Wednesday, November 18, 2009

News! Is it really?

Anyone who read my previous blog will realize I am not a fan of mandatory dashboards.

The main reason is that usually someone else gets to decide what information is good or important for me. Since I almost always work at the fringe of mainstream, usually in support and guidance of mainstream, what is important for me is rarely the same as what is important for mainstream administrators.

What makes me upset with mandatory dashboards is that some else is taking control of my time and my eyeballs. And usually for a reason that is not relevant, or indeed very useful.

Case in point: I logged on to My Oracle Support and was greeted by the Dashboard again. In addition to the non-removable 'offer' to teach me OCM and the duplicated and Mandatory regions of News that have not been updated with anything new in over a week, I now have a new Mandatory region added called 'Site Alerts'.

The new 'Site Alerts' region sports an attention-getting icon and a header saying it will tell me about upcoming outages for MOS. (Which is actually the kind of information I would call 'News'.)

And it has some content.

That content is a separate page that tells me to click on a link to get to another page to get some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about what to do if I had any issues with the migration.

Not, as far as I can tell, any advice about upcoming outages.

So now, when I want to get an answer in a hurry, I have the opportunity to wait for 4 regions to update (or at least bottleneck my download bandwidth) and divert my attention from my objective of solving a problem.

And I suspect that by the time they DO contain some important information, I will have been trained to ignore the content.

Come on guys - if you will not let me remove those regions, at least give me the opportunity to ack and hide the stuff that is is old. So that the important stuff you will tell me will not get buried.

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