Ep 5: Feedback


The guys discuss how to get feedback, how to figure out what feedback is relevant, and how to use it for the powers of good.

Liner notes:

  • A process that Sheldon uses to request feedback. ABCD: Here’s the pioneer of this method, Mary Robinette Kowal, with a video explaining it.
  • The two-step… ask for general/blank feedback then hit it with follow up.
  • Probing, interview style question after reading feedback can clarify.
  • Can you get a professional to help? Not everyone has those personal connections… but you can pay for them!
  • Getting a second opinion and the proctology joke you were all waiting for.
  • Perhaps prescriptive feedback is the worst feedback. Even though we all do that.

And hey… you could leave your own feedback below.

3 thoughts on “Ep 5: Feedback

  1. shadrad January 13, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Hey guys! Sorry it’s taken me a bit to catch up!

    I’d never heard of the ABCD review method before but I’m sold! I definitely want to start introducing this general metric to people who I go to for feedback because it offers enough structure to be useful, but not enough to make the process of reviewing something arduous for the reviewer.

    I also think that doing a second review round with specific questions is generally necessary– especially if you’re soliciting feedback from people who, as mentioned, might not have the same technical vocabulary that you do. I’ve been asked to give feedback on music in the last year and while I have a deep appreciation and have dabbled in it myself, I don’t feel that I have enough experience or vocabulary to always explain my perspective. This is particularly daunting when it comes to collaborative projects where the person providing direction for the music needs to find a way to communicate their vision to the person producing the music without necessarily having specific examples or terminology.

    It’s worth mentioning, also, that giving good feedback is hard work and effort on many levels– something hinted at with Sheldon repeating that he is -paying- someone to care about & deep dive his work to give it the attention to detail he’s looking for. I see a lot of creative people not realizing that a lot of the time you’re not going to get really specific feedback unless you ask for it, and also make it worth the time/effort of the reviewer to really sit and consider what you’ve created.

    On the subject of prescriptive feedback, I think that’s something that needs to be presented up front, when you’re asking for a review? I know I come from a background where solicited critique is expected to be specific and always presented in a way that shows a way forward. A good critique is when someone grasps your intent and offers suggestions on how to achieve it (even if their own personal likes/dislikes would not direct it toward the same end). So, consider your audience in that regard– are you looking for an example of audience reception, or are you looking for a reflection to help you reach what you’re going for? I usually lean towards the latter & find it more useful in general.

    (side note: This is a problem I have with a lot of media reviews in recent years from people who have clearly never had to practice proper analysis and critical review of a work. I specifically reject the idea that critique/review must always be subjective and can’t be argued based on actual evidence. But college lit classes probably ruined me forever, too.)

    Also really glad you guys touched on the fact that you don’t have to follow every piece of advice from the feedback you get– or that you can consider it, but ultimately decide not to utilize it. ESPECIALLY, as George mentioned, when feedback comes at a point in your process where you’re simply not going to go back and change anything & you really just need feedback calibrated for the vision you’ve presented.

    Anyway, loved this episode, and I was really fascinated to hear you guys go over your personal methods for soliciting feedback and how it fits into your process.

    I’d love to hear you guys discuss the differences in this process when it comes to collaborative/group projects– like, when everybody’s goal is to make the end product the best it can be, how do you sort out and decide what feedback (external and internal) to follow? How do you find ways to compromise and be willing to see your product potentially suffer for a decision made that you couldn’t change? Personal projects allow us the freedom to disregard whatever we don’t care to implement, but how do you find a balance in creative collaboration?

    Every episode you unearth more topics for future episodes… just the way it should be 🙂



  2. georgespanos1 January 14, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    Yeah, we definitely should do an episode on collaborative projects. We all have a lot of experience with collaboration in the greater sense of work so it is interesting to think about how we approach that. Great comment as always, thanks again.


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