Monday, August 16, 2021

Doxpop is removing all saved searches based on "actor ID". Here's why...

Doxpop used to allow our users to watch a particular record identifying a person or organization involved in a case. This record was identified by an "actor ID". 

This was one of our less brilliant ideas, because as we quickly learned, it is common for judicial staff to create a new record for a person every time they are involved in a court case, which makes such a search almost useless.

For instance, if you're trying to keep an eye on Freddy Krueger so you know when he gets into trouble, you might search for his name and find that he's got several speeding tickets. Then, while looking at his detailed party (actor) record on one of those cases, you used to be able to say "watch this record". The problem is that when Freddy gets new speeding ticket, the clerk enters a new record for him, and it usually doesn't get attached to the existing record, so you miss it.

What you should do instead is just search for the name "Freddy Krueger" every time you wonder whether he's gotten into mischief again. This will return all records matching that name, no matter how many times it has been re-entered. Setting a watch on that name search will give you exactly the results you expect.

We removed the option to create or save searches many years ago, but didn't delete any searches that people had already saved. This week, we're doing the last bit of housecleaning on these searches, and remove any saved searches based on actor ID.

If you're reading this post because we sent you an email warning you that we're about to delete one of your old saved searches based on actor ID, here's what you should do:

  1. If it's an old search that you don't use anymore, do nothing.
  2. If it's a search that you care about and still use, log into your account and create a new search based on the person's name instead of an "actor ID". Call us if you need help doing that.

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