A friend of mine and fellow college professor, Mark Smith, is a dedicated follower of George Gurdjieff, a Russian spiritual leader. He’s been sharing some of his teachings with me. This one caught my attention and immediately had to be added to these Blog Exercises.
Got a rant? Got a pedestal to stand on? We often blog an elephant out of a fly.
I recently ran across an article from a fellow WordPress fan going on about a WordPress feature that was broken. Turns out the feature was not broken, just not liked by that person. In fact, the feature is a feature because it was frequently requested by WordPress fans. Without looking at the big picture, this blogger made an elephant out of a fly.
Are there times when you do the same? Take a little detail, a small point, some annoyance, and build it up to be a huge issue?
There are times when this is appropriate, and times when the response is over the top, out of proportion with the facts and reality.
My site, The Tech Nag is all about turning flies into elephants. In “Amazon Instant Video Prime Nightmares” I rant on about the lousy interface design of Amazon’s Instant Video web pages for mobile users, causing users to purchase videos by a finger-slip accident that they are entitled to for free. In “Keyboards Wear Out, So Does My Patience With Poor Quality Keyboards,” I carry on about the horrible quality of computer keyboards, repeated finger-tapping wearing away the letters and numbers. Another took on Godaddy’s practice of charging an additional $20 for domain private registration that was not requested nor wanted. These are fly-sized topics that I turned into elephants in order to provoke change.
This blog exercise is a little different from some of our other exercises.
I’d like you to find an issue, some point, a feature, some annoyance, a detail, something to blog into an elephant.
Keep the intent positive. Spell out the issues, and offer solutions. Provoke change. Incite energy and enthusiasm from others to get them to buy into your belief that your fly is an elephant.
Considering going through your past posts to look for fly-to-elephant moments. Did you really turn the fly into an elephant? Maybe a little editing might turn that fly into a crusade of elephants parading through your industry.
Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.
PS: I’d like to dedicate this and many of my recent and upcoming blog exercises to my dear friend and colleague at Clark College, Mark Smith, professor of computer science and technology. I have been honored to be by his side through the past year and a half of struggle at the end of his life. He has taught me much about friendship, teaching, courage, faith, determination, and passion, and the ability to live and die with great dignity.