Sunday, 7 October 2012

No Browser Choice

As you can see from the extended discussion following my posting in April many of us are battling to use the new Blogger interface.  It was introduced in April but then taken down again because so many users had problems with it.  Now it is back and for me it is worse than ever.  I struggle to get into the dashboard of my blog and edit or post without the whole system crashing time after time.  I have gone through three crashes to simply get this post up.

It appears that Blogger, in line with many companies, assumes that all users have the fastest and the best systems on the market.  Yes, I am sure some of them do, but the bulk of us cannot afford to keep updating, especially with such a high level of unemployment and rising living costs, it is even less feasible than five years ago.  I am now in a position where I cannot even connect my computer to the internet.  I am living in a house now with no wireless connection and a single PC connected to the internet.  This PC has a heavy firewall so I cannot download new software.  This means I can only use Internet Explorer as the browser, rather than Google Chrome or any other browser that so many companies feel they should bully us into using by shutting off so many webpages to the browser that so many of us choose or are compelled to use.  The same applies to my work computer.  IE is the browser for the company which employs over 1000 staff as it was from the company that I have just left which employed over 3700.  These are not obscure organisations, so if they still believe in IE, why is it that so many providers now effectively block IE users from accessing their content?

A lot of us adhere to the credo 'if it isn't broken, don't try to fix it'.  We see no point for the constant upgrades of every piece of software on our computers which keep on interrupting things that we actually want to do.  Companies get exasperated that we are not as ecstatically excited by the tiny change in the new version which they are pressing on us.  For many of us there is no noticeable difference and in cases such as the interface for this blog, the new version is far worse than the old one.  Remember Vista and what that promise only to blow up in the face of so many users?  Since moving to the new interface I have had to fight off automated spam being sent to this blog, day after day, something I never had a problem with using the old interface.

Companies need to realise that the bulk of users are not at the cutting edge.  Firefox has not yet ousted IE as the prime way the majority of people access the internet, just as shops have been compelled to continue selling DVDs alongside BluRay versions.  Not only do we lack the money to chase after every new version of everything, we see absolutely no need.  Realise that if something works, we do not feel the compulsion to change it, certainly not every six months.  I know I am not unusual in have a mobile phone which is 6 years old and a car which is 14 years old.  They both work to do the jobs that I bought them for.  When they stop doing that then I will replace them. 

Maybe this is me getting older.  You may say that a man in his forties is likely to be a 'stick in the mud'.  However, especially when it comes to bloggers, by definition you are going to get someone who puts in the time and the effort with things.  This is in fact the case even with those young bloggers who cover the latest fashions.  They take their time and analyse what the new trends are.  Newness does not inherently equal quality.  If you look at the growing number of 'classic' games let alone the number of remake movies, you see that in a previous time when there was not the constant drizzle of updates, actually things that are still seen as being of high quality remain popular and engaging.  In fact with the movie remakes, we are often simply reminded how much better the original was.

I am tired of being bullied by services which should be serving me, rather than me being their lapdog to be dragged from new application to new application when I simply want to get one with scratching and sniffing around where I am.  Companies do not seem to understand that we will be more loyal to those who do not use bullying tactics and let us make our own choices, especially those of us who are thoughtful adults.  Blogger does not seem to understand the reason why I have a blog here after five years, when I could have easily gone somewhere else, is because I once liked the service I was getting.

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