code, via SMS. But my office phone doesn’t receive SMS’s. The kids starting this service just assumed that everyone lives on cellphones. That’s arrogant and stupid. Do some market research.

One good thing about Twitter: a marmoset could sign up in less than five minutes.  If Parler can’t even develop a user-friendly sign-up process, and worse, makes a tyro mistake like the phone botch, it can’t be trusted. Heaven knows what else they will screw up.

Parler won’t get a second chance with me.

There are few things worse than accepting an important challenge ahead of others, and blowing it by ineptitude and carelessness.

_________________________

 One more point: it is already nearly impossible to contact the platform to address issues like this. This is a problem with too many tech firms, Facebook being among the worst. It’s possible to do better: WordPress will give you a live chat with an agent in minutes.

41 thoughts on “Quick Note: You’re Incompetent, Parler. Count Me Out. [Corrected]

  1. Jack…
    (not wanting to pick nits, but important)
    its Parler not Parlor….I signed up today but just used my cell number, figuring if I liked it most of my interaction would be on the phone.

    I’ll give it a couple of weeks to see…
    Cheers, Mike

      • And me, I’d like to think. But as an oldie whose access to the internet is via a desktop and mobile is limited to sending/receiving calls and texts, I’m barred. I shared your frustrating experience of trying to sign up.

        • That’s always a possibility, but I checked: the code I needed to complete the process was sent via SMS to a line that can’t receive it. How did you get the code? I assumed they would send the code via email, they didn’t, and there was no way to ask what to do except start all over.

          The simple solution is to ask for a cell phone number.How hard is that?

        • I tried multiple times with both landline and mobile number. Each time, the site hung on a screen after the Captcha. Perhaps being in the UK is the problem? Whatever it is, there was no way to contact them to try and sort it.

  2. That’s my experience with working for “software as a service” companies. They bite off more than they can chew, and they don’t take good care of their teeth.

    They think they can just fix all the problems after something is launched, but it’s much slower and more painful to do that then to fix the problems before it’s launched.

    Part of the problem is that the economy punishes companies that don’t make grandiose promise and rush things to market, more than it rewards companies that provide consistent quality. Either that, or companies seem to think it does, because they’re terrified to take the time to get things right.

    • Very true. I believe it’s also a function of the “agile” mindset polluting the industry, especially when done badly. Combine that with the lean startup MVP mindset and you have a recipe for people thinking they can release unfinished products to a forgiving public. Often they can, but sometimes they get it wrong.

    • Extradimensional Cephalopod wrote, “They think they can just fix all the problems after something is launched, but it’s much slower and more painful to do that then to fix the problems before it’s launched.”

      The failure with the phone number in the registration process was in the purview of the software engineer and marketing directors, this kind of user friendliness error should never have gotten past those two people. All this took was a simple message above or below the spot where the phone number was entered by the user to explain their intent. If something as simple as this got by them, what other kind of more major things got past them?

      Note: I’ve already found a couple of other unexpected functional errors, this wasn’t properly debugged.

        • In fairness, while I chuckled assuming it was a joke, not knowing you I reconsidered.

          It’s simultaneously ubiquitous as a clear insult towards people who “should get with the times” as well as a snarky parody of people who use the insult. People legitimately use it as a shortcut to avoid engaging in nuanced discussion…then people legitimately use it to parody those same people.

          I took your comment here is the parodic use and therefore chuckled. But given the actual use of the term as an insult by many, I can see the validity in Jack’s question.

          • It’s a sad day when bad intent is our default assumption. But here we are.

            I must admit there was a certain amount of incredulity behind my original comment though. What the heck do you think they want a phone number for? To call and have a chat? Of course it’s for sms validation! So of course it needs to be a cellphone! But then I realised it’s because I work in the tech industry so my assumptions are somewhat skewed. Parler has made a usability mistake but to call it arrogant is absurdly hyperbolic.

        • So now it seems that you’re insulting Jack’s intelligence because he (and I) couldn’t tell that you were “joking”? You’re striking out Russell.

          I couldn’t tell if you were joking either and now it appears that maybe you’re just using joking as an excuse.

            • I’ve had absolutely zero interaction with Russell Clarke until right now, so I don’t know his sense of humor and all I have to base my opinion on is three sentences in these two comments, strike three in my book without further evidence.

          • It’d be like a dark-humor noose tied as a garage door pull down put into a garage a long time ago being discovered by an African American assigned to that garage and wondering “is this an insult or a joke?” Legitimate question. To discover later it was harmless.

            Two things true at once.

          • You are welcome to theorise, Steve. My own theory is that if I was just doing a drive-by snark, I doubt I’d bother to come back with a follow up comment to falsely rationalise it. I am almost tempted to say “I am sorry if I offended anyone,” but a) I’m not: and b) it would be a terrible half apology.

        • How? Because the same comment, in exactly the same words with nothing else, are offered as comments by others as insults—and they get spammed. I checked your past comments to see if there were sufficient clues to figure out if it was a deliberate sarcasm or not. There weren’t.

          OK, you have sufficiently proven to me that you were joking. My expression of pique is officially withdrawn.

  3. The sign up process was frustrating for sure. I managed to get it to work on the second try. The desktop app also has some layout issues. I’ll see how it goes.

  4. Regardless of it’s “actual free speech” alternative to Twitter claims are, we can rest assured that in a half decade to a decade, if Parler becomes wildly successful, it will be broken by the Left just like the Left breaks everything, and it will be just as censorious and good-think-ey as Twitter.

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