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josie's avatar

Is change always a good thing?

Asked by josie (30931points) October 12th, 2010

I noticed that Fluther has changed the format a bit. Some of it is nice, but there is one thing I wonder about.
Before, you could press a button and “add” somebody to your Fluther.
This sounded nice, sort of sociable, like asking them to join you at your table, or asking them over to dinner.
Now, you press a button and begin to “follow” them.
This sounds a little sinister, sort of like stalking. I feel sort of silly or even rude declaring that I intend to “follow” someone.
Perhaps that is my personal issue to resolve, but still…
I wonder why this particular change?
Is change always a good thing?

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40 Answers

janbb's avatar

I also prefer adding someone to my Fluther rather than “following” them. It seems so Facebooky.

john65pennington's avatar

This may be a good example for your question.

For eight months, i was the driver for our new Police Chief. during those eight months, the chief would ask me what changes should be made to our police department, so it would function better. here was one of my suggestions: many police officers now have Masters Degrees and Associate Degrees. some of these officers were filling positions, in which they were over-qualified for. like, an officer with a Masters Degree, working at the Tow In Lot. this officers education should have had him working in a higher police position. the chief agreed and requested everyones personnel file for examination. soon after, the transfers began to really upset our department. after one year, the changes were beginning to prove that some changes are good and necessary. our department is now functioning properly.

JilltheTooth's avatar

To address the question directly, I would say, in this case, yes, for you. It got you thinking enough to formulate the question and think about why you don’t like this change. Thinking is always a good thing, right? As to the actual change in format, I agree with you. I preferred the “invite someone to your house for coffee” feeling.

BoBo1946's avatar

Doesn’t bother me one way or the other. In the scheme of things, not a big deal.

thekoukoureport's avatar

The only constant in life is change, if you don’t adapt to change it runs you over.

marinelife's avatar

It seems so Twitter. Why should we conform to other social networking verbiage?

Ivan's avatar

The actual functionality of the feature hasn’t changed at all. They just changed the vocabulary to make it less confusing to new members.

Austinlad's avatar

Good question, @Josie, and I agree. I liked Add better than I do Follow. Took me a while to figure out the change. And even though I know the functionality is the same, but it doesn’t feel the same.

erichw1504's avatar

I don’t mind too much. As long as the function is there and it’s not called “Stalking”.

Trillian's avatar

Kind of sad when you consider the reasoning for the change to begin with. Apparently, there were people who were “confused” at the term “fluther” so we dumbed down for them rather than just let them figure it out on their own or just ask. Why would anybody do that on a site like this?

free_fallin's avatar

@Trillian I don’t agree that it was dumbing down. I, for one, do not want to be inundated with questions from new users asking what it means to “add someone to your fluther”. I think we get enough multiple questions about the same topics already. Also, this is a friendly community mostly and I think the idea of wanting them to get it on their own is a bit negative. Why not make a simple change that will benefit users and perhaps keep the questions on track, which also allows the Mod team to work on issues that are more important?

josie's avatar

@free_fallin Then why not just change the name from “Fluther”, to “Let’s Follow” and get it over with?
Again, speaking only for myself, there was a period of discovery in the beginning that was sort of fun. Finding our what a fluther is, the water creature references etc. Fun for me anyhow…
Dumbing down may be a bit harsh, but it is certainly in that category.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – I think what keeps many of us on Fluther is that it is not dumbed-down.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Then how about a short paragraph when a new user opens an account briefly explaining what a Fluther is in this context?

Trillian's avatar

Well, I figured it out all on my own, and I didn’t feel the least ill done by. Nor did I feel that the community was not “friendly”. You are certainly entitled to think whatever you like, as am I. I answered the OP, and am in complete agreement that finding stuff out was part of the fun, like the awards and such.

ucme's avatar

For those who intend to “follow” me, i’d like you to sing out loud! As a mark of respect you see? Ready….....& a one, a two….....:¬)

Jude's avatar

Yeah, like the penguin, I’m not crazy about the follow feature either.

cookieman's avatar

I “follow” no one.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

No, change is not always good. Just ask any of the jellies who ran here from Answerbag when they completely decimated the site over there. I was one of them, and I’ll tell you that change is not always good.

As far as using the word “follow” goes, I’m ambivalent. We already follow questions, so following users almost seems like a logical step.

Loried2008's avatar

Eh.. it’s a button who cares what it says? It says follow because when you add them it makes it easier to follow their posts. It seems less confusing than adding to me.

downtide's avatar

It’s just a word. The functionality is (as far as I know) exactly the same. It makes no difference to me.

janbb's avatar

@cprevite Ah c’mon, you know you’d follow me for a cookie.

Austinlad's avatar

Sometimes a change is just a change—not an improvement—which I believe is the case with Add to Follow. But I’ll leave it to other wiser Flutherites to decide its validity.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Ha, I expected something about a new law or policy or what have you…nah, this change could be neither goor or bad…the creators explained that for many it was confusing about who’s in what fluther.

josie's avatar

Ok. All good comments. Here is +1 @Simone_De_Beauvoir But what was confusing about adding somebody to your fluther? Even if you do not know what fluther means, the context seems pretty obvious. You are adding somebody to your network, your sphere, whatever. What do you think is (was) confusing?

BarnacleBill's avatar

I don’t get following as a concept. Now adding to your Fluther is a nice way of saying, I think we think the same way.

cookieman's avatar

@janbb: Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but yes…yes I would.

Loried2008's avatar

@josie It’s not confusing just a little bit more self explanitory. Granted I had no problem figuring it out, but some people have. There’s not much of a difference really.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie It wasn’t confusing to me but I suppose people couldn’t figure out whether ‘my fluther’ meant people you ‘added’ or people that ‘added’ you.

josie's avatar

Well I guess it was nice of Fluther to make life easier on those that could not tell if they were adding (active, requiring that they do something) or being added (passive, no need to do anything).

augustlan's avatar

I personally preferred ‘add to my fluther’ over ‘follow’, but I understand why the change was made. We did have an awful lot of confusion from new members about what ‘my fluther’ was all about. Does anyone have a suggestion somewhere between the two? Something friendly, uniquely ours, and intuitively understandable?

jrpowell's avatar

When you have 5+ employees you need to do something. I Feel they add shit to justify their jobs. I’m not giving shit. But sometimes it isn’t broke.

MeinTeil's avatar

Has the Obama administration taught you nothing??

janbb's avatar

Why not just prominently display a definition of what “your Fluther” is when the button “add to my Fluther” comes up. I truly feel that Fluther is trying to grow by becoming more whitebread and its strength is its quirkiness and the quirky people it thus attracts.

However, if you are looking to find something that is intuitively understandable, maybe a term such as “My Jellyfriends” or “Fluther friends” would work. “Add to my group of Jellyfriends?”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Unless I’ve missed something, there is no description on what it means to follow or add someone on Fluther. For anyone new to Fluther, and if they have experienced other social sites like Facebook, it only makes sense that they wouldn’t click on it no matter what it says until they know what happens.

“Follow” does have a sort of creepy connotation. “Add to Your Collective” would put a Fluther spin on it. It would also be nice if there was a pop-up box that explains what it means when hovering the curser over the button.

Loried2008's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer That’s a great idea :)

andrew's avatar

@johnpowell Man, I knew I shouldn’t have had the guys fill up and erase the whiteboard every day.

jrpowell's avatar

@andrew :: I have been bitching along with others for a way to post code for a long time. A year later and NOTHING. Since there are a lot of HTML/CSS/PHP/Javascript questions you would think that would be high on the list. But nothing. But we did get new profiles that we barely ever look at.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Change in general brings about interaction, interaction good or bad brings about possibilities.
Possibilitties bring about new ideas, new ideas bring about new thoughts on the original , and newer ways of looking at a problem.
Newer ways on looking at a problem brings about better understanding.
Better understanding brings about tolerence.
Tolerence brings about a better community.

Inspired_2write's avatar

In that way change can be looked on as good.

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