I came across this video today of Richard Dawkin’s responding to the question, “What if you’re wrong” in regards to religion. I am not going to get into religion, my focus is on the question itself: what if you’re wrong?
I ask myself this often, particularly when writing online. I try to give some thought to how my words will be received, if only to try to make sure I’m getting my point across. That always leads to, “what if I’m wrong?”. The answer to that, for me, is that I don’t always expect to be right. Actually, I hope I’m not right all the time because that means I know it all, there is nothing left to learn. Since I enjoy learning that would be a bad thing. Very bad.
Does the average blogger care if he or she is “right” when making something public? An example, let’s say you come across a really cool widget for your MySpace page that allows you to add a picture slide show. You load it up with pictures and you add four of those widgets because you enjoy watching them fly across the page and think everyone else will too. What if you’re wrong?
You come across a new blogging tool (there will always be one) and, while playing around with this new tool, you change your writing style completely. Your thoughtful articles are replaced with random thoughts and one-way conversations from 3rd party applications. You are enjoying your blog and assume everyone else is too. What if you’re wrong?
It takes balance defining what you want, what your readers what and the happy medium that pleases everyone. Ok, for real, you can’t please everyone which is why (if it is not a professional setting) you should do what pleases you otherwise it becomes a chore. A Tyme example, I had a theme that had a scantily dressed woman crotched in a corner in the header. Everyone loved that theme because “it reflected my personality”. I loved that theme and came very close to putting it back online. Then I thought about it, what if it was the wrong choice? That prompted me to think about the pros and cons. I had some serious cons using that theme, the main one was that it was not work safe. Some parents would say it wasn’t kid-safe (although the woman was wearing clothes, similar to a bikini). The major con was that if a picture reflected my personality more than my words, something was definitely wrong. See, the design did not compliment my words (which is what I think a design should do), it defined my words/personality online. Essentially, I had the “Ooohh…aaahhh” blog visually but the words didn’t pack any punch.
I don’t like that.
So I’m working to improve that. Of course, I could be wrong and my words pack a hefty punch. Best to not over-think it. Just consider it.