The Sony World Photography Awards 2012 Shortlist was announced yesterday. According to the confused comments on their website, it seems a number of participants received an email notifying them of their shortlisted status, but when they went to the WPO site, they did not see their name. Some commenters said that they later received another email saying their photographs were commended, not shortlisted.
This, however, is not an uncommon mistake in this digital era where organizations notify applicants of acceptance decisions via email or online. Just one week ago Vassar College sent out Early Decision notifications to applicants and informed many denied students that they had been accepted. Several other universities have also made the same mistake in recent years, much to the disappointment of many hopeful applicants. With the growing prevalence of online notification and the unprecedented speed of decision dissemination, this error is all too easy to make and impossible to undo once the emails are sent. I wonder if there might be a way to integrate a feature like the Gmail’s “Undo Send” on an organizational scale. I know this optional feature that adds a 5-second delay (or longer, depending on your settings) to every email I send has prevented me from sending many messages with errors like forgotten attachments or left-out details. When I realize I just hit “send” on an email with a mistake (and feel that panicked feeling), I have 5 seconds to click “undo,” which allows me to calmly correct my email. Maybe some built-in delay seconds could reduce the number of notification mistakes on a larger organizational scale too?