Saturday, July 14, 2012

My, Internet, Pet, Peeve

After the demoralizing wasteland that is the comments section the inability of users to enter correctly tags in YouTube (and other sites like flickr) is the most distressing. Tags, for the uninitiated, are a method to help someone find content on a site that may be of interest to them. Some sites require the tags to be separated by quotes, some a space and others by a comma. Some services require a combination of all depending on if the search is for "Rowan Atkinson" or some other phrase longer than one word. Obviously, a user wants to let other people see and share their stuff or they wouldn't post it (the exception being those knobs who watermark things they didn't create or own) so I don't get why they make it so difficult to find. Take a second after posting or in the preview to look at your tags and see if they make any damn sense. I've seen YouTube posts where an essay's length description of the video or entirety of the song's lyrics are entered in the tags section. Three paragraphs of words separated by commas is a hot mess and just tells the world what an idiot the user is.

Nonsensically, some services require different tag formats within the same company. One would think it would make sense to use  the same formats over all their services between the divisions. But then corporate thinking and execution has never been that linear. People rarely think forwards and take steps to solve the obvious, inevitable and foreseeable problems before they occur. These same thought processes caused, most famously, the disparity between systems that caused additional problems for the Apollo 13 astronauts when  the environmental systems between the lander and capsule were incompatible with each other. But where the Culture of Half-Assedness nearly doomed a crew of intrepid space explorers improper and lazy tags on YouTube aren't going to cause anyone to die though unless some guy with OCD gets the big headache and decides to go on a rampage. In that event, all those people posting "my, cute, kittens lol Happy" better watch out.

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