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postheadericon The Search is Over

The Search is Over!

More often than not, I see things on the Internet, most notably in the magic industry, that have me shake my head in utter amazement. Maybe amusement is the proper word. No…bewilderment seems more fitting. In an earlier post, I discussed a green forum site that is magic related. This article refers to the same green forum site. You would think that a site of this magnitude would have, should have, could have a search engine that is functional. You would think that the large amount of data that has been gathered over the years should be available for you to search without restrictions. Never in my on-line life have I seen such a stupid, dare I say moronic decision to save on bandwidth by essentially eliminating the use of a search engine. Yes, a two minute wait in between searches pretty much renders this site useless.

A quote from the technical guy reads:

Ok, after a bunch of work, the search engine is back. I did install two things members will definitely notice:
1. Searching is now limited to one search every two minutes.
2. Keyword searches are now limited to six terms/words instead of ten.
I’m hopeful the changes I made will help take care of the load problem we experienced, but if I find the search engine is dragging things down again, then it’s back to the drawing board for me again (ugh). In that event I’ll have to dream up another way to offer the same search capability we have now.

Is he frigging kidding? I would have to insist he be fired if he worked on any IT companies we employ. The most useful function of any data-driven site is the search engine. He writes, “but if I find the search engine is dragging things down…”

Hello! Knock Knock! Anyone in there? Doesn’t this tell the guy that people are using the search feature to get information about something? Doesn’t he realize this is probably the most utilized function of this site? Instead of addressing the problem, he kills the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF FUNCTIONALITY the site has…THE SEARCH ENGINE! I have to ask myself again…is he frigging kidding?

Perhaps I’m being to harsh. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t his idea. Sounds like maybe something someone non-technical could have thought would be the perfect solution. Perhaps it was the site owner. You really have to wonder who’s lack of intelligence this was. Many a night I lay in bed unable to sleep because I cannot comprehend the thinking involved in making the decision to cut the search functionality from this site. I also wonder why so many people thanked the tech guy for doing this. I know that one day my children will ask, “Daddy, where did we come from? Is God real? Why are we here? Why is the search functionality gone from that site?”

In theory, a web site that charges monies for advertising is considered professional. A conservative $8000.00 is the revenue for one month for the ads currently running on the front page of the site. So per year we have $96K as a conservative figure. If you’re running a dedicated server, and are pushing a minimum of 100 gig per month in bandwidth, with 24-7 support, a part-time tech guy, you would have enough monies left for several top of the line servers and still make a decent part-time income for yourself. Should the owner not be making a bare minimum of $8K per month, he has no concept of business and should seek a consultant who could help him understand this methodology. 

If this wasn’t bad, the following was posted…

ATTENTION AOL USERS: Please read this topic. Thank you.

A person who recently registered wasn’t receiving registration/password emails from the Café. This is, in fact, due to AOL blocking the emails.If you are an AOL user and are not receiving emails from the Café, please do not contact us about it. Here is the email I sent to the person, exactly as written:

Well, I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do, and I’m pretty upset about it. I tried it myself and was able to find out what is blocking the emails sent to you from the Café. This is the message our mail server is getting from the AOL email server:”This error message indicates that your email has been identified as coming from a server or web site that may have a compromised script or program available.”Frankly, AOL is full of crap. The Café never sends unsolicited email, and it never has. Our server is registered with AOL, and I get emails directly from AOL anytime an AOL user marks an email from our server as spam. In EVERY case I’ve traced the email to an AOL user who has specifically opted to receive the email, and either by accident or whatever, marked the email as spam with AOL.I’m sorry, but I can’t fix this. Until it is fixed you won’t be able to get on the Café. Don’t count on it though. AOL is widely known for blocking emails. Take a look at the message above and note how it says “server or web site that MAY have”. Not “does” have, but “may” have. They’re blocking legitimate emails, and that’s not good.

Due to AOL issues, I’m afraid I’m going to have to add AOL to the registration block list. It doesn’t make a great deal of difference anyway. If AOL isn’t accepting email sent from the Café, new registrants aren’t going to get a password by email. At least now those registrants will not be wondering when they’ll get their registration email.I’ve done everything I can to avoid this, but AOL is just too much. I’ve had it with them. Posted: Feb 17, 2008 12:36am In addition to blocking new registrations using AOL email addresses, it has also become necessary to block all outgoing emails from the Café to members having AOL email addresses on file. Emails are simply not getting through to AOL and are clogging the server’s mail queue. Unfortunately, blocking those emails also means those members cannot change their registered email addresses by themselves. This will affect almost 4,000 Café members.If you are an AOL user, you will no longer receive emails from the Café to alert you to new private messages, topic reply notifications, or any other email normally sent by the Café, regardless of your preference settings. That is, if you were even getting those emails at all lately. Any member having a registered AOL email address will have to contact me directly by PM to get their email address changed. Such requests must include the new email address, and that address cannot be from a free service (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.). I anticipate getting many such requests, so please be patient. I will get to them as soon as I possibly can. Thank you.

Normally, I would quote myself by saying, “This shows the true professionals from the amateurs.” Not in this case, even the amateurs have more sense. “AOL is just too much. I’ve had it with them.” I like this philosophy so much I am going to adopt it as my own. My wife is too much and I’ve had it with her…she’s gone. Hmmmm…a customer that complained about shipping rates…I’ve had it with him; he’s gone. Late with a mortgage payment. I’ve had it with my mortgage company…they’re gone. The cat shit in my office because I forgot to clean the litter box. BAMMMM! She’s gone. I think I’ll keep the BAMMMM!. It sounds more powerful. I am going to call my old shrink and ask if he agrees to my new philosophy inspired by the cafe tech guys. If he doesn’t like it he will be too much and I will have had it with him. BAMMMM! And he will be gone.

A properly coded system will ensure that the majority of emails that are system generated get through to an AOL account. In the meantime, they have enough help to manually generate emails and user names and passwords to get by until someone reworks their coding properly.

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