Social outreach is a nightmare, especially when you're looking to start a business and run into problems even making social media accounts. After going so long without having any email or social media accounts related to the site I decided to set some up. Mainly, this was so I could make use of Twitch's API for authentication but I figured since I'm at it, I might as well go the whole 9 yards.
It started when I tried to set up email hosting. I tried self hosting email years ago but that was a no-go as my ISP blocks the relevant email ports. Since I never really progressed with development on the site that much, I decided to just let it go until now. I had looked into what email hosting providers had what I was looking for(mainly just the ability to host 5 or so email addresses for a domain I own for free) and ended up narrowing the results down to two. The first was basically what I'd guess would be considered the russian equivalent of Google. It offered a host of features and basically unlimited email. The second offered a lot less, only about 25 addresses and a gigabyte of storage compared to 1000+ addresses and 10 GB each, but that was more than enough for my needs. I ended up going with the latter because I had heard concerns of how trustworthy sites and personal email hosts would consider the former, with it being a free russian email host and all. And that's where all the trouble began.
I ran into issues in less than a minute: the provider wanted me to tie a cell phone to the account and verify it just to make the account. I do not have a cell phone. I have never had a cell phone. Why? Because I've never needed one, simple as that. No one ever calls me, and anytime someone needs to, I'm around enough that the landline has always sufficed. Forced out of my first choice, I had to move on to my next choice. Fortunately, there was no need for a cell phone there. Setting up the account was even fairly simple. If only that had been the end of the story. Of course, if it was, I wouldn't have written this big long news/blog post, now would I?
Having email setup, I went to make accounts with it. First was Twitch. I started by filling out the username field, only to be told the name was unavailable. Normally, that's nothing special for a website that has to have a few million accounts, but I had checked to see if that username was available less than a month ago and it was. It was already my backup even, as my main choice has been taken by an inactive account for a very long time. Just out of curiosity, I decided to see just how old this account was. 4 days. ONLY FOUR DAYS. Nothing has even been done with the account in that time. I thought it might have been someone overhearing my plans to set up Twitch integration and taking it just to spite me but I had only mentioned that two days ago and I never even mentioned an account name. It was as if someone just plucked the idea out of my head and registered it a week ahead of time so I would fail.
Not having a second backup username offhand, I decided to try setting up a Twitter account while I thought of one. Only an email address and a password required to start: that I could work with. I did that, went through all the quick setup of telling it I don't want to follow a bunch of categories or people for an account I'm just going to tweet out status updates for a website/company. I even came up with a decent Twitter handle based on what I had seen others do when they're trying to identify their brand and someone else took their handle. I was still waiting on a confirmation email so I decided to start setting up the profile. Once again, I was thrown back on the ground.
Upon clicking the icon to upload a profile image, the account was immediately locked. The claim against it: "Your account appears to have exhibited automated behavior". It appeared my suspicions of mistrust for using a free, russian-hosted email service was correct. At least it gave me the opportunity to unlock it, or so I thought. After completing yet another captcha, I was presented with a page asking me to input a phone number so I could receive an SMS. Not having a cell phone ruining my ability to create accounts yet again.
So here I am now, waiting on someone from Twitter support to answer my email and hopefully help me out. I made sure to use my main email this time just in-case that email really is the issue. The Twitch account still remains uncreated; too scared that I'm going to end up in an almost identical situation if I try.
Update: Thanks to Twitter Support, the account issues were resolved and EHGames is now on twitter. In addition, Twitch registration went through without issue and some new integration features should be coming to the website in the upcoming weeks!
P.S. Sorry about the narrative on the front page. I wouldn't have done it normally, but I still haven't set up some way to manage a newsfeed with summaries and linked articles yet. Game development has been a much higher priority and I really want to have something to show soon.