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Irony on the internet

Wired Campus shared an interesting story this morning about a career site for female science / engineering professionals. The site is called ASU CareerWISE and its mission is to help women with problem solving.

I like the idea and I like that they built the site in Drupal, since I’ve become a big Drupal fan over the past year, but I think they’ve missed the point in a big way.

You see, every link on the front page leads me to this:

i-0e0c50875575054bfa6dbba839177b14-career_wise.png

Now, I could be wrong, and I do understand the need for password protection in sensitive matters, but if I were looking for help with problem solving, and I clicked a link and hit a registration page, I would go somewhere else.

Comments

  1. #1 blf
    November 8, 2010

    No, not every link. The Contact link at the bottom does not (as one example). That doesn’t invalidate your point.

  2. #2 Calli Arcale
    November 8, 2010

    How about the further irony of a website that can’t be bothered to host its own e-mail? That always looks rather unprofessional to me, and smacks of not having good technical expertise on hand. (I mean, an SMTP server is not a complicated beast, and there are plenty of free options these days.)

  3. #3 Sandra Porter
    November 8, 2010

    @Calli: Do you mean the contact form?

    I don’t have a problem with that. If someone enters information in the form, the email will be sent to a pre-programmed address.

    I’m just confused about the log-in requirement. It seems like a bit of misguided overkill.

  4. #4 Robert S.
    November 9, 2010

    I think Calli meant that the Tech Issues email was a gmail account, it just doesn’t look professional. Now, its not a horrible idea necessarily to have an off site email, as a tech issue could have taken down the site and the page retrieved from the google cache.

  5. #5 Robert S.
    November 9, 2010

    And they listened. The email is no longer listed. It would be good to have some tech email somewhere , so that the cache picks it up .

  6. #6 Ron
    November 9, 2010

    It looks like they set the content permissions wrong. It’s an easy mistake for a new Drupal developer. You build the site while you are logged in and don’t realize that anonymous users can’t see all your great work. Not hard to fix either.

    What’s wrong with a gmail account? It’s a great free service with excellent spam filtering and protects your real addresses from junkmail. Just the thing for an online form.

  7. #7 Robert pope
    November 9, 2010

    Are you using commons? If so and you want to remove the required login let me know and I can walk you through it

  8. #8 Alex
    November 9, 2010

    Hey there,

    The site has just gone through a major update. Looking at the screen capture above it seems like you may have been trying to access the site while it was still in private beta. The site is now open to the public. Head back to the url: careerwise.asu.edu and click on the “create a free account” link in the upper left hand corner. Hopefully we have addressed some of the issues raised here.

    Kind regards,

    Alex

  9. #9 Sandra Porter
    November 9, 2010

    Hi Alex,

    I don’t think the site was in beta mode unless you sent the press release to Wired Campus a little prematurely. When I wrote the article about the site yesterday, I thought that since Wired Campus had written about it, that it was ready for business.

    Anyway, I took a look just now, but all the links still show the same behavior: Access Denied.

    I also think you’re missing the point.

    I think at least some of the content should be accessible without requiring someone to create an account.

    Why would I bother creating an account if I don’t see anything that makes it look like it would be worthwhile to do so?

  10. #10 Mac
    November 10, 2010

    The organisation should change its aim.

    Sure it’s about ‘the goal of increasing women’s persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) doctoral programs’ .. but is also dedicated to restricting all information they provide and working to prevent any information being publicly disseminated. They have taken active steps to prevent any information they provide being shared.

    Alex – you seem to have some inside information. Why have they done this? Surely they realise that it is the worst possible strategy for a site that is meant to be supporting others ?

  11. #11 Sandra Porter
    November 11, 2010

    @Mac – I don’t Alex understands that this strategy will drive people away.

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