Look At This Shiny New Thing! (And Please Ignore All The Stuff That No Longer Works)

Speaking at Apple’s annual press conference in California yesterday, chief new product promoter Steve Jobs announced the launch of Ping, a music-centered social network that lets iTunes customers share information about music and concerts, as well as allowing them to see what friends and their favorite artists are listening to and downloading.
Ping is built into the latest version of iTunes, which has160 million users worldwide, and can be accessed from Macs, iPhones and iPod Touches.
Why is it that I don’t care? Maybe it’s because I already share my musical interests on Facebook, MySpace and my blog dedicated to the topic. No, that’s not it. Maybe it’s because I have an external hard drive full of hundreds of albums I BOUGHT from the iTunes store that are unplayable on our new Apple machines, courtesy of Apple’s use of DRM and the fact that I changed my identity in the iTunes store. Yep, that’s it. Now, I only purchase from iTunes if the song or TV show is not available elsewhere, and Amazon is working hard to make sure it IS available elsewhere. Ergo, my entertainment money goes to Seattle, not Cupertino.
Speaking of things that don’t work, I’ve been using Tweetie (a service Twitter purchased some months ago) on my iPhone for a year or more, but no longer. The app won’t authorize my ID and password. This pain isn’t mine alone, it’s being felt around the Twittersphere. Henry Blodget of Business Insider, for one, is pissed.

Well, it happened.
A few months ago, when Twitter announced that it was going to kill a boatload of startups that had sprung up around its ecosystem, I wondered whether that meant I would eventually be forced to abandon the app I spend about 18 hours a day using (on desktop, mobile, and laptop) — TweetDeck.
And based on what happened yesterday, it seems the answer to that question is “yes.”

Blodget updated his post, saying readers lambasted him for being dumb as a rock because he didn’t know that some OAUTH thing was the problem. He admits he doesn’t care about OAUTH, he just wants his TweetDeck to work.
This morning, Twitter sent an email to users that tried to explain.

Starting August 31, all applications will be required to use “OAuth” to access your Twitter account.
What’s OAuth? OAuth is a technology that enables applications to access Twitter on your behalf with your approval without asking you directly for your password.
Desktop and mobile applications may still ask for your password once, but after that request, they are required to use OAuth in order to access your timeline or allow you to tweet.

Uh huh. WTF does this mean? How do I get Tweetie to work again? There are one million assumptions in Twitter’s email and zero steps to take.
Oh, and Twitter dropped 99.9% of my @replies from my @bonehok account. They’ve been missing for a week now, and the company’s response to my support ticket said nothing other than they’re aware of the problem. Is Twitter understaffed? Underfunded? Or simply lacking what’s truly needed–a clue?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.