a practice broken, another silo solidified
I know i have some quirky habits but i really really really hate when web companies break them with their latest updates. One of my weird ones concerns getting directions to a place (which i do 2-3 times a day). For years now, i’ve thrown the address of the destination into google toolbar. Up would come the address (recognized by Google as an address) with three links: Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, Mapquest. I would always click Yahoo Maps. From there, i’d click on the “To Here” link and then choose “home” and click. I’d then copy/paste the directions into an email that i’d send to my Sidekick and then use that to navigate while in the car.
A while back, Yahoo Maps broke this path by going all web2.0-y. While it sure is pretty, it makes getting directions more difficult and you can’t copy/paste the directions. So i saved the “classic” style in the preference and didn’t sweat it any longer.
Today, Google broke the process completely. At first, when i searched for an address, it wasn’t found. Apparently, the Google search engine got a bit more picky and required me to know if it was Street or Road and required a comma between the city and the state and couldn’t cope with a 9-digit zipcode. This was never an issue before (and part of why i loved it – it let me be lazy). But even worse, they’ve gotten rid of the three choices and now only have their map with a box for me to put in the “start address” to get directions. This infuriates me because there’s a reason that i don’t use Google Maps. Their directions are *atrocious* AND you can’t copy/paste the directions once you have them. And it completely pisses me off that the “email” button tries to email me a link not the content of the page. (This is even worse on Yahoo where it has the nerve to send a text message with a link when you send to phone.)
I’m grouchy. I realize that this is a subtle thing but it really makes me quite unhappy. Plus, i’d always touted Google’s willingness to link to both Yahoo Maps and Mapquest as a sign that not every search company has to focus on being a silo. Google broke that today, signaling that it does indeed prefer to be a silo than to offer choice that the consumer might want. I know that i can work around this but it requires more clicks for a practice that i do so often it hurts (yes, i’m always lost). Le sigh.