Clueless. Not always. But sometimes.

by Volker Weber

I have been using Dropbox and similar tools for quite some time in two scenarios:

The experience has been nothing but a joy. Everything else pales. File servers, Quickr, Sharepoint, they are all too clumsy.

The picture changes when you add a hundred people. People don't follow instructions. Plus, Dilbert's law applies: we are all idiots, just not all of the times. There are different kinds of idiots:

Neither is a bad person. Just clueless. Not always, but at this very moment. What can you do? Not much really. Clean up after them, reduce the number of people in the shared folder. Hope for the best.

Want to remove yourself? Go to sharing, enter the folder you want to leave, hit "Leave this folder". Now the files are all yours to move, delete, whatever.


I'm just wondering if a small button "disallow deletions/move from shared folder" would do the thing. Dropbox is really nice and such an enhancement would not distort the basic idea of dropbox.


Eckhard Eilers, 2010-01-15

That is "Notes admin think". A file system can make files read only. Then you can't change them. You could make this tool really complicated by adding features. Or you can keep it simple as it is, and then work with smart users. :-)

Volker Weber, 2010-01-15

Oh, thanks. It was (maybe) not meant that way, but I feel honored (regarding the notes admin). ;-)

Yes, I think, you're right. Maybe it's not a tool to share slides among 100 users. Gauss gets significant then.


Eckhard Eilers, 2010-01-15

I feel honored

You should. They are smart people. And they have to deal with a lot of clueless all day long. You would not believe how people can shoot, hang and burn themselves. And then call for the ambulance.

Volker Weber, 2010-01-15

I believe. I'm an admin.


Eckhard Eilers, 2010-01-15

But isn't this more a problem of a poorly designed system that breaks too easily?

Christopher Byrne, 2010-01-15

It does not break. It does exactly what you say. Which is a problem with people who don't know what they are doing.

Volker Weber, 2010-01-15

People don't follow instructions.

Instructions contained in both name and content of the _Do not remove files from this folder_ file are rather clear. ;-)

Jan-Piet Mens, 2010-01-15

Instructions contained in both name and content of the _Do not remove files from this folder_ file are rather clear. ;-)

And still they can be ignored by the "intermittently clueless" :-)

Ragnar Schierholz, 2010-01-15

> And still they can be ignored by the "intermittently clueless" :-)

Or by accident.

Oliver Regelmann, 2010-01-15

Or, you can do what I JUST did: accidentally MOVE the files to another folder. Selected these files (in error) for a move operation.

Moved them back but not sure of the effect of these actions. My apologies.

Tony Frazier, 2010-01-15

Wouldn't it be nice if you followed the instructions and not move anything, not out, not in?

Volker Weber, 2010-01-15

Somehow I got bounced but am sure I did not delete or remove any files. I cant see the files anymore.

Errol Bodie, 2010-01-15

Go to - and stop moving files. Repeat, stop moving files. Neither in nor out. Just to make sure: do not move files. OK?

Volker Weber, 2010-01-15

Have you looked at I haven't used dropbox, but I have collaborated on and never had these issues. The security is rather granular.

Charles Robinson, 2010-01-16

Charles, read from the top. I have also never had these issues.

Volker Weber, 2010-01-16

This was a great idea and big time saver.

Thank you very much.


p.s I copied every file to my usb stick to be sure :-)

Olaf Boerner, 2010-01-17

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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