TheDeadGuy's comments in today's editor log touched a nerve with me.
Recently, Junkill and Dimview came to my house for dinner. And delightful dinner guests they were too. Very easy to talk to, opinionated, courteous and generous. The best kind of dinner guests. We ate Beef with red wine and juniper berry stew, with a cheese board and quite a few bottles of wine.
Before AspieMum and the AspieKids came home, the three of us fell to talking about E2, as noders do when we gather together. The general feeling was positive. Things are on the up. But interestingly, in the light of The deceased one's comments, we -- well mostly me -- made an analogy between leisure time and currency. As the users of E2 get older, get married, find themselves with responsible jobs, families, significant others, there is less time to do the stuff that we enjoy doing.
Which means a lot of us have to choose how best to employ that leisure time. We choose between going on the web, watching TV, talking to our friends and family, enjoying hobbies and pastimes, studying, working, gardening, cooking and all those other activities which eat into our free time.
It's like income. Once the housing, food and bills are paid for, there's some money left over and we have to choose how to spend it.
Those of us who enjoy E2 choose to spend some of our spare leisure time here. But when real life starts to intrude, then real life takes priority. So E2 has to compete for our time, along with facebook and Livejournal and all those other possible activities.
Does E2 offer enough to keep us spending our leisure time here? That's a purely personal decision. For me, it does. There was a time when it didn't and I found other places to go with my precious leisure time. E2 has changed. In my opinion, for the better.So I choose to stay and to contribute in my own small way.
All I will say is that being a parent has shown me that positive feedback is considerably more effective in encouraging desired behaviour than negative feedback. I went through a phase of punishing my kids when they did something wrong. It didn't really change their behaviour. It led to a lot of shouting and anger.
Now, having learned better, I reward good behaviour -- or rather the behaviour I want to encourage -- and try as best as I can to ignore the bad stuff.
It works. It really does work. Our household is a calmer, happier place. We all achieve a lot more. The kids have learned to behave more appropriately. And so have I.
That's the way to encourage people to stay and spend their leisure hours here, rather than elsewhere. Accentuate the positive. Reward desireable behaviour and talk -- and listen - about things that can be changed. To me, it looks like that's the way E2 is headed. It's not doom and gloom. It's change. Change for the better.
Is it possible to do the same with E2? I think so. I try to upvote or ignore or send a /msg. I do sometimes downvote, but I'm trying to change my own behaviour. It's not always easy, but it works in other spheres. There's no reason why similar strategies can't work on E2. If we choose to use them.