[unrev-II] Re: OHS background, ... Digest Number 27

From: Dick Karpinski (dick@cfcl.com)
Date: Mon Feb 07 2000 - 23:09:43 PST


From: Dick Karpinski <dick@cfcl.com>

This has a reference to a very nice web page at
<http://www.bootstrap.org/alliance-980.htm>
but watch where I go with it.

I think we should try to make things better, especially if it matters.

Most web pages have some flaws which are easily correctable. As an
inveterate nitpicker, I persist in showing my respect for such pages
by feeding back by email. Often the first thing I say is how hard it
was to offer my feedback. This page follows that rule in spades. I had
to search my archives of this list to find what to reply to and use a
different network connection and program to do that. Pretty remote.

What could make that process easier?

The best I know of is to use a Feedback button on the bottom of each
page and possibly other places as well. Sometimes such a button leads
to a feedback form which collects specific suggested or required data.
I often find those quite distracting since loading the new page can
take a long time and give me too many chances to forget what I wanted
to say. Asking for routine demographic data before you give me the
comment box annoys me for the same reasons.

Now that most folks know about email, I prefer to have the Feedback
button be a mailto:webmaster@site.tla?Subject=page-id-info. Not only
does this incur no delay for a new page download, but I get to say
what I wanted to say right away, with no other distractions. I don't
even have to remember and copy the page id.

How can the webmaster deal with the flood?

Fortunately, many email applications allow for semi-automatic sorting
by things in the Subject: line. It would be easy to extend this to
automatically store the email on a page of unexamined comments linked
from the page in the Subject: line. These pages can then be hidden
behind any kind of authentication or authorization or viewing
preference that you feel necessary. As the email is used to revise
the page or edited to form a new page or simply accepted by some
topic maven, those status changes can be represented by marks left by
editors of feedback messages.

It still takes human attention to generate useful feedback, and also
to review it and make use of it. But these are wonderful things to
seek volunteer assistance for classifying and responding to with
explicit proposed changes. The tasks are separable and fairly small.
When volunteers have shown themselves to be useful, you can extend
their individual responsibilities at will. And withdraw them when
that seems wise. And you never have to give one up because of some
fiscal happenstance; it's a nice feature of volunteerism.

All that from a minor annoyance at not finding a Feedback button;
it's best not to make me really angry ... no one knows where that
might lead.

Dick Karpinski dick@cfcl.com The world's largest leprechaun.

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