“What do you do?” is a question humans often hear. It’s a new acquaintance’s favorite ice breaker because it’s socially acceptable, easy to answer, and easy to process. Doctor. Carpenter. Businessman. Homemaker. Forget and move on.
Problem is, we are so much more than our occupation, even workaholics (although they might not realize it if wholly absorbed by their trade). The better question to ask when meeting new people is this: “What do you like to do?” Asking that will give you a truer glimpse of who someone is, because what we think about and do under no obligation is a better indicator of who we really are.
I couldn’t have said this better myself, so I won’t:
- Make the user interface simple.
- Don’t emphasize “community” unless you really know what you’re doing. Most users don’t want to join a community; they want to accomplish a task. Focus on the tasks.
- Watch your users for inspiration. People won’t use the tools you provide in the way you expect. Build on their innovation.—Daniel Harrison
Every so often, when my technology gets out of hand, I trim fat to reduce unwanted noise — to simplify my life.
Last year, I put my RSS reader on a diet, going from over 400 subscriptions to just 67 (I’m down to 46 currently). This year I’m cutting two “unsociable” networks from my geek intake: LinkedIn, the high school year book of web professionals, and My Space, the new Hotmail of social networks.
LinkedIn is stale, lifeless, and has yielded zero fruit for me personally since first joining in 2004. So I’ve begun the archaic process of deleting my 90 connection account via email, as opposed to a simple button click and confirmation (I told you they were stale). I’ve heard the removal turnaround can take weeks. I’ll update if and when it happens.
Additionally, I’m deleting my unused My Space account after less than a year of membership. Sure it let me connect with old high school buddies, but the site is trashy and far inferior to Facebook.
So long, suckers.