Air your dirty laundry here? April 10, 2001 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Kottke and Ms. Hourihan, if you have something to say, just say it.
posted by netbros to Etiquette/Policy at 1:55 PM (26 comments total)

Piling on Evan Williams because he appears in a Gannett article has the appearance of dirty laundry. If you feel cheated by the Pyra conclusion then hire a lawyer, otherwise the jibs and jabs are becoming tiresome.
posted by netbros at 2:05 PM on April 10, 2001

Eh? They were piling on? What am I missing? I'm thinking (hoping) that there is some misinterpretation of "tone" here.
posted by Skot at 2:23 PM on April 10, 2001

Yes netbros, please explain.
posted by megnut at 2:32 PM on April 10, 2001

Kottke: "perhaps the Nebraskan isn't as "unassuming" as advertised"

megnut: "the only acurate statement in the entire article is, 'Evan Williams didn't invent the blog.'"

If I am guilty of reading between the lines, then my apologies to you both, and to MetaFilter. Only y'all know your intent.
posted by netbros at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2001

the jibs and jabs are becoming tiresome

I count two in the thread, are there others I'm missing?

Would you not agree netbros, that the story was a bit too much about how "Ev Williams did x, y, and z to start blogging" without mentioning anyone else? I think meg and jason (and me, by mentioning it early in the thread) are simply protesting the "story" as told in this article.

It's not a very factual article, even according to others in the thread that didn't work for Pyra. How can we be expected to sit here and not say anything? Does the criticism seem unwarranted?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:40 PM on April 10, 2001

If the comments are about the article specifically, without knowing the complete context of Evan's full interview, how much editing was done, etc. — OK. To this feeble mind, Jason's comment in particular seemed directly aimed at Evan, not at the publisher of the article.
posted by netbros at 2:47 PM on April 10, 2001

just say it

How about this: "fuck off."
posted by jkottke at 3:25 PM on April 10, 2001

posted by rcade at 4:26 PM on April 11, 2001

posted by rodii at 8:34 PM on April 11, 2001

But this is the kind of thing we seem to get now from Mr. Kottke...
posted by owillis at 9:36 PM on April 11, 2001

Oh please owillis, to compare an obviously fed-up response from Jason with his honest critique of a community's behavior (and one which he asked valid questions regarding our actions) is foolish. You're comparing apples and oranges.

It's tiresome to have one's every post read-into for "hidden" messages or meanings, to have secret agendas attributed to one's actions. Sometimes the only response, albeit not the most civil, is "fuck off," or something similar.

Netbros has no idea what happened at Pyra, he didn't work there, he didn't build Blogger. If he chooses to speculate on what we, as former employees and friends of employees, write in response to grossly inaccurate portrayals of our experiences, and if he does so with an aggressive and accusatory post, he can expect a response in similar tone.
posted by megnut at 10:11 PM on April 11, 2001

well I read things same as netbros as to a valid (and not accusatory at all) inquiry into what seemed to be some sort of po'ed response to an article about ev.

so instead of saying "i thought the article misstated the facts", kottke says "fuck off". exhibiting that attitude of "i'll say something in a public place, but god damn if i'm going to actually respond when someone asks for detail".

you guys post your inner thoughts for the world to see, so how dare us ask you about them?
posted by owillis at 10:21 PM on April 11, 2001

Meg you're right. I know nothing about the inside of Pyra. Any speculation I make about what happened there, and what has happened since, is unfair on my part. I'm just a dork from the other side of the country. I liked Pyra. I liked all the people who worked there, in the Internet virtual sense. Y'all did some great work together that, unfortunately for the company, took too long to get noticed.

It was a sad time when Pyra ran out of money. Sad for those who lost their jobs, sad for the one who stuck around to pick up the pieces, sad for the community that built up around the products and aspirations. It was truly a shame so many dreams went unfulfilled.

It's really none of my business to poke my nose in. Even though crippled, Pyra has a positive legacy right now in the Internet world. Wouldn't it be nice if it remained that way? If the press is reporting untruths, that isn't right, and it should concern the former Pyra employees. However, when someone who wasn't an employee criticizes the subject rather than the reporter, that also isn't right.

Matt has talked at length in recent weeks about wanting to clean up MetaFilter of the back-biting and personal attacks. I was doing my bit with my initial post in this thread to help with that cause. In hindsight, it was probably too agressive and accusatory. I would like to remember Pyra, and the work y'all did together, as a good and positive example of everything that is right with the Net. Perhaps that's Pollyannish.
posted by netbros at 10:46 PM on April 11, 2001

Was it really a criticism of the subject? Or was it an observation, perhaps stingingly phrased, that one cannot always blame reporters for messing up the story?

I've talked to enough press to know that what you say doesn't always end up in the article. That can happen for many reasons: the reporter has his/her own story to tell; the editor mangles the shit out of the article, destroying whatever grains of truth existed to begin with; or possibly the people being interviewed tell the tale they want to be told.

I have no idea what Evan said in the interview. I know him well enough to assume that he did not claim there were multiple partners at Pyra.

I think Jason's point was simply one should not assume it's the writer who's at fault. It may as easily be the interviewee.

Netbros, thanks for the kind words, it's nice to hear. I'm glad you you have such positive feelings about Pyra. It means a lot, and I don't think it's Pollyana-ish at all.
posted by megnut at 11:12 PM on April 11, 2001

W/R/T Owillis' comments, Meg's right: There's nothing wrong with intelligent, tough-love criticism of the MeFi community. But I think it's a relevant link, in that one has to wonder how much "fuck off" is a sign of an "open, frank, and inviting environment." (Unless Jason's "fuck off" was parody, which is plausible and would be about the most brilliant thing I've read here all week. I am not being ironic.)

Back to Netbros' original point, I think it's a good one: If you want to slag Evan here, fine. But out of fairness to us and to Evan, don't be so damn cute and oblique about it, and when someone objects to the obliqueness, don't tell them to go screw. Why, exactly, is Evan such a monster?
posted by luke at 8:16 AM on April 12, 2001

Who said he was?
posted by megnut at 10:50 AM on April 12, 2001

"perhaps the Nebraskan isn't as 'unassuming' as advertised" suggests some people have serious problems with the way he conducts himself, no?
posted by luke at 11:10 AM on April 12, 2001

Even if they did, do you think they would write about it on a public website for everyone to read in perpetuity?
posted by megnut at 11:20 AM on April 12, 2001

I understand the wish to hear the "real story" or "complete story" but some things are best kept to oneself.

If anyone really wants the full story, buy me a beer the next time you're in San Francisco (hint: the more beers you buy me, the more truth you'll get).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:21 AM on April 12, 2001

"Even if they did, do you think they would write about it on a public website for everyone to read in perpetuity?"

Uh, yes.

"But some things are best kept to oneself."

I totally agree, which is why I -- and I think netbros, too -- am saying, keep it all to yourselves or tell us everything. Enough with these little digs, which to the uninformed reader (read as, "me") seem to have a subtext of "If only we could tell you what a bad person Evan is."
posted by luke at 11:56 AM on April 12, 2001

I've seen on Mefi recently so many levels of irony, sarcasm, and sincerity that I can't really even tell what's serious and what's not anymore.

Unless Jason's "fuck off" was parody, which is plausible and would be about the most brilliant thing I've read here all week. I am not being ironic.

Without sounding too Purdy-ish, I'm going to try to tone down my ironimizer a bit just so I say what I mean. Or maybe I'm just being ironic again. Shit.

posted by norm at 2:02 PM on April 12, 2001

> Why, exactly, is Evan such a monster?
> keep it all to yourselves or tell us everything

Sorry Luke, that's not going to happen. We don't live in a black and white world, there's no boolean value for Evan, or any of us. We are all human. We have moments of greatness and moments of baseness, and lots of moments in between.

There is a bothersome assumption in this thread that because a person chooses to reveal a piece of something, those who've seen the glimmer are entitled to the whole.

Because I told you something, I must tell you everything? Because I wrote some of my thoughts on my website, or here, I must expose my inner-most feelings to all who demand to know? I'm sorry, but I don't subscribe to such dualistic thinking.

posted by megnut at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2001

Very well.
posted by luke at 3:05 PM on April 12, 2001

meg, i'm pretty binary: up/down, on/off , all/nothing type guy so mebbe i was applying the same logic to you.

/me respects your privacy.
posted by owillis at 7:27 PM on April 12, 2001

posted by lagado at 8:46 PM on April 12, 2001

The less said the better. I hate seeing all this dirty laundry. This and the Astounding post just make me sad.

The initial posting strikes me as unprofessional. Since the poster tends to only have a casual interest they slither by. It's hard not to respond to stuff when people write about you in a public forum. I don't blame anyone for doing it. It might even be a good way to blow off steam, but doing in places like this have the side-effect as Megnut has pointed out of remaining far longer then they should.
posted by john at 1:20 PM on April 13, 2001

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