Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Maxwell want us to sign up?
How officious is this?

And, I take it from the comments that's there's no provision for non-US residents.

it's enough to make my blood boil. Last cure there was the stipulation to "participate in the site closest to you." Well, that really didn't work out too well. But I can understand what I think would be the reasons behind it and so I gamely tried to play along nicely.

But that's why the blog was formed--to play outside the rules--and I'm very very dissappointed that Maxwell is instigating yet another requirement which excludes more than it includes. What's the point of an on-line cure, then, anyway?

I don't really want to clean out my basement (who would?) but I did want to "play" with everyone.


All right--anyone have a zip code I can use?


Mella DP said...

I don't think there's anything saying you *have to* sign up in order to participate - just another option that I suspect has mostly to do with giving the editors data to analyze the process and solicit feedback more formally (though that's just speculation). I agree, the city-specific split last time ended up being kind of silly, but even then, there was nothing saying people from LA couldn't read and comment on NY posts, which is what everybody did anyway (I guess the motive for that was to break up the otherwise massive flickr set?).

As for the non-US thing, that's either a) a rather dumb oversight, since international participation is neither secret nor discouraged (to my knowledge), or b) an artifact of the "completion certificate" thing - probably they don't want to commit to mailing internationally, which, if not strictly equitable, is certainly their perogative. Though if that's the case they should probably say so somewhere.

Also, the signup form allows you to select your AT city (and includes an "international" option), in a field separate from your mailing address.

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks, Mella.

I'm not sure I'm going to sign-up, anyway. I really don't have a lot of time to cheerlead this time around.
I'll give it some thought.

drwende said...

Y'know, profound irritation is where I went with that requirement, too.

On the one hand, there have been complaints in the past about people getting left out at diploma time, so yay for efforts to fix that. And having accurate metrics about how people use the site is desirable for planning.

On the other hand, given how thoroughly the "get to know you" survey on the site defined "knowing you" as "knowing how much you spend," I can't help suspecting that the addresses will be provided to advertisers.

I do know that there's no privacy policy linked from the request for personal information, and the site's privacy policy says nothing about this issue, so there is NO WAY that I will provide my home address to AT (even though I wouldn't think twice about giving it to many of the editors as individuals).

I'm also quietly going to ignore the "nearest city" nonsense. Culturally, Phoenix has nothing in common with Los Angeles other than I-10, and the Los Angelenos have been extremely rude to Arizonan entrants in contests, so it's clear we're not really wanted there.

Alana in Canada said...

oh really? (arches one eyebrow) No privacy policy? And lots and lots of money questions? I didn't get that far--I stalled out at the requirement for a postal code.

Tsk. tsk.
It's just baaaad.
Well no, really, it isn't. What's bad is having to adjust one's expectations of another. Back when I started hanging around the site--and for you this must have been even more apparent, it felt like something personal. That is rare on the web, really. One's trust was also personal. Oh I can't possibly explain this. Someone is going to have to come along and write their doctoral dissertation on "Privacy Expectations: Web-sites and Relationships." or some such thing. I can't do it!
Not that I'm a marxist or anything (cause I'm not) but does money really ruin everything?

lorijo said...

I know that SCB and I are in Chicago area flicker/cure- come be with us!
I can't wait to see what you do with that basement- mine is "finished" (if you call 3's company ,regal begal, 1970's paneling and shag "finished") but still a storage room and utter mess- I get depressed even thinking about it and forget about wanting to go down there to work in my other studio- ICK

Mella DP said...

No, all the money questions ("how much did you spend on home furnishings in 2007?) are in a separate survey that went up later, not cure-related. That was amusing - anyone else who tried to "get to know" me that way would get a swift kick.

Out of curiosity, I tried to fill out the cure registration form without address let me submit. But it clearly wasn't supposed to, so I have no idea whether the data recorded.

drwende said...

Yeah -- two forms, same management.

It's good to see AT be a success for Maxwell and absolutely, he needs to think in more commercial terms in order to maintain and grow the site long-term.

But ever since the daily email in which he explained that while "some people" think AT is about small-space living, it's never been about that -- when that was its whole focus from founding to 2006 or so, including the "Smaller is Better" logo gear -- I've felt as if he's not just abandoned his long-term supporters but kicked us in the teeth on the way out the door.

So whatever. I don't spend enough to be a worthy AT-er, but I do think Maxwell did something fabulous and insightful in putting together the Cure book.

Laura said...

You're welcome to be from metro Detroit since we've got that "north of Canada!" thing going. And I'm looking forward to seeing a basement get cured!

olya said...

Alana! I'm really glad you decided to participate. I really like your comments and thank you for nudging me to think about that horror of a closet. I've been thinking about it the entire day while doing other things, and I've come upon a number of realizations, which I will try to compile into a picture/map on flickr, and a comment on AT.

I think AT has changed, but I try to just ignore it. The community always runs the place, no matter what the organizers do.

Alana in Canada said...

Olya, you're so sweet. Thank you.

I like what you said:"The community always runs the place, no matter what the organizers do."

There's some comfort in that, I suppose.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Really.

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