I continue to be amused by folks’ reactions to the Games this year.
There’s been some buzz on Twitter this morning from folks who feel some of their comments – and the corresponding low scores – aren’t warranted. In a couple of cases I’ve looked at, they’re right – their entries are being downrated for reasons that are actually not best practices; by following the best practices, these entries are getting lower scores.
This reinforces a point I keep trying to make: The Games aren’t about YOU. They’re about US.
Let me put it another way: if you’re getting comments from folks whose opinions are founded in a misunderstanding or misconception, that’s an opportunity to educate. Not to attack that commenter – which is why commenter names aren’t shown – but to educate the community in general. The community took the time to give you comments, and although some of them might be misguided, you can take the time to offer a productive counterpoint and perhaps lay some misunderstandings to rest.
That’s the point of the Games: to learn. Maybe not for you to learn, but maybe for you to help someone else learn. Or to put it another way, I haven’t received Microsoft’s MVP Award for ten years straight because I got a good “score” on something. I got it because I look for teachable moments and try to offer explanations. Being able to teach something shows that you really know it.
Think of your Games entries as a honeypot. If you can attract some folks who don’t quite get what you’re doing, then through the comments you’ll spot broad areas of educational opportunity, or what I call “teachable moments.” Seize on those and help bring the community as a whole to a higher level.
Does that mean the educational opportunity has to come at the cost of you getting a lower score? Yup. Will that score in any other way impact your life? Nope. It’s not going on your permanent record. Human Resources will never know. It won’t affect your salary, or your ability to choose which movie you will see this weekend (Iron Man 3, BTW). Thicken up that skin a little – every vote isn’t a personal attack on you. Every “unqualified” comment is not a stain upon your honor.
I really wish I could use some of the cooler interjections from Spartacus here, but none of that stuff is suitable for a professional environment :(.
In short: Cool yer jets. Take the opportunity to educate. Not on Twitter. Man, you guys with the tweets. You don’t have a blog, drop me an e-mail and I’ll give you authoring permissions right here on PowerShell.org. Help us, as a community, educate each other.
And hey, remember not ALL of your comments are non-constructive. Learn from the ones you can, tune out the rest. Like watching CNN. Ever notice how, on a slow news day, the talk about Atlanta’s traffic? Exactly.