I’ve lately noticed an increase in what I call “Drive by reviews”.
They say that “first impressions are lasting impressions” and I can understand that. Everyone wants to make a good first impression and it takes a lot to overcome a bad one. However, I’ve seen more folks of late instead taking a first impression of something as a only impression, or over-generalizing based on one first impression.

A good example of this happens all the time to restaurants. How often have you heard someone say: “I went to that new restaurant and I am never going to go there again”? When asked for more details how often do they say:

  • The line was long and we didn’t want to wait
  • The service was slow
  • The waiter carded me! (asked for ID for a adult beverage)

Of course there are many great reasons for not wanting to go back, but thinking logically about some of the above makes me at least think that I would give the place another try. Long line? It was just opening and you have no data at all what the place was like, you never even went in. Slow service? Just opening and getting the hang of things. Carded? Perhaps their is a law they are following to do so. Bad mood? Stomach ache? Ordered the wrong thing? A host of issues that could well be solved if you give the place another try in a few weeks.

Another trend seems to be “I went to $foo and didn’t like it, so I am never going to another $foo again”. Sure, some things would be the same or very similar in other restaurants in a chain, but others would not be. Is your reasoning related to one of those variables?

Which brings me to the Fedora/Linux tie in here. Every few months I see a sad tale of someone who tried the Fedora {mailing lists|forum|irc channel} and had a bad first impression, which leads to a “I am never going to use {Linux|Fedora} again!”. Please take a few moments to think logically and not judge an entire Linux distribution or Operating system based on one forum post, email or 5 minutes in an IRC channel. Do some research, work on explaining your problem better or in a different way, try a different support channel, or at the very least note that your impression is based on only one single drive by. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, but do consider giving more than a single chance.