Initial Impressions

When linking to Shawn Blanc’s excellent iPad Mini and Air review I mentioned Jim and Marco’s altercation on Twitter the day before in passing. Brought on when Marco criticized Jim’s lack of time spent with the Mini preluding an article titled “review”, I found the entire exchange humorous and representative of the pair’s similar personalities. I considered writing this article then at peak relevance, but instead pushed it into Drafts for another time. Four days and two posts later though, the fact that this topic remains at the front of my mind is a testament to the importance of a first impression.

As I said, the argument began with Marco expressing disbelief that Jim would publish an article presuming to call itself a review after “having it for an hour”. Jim responded surprisingly agitated, saying, “don’t read it, I don’t give a shit”. Coming from two incredibly opinionated writers, I thought the plausible criticism and off the cuff response made for an entertaining dialog over the next ten minutes until Daniel Jalkut (rightfully) put an end to the argument. More interesting than their brief exchange though, I found Marco’s justifiable critique intriguing, especially after deeming it erroneous.

Whereas Marco devalues the significance of initial impressions, which he rightfully assumed Jim had used to form the entire basis upon which he wrote his article, I would argue that those opinions formed within the first few hours are not only important, but perhaps the most significant ones a user will ever form with regards to any given device. Just as every article I write is a reflection of every word I have read in the past, so, too, will users’ interactions be shaped by the first time they pick up any device, the iPad Mini included. Jim wrote to that singular, incredibly formative experience, and for that I cannot say we should fault him. I do not mean to say that Marco’s opinion has no merit, for all too many “writers” these days post comprehensive, multi-page “reviews” after spending less time with a device than I did reading the aforecited Twitter thread, but I do mean to say that maybe, just maybe, there was more to Jim’s article than one would suppose based upon Marco’s commentary.