During Libre Graphics Meeting I had a conversation with Richard Hughes, which at some point touched the topic of feedback. I don’t quite know if this applies to all developers, but to some, it appears that the feedback you receive as developer is not so varied as could be. Mostly, users who take straight contact to the developer either has a serious complaint or a bug in the software to talk about. Similarly, much of the mail on the mailing lists and on the bug tracker is about crash reports, bugs and general problems in the software.
But there is positive feedback out there. In many cases the thank you‘s and I love App X is left by users in vast amounts on social media. Mostly because these places are social where it is more accepted that you simply say whatever you want to say. This very well explains why the GNOME 3.12 release video currently has over 350 comments. Every time a new comment arrives, I receive an e-mail and I read every one of them. However this feedback only reaches the engagement team and or maybe only me. This definitely is a problem as that means a lot of contributors are missing out on all the positive words being said out there about their hard work.
How do we fix this?
In an ideal world, I think that it should be GNOME engagement‘s responsbility that feedback reaches its person who was meant to hear it. Short-term I will take responsibility for making sure that the comments received on the 3.12 video is distributed among the modules. This I will do either by quoting the comments and organize them, or by summarizing the feedback received per application.
For the future, a similar effort could be done in other aspects of communication that GNOME performs, be it on the comments section of the status updates on Facebook, replies to GNOME tweets – basically any platform where users is given the opportunity to reply to your post.
Thanks to everyone who remember to give feedback, whether you are a developer using a library to make your app awesome, or a user using an app to make your life awesome. I think it helps keeping the spirit up and helps thrive the community.