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Blip FM Issues

Posted Apr 08, 2009 in Usability and Web Design

I joined up with Blip.FM a couple of weeks back, but found a dismaying number of privacy and usability landmines in the sign-up and bootstrap process. I shot off a support email to the team right away, but haven’t had a response. I reckon it’s always useful to document some of these kinds of issues in public. Or maybe I’m just a cranky sod. Not sure.

Hi guys,

I’ve just signed up but I have to admit that I find the auto-filling of DJs into my favourites is a bit pushy and unwelcome. I’m given a form to list a few favourite bands with language about how “we’ll find people who play similar music”. There’s nothing to suggest that moving to the next screen then automatically builds a recommendation list and adds it without any chance to refuse or intervene. That’s a big turn-off and is the kind of thing that makes me very inclined to delete my account right away. I recognise that you say it’s “easy to add and remove DJs at any time” but I don’t want to have to perform major weeding on my profile as my first action when using a new service. All you need to say is “add these to my profile: yes/no” and we’d be cool.

I also think that the Find Friends page needs to make it incredibly, indelibly clear that NOTHING WILL BE SENT to any users that I locate unless very explicitly permitted.

2 comments so far

Comment by Ben Buchanan at 9 April, 03:29 am

Sure you’re a cranky sod, doesn’t mean you’re not right ;)

I agree blip.fm’s signup process has some serious flaws. Mind you, it’s still better than, say, Facebook or Plaxo.

There are some bad habits becoming really common in social networks – using other service passwords in the clear, bad terms and conditions, spamming without asking, etc… it’s a concern at the industry level I think.

Comment by Nick Caldwell at 9 April, 10:08 am

Yeah, OpenAuth — or systems like it — is a necessary but not sufficient basis for tools like Blip.FM. I say “not sufficient” because it wouldn’t fix the fact that Blip.FM are so overtly disrespectful of their users’s time and patience.

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