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“Strong Opinions”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 11:26:49 AM Replies: 1
Enclosures: None.

I'm writing a tutorial for integrating Weblog II into a Conversant site. (The amount of writing I've been doing is the main reason this site has been so quiet.)

The Weblog II beta testers have been reviewing and critiquing pages/chapters of the tutorial as I deliver them. Last night, someone posted a rather "strong" opinion about one aspect of the tutorial. He said that to presume that the reader knows the basics -- like what a URL is -- turns the tutorial into a worthless piece of junk.


A couple of people instantly leapt to my defense, but here's a lightly-edited version (names remove) of my response to those defenses:

Strong words don't hurt me (much). In the long run, strongly-held opinions are what I need to help me turn this tutorial, and this software, into something exceptionally useful.

Let me explain: [this person] feels very strongly that I should be explaining everything, even the basics of the internet. I feel very strongly that I should be focusing on Weblog II and Conversant. Without a strongly held opposing viewpoint, I would do only and exactly what I think is needed. Now that I can take this other viewpoint into consideration, I'm willing to compromise by providing external links that explain the internet basics, where appropriate.

I don't plan for this tutorial to spend much time on the truly adavnced uses of Weblog II or Conversant, either. Again, though, if someone pushes really hard in that direction, it's bound to change my direction at least a little bit.

Having said that, I have to admit that "worthless piece of junk" stung a little, at first.

(Note: I post this not to reveal the inner workings of a private beta list, but because it shows my acceptance of strong debate at face-value. It's important to quickly move past the rhetoric and hear the intent of the message.)

Discussion Thread:
  • Re: Strong Opinions (by Bill Kearney at 8/21/2003)

    > It's important to quickly move past the rhetoric and hear > the intent of the message.) +1. Constructive


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