Build “nice” software

Lachlan Hardy, or the guy I broke bread in Austin with courtesy of Ma.gnolia‘s own Larry Halff and an openID discussion directed by Chris Messina, recently jotted down his thoughts on “sharing the love“.

“We spend a lot of time on the web. We’re building software that makes people spend even more time on the web. Let’s make it a nicer place to be. Add some social grease to your next app and make your users feel appreciated[.]” — Lachlan Hardy

He gives a few great examples of how this is already being done by some of the social leaders in our industry. And I think he makes a really great point when he says: “This is not a technical issue! It’s one of priorities, focus and intent. Most applications don’t have any development time focused specifically on being nice to people, but doesn’t that sound like a great way to build your community?”.

One thing I’m striving for at Viddler is keeping my ear firmly pressed to the ground in order to find out what Viddlers want, even if they don’t let us know directly. For example, they might tell the Twitterverse and it may not even be related to Viddler itself. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to accommodate the simple, valid features that our users would love to have.

This is extending the “nice” features into “having the features your users want the most”. Perhaps Viddler would do well to listen to Mr. Hardy – and have a few more “nice” features thrown into the mix. I’ll be looking into this more this week to see how we can improve how nice we are.

Thanks for the advice Lachlan!