[Air-l] (no subject)

Nancy Baym nbaym at ku.edu
Thu Sep 7 16:34:11 PDT 2006

> I understand that they are young and that they are computer scientists.
> Does anyone realize how astoundingly irrelevent and pseudo-scientific these
> remarks seem? Are you proud that you made them?

I don't see why it is either irrelevant or psuedoscientific to say that young people whose training and expertise is in designing computer systems are not as likely to be as savvy about communication or social scientific research methods or as well attuned to how those affect their own sites as people who specialize in those topics and skills. 
As Ive said on last.fm, I don't think it makes sense for the developers to also be in charge of user-assessment and communication with users. Those are different skill sets. In my discussions with the last.fm staff their status as developers rather than social scientists or PR people is a point they themselves make in defense of their communicative shortcomings. 

I think one of the critical problems in the future of Web2 sites is how well those who are designing them will be able to successfully understand what makes their users want to participate, how their users use the sites, and how they can best interact with their users. I would expect people who have more life experience and who specialize in understanding people and communication to be better at that. 

Given my own age and background, I would not expect others to think I'd be great at writing code that will capture the spirit of youth, nor would I take it as an insult if people noticed that about me. 


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