What Formspring means to me (and why it's good!)

I never signed up for a Formspring account, but it has been a very popular thing.  I cheated a bit by posting “Ask Me Anything” blog posts without actually using the service.

But the Formspring extravaganza says something very important to me — and it’s good.

People, in general, are very happily willing to offer their opinions if only you ask.

I grew up with a dad who was very good at “using his network” (as we say in Corporateland), and as his daughter, I hated it.

“My friend is in the ballet!” I’d say.

“Can she get us good tickets?” he’d ask.

Of course, every time I use my network (and at work, I do, ALL THE TIME), I remind myself of my dad.  But I’m still hesitant to reach out on a personal level.

I’m looking to buy a new DSLR, am in Seattle, and know that Kat would know enough to guide me, but I’ve been hesitant to ask her to offer her opinion.  In a cab to a camera shop on the other side of town, though, I realized what a big deal this Formspring is: it’s proof that people will offer a little of their expertise and experience if only you ask!

The irony is that when people ask me for my opinion, I’m flattered – and I certainly take the responsibility very seriously.  In fact, when an internet friend asked a question via email, I suggested we could only do the question justice over a conversation – and then I polled my husband and thought extensively about it before we met BECAUSE SHE ASKED ME AND THIS WAS IMPORTANT, PEOPLE.

So while I know lots of folks have had bad experiences with Formspring, I think the more important message is how willing we all are to offer help — especially via an opinion — if only people ask us.  I’m going to remind myself of that every time I’m uncomfortable reaching out.


One thought on “What Formspring means to me (and why it's good!)

  1. So true… I’m thrilled when people ask me questions or information or want to learn something, but I am hesitant to ask others because I don’t want to bother them. But it is important to remember that people are willing to help (ESPECIALLY if you just ask them their opinion… people love to give opinions) if you only ask!

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