Professionalism and respect

Excuse this rant...

Do you think I am preachy? I posted a comment on Lou's blog (towards the end) about the use of ridicule in communication and how I feel that it runs counter to collegiality. The thread had long gotten off the topic of analyzing usage data and some generalizations had been made about IAs that I didn't understand. The particular commenter employed ridicule to make his point and I argued that this profession would benefit from communication based on openness and respect rather than contempt and mockery. I don't think I've ever needed to remind myself of this basic concept, but it certainly felt good to say it aloud. Anyway, I don't think pointing fingers and mocking people openly in public is a good way to win the respect of the community you are conversing with. End rant.

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This discussion got out of hand...

I made a posting to this blog as "Annoyed IA" because what could have been an interesting topic for discussion was overtaken by pointless preening. What frustrates me the most is that our profession, above all else, is supposed to facilitate communication, not produce pointless ranting

Accept that other practitioners might have a different viewpoint to your own, and don't get bogged down in ideological flim-flam. If you don't agree with what someone has to say, communicate it openly and plainly, and give your reasons for doing so succinctly.

You know a community is getting mature when...

...you get schisms splits, idiots, bandwagoners, and people who like to mock. It is unfortunately inevatable as the number of people who do IA grows.

Visit http://www.kid666.com

derek again?!?

see my comments at bloug...

No, this is Derek!

From his home site (About Derek):

"I have the ability to successfully deal with large groups, associations, and partnerships because I sense what the group needs and can express it so that everyone understands. I am able to stand up before a large group of people and talk convincingly:

Pick up impressions from others very easily
Inspire people’s confidence in my abilities
Imaginative, articulate, and emotionally poised "

I feel guilty for posting this, but what the hey!

Holism vs Reductionism?

Another reason why many of us are not engaging in his desired debate is that we've already debated this point many times in the past. His "holism vs. reductionism" is simply a rewording of the Big IA vs Little IA (aka Strategic vs Technical) debate. We're still hungover from the last bout of defining the damn thing, and want to just knuckle down and do some actual IA work (rather than just talk about it.

http://www.IAwiki.net/DefiningTheDamnThing
http://www.IAwiki.net/StrategicIAvsTechnicalIA
http://www.IAwiki.net/BigIAvsLittleIA

knuckling down...

Absolutely, Eric. This is why I started posting my questions about how people are approaching their problems -- in this case, related to analyzing usage data. I wanted to engage in discussion and compare contrasts people's experiences with mine in order to see if I had not considered certain issues. I feel comfortable that I got that response on this blog, but because the discussion deteriorated on Bloug and I hadn't participated in conversations with Derek in the past, I felt the need to voice my concerns.

In any case... back to work!

don't feed the animals

I think it is a huge mistake to respond directly to crazy posts. the reason Derek R doesn't trouble the usability community is they do't let him-- they don't let him post to their moderated lists nor do their blogs typically have comments features. Dont' let our strength (openness) become our weakness.

ignore all posts from anyone that seem insane or deliberately inflamatory, and respond only to those that are lucid and intended to engage real debate. eventually this problems will go away, until the next troll comes along.