February 2nd, 2009

LJHS computer

Separating the feature from the user

Thoughts on making your feature-discussion sessions more productive and less antagonistic!

So in discussions about LJ, people have their opinions about assorted features and the people who use them.

There's this great little pattern where someone states their absolute dislike of a feature, generally based on too many people doing it wrong, and people who use and like the feature will get drawn into a (often heated) discussion about how good the feature in fact is, and how they personally are Doing It Right.

The obvious part of the problem is when the complaint is in fact addressing the user, and not the behavior or (best of all) the feature. Consider the following comparable statements:

I hate people who set their background to bright pink.
I hate it when people set their background to bright pink.
I hate backgrounds set to bright pink.

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A less obvious cause is when the people who use and like the feature fear that someone else's dissatisfaction with the feature will result in that feature being taken away. Collapse )

People who use and like the feature may have taken the original statement about the first party's dislike of the feature as a value judgment about them, personally, or a class of people like them. Collapse )

A discussion about how much someone is irritated by others' use of a feature and would never like to see it should be guided into two particular productive avenues: first, what specifically about that feature irks them, and how it could be made to not irk them when they are presented with it; second, what technical tools could be made available to them so that they are not faced with it. Technical tools for the writer to avoid irking the reader is another possible productive spin-off.
running, bomb tech

20 tweets for 2009-2-2

In the last 24 hours, I posted the following to Twitter:
  • Monday, 0003: a "reserve this space for Reamfest" is now on my calendar for 2010. (DW plans.)
  • Monday, 0010: @amyty Head tags nested inside body tags? (Can't claim that: it's from a User Friendly comic.)
  • Monday, 0038: I seem to be up too late, but I got thinky-thoughts about my characters and their sexualities started.
  • Monday, 0046: @amyty Mostly they AMBUSH ME with unexpected revelations. I will never stop snickering at the Raistlin/Crysania pr0n one from Mike.
  • Monday, 0047: @amyty (When pressed for details about something, he mumbled but I could make out some things.) (They talk to me. I should be scared.)
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