Glide Effortless is Too Much Effort

Glide Effortless is a service that will help you upload and share just about any type of file – photos, MP3 files, video clips and even Word, PowerPoint or PDF documents. A New York Times article by David Pogue talks about the service in mostly glowing prose:

THIS system means that you never actually send any files, so you don’t clog anyone’s in-box. More important, you now have total control over the material. From the moment you upload a file to Glide, it’s converted into an online preview. Your visitors can listen to one of your songs or watch one of your videos, but they can’t download it, keep it, or even replay it without returning to the Web site.

As a result, you can limit how many times somebody plays or watches something, or specify a window of opportunity (say, Dec. 5 to 20) for people’s access. You can even play Big Brother by tracking how many times each person has viewed or played a certain goody.

With just a few clicks, you can also publish one of your containers as either a Web page, complete with embedded pictures and videos, or a blog entry. It’s almost automatic, although you have no control whatsoever over the layout of the result.

All of this is fun to use, thanks to a full-blown online operating system that Glide designed itself. After all, thought TransMedia, why make the site look like Windows or Mac OS X, when a custom design could be simpler and better tailored to Glide’s functions?

In the Glide OS, each object on the screen – thumbnails, containers and so on – bears a tiny “badge” that resembles a pie chart. When you point to it, a round menu sprouts at your cursor tip. It lists commands pertaining to that object (Delete, Edit or Publish, for example), arrayed like colorful slices of a pizza.

I spent some considerable time this evening trying to get my arms around this rather large project, but gave up before I was even able to finish registration.

The home page is a complete mess. This is the first impression a company gives to new potential customers, and Glide decided to pack everything in with 2,604 total words. It’s a damn magnum opus that describes everything Glide was, is and will become, without ever really getting to the point.

Registration is a train wreck. There is a free account option, but every registration requires a full name and home address. I entered that, but gave up when it required a credit card to be put on file, even though I was just trying to test the free account. I understand that Glide wants “real” customers since even the free account comes with 150 mb of storage, but this was just too much to ask of a new customer.

I sighed, left the computer and drank a glass of wine. I decided to try again. I re-started registration, but the “techcrunch” username was now “taken” due to my previous attempt. And there is no way to resume my previous registration. Requesting a password reset failed. The name was reserved but wasn’t an active account.

I could try again with a different user name, but honestly, since 99% of users will also have given up after seeing the home page design and refusing to give up all of this personal information, what’s the point? Glide “Effortless” is just too much effort.

If anyone has gone to the effort of getting it up and running, please let me know if it was worth it.