(NOT) Submitted by sailornash
I have sort of a love/hate/annoyed relationship with this thing. It's called "Writer's Block". Yeah, it's in this cute little block of text at the top of the screen...I get it. And it's named after that museless state that we've all reached when we have nothing to post, nothing to say, not a drop of creativity flowing through our empty veins. It does make sense to have this kind of a feature. It would be helpful for the users to spur their creative juices, if it worked as intended, and it would be good for the company as it spurs people to use their site more often. In theory, it's win/win.
Problem is, it's fucking useless. It does nothing to prompt thought-provoking entries. It does nothing to spur creativity. Most subjects can be answered in a mere word or two - a fact that I've often mocked in the past. The topics are often too lame to even bother with. In short, it FAILS at the one and only purpose for which it was created.
All it ends up being is a backwards meme. And as a meme, it succeeds remarkably well. The main page asks the community a question. The community jots down a few random comments, all shown on their own Answers page. High level of participation, even if it is only a sentence or two. Further discussions branch off in each person's journal. And this formula works better than you or me coming up with a fun but random question and then tossing it in our journal where only a small subset of readers would even see it, much less choose to participate. Works really well as a conversation starter for a social networking site...but still, it's a meaningless Meme Of The Day at best. The same mindless but sometimes entertaining things that we all do from time to time. It does nothing at all to cure even the mildest case of Writer's Block.
[EDIT]: And yes, I am aware of the delicious irony of the one and only time the Writer's Block segment spurring a topic for discussion is by mocking that very feature.