Like they were trying to infuse delight into the user experience.
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But they weren't thinking about how some people might be triggered by the idea of losing weight and also how many calories are in a mini cupcake anyway. Like that's such an arbitrary unit of measurement or mint and you know, not everybody wants to be reminded that, you know, society values losing weight. And so they got a lot of feedback and they pulled it. But like how many hours went into finalizing that UX and then reverting it because people didn't think to run that by a diverse crowd before launch.
It's kind of interesting, but it's also beautiful that the crowd actually can give that feedback. I mean, I think it's one of the things that is really great about the time that we live in, right? I mean, how, how prior to the day and age that we live in where we can just give immediate feedback to brands, um, with no filter for it to go through.
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Would that have happened in the past? Like you probably, you would've had this, this application that did this and you would've had to call them or like try to get to a person that actually could make a difference or whatever. And now we can just like immediately give that feedback on Twitter. Um, it's, it's kind of a beautiful thing. Um, if you think about it. Which is how, um, our community really started communicating about this stuff or just in comments on the blog post.
I published about it, you know, they were just like, Hey, I don't particularly love it when these other words are used either.
1. Are you turning your audience off with non-inclusive language?
And I see right here where you've used those words. Sorry, we will get that changed. And we did right away. But it was just nice to be able to react so quickly, um, and to say, you know, thank you for pointing that out. We're sorry, here's the robot. And, um, what does that, so I have my own kind of ideas about what this should look like, but, um, what does that kind of apology look like? What does it need to contain in order to, to really be genuine and successful?
Or maybe not apology, but just response. Like when, when somebody says, Hey, you've done this, this thing wrong and it's offended me. I don't think you need to go deep into excuses. I think, um, you know, like check your defensiveness at the door, ask yourself like, interrogate why you are defensive, if that is indeed the first reaction that Springs forward.
Um, and then just listen to that person, uh, and, and say, thank you for bringing that to my attention. I wasn't aware.
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I will get that changed and I will do better in the future. That's it. That's all you need to say there. There was one comment, um, on that blog post I wrote a person said something about how um, people with large vascular birthmarks which are sometimes referred to as like the red wine stain birthmark would appreciate it if you didn't use the word stained as a pejorative. And that was a totally new one on me had never heard that before. And to be perfectly transparent with you, my first reaction to that was, well staining is bad.
Ethics in Public Speaking: Ethical Speaking
Like if you spill marinara on your white carpet, like that's an unfavorable outcome. And you know, I'm not talking about people's birthmarks but also it's not a big deal to not use the word stained as a pejorative.
Like yeah, we had used it once I went and figured out where that was, I changed it to something else and I was like, thank you for sharing your experience with me here. Here's the revised version. Yeah, I have so many thoughts about that. My first one would be like, really we should change, we should challenge society also to change the way we do that. We call that our red wine state. Cause the stain is negative like a, like a red wine stain on carpet. Nobody wants a red wine, sit on carpet. So why would we then call something that's actually beautiful and unique about a person, a red wine stayed, if that's what you want to call it, um, birth Mark, then why would we call it that if the, if the meaning is negative in, in a day to day life.
So like that's kind of my first thought is like, Oh, there's two ways to address this. Both are right. Both are okay. Um, it just seems like we need maybe, maybe we need to reassess, um, that name of that condition. And then, um, the other thing I was thinking is, I think you mentioned saying thank you, um, to the person for bringing it to your attention.
And I think that that's such an important piece. Um, because when someone brings feedback to a business, it's because they're still engaged with that business and they still care about that business and they believe that that business can do better. Um, why in the world would you want to ignore someone or be defensive towards someone who is in vested, in helping your business be better? That's exactly what we all want is customers that want to help our business be better.
Um, so I, I love the idea of thinking someone for bringing it to your attention. And then I had a followup question, which is like, why is it important for, why is it more important for businesses to use, um, inclusive language than it is like in your day to day life? I think you mentioned that earlier, that it's, it's, it's more important for businesses to do it. And I'm, I'm interesting to get interested to get your perspective about why, or at least your clarification.
I do think there's some nuance there. Um, and I'm definitely not giving individuals a pass like, Oh, you know, if it's just you and me, like we can say whatever we want. No, that's not what I'm saying. Um, what I am saying is that for better, worse entities, uh, like corporate entities have a lot of power and a lot of influence and more eyeballs are going to read this blog posts, um, then are going to hear a private conversation between me and my mom.
So the, the butterfly effect, like it's, it's just greater. Um, when you're speaking in a one to many format, uh, the, the responsibility is greater there and because, you know, a lot of content is research and thought out and edited and it has gone through those checks and balances, there's really no excuse. I think too, when you're asking for somebody's money, asking for the money of a group of people, um, like you should just get things right or you should at least make the biggest attempt to get things right. Making people feel alienated, right? Like even if you're a stone cold cynic, even if you're a jerk and you don't care about whether or not people feel marginalized by the language you use.
I mean, that's usually my end too.
Like when people are skeptical about this stuff, when, when leaders are businesses are like, mm, I don't know, money on the table. Because if brands use imagery or language that makes groups of people feel excluded, those people straight up aren't going to buy from your company. So why would you do that? Yeah, I, it's so easy not to. Yeah, it just doesn't make any sense. I, um, uh, I love that idea and I am speaking in at sear Fest actually on something similar.
I'm speaking about owning the margins because so many times, especially, you know, I'm a search engine optimization expert, right? So the thing that I focus on most is how do I get the most clicks from a search on Google? And so many times what you find is that content is focused on the majority of people. Um, so little things like, um, like breastfeeding articles. So I was looking for articles about how to support your partner when they're breastfeeding. My wife is breastfeeding now and, um, every single article for a search that I did said husband, husband, husband, husband, husband, husband, husband.
Well my wife doesn't have a husband, wife has a wife or spouse or a partner. I mean, so it would be so easy to just change that language to say partner or spouse and literally get the same rankings and literally, um, get all of the click. Cause I, I absolutely would have clicked that, uh, article that said partner, um, above clicking on articles that said husband. Unfortunately, I was left to read a lot of articles about husbands and so it'd be,. So easy to make that change. It does. Alienated little buddy. That's right. It just like husbands aren't going to be bothered if the article says spouse partner, like it doesn't hurt anybody.
So like if you can make a neutral choice instead of one that excludes some people, like why wouldn't you default to neutrality?