Saturday, 12 June 2010

Peer pressure

Peer review systems - love or hate 'em? I'm sitting here brooding on how much of the 'net these days revolves around the opinions of others, and how much we all rely on the words of strangers to make our own minds up.
Much of my business work depends on feedback, whether on Etsy or Ebay, holiday rental sites, even Facebook and Flickr. I worry constantly about providing the best service, good prices, communication and nice extras to make that artisan transaction worth coming back for more. Sometimes, just making the sale becomes more of a concern than a pleasure. Will they like it? Will they ever want to buy from me again? What if.....the feedback is bad? Rude? Unrealistic? Niggly?
Friends tell the story of their cottage guest book - one set of guests made a glancing comment on the softness of the bed (which was a personal preference, the more so given that the mattress was new and quite firm!). Because it had been mentioned, every other guest from that moment on made their own opinion known, until the guest book became little more than a running argument on the state of one bed. They replaced the guest book and the bed was never mentioned again.
Opinions of strangers seem to matter more than ever. I suppose this is inevitable with increased globalisation. Maybe as our world widens, we try to find ways to make it feel more like a village.

Ah, well. My world is small today - a duck that is sitting on non-hatching eggs and a torch waiting to be lit. I have dragons and mice to make and an appointment with some strange hands that reach out from wine bottles, holding vortexes. Somehow, they seem appropriate. The sun is shining and I've just been told that hens turn their eggs over 50,000 times a day. Time to stop brooding and go burn some glass!