Thursday, July 3, 2008

One Last Thought

This is part three in an accidental three part series. In theory, it sums things up. In theory. Here are links to part one and part two.

Not my clearest or most focused writing last night. More thinking and exploring than actual communication. But it was good for me. It led me to something reasonably concise (though something that does, I admit, diverge considerably from the original Qui Diaz thought about teaching the need):

It's important that I don't fall too deeply in love with the site I'm building. Qui is right: it's not about the tool. Getting something built and built well is important, but the first tool need be nothing but the means to build the next tool.

I've done a lot of thinking about the need what tools might be able to fill it, but my ideas were born in relative isolation. And, because of that, it's highly unlikely that they're anything close to optimal. They are, however, a place to start, a conversation point, a foundation on which to consider building.

And starting that conversation is essential: enlisting a group of people, getting them excited to participate, and listening: offering them real influence. The ideas created by that group, as they explore the need and the preliminary tool, are ideas that will push us closer to a real tool, a tool that should both serve the need and educate about it.

So we have a plan. In the current build, we're focusing on simplicity and feedback sharing. When the build provides a usable site, we'll add non-technical focus on engaging a small but committed community. We'll do our best to empower those users, offer them constant opportunities to contribute complaints and suggestions. And we'll design on from there, go where the community takes us.

And how does this fit in with horses and carts? Probably not much at all. I went overboard on that one. And, besides, more metaphor at this point would probably just muddle things further. They did serve a purpose, though, those horses and carts. They gave me another perspective from which to look at the problem, and, by doing that, they helped me arrive at this little post, one I hope is a clarification.


Qui Diaz said...

Hey Jake! That's a big "little post"! Glad some of my own babbling lead to a productive ripple. Good luck!

Jake de Grazia said...

A productive ripple in my mind at least. An important and timely reminder. Not sure I was able to communicate it properly (let the waves flow through the skull and out into writing), but the babbling was helpful either way. Thanks for throwing the pebble, and thanks for the well-wishing.