You're absolutely right Alex; it sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. Now, having said that, it is better (for some people, at least) than the scheme we had before, which is to say... no scheme at all.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that what we had was an antischeme. Sure, all you had to do was send your feed and hackergotchi URLs to someone and they would add it to their text file. While trivial for non-technical people to use, it has a couple of flaws:
- It requires a person on the other side to do some work. If they're busy or on vacation, you're not getting added to the Planet.
- It requires said person to maintain a text file containing a rather large number of entries. The tedium is astounding.
Now, you could throw more people at the task, but that has diminishing returns beyond approximately 3 people (No, I have no scientific proof for that "fact". Read some Brooks if you want more details about my reasoning.).
But the simple truth is that we already have this handy web app that we use to handle our accounts. Why not let it handle the necessary data, while still allowing a self-serve scheme? Let it collect the data, and store it, and process it, and fold, spindle, and mutilate it. After all, that's what machines are good at (heck, that's the only thing they're good at). FAS2 already has a plugin system (although I don't believe that it's been battle-tested), so now we just need someone to actually sit down and write it.
Needed, actually. I've decided to sit down and write it myself. I can't guarantee that it will appear in a timely fashion seeing as to how much I have to learn/figure out, but, it'll be there. And hopefully far less sucky.