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Not my stock title

Though it was darn interesting

Sunday morning I posted a lengthy musing on the writings of a couple of people in the Linux / Open Source movement and what it meant to me. I asked someone (who will remain nameless, but is free to stick his hand up if he wants to) who is a Linux fellow traveler what he thought of my thoughts. He brought my little epistle to the attention of Slashdot.

Oh. My. God.

I think this one post generated more comments than all of the rest of the posts I've made in almost two years on Live Journal. It certainly set a high-water mark for anonymous posts that will probably stand for a good long time (we can conclude that the set of people who are active Slashdot readers and the set of people who are LJ users have a very small intersection). Many of the comments were thoughtful; a bunch were appreciative; and a bunch demonstrated that the commentator had only just skimmed my post. Oh, and then there were a couple of fist fights. Between Slashdotters in anonymous comments in my LJ. About their own pieces of trivia. Looking at this unfold I felt like a barkeep eyeing some unruly customers, reaching for the scattergun under the bar, and thinking of telling them "You there! Take that ruckus outside!"

Then there was the maelstrom of commentary on Slashdot itself. At this point there are 451 comments. A survey shows that most of them are infighting over which distro has this or that and how this or that is better (or worse) than some thing in Windows. Many of them kicked straight off into debating the articles I linked; few of them even noticed what I wrote. And there is a big contingent of people who think that Nicholas Petreley is a horse's ass. Though the "Nick has it right" crowd was represented too. My hands-down favorite of all of the wasted bandwidth is this:
i have a question (Score:1)
by moochfish (822730) on Monday March 13, @04:38PM (#14910998)
Sorry, I'm really not trying to troll here, but who the heck is the author? The article summary doesn't say jack about this. It looks like a random rant on some dude's Livejournal to an article he read. What am I missing here and why is this slashdot news worthy again?

Amen, brother.

Ok, there are a couple of cool aspects to this. An excerpt from my post was on the home page of Slashdot for a few hours, and one of the people who commented in my LJ was Dominic Humphries - the author of one of the two articles that spurred my writing. And I'm indirectly responsible for Linux Journal's site getting Slashdotted – I linked to both source articles and such a thundering herd of Slashdotters charged over to read Nick Petreley's piece that they brought that LJ's site to its knees.

I am, however, profoundly glad that the collective attention span of the Slashdotterotti is as short as it is intense. And I'm also glad that I don't host my own blog on one of my servers. I can picture the little DSL line that feeds the servers going eek! *THUD* during the height of the storm.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
and thinking of telling them "You there! Take that ruckus outside!"

Oh, c'mon, you loved it! Watching LJ drama unfold is fun! People are willing to pick fights and argue about anything. I'm simply amazed that many people feel passionate about it.

Which I've just recently learned as I managed to unintentionally piss quite a few people myself this week, embarrassingly, in other people's journals.
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
People are willing to pick fights and argue about anything.

Yes, but do they have to do it in my quiet little corner of the Internet! :-)

...And they only seem to know one rhetorical technique: nit picking! Oh, and the attack ad hominum.
Mar. 16th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
No kidding! They go right for the jugular and for seemingly ridiculous reasons. I made one woman so mad (all I did was rec a sarcastic website that makes fun of bad fanfiction) she even used an avatar of barbed wire to make her point on how evil I was.
Mar. 15th, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
slashdot effect
The /. effect is quite interesting, I wonder if someday hackers will spoof slashdot articles just to DOS a server.

Speaking of that, how did your email box handle the flood of comments?

I enjoyed your article/thoughts. There are too many zelots on every side out there. A more moderate point of view was most welcomed.
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
Re: slashdot effect
My inbox was fine, if a bit daunting. LJ comment notifications are tiny; one email full of semipornographic joke JPGs from my wife's uncle is bigger than all of that text. :-)

I enjoyed your article/thoughts. There are too many zelots on every side out there. A more moderate point of view was most welcomed.

Thank you. Moderation seems to be in short supply all over. I suppose that I've been spoiled in the past five years -- all of the real Holy Wars in networking seem to have been settled: Ethernet vs. Token Ring, TCP/IP vs. IPX, later Gig Ethernet vs. ATM. But no one mourns for ARCnet. Anyway, I've kinda sat out the whole the SIP vs. Skinny thing -- I just haul the voice guys' packets around! Anyway2 along with the lack of moderation seems to be a lack of understanding that the other guy isn't just like you.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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