LinkedIN. Not LinkedAnywhereElse.

There’s a lot to admire about the LinkedIn iOS app. But there’s also an egregious flaw, and I’m not convinced it’s accidental.

When you read a link someone has shared on LinkedIn, and you want to share it yourself, you’re out of luck. The only way you seem to be able to share from the LinkedIn app is on LinkedIn.

Which is how other apps like Twitter and Facebook handle things, too, but LinkedIn takes it a step further: you can’t open the link in Safari, an option those other apps offer pretty prominently.

What’s worse (unless I’m missing something, and I’ve tried this six ways from Sunday) you can’t even copy the link to the clipboard. If that’s more than just an oversight, it’s presumably to keep users and the links they share firmly within the LinkedIn corral.

Well, good luck with that. I can’t speak for the rest of their user base, but this dramatically lowers the app’s usefulness—and, by extension, LinkedIn’s appeal—to me. When I find something great, I like to share it widely, and often that means outside LinkedIn’s pinstriped walls.

Which is where I imagine I’ll be spending more of my time if this doesn’t change. Not because I’m storming off in a huff—but I like to spend my time where I get the most value. And come to think of it, that’s a principle shared by a lot of LinkedIn’s core users.

If there’s something in the interface I’ve missed, please let me know. I don’t want to think an app for a network I’ve found so useful would be this petty.

Leap of faithaaaaaaahhhhhhhggghhh…

My LinkedIn homepage is becoming a stream of inspirational quotes and images, which normally just makes me scroll that much faster. (Every once in a while, one will fly in under my radar, avoid my ground-to-air cynicism and uplift me for just a moment before the guard dogs tear it to shreds. But it doesn’t happen that often.)

But on Tuesday, this one caught my eye:

Leap of Faith cartoonSomething bothered me about it for quite a while (and not just the fact that I couldn’t trace it back to the original artist—let me know if you know who she or he is). If this hadn’t been a week when issues of race, class and privilege are weighing in pretty heavily, it might not have struck me… but this time it did.

And it’s the fact that for some people, that “leap of faith” gap is a lot wider than for others. For some people, the consequences of a fall are a lot more dire than for others. And it’s presumptuous, even irresponsible, to ignore that fact.

So with due respect to the original artist (whom I’d love to credit), I’ve been a little presumptuous myself, and amended the original.

Revised image showing how privilege makes a leap of faith a lot easier

Appstroturfing (n): when a company uses its employees to pump up their app’s ratings

Scott Stratten’s eagle eye caught something odd about Bell Mobility’s Canada’s new app:

Not only do they all seem like Bell Canada employee reviews, they have all been voted “Helpful” so they come to the top of the default review listing. All of these profiles have either reviewed only this app, or two apps, the other being Virgin Mobile’s new app, launched on the same day. Could it be a coincidence that all these people just share the same names as Bell Canada employees?

I hereby dub this phenomenon “appstroturfing.” (There are royalties on neologisms, right? No? Dammit.)

Cartoon: a girl playing with two dolls has Ken telling Barbie to get him some coffee, and Barbie telling him his code is sloppy and has gaping security holes.

That whole Barbie fooferaw

Instead of repeating what many others have said, and better than I could (holy crap, that book was sexist!) I have a few thoughts on BarbieBookGate that touch on Mattel’s response. I’ve posted them over at Medium; the gist of it is that “when Barbie does a better job of talking like a human being than her makers do, something’s gone wrong.” Continue reading

I believe crash reports should be worth reading (8)

So, like, I’m a Gemini too, right? Which is totally cosmic, because, you know, twins! And so I totally get when you say “Something went wrong” because something is, like, ALWAYS going wrong. But why don’t we have error boxes that say “Something went right”? Wouldn’t that just be AWESOME? Every time a function returned anything that wasn’t an error, up would pop the “Something went right” box, and it would ask you what you were doing at the time, and then say, “Okay, so do more of that, cuz it’s obvs working.”

So, like, I’m a Gemini too, right? Which is totally cosmic, because, you know, twins! And so I totally get when you say “Something went wrong” because something is, like, ALWAYS going wrong. But why don’t we have error boxes that say “Something went right”? Wouldn’t that just be AWESOME? Every time a function returned anything that wasn’t an error, up would pop the “Something went right” box, and it would ask you what you were doing at the time, and then say, “Okay, so do more of that, cuz it’s obvs working.”

I believe crash reports should be worth reading (7)

I must have been doing 120, 125 when I started to feel the wheel fight me. Snarling, I pulled too hard. The wheels bit into gravel and the rubber screamed its fury—and then the sky spun under the wheels, and I realized that if I died at this moment, my only real regret wasn't Binofsky escaping along with the last surviving evidence of the conspiracy; it was that Niles would never know I didn't hate him for his betrayal, that I understood what pushed him into it.  And then came the impact.“I must have been doing 120, 125 when I started to feel the wheel fight me. Snarling, I pulled too hard. The wheels bit into gravel and the rubber screamed its fury—and then the sky spun under the wheels, and I realized that if I died at this moment, my only real regret wasn’t Binofsky escaping along with the last surviving evidence of the conspiracy; it was that Niles would never know I didn’t hate him for his betrayal, that I understood what pushed him into it.

“And then came the impact.”

See also IBCRSBWR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6