"Counting is difficult" is becoming highly irritating

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  • Updated 4 years ago
"Counting is difficult" was amusing the first time.

Not after endless repetition.

Now it has become an annoying irritant.

I do not want to start my day being told, over and over again, every day, that "counting is difficult".

I am currently a premium member, but I'm unlikely to renew while this is in place.
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andrewwilcox

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Posted 4 years ago

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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Hey Andrew, thanks for writing in with your concern. The phrase comes from a math teacher I had. He was also one of the greatest teachers I've had. His subject was AP Statistics and his phrase was Counting is difficult. It refers to how such a simple thing like counting is actually quite difficult to do successfully. And in statistics you perform a lot of counting.

And if you pay any attention to competitior news readers, you'll notice that all of us share a common fault, and that is that sometimes our counts are wrong. But it's such a basic thing! There are 3 unread stories but the count shows a 2! This is why counting is difficult. It's ironic, the very first math skill we're taught as three and four year olds is counting and it hardly gets easier. 

Anyway, it's my personal touch and it's been NewsBlur's mainstay phrase since forever. It also serves as a good reminder that NewsBlur is crunching the numbers during that phase. The "On its way" phase shows that the feeds you see are the cached feeds. Once those comes in, the counts on some feeds may be stale, and then you get to the counting phase. 

I'd hate to lose you, esp. for something like a personal touch, but NewsBlur is 90% opinionated (and 10% standardized). 
(Edited)
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Rob

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I love all the quirks and nuances of Newsblur - happy to support this wonderful service!  Newsblur wouldn't be the same without you Sam.
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andrewwilcox

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Hi Samuel,

I'm late replying because I didn't have GetSatisfaction notifications turned on, and I didn't know that they weren't turned on, so I didn't know that I had gotten a reply.  I'm just now checking back to see if anything had happened.

I understand that you like the phrase...

However....

...I'm motivated to pull out my credit card to pay for things that I like, not things that you like :)

If you like the phrase and want to keep displaying it, and you'd like me to become a paying customer again, make it an option that I can turn off.

Because that's all I care about.  I don't care if you see it, or if everyone else sees it, I only care that I'm forced to see it.

These days I'm using Feedly.  I don't like it as much as Newsblur, but it doesn't hit my irritation button every time I open the app... so that's what I'm using now.

Andrew
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Josh Sled

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I basically never see "Counting is Difficult". Once or twice in the last year, I imagine. I'm wondering why you see it so often.
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Jeff Plank

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What a very minor thing to not renew over!
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Sarah McKay

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It's one of those things that slightly irritates me too (not enough to cancel my paid sub, the only thing that has ever made me consider canceling is the auto-renewal for paid subs with no courtesy email reminder). I see it literally every time I use the iPhone app, which is countless times per day. Every time I open the app, every time I refresh it, etc. It hangs up for 5-15 seconds (sometimes more, but usually not) with that phrase at the bottom of the screen. 
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stoph

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I see it a lot as well, but smile everytime I see it.  Maybe being a math nerd, it reminds me of how true it is.  Though sometime I do wish it would throw in a "Math is hard, let’s go shopping" just to spice things up.
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Kazriko Redclaw

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Pleasing everyone is very difficult. ;)
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Ken

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In the application I work on, we felt very clever to have a "go" button that said "Make it so!".  Even the most nerdy of the developers got tired of it over time.  Lesson learned.  For stuff that people will see (and use) over and over again, clever stuff is often just distracting.  We now reserve our most clever inside jokes for only the really rare error messages that we hope no one ever sees.
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aosty

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I enjoy seeing it... it's a nice personal touch.
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piriya33

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I've never seen it, not once. 

Now I want to see it. 
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ryan gilmore

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i find it insulting that when deleting a feed or folder i get asked, "Really delete?" 

i clicked the delete button didn't i? do you think i'm an idiot?
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RethorykeEpicaridan

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And the one time the mouse glitches and clicks 'delete' instead of what you meant to hit...?
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Kazriko Redclaw

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On the plus side, it emails you the opml file the first time you delete something in some set amount of time, so that fail-state is less catastrophic now. 
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ryan gilmore

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i guess my sarcasm wasn't that apparent ;-)
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davidjohnmacdonald

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I like the quirky character of things like "Counting is difficult" and "Really delete?". I think the people saying they will cancel over your copywriting are full of it. 
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ryan gilmore

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i wouldn't cancel NewsBlur over something like that. like I replied ^
that was sarcasm, but here is some hostility in here so.....
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Darren Kay

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If that is going to stop you renewing why fix it?  Next it will be "I don't like the name NewBlur, change it".

Seriously, how do you cope everyday? The sun rose 2 minutes too early today, the radio is not playing the playlist I sent them, the newspaper is not in my favourite font, the traffic light is still using the old green light after I specifically told the council I wanted fuchsia, damn it McDonalds I told you I wasn't going to buy another BigMac until you used my special sauce recipe!

Good luck telling Feedly they need to change there website to suit you.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I should add that my teacher used to say Counting is Difficult all the time, at least once a day. If he wasn't so adamant about drilling that into our heads I probably wouldn't have put it somewhere you'll see it once a day. I've lived with that phrase in my head for so long that I knew it was a keeper.
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Kyle Michelli

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As an observer, it seems to me that this is the real problem: "I see it literally every time I use the iPhone app, which is countless times per day."

It's the waiting that's bothersome, and they're just deflecting. Maybe they prefer to see a pretty spinning circle or hourglass to distract them?
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Ken

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I noticed something this morning.  The little spinny animation when fetching is accompanied by the phrase "Everything is on its way" and that phrase not only seems appropriate, but actually helpful.  So many of these Ajaxy apps have spinny widgets and you don't really know what you are waiting for.  That, in itself, can be irritating.  "Everything is on its way" seems to me informative and helpful.  "Counting is Difficult" on the other hand makes me want to say back "don't tell me your troubles, just get me my stuff."   I have no explanation for the difference between those two reactions.  It's not even conscious, at least until a minute ago.
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ryan gilmore

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to those that find it irritating, don't download any of the Carrot Apps.