Wrote a post a few weeks ago that got some positive and negative reaction

It was about banning the use of the word “user” from the lexicon.  Not that I had a better word.

Points against my comment (on twitter and elsewhere) were well made. And I think the key of what I was trying to get at was highlighted by this post by Dave Winer

Words are like formats. You could try to come up with a better version of RSS, for example — but the old one won’t go away, so now you have two formats where once there was just one. That’s why I say that two ways to do something is worse than one way, no matter how much better the second way is than the first. It’s like taking features out of products — you really can’t do it. The users will eventually make you put it back (that is if you pay any attention to them at all).

So it’s probably unlikely we’ll come up with a better word. And even if we did it doesn’t get to the core of the issue. The issue is one of attitude.

As Dave so eloquently puts it

The answer is to love those users so much that they don’t mind being called users. That’s an art a lot of tech companies have yet to master.

Not just tech companies. And it bears repeating...

 If you use the word without love, it’s a very harsh word, and unfair. But if you use it with love there’s no higher honor than being called a user.


Attitude and intent. They’re important.