No, We Won’t Have a Video Call for That: Reader Feedback
Posted on Sun 26 September 2021 in presentations • 2 min read
This is a short summary of selected reactions to the original article.
On Twitter, Michael K Johnson made an interesting point in response to this article:
My way of thinking about DMs is a little different, or maybe we think differently about confidentiality. Work goes in public, meta-work is often about relationships, and I want my reports to be 100% confident they can bring any question or concern to me.
So “encrypted email” is not the right metaphor or measuring stick in my view. DMs are a tool for saying what you aren’t comfortable saying “out loud”, but that shouldn’t be about the work itself. Never “how do I do this?” But “advice pls about how to work with fred?” — yes!
I entirely agree with the sentiments behind this; I still maintain that chat DMs are not necessarily a good approach for addressing this, for reason that some chat systems give merely an illusion of confidentiality. If both participants in a conversation use OTR encryption over a protocol like IRC or XMPP, inadvertent disclosure to a third party is highly unlikely. Slack DMs? I wouldn’t be so sure. If your report confides in you, you don’t want them to have to worry if their message is really just between you and them.
Hacker News, 2021-09-25
On 2021-09-25, a link to this article ended up being the top post on Hacker News for a few hours. You’re very welcome to read through the 200-odd comments in that thread, but here I’d like to respond to just a couple. I’m deliberately only picking out ones where I feel like clarification on my part is necessary; as far as differences of opinion are concerned I’ll be happy to let those stand.
The article also assumes every one is a native speaker who can write quickly and clearly in a chat – in a lot of international projects this is not the case.
— comment from
My native language is German, and neither at the time of presenting the original talk nor at the time of writing this update did I work with anyone who is a first-language English speaker.
I have an objection to the author’s blanket disregard for “pings” in chat - while the request could/should be worded a bit more clearly than just “ping”, IMHO they’re a valid way of requesting if an opportunity for synchronous communication is available in the (not that rare!) cases where asynchronous communication would be worthless.
— comment from
My blanket disregard is for naked pings, not for pings in general.