Too beta to be live

Yes, I’m referring to you, SciLink.

  • I create an account
  • On trying to add contacts from my address book, 7 alert windows pop up with the message “the page at scilink says error” – fixed
  • The page then hangs with a spinning icon
  • Some time later, the site spews errors including “Exception org.springframework.web.util.NestedServletException”
  • Not to be deterred I try to edit my profile
  • The “extensive database” finds 6 13 of my 23 publications and provides no easy way (e.g. PubMed ID) to add the rest
  • The dates of my education are saved incorrectly (1988-92 not 1989-93, 1992-96 not 1993-97) – fixed
  • Apparently I will be in my current post until the year 9998fixed
  • The final insult – no link to delete my account and escape

Can you tell that I’m annoyed? This is not the way to encourage social networking in science. Tip: don’t go live until your website works.

Update: I’ll say this for SciLink; they are very responsive and tolerant! Fixes and improvements are on the way.
Update 2: No, I’m just not impressed. Removed all scilink info and added a pointer here. And I want to delete the account.

6 thoughts on “Too beta to be live

  1. gilmanb

    We are sorry you experienced issues when performing some basic tasks. And have done everything in our power to make sure our users have the best experience possible. if you had reported your issue we would have jumped on it and corrected things for you immediately. We pride ourselves on great customer care and service (look at how long it’s taken me to post this comment). Why post this on your blog instead of letting us know you’re experiencing issues? Regardless, I personally apologize for the annoyance and will see to it that others don’t have the same experience.

    Sincerest Regards,

    -Brian Gilman
    Founder & CEO
    SciLink Inc.

  2. nsaunders Post author

    Why post this on your blog instead of letting us know you’re experiencing issues

    To let other potential users learn from my experience before they become entrapped in the registration process, is the answer.

    Don’t get me wrong: I am not the kind of user who enjoys ranting about things that don’t work. I much prefer open, constructive criticism and normally, I would go through the bug reporting channels. However, I do feel that a site with this level of problems should not be live on the web.

    That, and it’s Friday.

  3. gilmanb

    We fixed the addressbook issue with a “hotfix”. If you’re willing to work with us we can probably iron out the other issues you are having in a matter of hours…

    Sincerest Regards,

    -Brian Gilman
    Founder & CEO
    SciLink Inc.

  4. nsaunders Post author

    Thanks Brian – I do appreciate your efforts and communications. You really do need to allow “delete account” though. Users have a right to determine their own web presence and remove it if the shortcomings of a site lead to inaccurate portrayal.

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