About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: entrepreneur, community leader, husband, and father. I live and work in Boulder, CO.

Svbtle Versus Obtvse

I just read a post by Daniel Howells about these two stories on Hacker News:

Before I make my small point, let me give you the quick synopsis. Briefly, Dustin Curtis made his own blogging platform, opened it up to a few friends, and blogged about it. Someone else submitted it to Hacker News, and that's where the story takes a turn.

The Hacker News community quickly attacked Dustin's persona (he describes himself as a superhero) and the exclusivity of his blogging platform. I don't have a strong opinion about these criticisms, but I do believe them to be knee-jerk reactions based upon the false premise that Dustin was seeking the amount of attention he received.

This is what I object to.

Dustin made something and blogged about it. There's nothing wrong with that, and as someone who loves blogs, it's exactly what I want people like Dustin to do. The only difference is that someone submitted his post to Hacker News, and it got a lot of attention. The mistake the Hacker News community routinely makes is to assume the author of whatever they read is making a big deal about something.

As I've said before, I really like the way Trent describes blogs:

There's something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else's site. It's like visiting a friend's house for a quick meal 'round the breakfast table. It's personal — you're in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.

No matter how popular someone's blog is, or how popular a particular post is, it's still their blog. It's their breakfast table.

Let's all try to remember that the next time we pay them a visit.

About this post

Svbtle Versus Obtvse was posted on Fri, 23 Mar 2012. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Nate Klaiber said:

In that case, could someone please pass me the eggs and bacon?

This has been happening for a while. Hacker News. Reddit. Digg. That's pretty much what happens on all of those sites. A link is provided, and the hounds are all released from their mother's basements to attack other people for their opinions.

While I agree with you (and Trent), do you think trolling is something that will ever go away?

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 at 14:36:59 GMT Link

2.Chris Shiflett said:

I don't think intentional trolling will ever go away, but I think it would help if sites like Hacker News would remind users not to assume the author of whatever they read is making a big deal about something.

Unless, of course, the author is the one who submitted it. :-)

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 at 14:48:22 GMT Link

3.Mohamed Ramadan said:

What makes things work makes them fail sometimes.

BTW : I love seeing you blogging and writing about stuff other than code.

Sun, 01 Apr 2012 at 10:03:29 GMT Link

Hello! What’s your name?

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