Portrayl and Accuracy

Posted on 6 August 2007 in Internet (No comments)

One of the things I try to do on this website when reviewing or commenting on anything, is to give an accurate reflection of an experience at the time I saw it. I don't believe in being nasty, or badly reviewing anything unnecessarily. And yes, I've said a few bad things about certain places before now. Anyone who ever had the chore of reading my comments on Freeserve or GE Money will know that.

Which was why I was rather surprised that one party (whom I won't name) took offence at the portrayal I made of their establishment I made in a blog post some time ago. The annoying thing was that everything I wrote about my experience was totally accurate and representative but I didn't feel was particularly negative at all.

There were (what I felt to be) some vaguely negative things mentioned, but I also felt that I went out of my way to say that there were factors which may have affected what we received on that occasion - in other words to provide some balance, some explanation - a hint that what we saw, might not have been the norm. The reader can then make their own decisions on the matter from there.

I suspect the problem ultimately was that the person in question was just too close to the subject matter and took it all in a way not intended, and that most people wouldn't read what I read in the same way. Hey, it happens.

If someone critiques anything I do (as indeed happened in this case), I have to fight the initial urge to start ranting and complaining about them. And then I look at what they've said, see if I think it's a fair comment, and if it is, I see what I can do. It's the only sensible way to deal with feedback in my opinion.

One perfect example of this was Annie Mole's comments on the original Star Trek Tube Tour, which to be frank, was very fair comment and in the end saw the creation of a far superior version.

On this recent example, as I was being criticised for "criticising" someone, I did do exactly that - re-read anything. Looked to see if it was a fair reflection of what I experienced. And I felt it was. Looked to see if it was unduly harsh and unfair. And I didn't feel it was. What backed up my feeling that I'd got what I put on this matter actually was some conversations we'd had with other people at the time, who had felt the same way. Should I lie or cover something up to spare someone's feelings? Sorry, but I don't think so.

Actually a fair comment that was made to me by this person is why I didn't bring up the matter at the time of my visit. In that case, it was actually because I suspected some of the issues we'd seen were related to the various factors which I knew already existed. In other words, if you've known that there might be an issue because of situation A, why complain when there is an issue caused by situation A? Complaining probably won't solve anything in that situation - it won't make situation A go away after all and the problem will still exist. Rest assured, where I do think there is a serious problem and there is a solution, I do try to make my views known to those relevant.

Out of all this, one change to a post on the offending blog post was made - in the form of a footnote (like most in the Blogosphere, I don't believe in changing blog posts months - nay years - after they were written, but a later added footnote seems to be universally acceptable) - correcting a mistake I had made. I will say in all this that if I do make a genuine mistake, I am always happy to make amends!

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