A Little Administrative Rant

Am I the only one who finds it difficult to manage multiple accounts, multiple admins, and multiple campaigns online? Surely not.

Facebook used to live at the inconvenient extreme of making it impossible to remove the originating Page admin, implying that no mere successor admin could ever be trustworthy enough to carry the mantle forward. Now they've boomeranged to requiring a nearly saintly level of trust in each and every Page admin, any disgruntled one of whom can remove all the others and destroy your company's reputation with a few judiciously placed comments and inappropriate pics. Really, Facebook? There's no middle ground between the power to post a status update and the power to stage an online coup d'etat?

And, while we're at it, why are Page ads linked to people and not Pages? The whole point of a Page is to give your company an online presence, right? So let me get this straight: if the gal running the ads gets hit by a bus, nobody else can access the ads. (I'm talking AFTER visiting her in the hospital -- I'm not completely heartless!) Heck, all she has to do is take a week off and the system grinds to a halt.



Maybe right now you're all, "No problem, dude; just make a business account." But no. Technically you're not allowed to create a business account unless you don't have a personal profile. So the guy with the business account -- the one you're trusting to manage your Facebook ad presence -- is so social-media-savvy that he doesn't even have a personal profile. And since technically a business account is only supposed to belong to one person, it doesn't solve the problem anyway.

At least Google allows multiple admins on AdWords accounts. But what they don't allow is single administrative access for multiple YouTube accounts. I have a personal one, and four business ones, and for each one I have to remember what unique blimmin' email/password combo I used for it. Seriously, imagine if this happened in the real world. You're a freelancer, but you have to use a different name and cell phone for each client. PLUS I have to log out of Gmail so it doesn't automatically read the stupid cookies and try to be helpful. You're not helpful, Gmail. You want to be helpful? Give me a Master Admin page on YouTube and let me choose which account to manage.

Speaking of not helpful, try logging into New Twitter, which jovially announces, "Everything in one place!" (The cheerfulness is reminiscent of the excessively happy Eddie the Shipboard Computer from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy": "Hi there. This is Eddie, your shipboard computer, and I'm feeling just great, guys, and I know I'm just going to get a bundle of kicks out of any program you care to run through me.") The reality, of course, is that "everything" is almost entirely unlike being in one place. If I want to manage multiple Twitter accounts -- for, say, personal and professional purposes -- I'm going through a third-party app, not logging in and out every time I need to switch persona. Incidentally, the fact that pretty much every third-party app offers this functionality shows that it's not that hard, is it?

The folks who run these services are collectively some of the brightest people on the planet, and have collectively managed to influence our culture more dramatically over a shorter period of time than perhaps any other group in history, so please don't take this article as a sign of disrespect. It's just a plea: Look at us. Look at how we use these services. There are a lot of small things you can do that will make our lives so much easier.

Do you share my frustration? Am I being ridiculous? Let me know either way, in the comments or via @kcolbin. And thank you for putting up with this small interruption.

17 comments about "A Little Administrative Rant ".
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  1. Carol Tomalty from CarricDesign, November 2, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.

    Oh good. I thought I was the only one, sitting in my lonely cubicle, thinking 'why?!?'. :)

  2. Lorenzo a. Morales from Massive Company, November 2, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.

    Pretty freakin spot on.

  3. M.l. Stone from Abstract Graphic Design Group, November 2, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.

    Co-signed, thirded, amen, and thank you.

  4. Monica Bower from TERiX Computer Service, November 2, 2010 at 11:08 a.m.

    Web 2.0 technology doesn't mean there isn't Web 0.5 usability. You didn't mention Constant Contact, I assume because then the rant would have gone on to four or five pages.

  5. Esther Surden from E. Surden Associates, November 2, 2010 at 11:09 a.m.

    The Twitter problem makes me want to scream. Thanks for calling attention to all of these design flaws, and yes, I'd say they were design flaws.

  6. Nancy Fraser from Nota Bene Consulting, November 2, 2010 at 11:12 a.m.

    Usability eeekkkk! - but who at Facebook ever listened or even responded to the average participant.

    a communication and interaction platform that doesn't communicate?

  7. Robert Croll from Marlannah Group, LLC, November 2, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    So true! Managing campaigns for clients becomes an exercise in frustration with all the logging in and out. Can we also add the inability to change the primary user and other lunacies in Google AdWords?

  8. David Wilson from AMN Healthcare, November 2, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.

    How about administering a company profile in LinkedIn or trying to post a job there under a brand that is not listed as your employer. Or needing a unique email address to create every Google or Indeed account. I literally use over a hundred logins to perform my job.

  9. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 2, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.

    What kind of control can they have over your accounts if they give you more control ?

  10. Gayatri Bhalla from Greenfield Belser, November 2, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.


  11. Barb Chamberlain from Washington State University Spokane, November 2, 2010 at 1:48 p.m.

    Yes. Yes. Yesyesyesyesyes.

    So if any of these spaces are actually listening to the customer's voice--which is what they would tell us can be heard online--we can expect to see improvements any day now. Right? Right? [insert sound of crickets]


  12. Brad Stewart from Molecule Inc., November 2, 2010 at 2:28 p.m.

    And you seriously don't want to even begin getting into payment. You can load several credit cards, but can only use one at a time for all of your campaigns. I write it all off as Harvard grads who have never worked a day in an agency.

  13. Lisa Thorell from Off the Grid Public Relations, November 2, 2010 at 5:32 p.m.

    Clint Dixon is right. This is a non-issue if you have a password manager like Roboform. Here ya go: = end of pain

  14. David Wilson from AMN Healthcare, November 2, 2010 at 6:52 p.m.

    @Clint/Lisa, I am going to take your advice and try roboform, but that still does not eliminate many of the issues like having to use a unique email address (that can be validated) for every Google account, etc.

  15. Kaila Colbin from Boma Global, November 3, 2010 at 8:41 p.m.

    Phew! It's such a relief to know I'm not alone. Even if, as @David pointed out, roboform doesn't solve all the issues, I'm looking forward to seeing if it solves some of them. :-)

  16. David Pavlicko from AVISPL, November 11, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

    I'll second all that. A quick workaround for logging into multiple accounts via the same browser - if you're using Chrome for example: open a new 'private or incognito' window and you can stay logged in in your main window.

    Roboform is ok, I prefer KeePass, though.

    I hate Google's damn cell phone authentication.

  17. Danielle Correia, January 17, 2011 at 4:53 p.m.

    I here you loud and clear. I just had a rank myself about sites that make a marketer scream with Facebook, of course, topping the list. I especially love the sites that say they are built for marketing your business and then make it so difficult for marketers to use the site.

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