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Forced upgrades
By Dave Winer on Thursday, January 05, 2012 at 2:02 PM.

A picture named pawn.jpgThere's a new thing going on in the web world that really sucks. #

Two of my primary communication tools, Twitter and Gmail, recently forced all their users to upgrade to new user interfaces. As far as I can tell neither of them gave me anything in return in the form of new features, or streamlined functionality (fewer steps).  #

I have no idea why we were forced to do these things. Neither company had anything to say to me, as a user, about it. Twitter held a press event where they explained somewhat why they wanted the changes. But nothing in the form of an explanation of why a user would want them.  #

The Gmail upgrade happened today, so I'm dealing with the burnt braincells right now.  #

I had developed neural pathways that allow me to scan my inbox without even having to think. My lower brain functions were able to spot new things I needed to pay attention to, things that were out of the ordinary humdrum of mail list updates, spam that made it through Google's filters, etc.  #

Now I'm getting constant interrupts as I scan, as my higher brain functions have to get involved to figure out whether an item requires my immediate attention or not. To have to think about things I didn't have to before, slows me down and takes my focus off things I need to stay focused on. My problems fade into the background as the problems of managing the mechanics of Twitter and Gmail take over. #

And the Twitter changes are well-trod now, I know how the new version works, and I can see clearly the new overhead they introduced. The things you can't tuck away that you have to repeat over and over. I'd love to have at it myself and reduce Twitter down to the things I need it to do. But they made that so hard, I gave up on that idea long time ago.  #

Can't wait for the next thing to come along. I'm tired of these bigco machinations. I'm sure these changes are tied to strategies of the companies to grow even larger, or to punish their competitors.  #

It's at moments like these that I feel like the pawn that I am. #

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