Cookies, Anyone?

I got a piece of feedback that I felt deserved an answer. I decided I might as well spread this one around:

Are we living in the same world at the same time? What do you mean, “Cookies have lost their apeal?” I have Spybot S&D – that stops cookies from downloading from websites. It give me a choice whether I want to download the cookie or not. Almost all the Web sites try to install tracking cookies, and some of them try to download four or five at a time, and I have to click no to stop the download. Without Spybot S&D, I wouldn’t even know it. Tracking cookies are alive and well! Very alive and well!

-Matt S.

Here’s my take on it:

Maybe I should have made the headline say “Cookie SOFTWARE has lost its appeal?” If you read the article, the meaning becomes clear – where once we had a dozen or more viable (and useful) cookie editor/managers, now we have one or two, but even those don’t work or don’t work well. I happen to think that there’s still a place for these programs and I wish that the people who published them would pay more attention to their own creations.

I, too, have Spybot resident. I don’t, however, feel that a blanket policy concerning cookies is NOT flexible enough for today’s wide types of cookies and sites. Face it: having to click a half dozen buttons and edit a list to add an entry just to accept cookies from ONE SITE is a real pain! There has to be a better way. There was and could be again. The best one can do now is to use IE and configure it to ask before accepting a cookie. At least you can allow or disallow with a click or two.

The bottom line is that not all cookies are bad and any scheme that doesn’t allow a flexible approach isn’t going to work, for me. And, Matt, you don’t say what browser you’re using, so I can’t just say, “you don’t even know how to run IE right,” no matter how much I’d like to. I always feel sorry for people like that – they don’t know how to use the software they have, so they throw MORE software at the problem.

The ultimate computer tool is an intelligent and informed user!