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But how would it possible to make diaries more appealing to outsiders, without knowing who those outsiders are?
The premise of this 2-part foray into "user-friendly" design "improvement" of ET is the unknown quantity of "occasional reader" (Lily). Let's not forget: Acquiring ("attracting") and converting an unknown quantity of "occasional readers" into ET um insiders --presumably persons distinguished by frequency of visible activity-- is a problem, she identified more or less, for ET administrators to solve.
Why is this piece of interface design proposal writing a big fat void thus far? Could it beeeee (1) unknown by definition (2) no model demographic of "occasional reader" (3) no target demographic of desirable "insider"? heh.
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
Blogworld proves that interfaces are less relevant than content, intent and leadership.
People love them some Myspace, even though most pages look like they fell out of a textbook on screwing up and uglifying HTML.
Yet, popular. Therefore.
ET as 90% lurkers and 10% bloviators?
i bet large numbers of readers here would have something valuable to share, but feel too intimidated to even post to say that they're intimidated! i'm actually not very attached to this issue, except tangentially, as size is not really the important part of ET for me.
if intelligent old-time posters like redstar and metavision, and more lately valentinD and Lily try to offer opinions about what's off-putting about some patterns of group behaviour, or suggest ideas to make the website more expressive of a wider set of points of view, or just plain nicer to look at and navigate, then i think we'd do well to be grateful for their input. all 4 are too smart to be criticising just for the hell of it, and all have at one point or other enriched these pages with good-to-great content and heart.
sometimes it appears a bit that there's a bit of a kneejerk defensiveness, that implies that ET is such a precious jewel that even to say you don't like something about it disempowers its mojo, or impugns its honour.
it's a (pretty) free-ranging, flowing collection of thoughts, and should be happy to mutate if enough people think its a good idea.
how else are we going to get new ideas to keep ET evolving, if we don't listen to feedback, even if we don't agree?
prickly comments and sometimes subtle and in-group witticisms betray insecurity and a slight snobby edge. it doesn't bother me as much as it used to, but it seems tone-deaf to ask for more diaries, then make people feel shot down when they come along with fresh ideas, maybe because they're not uber IT geeks, they don't realise how much work it is, but then sometimes the coders aren't omniscient and learn from each other (yay open source!), and things that were thought too hard are in fact attainable.
i think we should keep doing exactly what we're doing, but just more attention to respecting people, cutting them some slack before retorting, just maybe there was a conclusion jumped to, and later you'll have to cop to it.
most here are charming, but it only takes a few to cast quite a pall sometimes, it's no capital crime, just a few tics that can be less than inviting, unless that is the intention, to send between-the-lines messages to those who think or believe different to go away, or pipe down until they have gone through all the archives in case maybe they say something we've already hashed out...
red carpets aren't necessary, but little puddles of insecurity left in the doorway are a little less than as inviting as the hearty exhortations in the salon blurb, or whataboutbob's earnest entreaties to contribute more.
i did my best with what i could find to hand bob, 2 diaries with a total of under 10 comments!
blogs usually die because they get dull from too many trolls staking territory, and repetitive loops of old chestnuts around a cozy fire of regulars, gradually isolating themselves by their desire to keep cosy.
colman picked up on this recently, asking some good questions, and getting some spirited debate going...
the world is falling apart, the squabbles here are like arguing over pieces of candy in a plane going down.
it can be very depressing, reading the news every day, and i'd like to thank all the posters for their humour, it makes the grim reaper's approach a lot slower! thanks also for posting positive stories.
with all the extreme dramas going on world wide, i find it very interesting how many more comments come out on the meta diaries. i am ever more certain that the attention to inner things will come to balance out all the attention to the outside world. whether it's poemless' hilarious (and razor sharp) odds and ends, jerome's amazing deconstructions, the wonderful photo diaries, these are the sweetener that keeps the bitter medicine of learning the more difficult lessons to be learned here at ET.
'Know Yourself', isn't that the oldest european wisdom we have?
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
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