I Stopped Reading Your Blog Years Ago

Emrah Diril recently asked me this via email:

I read the guy's blog too, but don't understand where this is coming from. Some people just have this tendency I suppose.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2009/06/i-stopped-reading-your-blog-years-ago.html
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You do realize that by Mentioning “The Susan whom shall remain Nameless” you have strengthened the presence that she has on the web. You may have even linked her to programming. Imagine looking for something on C# and her name pops up .

I honestly don’t know who Susan Boyle is. I win!

But I kinda like this blog, so I will leave a comment so as not to be ignoring it. :slight_smile:

What’s wrong with Paris Hilton?

I have been running a blog since the end of 2007 on my personal situation, mostly involving a rather complex medical condition I’m suffering from. What I have noticed is that instead of receiving mostly comments wishing me well or showing some kind of warmth and intelligence, I have mostly had to deal with criticisms from people who absolutely didn’t seem to have properly read anything but a few posts, drawn their own conclusions and posted a comment or two spewing their venom on how much they thought I was wrong and stupid and such. I think those kinds of posts would fit in at the top of the diagram in the article, at point #9.

Don’t get me wrong, there are people who read my blog who aren’t complete asshats, it’s just that they’re the least vocal, preferring to read but not comment until they see a very good reason to do so.

Now, I must say that the silence treatment is indeed my preferred way of dealing with such negative comments as well, and it seems to work quite well. I do not remove the comments as I feel that there’s no reason to not display their ignorance to the world, but I won’t comment on them either.

So does the silent treatment work? On my blog it does apparently, unless the trolls in question are just moving on after spewing their nonsense once or twice. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

I miss 300 baud modems. I worked in a computer lab in high school that was connected to the mainframe through 300 baud modems with acoustic couplers. Being the jerk sysadmin-wannabe that I was, I would walk into the lab from time to time and whistle – you know, the loud kind with your fingers – and everyone’s screen was go berserk!

Ah I miss those analog da*)*V


Rule #280: Never respond to a critic in writing.


@Dennis Forbes. Pure awesome. Not because what you wrote was true, but for the simple fact that you state you aren’t a fan of this blog…even to the point that it causes you “deep personal distress,” and keeps you awake at night.

I must ask a few followup questions. Do you have a 2x4 that you hit yourself with every night? Do you constantly poke cuts or bruises and exclaim, “ow!”?

@Dennis Forbes, great comment.

First of all, guys stop going on about the fact that Jeff “said” the English woman’s name while saying he ignores her. That’s really not interesting at all.

Second of all, I agree that it is a bit contradictory to on the one hand say how great criticism is and on the other ask those who offer criticism to just ignore you. It’s one thing if someone is attacking personally with ad hominem but quite another to attack the content.

It is such a cop out to say “If you don’t like and don’t have somene nice to say then please go away.” Also, people who are saying “If you don’t like it then why do you waste your time, you little dorks, arguing against Jeff. Haha You are just putting more money in Jeff’s pockets.” First, that is just irrelevant and childish. If you only want cheerleader posts then either disable comments, moderate comments, or if nothing else just put a clear message saying “If you don’t agree then please don’t comment. We want an echo chamber.”

Part of the thing is that that the dismissiveness and blatant anti-intellectual that emanates from the blog adds to the vitriol of some comments, which is unfortunate. Then posts like “Well, it’s all just smackdown learning” and this one that goes like “Oh, bah, please just go away” just tend to annoy people. Commenters are here for many different. Most of them probably don’t care if showing the flaws of posts also serve to add more money into Jeff’s pocket in the form of ad revenue. It’s worth it to many people to visit and explain how something is wrong even if that by posting something totally wrong and getting you to post about it put 0.002 cents into Jeff’s pocket because of your visit.

The ironic thing is that the people who only want to see Cheerleader posts and want those not-cheerleading to just ignore Jeff and go away–these people could just ignore the comments and go away themselves. Nothing is stopping you from just reading the original post and writing a comment without engaging in the discussion.

Ignoring is way too cruel! There are very little people that I know of that deserve being ignored.

Not everything you have written about is a hit Jeff, but this was by far one of your best posts of all time. If I want precise details, I read a spec. Thanks for defining the baseline - I’d imagine a lot of people in the future will raise the bar but someone has to put that bar there in the first place.

@Dennis Forbes: my thoughts exactly.

I loved the Great Brain and his money-grubbing heart.

Jeff, I know you like to read Steve’s blog as you’ve referenced it and responded to various posts right here. Are your thoughts on his decision to stop blogging and the reasons behind it indirectly summed up in this particular post?

I still enjoy reading your blog, though I skip past the comments most of the time unless you’ve also made a comment. The signal to noise in the comments isn’t of a good ratio anymore. You get a lot more flak than you deserve IMO, yet you have a much better attitude towards it than Yegge. Props!

“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” - Justice Louis Brandeis, Whitney v. California (1927) http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=274&invol=357

“I am absolutely sick to death of hearing about Susan Boyle, both in the traditional media and online.” YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! I thought I was the only one! Her singing isn’t that good and she’s fat and ugly. Somewhere in North Korea, “The Dear Leader” is planning his nuclear strike capabilities but instead I’m subjected to nothing but gossip about Susan Boyle??? WTF man WTF…

Susan who?

I do have to agree with the spirit of this one. I carry the same scars as Jeff, and it took me a long time to learn these lessons.

Walking away isn’t the easy thing to do sometimes, but it’s always for the best. Just walk away, leave it alone, and move along. No matter how provocative, no matter what numskull is spewing what inflammatory drivel, just hit the close button instead of the send button, and forget it.

Even, as it happens, when Jeff himself spews inflammatory drivel.

So you are saying that if we, the readers of this blog, collectively ignore the next Susan Boyle that some TV exec is coming up with the next week, she will vanish in a puff of smoke and leave us alone? Is it that easy?

Welcome to Susan Boyle. The first rule of Susan Boyle is: you do not talk about Susan Boyle.

I guess the other readers disliked your Simpsons reference and decided to ignore it.

I thought it was well played.