Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Goodreads Apparently Deleted Nelson Minar’s Entire Account

Nelson Minar:

Goodreads lost my entire account last week. Nine years as a user, some 600 books and 250 carefully written reviews all deleted and unrecoverable. Their support has not been helpful. In 35 years of being online I’ve never encountered a company with such callous disregard for their users’ data.

First, this sucks.

Second, Minar suggests backing up your data from cloud services. This is probably good advice, but it is made needlessly difficult because users do not — and arguably should not — need to ensure for themselves that big companies with lots of redundant servers are able to host files reliably and securely. Yet, here we are. While writing this paragraph, I had to quit and relaunch Music on MacOS because it thought the album I was streaming was no longer available, but it was only some sort of bug. This is software from the world’s most valuable company.

Goodreads is not some scrappy start-up. It has been owned by Amazon for nine years. These are big companies with big budgets and lots of customers, but they still act like they are just figuring this stuff out. That era is long over. Software needs a warranty, and so do services.