I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet this morning!. When I logged in to my page on about.me, one of my favourite sites, I was presented with an option to update my page (before they do it automatically for me!), update to what?. So, I investigated a bit further on their blog and found that they are introducing a new page layout template. I looked at their examples and, to my dismay, I think that it’s very minimalist, soulless, boring and “vanilla”.
It’s a great pity as I was first attracted to their site and have enjoyed using it because it offered a straightforward front end interface whilst having the ability to sufficiently customise one’s page and make it individual and reflect some of one’s personality. I think that the new design looks like an electronic business card which I don’t want or need . I don’t want a page containing a photo, bio and links to a few social media sites. I liked the digital “real estate” that the current (soon to be replaced) page layout and options afforded me. It was also great fun viewing the pages of other people and enjoying some of their creative, expressive and individualistic page designs, key word individualistic. To continue my real-estate analogy, metaphorically-speaking I feel like the new layout would be a bit like moving from a house with a garden to the 30th floor of an apartment block. They mention in their blog that, and I quote, “The next generation desires to turn their hobbies into businesses, 76% of college students today think they’ll turn their hobby into a source of income”. Well they should be given the artistic tools to express their individuality and stand out not shoehorned into “samey” little boxes. This might just work for clerical professions it sure as hell doesn’t work for those with an artistic temperament.
I’ve always been a non-conformist at heart, the one thing that I hate more than anything else is being compartmentalised, trapped in a little box and forced to be someone else’s vision of what they think that I should be or how I should present myself, after all the site is called about.me and, if you remove my ability to express my character by removing my freedom to design then it can no longer be about me in anything else than a few clinical factual terms, in short, “boring”.
As a paying customer of their service I fell that I should have at least been advised of their planned changes and given the option to opt out of the changes but I doubt if that’s even possible. I really hope that they’ll have a change of heart but I’m not expecting it nor am I expecting others to agree, so, reluctantly, if things stay as they are I’ll not be renewing my paid membership.