Forbidden 403 Error in Gmail Contacts Manager


Error 403


Ouch … this is not what you want to see in your Gmail Contacts. Weird… and not fun, not even on Sunday.

It’s not system-wide, appears to be specific to one of my accounts – crazy log-in-log out sequence produces occasional access, but mostly the error. smile_sad

Update: apparently (thanks, Charlie), this is a more wide-spread problem than I had thought…


Gmail Contact Manager Does Not Support URLs?

I find it hard to believe…so much so that I ask everyone to open my eyes: what am I missing here?  Gmail’s Contact Manager (the new one) allows you to capture the typical data like email, phone, address, photo ( a great plus!), IM, but there’s no field to capture homepage addresses!  (???).

You can add as many fields as you like, but only of the pre-defined types, and if you use the Notes field to enter websites, they don’t become clickable URLs. 

Of all companies on Earth, Google is the last one I would expect to NOT care about capturing web information…

Update: Charlie “Spanning” Wood adds:

…worse yet, it uses one big blob for mailing address instead of having fields for address, city, state/region, postal code, etc.

And we wonder why it’s difficult to sync Gmail contact data…

Voyagerfan5761 adds that the ability to add custom fields, a handy feature supported in the earlier Gmail version is gone now, too.

Add to this the idiotic restriction that now you can only delete 20 contacts at a time, and one can really wonder if the new Contact Manager in Gmail is a step back in functionality – albeit with nicer boxes. thumbs_down

(Oh, you wonder why you’d want to delete contacts?  Because Gmail adds anyone you respond to as a contact, without the ability to change that default).


Will Google Pull a Plaxo?

Google Operating System speculates that Gmail will soon display status updates from your contacts:

It’s not very clear what kind of updates you will receive, but they’re probably the latest important actions of your contacts from different Google services.

Ionut says based on reading some Google code that users will be able to delete updates – now word whether there will be a “Big Switch” to opt out globally. The functionality itself would be closer to Facebook’s newsfeed, the reason I am comparing it to Plaxo is that Plaxo became a metaphor for spam in its early years, and it is back at it now, with all the unwanted Plaxo Pulse notifications.

The contact updates, especially if it’s not easy to opt-out once and for all would be nothing but spam. What makes it even worse is that Gmail Contacts are really not contacts: anybody you answer automatically gets added to your Address Book, whether you like it or not. And guess what: there is no way to turn this off. (In fact, in the new version of Gmail -not yet available for Google Apps accounts- you can’t even delete more than 20 contacts at any given time.)

I really hope it does not happen. Gmail is the Crown Jewel of Google services, and as such, more productivity-oriented for most of us, then say Orkut or Picasa are. They can’t seriously think of clobbering the screen with garbage like that. Can they? smile_sad