Mahalo's Case Of Mistaken Identity

About 45 minutes ago I tried logging into Mahalo to stake a few claims for myself in the site’s revamped directory, which pays users for creating and maintaining their entries. This has proven far more difficult than it should be. In fact, it seems like Mahalo’s account system is totally broken.

First, I attempted to create a new user name for myself. I decided to go with MrCody, which is the name of my dog. Things seemed normal at first, until I noticed that my username at the top of the screen was now ‘mahendranunna’. A refresh later and Mahalo said “Welcome cddesai”. Being the inquisitive reporter that I am, I attempted to navigate through the user’s control panel. I could view the pages that they were currently managing. I tried to ask a question on Mahalo Answers under one of these accounts, and it seemed to work (the site is currently down so I can’t check to see if it actually posted). Over the course of the next twenty minutes, I was logged in as at least 8 different users. I’m not entirely sure what I was doing to jump between identities — sometimes a refresh would do it, other times I’d have the same username for a few minutes. It was bizarre.

We got in touch with CEO Jason Calacanis, who says that the problem is a “caching issue”, and that “the users aren’t actually logged in as another users (just appears that way).” Fine. But the site is still going down sporadically, and I still haven’t gotten the damn Email to activate the account I signed up for in the first place.

Disclosure: Jason Calacanis is our partner in putting on the TechCrunch50 conference.