Seth Godin posted an article called “The Noise“:
If you looked at web activity, you could rightfully assume that the web consists largely of porn, gossip, Britney Spears searches, trolls, trivia, anger, complaints, flirting and self-absorption.
What I’m encouraging you to do is to constantly readjust your balance. Figure out the difference between early warnings and selfish noise. Figure out what’s loud merely because it’s angry and personal, and what’s loud because it’s important.
And most of all, get straight on who you are trying to please, and why.
This post instantly reminded me of a session I attended at the Web 2.0 conference in 2006. It was a talk from a guy who was a community lead at Firefox and his point was that Firefox is (and has to be) very tuned into the community and what they say and think…but that doesn’t mean they try and do every thing they say.
Firefox said they have some guidelines – but first, they determine a direction and state it publicly. Then, filter community input based on this direction. Meaning, as Seth pointed out, “get straight who you are trying to please and why”
I think what is important about that – is every bit of feedback doesn’t result in an “all hands on deck” change in direction. It’s first know which direction we’re headed – then judging the motive of the comment/suggestion, then applying that comment/suggestion to the plan.
I think that is what is causing me angst at work now – we seem to be reacting to each and ever comment, but nobody seems to care which direction we are heading…so we make decisions based on the comment, which causes a bit of a medusa effect – we look like a hair full of snakes, I hope we can fix it before we turn to stone.