Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hippie Poet Geeks

We're thinking about using The Carrot Project to push a small-scale linguistic revolution.

We don't like the clunkiness of asking our users what they think a company could do to become more socially and environmentally responsible. Too many words. Too dry. Too meaninglessly professional. Too little metaphor.

So we're wondering if people might take to calling the most responsible, most worldchanging, most sustainable, most humane, most transparent, most innovative, greenest companies crunchy. And we're wondering if we can facilitate that with constant links to a crunchiness explanation page.

I just took my first stab at an explanation.

Imagine you see the word crunchy somewhere on the site. You're confused. But fear not: the word is hyperlinked. And you click. And you get this...

Carl told me he didn't like "socially and environmentally responsible." He said it was long or boring or something.

I mean I don't even believe in boring.

But he's my lead developer, and I love him, and, without him, I might die, so I kept my statistically outlying beliefs to myself and listened.

He said he wanted me to come up with a brilliantly unboring alternative. A word that communicates all the loveliness of "socially and environmentally responsible" but gives it a little spice. Spice and flavor and crunch.

And there it was.

Crunchy. Like a hippie. Or a carrot.

And I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one that said it. I think it was Eric, who was on the three way conf call and giggling in the background at the ridiculousness of our earnestness. Little did he know.

And so what if we wish we were hippie poet geeks. I think that's a totally reasonable life aspiration.

Posted by email from Radical Transparency (posterous)