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Retire "I am making the world better by" in profile statement #1659

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chadwhitacre opened this Issue Nov 11, 2013 · 35 comments

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 11, 2013

Suggested by @traverseda at #1657 (comment):

"I am making the world better by" is pointless, and gets in the way of people who know their audience better then you do. It's rigidity without any benefit.

I seem to recall @strand suggesting this a while back but I can't find a ticket about it if we had one. @strand's suggestion (iirc) was that we make it the default text when your statement is empty and you go to edit it, but that it's overrideable.


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ehmatthes Nov 11, 2013

This was my response in #1657:

I'm not so sure about this. I recently rewrote my gittip profile, and having to start out with that prompt made me think again about exactly how my work is making the world better. If someone is asking for funds on gittip, their work should be making the world better.

That said, I could see that phrase being a bit idealistic for someone who is, say, creating open games. Not everything has to be aimed directly at making the world better.

I really like this idea:

@strand's suggestion (iirc) was that we make it the default text when your statement is empty and you go to edit it, but that it's overrideable.

This was my response in #1657:

I'm not so sure about this. I recently rewrote my gittip profile, and having to start out with that prompt made me think again about exactly how my work is making the world better. If someone is asking for funds on gittip, their work should be making the world better.

That said, I could see that phrase being a bit idealistic for someone who is, say, creating open games. Not everything has to be aimed directly at making the world better.

I really like this idea:

@strand's suggestion (iirc) was that we make it the default text when your statement is empty and you go to edit it, but that it's overrideable.

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

I'd like to point out that kiberpipa, who I'd consider to have a good "statement", pretty much bypassed the "We are making the world better by" entirely.

Can we find any other examples of good statements? Do they make use of that dialog?

I'd like to point out that kiberpipa, who I'd consider to have a good "statement", pretty much bypassed the "We are making the world better by" entirely.

Can we find any other examples of good statements? Do they make use of that dialog?

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seanlinsley Nov 11, 2013

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make it the default text when your statement is empty and you go to edit it, but that it's overrideable.

Initially I when reading I was 👍, but let's look at how that changes the UI:

screen shot 2013-11-11 at 2 06 01 pm

If you make that leading text merely a suggestion, then it makes a lot less sense to have the "I am" / "We are" dropdown there.

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seanlinsley commented Nov 11, 2013

make it the default text when your statement is empty and you go to edit it, but that it's overrideable.

Initially I when reading I was 👍, but let's look at how that changes the UI:

screen shot 2013-11-11 at 2 06 01 pm

If you make that leading text merely a suggestion, then it makes a lot less sense to have the "I am" / "We are" dropdown there.

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

Then why have the dropdown?

Then why have the dropdown?

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That dropdown is what distinguishes between individuals and teams: https://www.gittip.com/about/teams/

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seanlinsley commented Nov 11, 2013

That dropdown is what distinguishes between individuals and teams: https://www.gittip.com/about/teams/

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

So make it a check box?

So make it a check box?

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ehmatthes Nov 11, 2013

Argument for keeping the opening line:

The profile page is the one place where gittip users differentiate themselves. There is a balance that we should aim for in keeping the gittip brand consistent across the site, and allowing users to express themselves. As I do read more profiles, that starting line gives a nice consistency to the profiles. I find myself curious about how each person considers there work to be making the world a better place.

It's a pretty simple prompt to answer. Maybe there could be a link right next to the profile box, that appears only when someone is editing the profile, that explains why all profiles start with that prompt. Gittip is about making the world a better place, and we might encourage people to state how they think their work is doing that. It seems to push people into a one-sentence summary of their work, kind of like the start of a good elevator pitch.

Argument for keeping the opening line:

The profile page is the one place where gittip users differentiate themselves. There is a balance that we should aim for in keeping the gittip brand consistent across the site, and allowing users to express themselves. As I do read more profiles, that starting line gives a nice consistency to the profiles. I find myself curious about how each person considers there work to be making the world a better place.

It's a pretty simple prompt to answer. Maybe there could be a link right next to the profile box, that appears only when someone is editing the profile, that explains why all profiles start with that prompt. Gittip is about making the world a better place, and we might encourage people to state how they think their work is doing that. It seems to push people into a one-sentence summary of their work, kind of like the start of a good elevator pitch.

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

Accept that for the most part a user is going to find gittip through a project they like, not the other way around.

This sounds spot-on, and totally appropriate.

The gittip brand shouldn't be a focus. Gittip is a service, and it shouldn't get in the way. Let the content creators (who know their audience better then you do) manage their own profile.

Accept that for the most part a user is going to find gittip through a project they like, not the other way around.

This sounds spot-on, and totally appropriate.

The gittip brand shouldn't be a focus. Gittip is a service, and it shouldn't get in the way. Let the content creators (who know their audience better then you do) manage their own profile.

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The gittip brand shouldn't be a focus. Gittip is a service, and it shouldn't get in the way.

Why not? Is Gittip "just" a service, in the same way that, e.g. PayPal is just a service? Why or why not?

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 11, 2013

The gittip brand shouldn't be a focus. Gittip is a service, and it shouldn't get in the way.

Why not? Is Gittip "just" a service, in the same way that, e.g. PayPal is just a service? Why or why not?

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

Paypals branding isn't a focus. It's there, but it doesn't influence how they work.

It's pretty much in the background.

To put it another way, what are the advantages of aggressive branding?

Paypals branding isn't a focus. It's there, but it doesn't influence how they work.

It's pretty much in the background.

To put it another way, what are the advantages of aggressive branding?

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Paypals branding isn't a focus. It's there, but it doesn't influence how they work.

It's pretty much in the background.

Right, so is Gittip a service like PayPal? PayPal's mission is to "create a better shopping experience from start to finish, no matter what’s being bought, how it’s being paid for, or where it’s being sold." Gittip's mission is to redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love.

How does retiring the "I am making the world better by ..." prompt further Gittip's mission?

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 11, 2013

Paypals branding isn't a focus. It's there, but it doesn't influence how they work.

It's pretty much in the background.

Right, so is Gittip a service like PayPal? PayPal's mission is to "create a better shopping experience from start to finish, no matter what’s being bought, how it’s being paid for, or where it’s being sold." Gittip's mission is to redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love.

How does retiring the "I am making the world better by ..." prompt further Gittip's mission?

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

Here's some specific reasoning behind this change.

The short answer is that it will get your more users, both patrons and producers. Your users are going to find gittip through projects they already like and support. Giving those projects the ability to present themselves how they want is important, they know their supporters better then you.

Saying "I am making the world better by ..." is kitchy. It's a very particular voice that will work on a very particular type of users. Mostly users who are already invested in making the world better and who don't think unabashed optimism lowers their social status.

Sadly cynicism socially signals world-weary sophistication, or sage maturity. It's stupid, but that's the way the world works. Letting me/anyone target cynical users better is important for marketing.

Obviously getting more users lets you expose more users to the appropriate memeplexes. You can't redeem the economy unless you have enough power to actually affect the economy. You should be aiming no lower then world domination.

No one can be an expert on everything, which is why it's important to get out of the way and make it easy for people experiment and try new things. Every time you limit someones freedom to experiment you need to ask yourself "is it worth the cost"?


This is me trying to address what I think is an issue with your/opensources general methodology. It can be safely ignored.

I'm very ideological. Any code I produce is probably going to be licensed under the AGPL. I've spent the last couple of months working on making a libre object repository for 3D printing because I see closed source winning digital manufacturing if we're not careful.

The same thing that happened to the personal computer is happening to 3D printing. We need to do better if we're going to start actually winning the war.

Open source should win. We should be winning across the board, it's a genuinely better way of doing things.

So why aren't we?

Because we put ideology ahead of actually getting shit done. We're forever hunting the ideal, not willing to compromise and plot.

If you stop pushing the ideal and compromise a bit you'll get a lot more market share. Sure, the ideal will be diluted, but there will be a lot more people exposed to it.

If you want to "redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love", you first need to become powerful enough to actually affect the economy.

That means not always trying for the global maxima solution. Go for solutions that average users are familiar with. Go for solutions that are flexible, because you can't predict how users are going to want to use your product.

Don't try to fit the economy into your ideals right out of the door, instead plot and plan and gradually shift the economy over time.

Most importantly, be attractive to the average user. Right now you're preaching to the choir.

We need to start winning more battles. If we're not winning we're doing something wrong.

Here's some specific reasoning behind this change.

The short answer is that it will get your more users, both patrons and producers. Your users are going to find gittip through projects they already like and support. Giving those projects the ability to present themselves how they want is important, they know their supporters better then you.

Saying "I am making the world better by ..." is kitchy. It's a very particular voice that will work on a very particular type of users. Mostly users who are already invested in making the world better and who don't think unabashed optimism lowers their social status.

Sadly cynicism socially signals world-weary sophistication, or sage maturity. It's stupid, but that's the way the world works. Letting me/anyone target cynical users better is important for marketing.

Obviously getting more users lets you expose more users to the appropriate memeplexes. You can't redeem the economy unless you have enough power to actually affect the economy. You should be aiming no lower then world domination.

No one can be an expert on everything, which is why it's important to get out of the way and make it easy for people experiment and try new things. Every time you limit someones freedom to experiment you need to ask yourself "is it worth the cost"?


This is me trying to address what I think is an issue with your/opensources general methodology. It can be safely ignored.

I'm very ideological. Any code I produce is probably going to be licensed under the AGPL. I've spent the last couple of months working on making a libre object repository for 3D printing because I see closed source winning digital manufacturing if we're not careful.

The same thing that happened to the personal computer is happening to 3D printing. We need to do better if we're going to start actually winning the war.

Open source should win. We should be winning across the board, it's a genuinely better way of doing things.

So why aren't we?

Because we put ideology ahead of actually getting shit done. We're forever hunting the ideal, not willing to compromise and plot.

If you stop pushing the ideal and compromise a bit you'll get a lot more market share. Sure, the ideal will be diluted, but there will be a lot more people exposed to it.

If you want to "redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love", you first need to become powerful enough to actually affect the economy.

That means not always trying for the global maxima solution. Go for solutions that average users are familiar with. Go for solutions that are flexible, because you can't predict how users are going to want to use your product.

Don't try to fit the economy into your ideals right out of the door, instead plot and plan and gradually shift the economy over time.

Most importantly, be attractive to the average user. Right now you're preaching to the choir.

We need to start winning more battles. If we're not winning we're doing something wrong.

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chadwhitacre Nov 11, 2013

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I would be more inclined to take your words to heart if it weren't for this:

screen shot 2013-11-11 at 5 49 41 pm

What that shows is that Gittip has doubled twice so far this year, and may very well double again before the year is out. We're growing exponentially.

Yes, Gittip has a particular voice, and "unabashed optimism" is a great way to describe it. If we weren't growing exponentially, then it might make sense to ask hard questions like, should we compromise on optimism in order to get more users? But given that we are growing exponentially, I think the better question is, how can we be more optimistic?

Gittip has about 2,000 weekly active users. There are many more unabashed optimists out there, and if we get them all on Gittip, I daresay we'll be in an interesting position to plan and plot our next move. :-)

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 11, 2013

I would be more inclined to take your words to heart if it weren't for this:

screen shot 2013-11-11 at 5 49 41 pm

What that shows is that Gittip has doubled twice so far this year, and may very well double again before the year is out. We're growing exponentially.

Yes, Gittip has a particular voice, and "unabashed optimism" is a great way to describe it. If we weren't growing exponentially, then it might make sense to ask hard questions like, should we compromise on optimism in order to get more users? But given that we are growing exponentially, I think the better question is, how can we be more optimistic?

Gittip has about 2,000 weekly active users. There are many more unabashed optimists out there, and if we get them all on Gittip, I daresay we'll be in an interesting position to plan and plot our next move. :-)

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traverseda Nov 11, 2013

I'd love to use gittip. I support what you're trying to do with the economy, and I support how open you are about business communication and finances. I want you to win.

should we compromise on optimism in order to get more users?

No. Not on optimism. Only on enforcing that optimistic voice on all of your content creators. The question is, am I going to be using my projects voice when I write my profile, or the voice you've chosen?

I'm one of the moderators of /r/3Dprinting and I know my target audience pretty well. I don't think I could sell them on gittip right now. Of course I'll include it as an option, but it's not going to be what I'm pushing. Since I don't have any users that shouldn't weigh too heavy on you ;p

So what do you lose by removing "I am making the world better by"?

I'd love to use gittip. I support what you're trying to do with the economy, and I support how open you are about business communication and finances. I want you to win.

should we compromise on optimism in order to get more users?

No. Not on optimism. Only on enforcing that optimistic voice on all of your content creators. The question is, am I going to be using my projects voice when I write my profile, or the voice you've chosen?

I'm one of the moderators of /r/3Dprinting and I know my target audience pretty well. I don't think I could sell them on gittip right now. Of course I'll include it as an option, but it's not going to be what I'm pushing. Since I don't have any users that shouldn't weigh too heavy on you ;p

So what do you lose by removing "I am making the world better by"?

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chadwhitacre Nov 12, 2013

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So what do you lose by removing "I am making the world better by"?

Good question. :-)

We lose something of the unique character of Gittip as a community of "unabashed optimism," as @ehmatthes alludes to above at #1659 (comment). Of course, you're saying we should lose that, for the sake of broadening our appeal. You may be right, though I don't think the time is right to make that our top priority (we've still got significant house-cleaning to do).

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 12, 2013

So what do you lose by removing "I am making the world better by"?

Good question. :-)

We lose something of the unique character of Gittip as a community of "unabashed optimism," as @ehmatthes alludes to above at #1659 (comment). Of course, you're saying we should lose that, for the sake of broadening our appeal. You may be right, though I don't think the time is right to make that our top priority (we've still got significant house-cleaning to do).

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traverseda Nov 12, 2013

Are we in agreement that for the most part a user is going to find gittip through a project they like, not the other way around?

"redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love" Doesn't require you to involve everyone in your community.

You're trying to build a single community; but your goals would be better served if you were a platform where projects could build their own community.

Are we in agreement that for the most part a user is going to find gittip through a project they like, not the other way around?

"redeem the economy so that it's characterized by trust and love" Doesn't require you to involve everyone in your community.

You're trying to build a single community; but your goals would be better served if you were a platform where projects could build their own community.

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chadwhitacre Nov 12, 2013

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You're trying to build a single community; but your goals would be better served if you were a platform where projects could build their own community.

That's an oversimplification. We added the "Communities" feature precisely to give each community their own identity on Gittip:

http://blog.gittip.com/post/50359120414/introducing-communities

As limited as it is, Communities has been a really successful feature; we're actually working on a blog post about it (#1358).

No. Not on optimism. Only on enforcing that optimistic voice on all of your content creators. The question is, am I going to be using my projects voice when I write my profile, or the voice you've chosen?

I think you're right. I'm generally +1 on this ticket.

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chadwhitacre commented Nov 12, 2013

You're trying to build a single community; but your goals would be better served if you were a platform where projects could build their own community.

That's an oversimplification. We added the "Communities" feature precisely to give each community their own identity on Gittip:

http://blog.gittip.com/post/50359120414/introducing-communities

As limited as it is, Communities has been a really successful feature; we're actually working on a blog post about it (#1358).

No. Not on optimism. Only on enforcing that optimistic voice on all of your content creators. The question is, am I going to be using my projects voice when I write my profile, or the voice you've chosen?

I think you're right. I'm generally +1 on this ticket.

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traverseda Nov 12, 2013

Glad to hear it.

You're in a very nice situation, because content creators are going to be doing your marketing for you. We just need to make sure their job is as easy as it can be.

Once your content creator has introduced a user to the site, we can gradually introduce patrons to the rest of it.

Glad to hear it.

You're in a very nice situation, because content creators are going to be doing your marketing for you. We just need to make sure their job is as easy as it can be.

Once your content creator has introduced a user to the site, we can gradually introduce patrons to the rest of it.

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tshepang Nov 14, 2013

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Am glad you are +1 @whit537; would be kool if it was also a default option, even if optional.

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tshepang commented Nov 14, 2013

Am glad you are +1 @whit537; would be kool if it was also a default option, even if optional.

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@tshepang I wasn't suggesting an implementation, I was pointing out that it displaces the we/I dropdown so we need to think of a better place to put it.

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seanlinsley commented Nov 14, 2013

@tshepang I wasn't suggesting an implementation, I was pointing out that it displaces the we/I dropdown so we need to think of a better place to put it.

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Sorry, I actually removed the link to your Comment part after re-reading it. Sorry for the noise.

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tshepang commented Nov 14, 2013

Sorry, I actually removed the link to your Comment part after re-reading it. Sorry for the noise.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 8, 2013

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I personally prefer the current leading phrase, but I think it can offend the sensibilities of particularly modest/humble users. The "overridability" suggestion seems the right direction.

Sidenote: @whit537 For discoverability of this thread, can we retitle it to something like this:

retire "I am making the world better by" in profile statement

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patcon commented Dec 8, 2013

I personally prefer the current leading phrase, but I think it can offend the sensibilities of particularly modest/humble users. The "overridability" suggestion seems the right direction.

Sidenote: @whit537 For discoverability of this thread, can we retitle it to something like this:

retire "I am making the world better by" in profile statement

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@patcon updated the title 🐱

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seanlinsley commented Dec 8, 2013

@patcon updated the title 🐱

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Iinm, @zwn was -1 on this at the retreat. Something like, "Many people are unable to answer the prompt. That's the point."

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 16, 2014

Iinm, @zwn was -1 on this at the retreat. Something like, "Many people are unable to answer the prompt. That's the point."

@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre referenced this issue in gratipay/inside.gratipay.com Feb 18, 2014

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Clearly document audience #7

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After sitting with this for a while, I've decided to close as wontfix. We recently got a brief mention in a New Yorker blog, and the author called us "sweetly idealistic." This is an important part of Gittip's identity, and now is not the time to think about toning it down, because we're still growing exponentially. However, I am linking to this ticket from our Brand Guidelines. :-)

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chadwhitacre commented Feb 26, 2014

After sitting with this for a while, I've decided to close as wontfix. We recently got a brief mention in a New Yorker blog, and the author called us "sweetly idealistic." This is an important part of Gittip's identity, and now is not the time to think about toning it down, because we're still growing exponentially. However, I am linking to this ticket from our Brand Guidelines. :-)

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@whit537 You accurately summarized my opinion. Thank you for taking my viewpoint into account in filing (and the closing 😝 ) this issue.

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strand commented Mar 1, 2014

@whit537 You accurately summarized my opinion. Thank you for taking my viewpoint into account in filing (and the closing 😝 ) this issue.

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+1 on Twitter.

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chadwhitacre commented Mar 1, 2014

+1 on Twitter.

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colons Jul 24, 2014

You are forcing people to write the second half of a sentence that opens in a voice they would never use while no indication that this has been done is made to the reader. This means that the only way to reassure people familiar with your voice that this is actually you talking is to subvert it, which makes everyone look bad.

One solution would be to phrase the prompt as a complete question; ‘How are you are making the world better?’, and using that question as some kind of framing device for the statement as a whole. This way, the user must actually answer the question but does not have to appear to the reader to be using language or style they find distasteful.

I don't think having the team/individual choice be a checkbox is a great deal of overhead, and not relying on the specifics of a particular English pluralism to determine the nature of an account seems like good practice anyway.

colons commented Jul 24, 2014

You are forcing people to write the second half of a sentence that opens in a voice they would never use while no indication that this has been done is made to the reader. This means that the only way to reassure people familiar with your voice that this is actually you talking is to subvert it, which makes everyone look bad.

One solution would be to phrase the prompt as a complete question; ‘How are you are making the world better?’, and using that question as some kind of framing device for the statement as a whole. This way, the user must actually answer the question but does not have to appear to the reader to be using language or style they find distasteful.

I don't think having the team/individual choice be a checkbox is a great deal of overhead, and not relying on the specifics of a particular English pluralism to determine the nature of an account seems like good practice anyway.

@seanlinsley seanlinsley reopened this Jul 24, 2014

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It complicates the UI, but I still think it'd be good not to force "I am making the world better by" on everyone. We should instead make it a suggestion; a place to start.

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seanlinsley commented Jul 24, 2014

It complicates the UI, but I still think it'd be good not to force "I am making the world better by" on everyone. We should instead make it a suggestion; a place to start.

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traverseda Jul 24, 2014

I've seen a lot of different projects trying to overhaul all the brokenness that is modern capitalism.

It's captured value vs created value. In capitalism, it doesn't matter how much value you create across your entire society. Just how much value you manage to capture.

The most relevant examples of captured vs created value are probably health care and student loans. An educated populace increases utility across society as a whole, but universities have no way of capturing any of the value they create. We use student loans as a sort of shim, but it still completely decouples value creation from receiving value. Instead favoring schools that can attract large numbers of students and operate cheaply.

The point is, this is one of the projects that I think has real potential. It's like fluid democracy, as applied to economic systems. And it doesn't require any complete overhauls like many of the alternatives.

So you'll have to excuse any of my bitching. I just want this to be the best it could be, and part of that is really buckling down to work on the user experience. Making it an attractive product/lifestyle. I'm not really qualified to do that, god knows I have no idea what the average person will find attractive in something like this, but there are some really obvious mistakes that can be dealt with. I think this is one of them.

Start by making it accessible, and trust your users and your culture. Don't put up walls that say you're only welcome if you're already a free culture person. Gradually draw people in, and then introduce them to free culture. Mostly try to get people who are already on the edge by building an awesome community and trusting it.

I've seen a lot of different projects trying to overhaul all the brokenness that is modern capitalism.

It's captured value vs created value. In capitalism, it doesn't matter how much value you create across your entire society. Just how much value you manage to capture.

The most relevant examples of captured vs created value are probably health care and student loans. An educated populace increases utility across society as a whole, but universities have no way of capturing any of the value they create. We use student loans as a sort of shim, but it still completely decouples value creation from receiving value. Instead favoring schools that can attract large numbers of students and operate cheaply.

The point is, this is one of the projects that I think has real potential. It's like fluid democracy, as applied to economic systems. And it doesn't require any complete overhauls like many of the alternatives.

So you'll have to excuse any of my bitching. I just want this to be the best it could be, and part of that is really buckling down to work on the user experience. Making it an attractive product/lifestyle. I'm not really qualified to do that, god knows I have no idea what the average person will find attractive in something like this, but there are some really obvious mistakes that can be dealt with. I think this is one of them.

Start by making it accessible, and trust your users and your culture. Don't put up walls that say you're only welcome if you're already a free culture person. Gradually draw people in, and then introduce them to free culture. Mostly try to get people who are already on the edge by building an awesome community and trusting it.

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This means that the only way to reassure people familiar with your voice that this is actually you talking is to subvert it, which makes everyone look bad.

The Prompt(!) is a rorschach. There is no "right way" to fill in the blank. Rather, The Prompt is intended to provoke a response that can then function as a second rorschach for profile readers. One's response to The Prompt is supposed to give readers a quick, information-dense first impression of one's identity—both readers already familiar with your voice, and people learning about you for the first time.

I would argue that The Prompt is precisely fulfilling its function in @matildah's case:

I am making the world better by pointing out that gittip inserts the string "I am making the world better by " before any text I insert into this box, I didn't put it there!

This is great! First of all, it's actually helpful, because yes: we don't indicate on any given profile that the beginning of the statement is constrained. That only becomes apparent when you've seen a few Gittip profiles, or sign up yourself. It's part of the baseline culture of the site, and culture involves initiation. So on the one hand, @matildah is doing Gittip a service by pointing out what's really going on. I don't think she's making Gittip look bad.

Second, @matildah's way of handling The Prompt sends lots of signals to her own audience about who she is. Certainly in @matildah's case, her work in security, anonymity, and crypto is consonant with the mildly anti-authoritarian inflection of her response to The Prompt. I would expect that her response to The Prompt instantly identifies this as "the real @matildah" to anyone who knows her, and makes her look good in the eyes of anyone whose opinion she would actually care about.

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 24, 2014

This means that the only way to reassure people familiar with your voice that this is actually you talking is to subvert it, which makes everyone look bad.

The Prompt(!) is a rorschach. There is no "right way" to fill in the blank. Rather, The Prompt is intended to provoke a response that can then function as a second rorschach for profile readers. One's response to The Prompt is supposed to give readers a quick, information-dense first impression of one's identity—both readers already familiar with your voice, and people learning about you for the first time.

I would argue that The Prompt is precisely fulfilling its function in @matildah's case:

I am making the world better by pointing out that gittip inserts the string "I am making the world better by " before any text I insert into this box, I didn't put it there!

This is great! First of all, it's actually helpful, because yes: we don't indicate on any given profile that the beginning of the statement is constrained. That only becomes apparent when you've seen a few Gittip profiles, or sign up yourself. It's part of the baseline culture of the site, and culture involves initiation. So on the one hand, @matildah is doing Gittip a service by pointing out what's really going on. I don't think she's making Gittip look bad.

Second, @matildah's way of handling The Prompt sends lots of signals to her own audience about who she is. Certainly in @matildah's case, her work in security, anonymity, and crypto is consonant with the mildly anti-authoritarian inflection of her response to The Prompt. I would expect that her response to The Prompt instantly identifies this as "the real @matildah" to anyone who knows her, and makes her look good in the eyes of anyone whose opinion she would actually care about.

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@matildah I'm curious to hear your take. Do you think we should drop The Prompt? Or are you okay with the way it's functioning?

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chadwhitacre commented Jul 24, 2014

@matildah I'm curious to hear your take. Do you think we should drop The Prompt? Or are you okay with the way it's functioning?

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The Prompt is supposed to give readers a quick, information-dense first impression of one's identity--both readers already familiar with your voice, and people learning about you for the first time.

In the past I've suggested that we have two separate text boxes; one (possibly length-constrained) with the leading question 'what are you doing to make the world a better place?', the other a unlimited-length box where they could go into detail. This would give us something to use in the leaderboard UI, while still giving people a sense of control of what goes on their profile.

Edit: here's an example:
screen shot 2014-07-24 at 9 07 14 am

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seanlinsley commented Jul 24, 2014

The Prompt is supposed to give readers a quick, information-dense first impression of one's identity--both readers already familiar with your voice, and people learning about you for the first time.

In the past I've suggested that we have two separate text boxes; one (possibly length-constrained) with the leading question 'what are you doing to make the world a better place?', the other a unlimited-length box where they could go into detail. This would give us something to use in the leaderboard UI, while still giving people a sense of control of what goes on their profile.

Edit: here's an example:
screen shot 2014-07-24 at 9 07 14 am

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tshepang commented Jul 24, 2014

@Changaco Changaco self-assigned this Oct 30, 2014

@clone1018 clone1018 closed this in #3010 Dec 26, 2014

@chadwhitacre chadwhitacre referenced this issue in gratipay/inside.gratipay.com Dec 10, 2015

Merged

rework Brand page around Ladder of Love #431

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