Svbtle Versus Obtvse

23 Mar 2012

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.