Today I ran into an interesting response to Paul’s post on those who dislike the awesome bar (which I decided not to link to). The post pulls the following quote from the end of Paul’s well thought-out and harmless article:
So just give it a shot and quit complaining. Yes, it is a complete paradigm shift. But it’s not called the Awesome Bar for nothing; it really is awesome once you give it a chance
And proceeded to call Paul an “asshat” and a “discredit to the Mozilla community”. Really? One sentence saying “give it a chance” and all of a sudden Paul’s an asshat?
Normally I would ignore this and chalk it up to people seeking out drama for the sake of snagging pageviews, but it made me realize that most media does this. The Firefox 3 launch was absolutely amazing: we had 8 million people download our software in 24 hours, 12 million in 48. It’s unreal! Yet I’ve seen dozens of posts and articles talking about a minor outage and “howls of derision across the blogosphere”. Are people that desperate for a negative angle to a story? I’ve yet to hear one negative comment from people in person (granted, I see a lot of Mozilla employees, but I still see/talk to other non-Moz folk). The execution had a few hiccups, but the overall project went amazingly well.
This is why I like sites like Hacker News. The community discourages blowing things out of proportion. For example, I recently commented on a post entitled Firefox 3 smart bar is just too smart, and it led to an intelligent discussion about the merits of the bar. My post said basically the same thing as Paul’s, but there’s less hostility towards differing opinions, and it results in the ability to actually discuss things instead of pointless name-calling.
So the next time you’re writing a blog post focusing on a tiny negative aspect of a project, think about the big picture, and if it really matters, or is just a rant to spread negative views that only benefit your pageview count.