The rise and fall of Dodgeball

It seems that Dodgeball is slowly crumbling apart. I can still use it from my phone, but can no longer log in due to a technical glitch. Nobody actually follows their support email address and the guys that started the company, who left in April, are still listed on the main Dodgeball bio page. Aside from support@, those are the only two other email addresses listed anywhere on their site. I have repeatedly emailed all of them but still can’t solve the problem. I have also found that I am not alone in the matter. Several friends are experiencing the same issue.

The practical upshot of all of this is that while I can use Dodgeball to check in to places, I can’t add or confirm friends using the web interface. I have several pending approval that I just cannot do anything with. I understand that there is some kind of arcane command syntax I can SMS to Dodgeball to add friends, but that’s only if I know their phone numbers, and some I only know their email addresses and nicknames. (Yes, I could email them to get their number and then use the arcane SMS commands, but that’s more work than I’m willing to do when I should be able to just log in via the web.)

If anyone knows the solution to my problem, I would be much obliged. The error message I keep getting is:

Oops, the dodgeball account you specified is already hooked up with a Google account (though we can’t tell you which one!).

Please press the “Back” button and try again.

I think that when Dodgeball accounts and Google accounts merged earlier this year, there was some issue–perhaps a cookie cross-polination/contamination thing–in that I have both a Gmail account and a Google For Domains account that prevented my Dodgeball account from associating fully with one or the other. At any rate, I can’t log in with either of my accounts. I can’t create a fresh new account because my phone number has already been used. I can’t delete the existing account and start over because I’d presumably have to log in or contact a human in support to do so.

Basically, I’m screwed and can no longer grow my Dodgeball pool of friends.

Today, I started a Twitter account, but I’m not sure how much I’ll use it. Dodgeball and Twitter are similar services with a lot of overlap, but I really like how Dodgeball has a very specific purpose: to relay your location to your friends. This limits the scope of the messages you’ll receive, effectively reducing quantity and increasing quality. Twitter, on the other hand, is anything-goes. Open the floodgates of messages. Regardless of quality, the quantity can be quite high, encouraging folks to turn off the SMS messages for sheer annoyance reasons. And with SMS turned off, you may not think of checking for updates as often.

I also have a Pownce account that I’ve had for months. I like the interface on Pownce much more than Twitter, but the lack of an API and/or SMS integration means I don’t really use it.

Anyway, for those that want to friend me, my Pownce account and Twitter account are both named BrianEnigma.

Edited to add: Okay, so scratch all that unable to log in stuff. I just tried it again, and although it has been broken for months, it is magically working now.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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