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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

To the Dogs

The Thumbtack website went to the dogs. It used to be such a convenient place to hire people locally. You’d post your project, people would look at it, tell you what it would cost, and you’d hire. 

And now, instead of real people looking at your project, the second you post, you get a bunch of automated, pre-recorded, completely meaningless quotes from companies. And real people seem to have disappeared from the website altogether.

It happens so often. A great useful website or app is eviscerated and rendered completely useless under the guise of promoting efficiency and convenience. Thumbtack is now super fast and efficient at delivering an entirely useless service. Yippee. 

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4 thoughts on “To the Dogs

  1. Hell, that’s just the way EVERYTHING operates these days.
    Both online and off.

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    • Exactly. It was such a good and useful website. And then some bastard decided to “optimize.”

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      • Full automation and laying off half the staff to “save money” I take it.

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        • DWeird on said:

          Unlikely. Or, rather, full automation and not having any staff to speak of was part of the business model to begin with.

          The question of how to make money off this kind of service is pretty interesting and not all that obvious. You can’t really bill the person who’s looking for the service in advance – they’ll just look elsewhere. So that means you need to bill the people offering the service, but then you need to offer them some sort of advantage, or they too will go somewhere else. But if you give them that, it distorts information for the end customer — information being the thing they’re looking for to begin with. Google or Amazon can get away with this sort of thing easier because they have gazillions of users and they’ve gotten pretty good at only showing you what you may actually want to see, so the paid-for distortions aren’t as grating. Won’t be the case for a new & limited service like Thumbtack.

          Like

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