May 11, 2007 at 8:04 pm #26956detn8rParticipant
Doug Crets from CNet had a little something on his mind that I found very entertaining to read. Feel free to comment on what you think afterwards.I have had to mend my ways. It appears that people take the little blurb feature on MSN very seriously and that I do not take it seriously enough.
The same is true for the blurb feature on Gmail chat. I am talking about the little message you can put on your messenger interface that broadcasts to whomever might be reading something that you are thinking, doing, planning on doing, etc.
But I have always looked at this feature ruefully. You are, after all, using a messenger service. If there was something you really had to tell someone, you would tell them directly in a chat window. No. Others, I have noticed, like to broadcast their entire personal feelings in this little line, which I think defeats the purpose of having the messenger service.
So, are you a broadcaster or a sarcaster?
I am a sarcaster, or at least, I don’t put messages up there that are meant to be taken as word-for-word truth.
Case in point:
A week before I went to Japan, I typed “JAPAN” in my Gmail chat window, broadcasting to everyone the idea that Japan was on my mind. Wrong. I was woefully misinterpreted. Suddenly, five or six messages popped up. All of them asking: “Are you in Japan? Why are you in Japan? What are you doing in Japan?” My initial expression of excitement about going to Japan was thwarted as I typed out to five or six different people that , no, I was not in Japan. Actually, I am going next week. I have a friend in Japan. I want to visit my friend and see Kyoto.
One chat friend exposed me for being a liar. She was upset that I was not specific enough. “You shouldn’t say Japan if you are not in Japan. It’s misleading,” she said. I apologized.
I will learn to be more exact in my expression of inconsequential things.
But this is my bone to pick with the service. Who really cares what you say on that interface? It is not well-described what the service does for us. Is it a forum for airing private grievances in a broadcasted manner, as another chat friend recently revealed?
I was talking to someone on MSN Messenger, and her message changed from something tactfully sacchrine, like “ahhh puppies”, to a tawdry and vehement “This is such f******* b****s***!”
Taken aback, I wrote in alarm: “What are you talking about?” I thought that I had been the offender in this case. No, it turned out that she was having an “argument” with her other friend. So, she thought she would let everyone else know.
An interface that does not allow for meaningful context? Or improper use of the language? Writers who cannot convey meaning well enough? I suggest that the blurb service on the messengers be reduced, recycled and reused in another form.
Okay, that’s all for today. I just got back from Japan, so I have a dozen or so blurbs to post on my messenger service, without context, without any attempt at clarification.
I think I’ll start with “cocaine”.May 11, 2007 at 10:07 pm #161061Jeff HesterKeymaster
That was pretty hilarious, but more that a flaw in the interface, I think it just shows that a lot of the CNET “experts” are noobs when it comes to how people today actually use technology.
True, Microsoft doesn’t hold your hand and tell you what is or isn’t appropriate to use your personal message for. But a little common sense is in order. Should anyone really be expected to understand that Crets’ “JAPAN” message meant that he would be travelling to Japan next week!?
A better message would’ve been “Travelling to Japan next week.” Duh.
I wish these so-callled experts would take a liberal dose of common sense, suck up their pride and take responsibility for their own poor communication skills rather than blaming the software.
Maybe they’re just out of touch?May 15, 2007 at 3:11 am #161062DavidParticipant
Out of touch sounds right. But common sense is still lacking.
Even if the text had said “I’m currently thinking about: Japan”–you’d get the same questions! Are you flying to Japan tomorrow, have a new friend there? It’d be the same thing as me walking up to you and just saying “JAPAN!,” it’s not clear and it never will be. One word won’t describe the action no matter what context its placed in. I don’t like CNet much these days..May 18, 2007 at 3:18 am #161064MasaMember
That’s hilarious. Crets is notorious in Hong Kong for his lack of communication skills. This is completely in character.May 31, 2008 at 2:13 am #161065Wyr3dMember~laughs~
I dunno how it works on G-Mail or whatever; but on MSN they cut the shout down to so many character so people wouldn’t rant so much…
Still, I’d thought the most obvious thing to put in there would be a quore of some kind. Maybe not your own; but someone whose ideals you follow, or respect…
Some such rubbish like that anyway. Mine tend to lament on my rapidly diminishing sanity; but that’s just me…lol
“But I like thinking inside the box…”May 31, 2008 at 8:38 am #161063VvWolverinevVParticipant
I think his friend who called him a liar is really to blame. Just like David said, it’s like walking up to someone and saying, “JAPAN.” There is no way to lie with a single word with no preceding context.
Or perhaps his friend was also being sarcastic and he just missed it. In Cret’s defense though (amidst all this blatant flaming :p), I also find sarcasm a difficult thing to convey and perceive via IM: https://bigblueball.com/forums/instant-messaging-real-world/41489-how-do-you-convey-sarcasm-over-im.html
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