Feedback, surveys, they are EVERYWHERE. We find surveys on our receipts, tempting us with free breadsticks if we just take five minute of our time to tell a company about our shopping experience.
Ebay sellers (and buyers) rankings are built on feedback.
Amazon has a review section and even sends out reminder emails to buyers, asking how their purchase experience was.
Even here on Bubblews, the Like button and the Comments section become crucial to our success at writing.
There is an awesome power to feedback. But we don’t ALWAYS do it. So I’d like to break it down for you, three reasons why feedback is not only important, but essential…
CRICKETS … YES … CRICKETS
It’s tough to write something. To craft it lovingly, to give metaphorical birth to it and put it out there.
Let me say it again, it’s TOUGH.
But you know what is tougher still?
Hearing nothing but crickets.
If I didn’t want to hear from you, or your opinions or thoughts, I’d write in a journal, or on my website and turn off the ability to leave comments. I’d be like, “You? You have an opinion? BORING!”
But instead I write here, there, everywhere. I open myself up for ridicule, for disagreement, for heated debate because, for me, writing is not a choice, it’s something I yearn to do. More than that, I hope for the contact of like-minded, and not-so-like-minded folk.
Say something, damn it! Don’t just give me crickets in the night!
And if I feel like this, I’m pretty damn sure others do to. So put yourself in my shoes, their shoes, or your own shoes and realize that we all need it to some degree.
PAY IT FORWARD
You might be thinking, “Well Christine (it’s okay, you don’t HAVE to call me The General), YOU might need feedback and comments, but I’m totally good for now, I’m doing great.”
And that’s cool. You are one cool cat, you know. The cat who walks alone, beholding to none. I respect that.
But there possibly come a day when you DO need that feedback. And not just a little need, but a really, really big OMG I REALLY NEED FEEDBACK OR COMMENTS OR … OR …
Pay it forward. Pay it forward and realize that even if you don’t NEED it right this minute, now is the perfect time to help someone else out. In our modern world, companies live and die by their reputation and so should you.
So, pay it forward. Leave feedback about the book you read last week, about the computer part you bought on eBay, about the music you downloaded last month. When you read a piece that makes you smile, laugh, or whatever, press the Like button or leave a comment. ESPECIALLY leave comments.
Earlier today I wrote a piece: www.bubblews.com/news/2224275-fitting-in-sometimes-it-takes-seaweed and got nothing but crickets. And I honestly can’t see why. Did I not explain it well? Did I not capture the humor of that moment? It was absolutely hysterical to me that my kid said what she said.
And even if it isn’t funny, perhaps someone could have said, “I’ve got one even funnier to share. So this clown walks into a bar…”
When I read something bad, something absolutely horribly written, I’m tempted to be snarky. It’s true, I want to say, “Before you hit submit, you might want to learn how to write.” Which I would only say in my head, truly, NEVER to another human being because that would be ridiculously mean.
BUT, I could leave some kind of comment, even a suggestion on how to improve the writing without sounding too grammar-Nazi about it. I could reach into myself and do that, instead of just assuming something equally horrible like “you can’t fix stupid.” (Again, something I would NEVER say to someone)
So pay it forward, your words could make all the difference in the world.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
Sometimes, the absolutely hardest thing to do is to ask for help. I can’t vouch for other countries, but in the United States, we are independent SOB’s. The idea of being dependent on anyone can be rather stressful.
I myself am particularly guilty of this. Every once in a while, while puzzling over some new challenge for hours, days, weeks or longer, it suddenly occurs to me (kind of like a slap up side the head) to ask someone for help. Unfortunately it seems to occur to me long after I have passed the ‘tear out my hair and swear until the air turns blue’ stage.
And obviously there are WAYS of asking that matter too. I can remember purchasing something from eBay one year. It was a Christmas present and the ebay seller wanted me to post feedback. I explained that I still had not opened it since it was a present for a family member and I had no idea if it was in good shape or not. The seller replied back that my feedback was REQUIRED. I believe she used all caps in the email.
Needless to say, she got zero feedback, which I found a happy medium from the extreme of posting neutral or negative feedback and complaining about her DEMANDS.
Another example would be the fact that we are not supposed to ask for comments or likes on Bubblews. This makes some level of sense and there are obviously ways around it.
My favorite colors are blue and purple. What are yours?
See what I did there? That’s what I mean by a way around it.
In any case, when you have put your heart and soul into something, don’t be afraid to say so. Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s honest opinions. I recently offered my third self-published book “The War on Drugs: An Old Wives’ Tale on Amazon for free ebook download. Nearly 500 people took advantage of this. To date, I’ve had 16 reviews. And I’m damned thankful for those reviews…but I do hope to hear from more…(hint, hint)…
Writing is hard enough. But the real test of strength comes after the writing is done.
Carry on, folks…and keep that feedback loop going!
(This was originally posted on Bubblews in a 3-part series: www.bubblews.com/news/2227099-the-awesome-power-of-feedback-part-1-of-3, www.bubblews.com/news/2227236-the-awesome-power-of-feedback-part-2-of-3, and http://www.bubblews.com/news/2227325-the-awesome-power-of-feedback-part-3-of-3.