Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Vote for Radical Honesty

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on July 17, 2014. Some inspiration came from Individual , who posted Bubbles about "radical honesty" earlier that week. Image of Honest Abe from Krosseel at

Yesterday I noticed a funny thing about the changes we're seeing here at Bubblews.

I think all the web wizards in the world need to know that I don't appreciate any change in the way any web site looks. If you really have to add or subtract a feature at a web site, you need to make that change as unobtrusive as possible. Once a button is working, where it is is where it should always remain. And if you're a Bubblews connection of mine, you undoubtedly read that opinion yesterday, because I posted some version of it as a comment on all the cheerful posts where people were saying "Oh wow this is so wonderful."

So, did that mean that every other Bubbler had been just yearning to see our pretty pictures mangled and greyed-out, aching to see a button logically labelled "Notifications" replaced by an unlabelled graphic some of us have yet to figure out, pining to see our archives of older posts disappear? Not exactly. I then clicked over to Persona Paper, and over there people were complaining bitterly about the changes at Bubblews.

I know that sometimes radical honesty can seem like biting the hand that feeds us, and be interpreted and treated as such...but I have to put in a vote for making our complaints heard by people who can do something about them. Yes, I want all the web designers on Earth to know that I think of a web site as a tool, and think changing a working web site just to call attention to your cleverness is the antithesis of clever. But I think it's more important for Bubblews'' administration to hear what we have to say about Bubblews, specifically, than it is for the administration of Persona Paper or Chatabout or Facebook or whatever other sites people use.

That's not because I enjoy confronting people with whom I work, even in cyberspace. I've heard people say, "Oh, I don't want to hurt their feelings by telling them I don't like what they've done...but this friend to whom I've been talking about them behind their backs cares about my feelings." I've even heard this twisted reasoning defended as "feminine" and "caring." 

Bosh. I myself would much, much rather be told why you don't like something I've done, to my face, so that I can decide whether or not I want to try to fix it, than find out later that you've been talking behind my back to other people, who may then have passed the story on to other people until it's become a regular urban legend. I may not want to give you what you want, but I do want to know what that is. And ain't I a woman?