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Wednesday, February 27, 2002
By Paul Ford
All manner of response, wherever, is encouraged.
Open to Criticism is SUPER GAY. -- Andrew from Diaryland.
Ftrain.com is open to public and private criticism. There is a lot of love among people who develop personal Web sites, and a lot of praise and good feeling. It can be hard to write in public about what you don't like, what you want to see improved. I think a lot of that is for fear of hurting the writer's feelings.
However, I think a critical climate is necessary for creating beautiful, meaningful work. It's no fun being told you're not a wonderful artistic genius, but it is often very valuable.
So I'm announcing that if you want to write something negative or harsh or crabby or simply critical about the work I'm doing, you should go ahead and do it and not worry about being nice or hurting my feelings.
If you want to use the “open to criticism” graphic on your own Web page, go ahead and copy it, and link the button either to this statement or to your own. Let me know; if enough people use it I'll expand this into a listing of sites.
I did consider getting opentocriticism.org - it's available - and creating a place where web writers and artists who were open to criticism could register, and ultimately I think that would be a nice asset for the people-trying-to-do-good-stuff-on-the-web, just a little database app with user, password, form, and a brief description. But I simply can't own any more domain names. If someone else wanted to do it I'd help, and maybe program a bit.
This way it can all be about community for those of them who want that and about improving the quality of the work for those of us who want that, see? The basic assumption is that content on the Web can be good enough to make criticism worthwhile.
(I am purposefully not defining criticism; it could be critical interpretation, lengthy essays on form and content, or “this sucks.” All are valuable in their ways).