Before becoming a graphic artist, I spent a number of years managing small, specialty retail businesses including a music store, an art supply store, and a fly fishing outfitter. I think it was in those businesses that I learned to enjoy researching and testing new products. It was also in those businesses that I learned the importance of trying new things to keep a business healthy and running smoothly. Of course, not every new idea works out, but even when they don’t, there’s usually something to be learned in the process. It’s not so different here on the blog, where we do a fair amount of knob tweaking to see what works and what doesn’t.
On the subject of trying new things and tweaking knobs, as part of our ongoing effort to create a nice place for transpo bicyclists to share ideas and learn from one another, we recently asked our commenters to use their full names when submitting comments. The idea was to encourage greater accountability and transparency among discussion participants. Many people expressed their support for the idea, but a fair number also expressed concerns about privacy.
It’s been 3 weeks now and the general consensus is that the disadvantages of the new policy outweigh the advantages. Along with the privacy issue, at least 25-30% of the comments submitted didn’t include a full name anyway. This created a bunch of extra work for us, and a big hassle for our commenters—precisely the opposite of what we were trying to accomplish. So, with that in mind, we’re going to hit the “reset” button and revert back to our old policy of requiring only a first name with your comment submissions. For those who have been using their full names in the comment field these past few weeks, many thanks for working with us. And for those who have been hesitant to post because of privacy concerns, welcome back and thanks for your patience… :-)