Friday, March 30, 2007

Kathy Sierra

Once upon a time I met Kathy Sierra at a weird mini-conference at my former employer. I really enjoyed her talk, and I have followed her blog since then. I am amazed at 2 traits of her blog (ones I wish I had), first is great graphic design. Stock photos and tablet drawings of pie charts never looked so good! Secondly, every post is part of a excellent narrative and is argued well. Representing no doubt years of research.

Of course by now you have probably heard of the whole death threat bit. I really didn't know what to think when I saw it, but I certainly did not want to write a blog post using the world 'but'.

I don't think anyone can really know what Kathy is feeling. Having met her, and knowing she is on the straight and level, I am inclined to believe her. I do think that contributions indicating that people should "toughen up" really don't help much. Especially when coming from a position of privileged and protection.

Those are easy to dismiss - however what is harder to dismiss is the use of the word 'but'. I really don't like this word, and to illustrate why, I will do an example:

"I support your cause, but I am concerned that ..."

Now lets replace the but with it's true meaning:
"I support your cause, but ignore everything before but, since what follows are my true feelings, I am concerned that...

This is my own cognitive search-and-replace, your mileage may vary, results aren't guaranteed, etc, etc.

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