Haters Extreme

One of the best and most inspirational bloggers around, Kathy Sierra, has been rightly scared and upset by a bunch of vile stuff that’s been written about her online. She has an amazing blog and a network of incredibly strong supporters (judging by the 550 comments and counting). And it would be awful to see her stop blogging as a result of this.

I’m in no way making any excuses for any of what’s been written or suggested anywhere. But something that popped into my head as I was reading what the scumbags have been writing:

I’m glad I’m not Paris Hilton (or Britney)

If you think of the volume of abuse that these two ladies get online. Fake porn, real porn, death threats, games where the objective is for everyone to kill them, etc. etc. etc. It defies belief, morals and logic. But somehow it’s tolerated. Because they’re celebrities who have massive fame and fortune people (including the mainstream media) see them as fair game.

In a culture where we can all generate a level of fame (for most of us it will be nano-fame), does that mean that we need to be able to tolerate the same kind of hatred and backlashes that ‘proper’ famous people have to endure? Thinking about the previous posts about haters, I got some pico-haters, Russell got hit by some micro-haters, and poor Kathy’s ended up getting hit by some proper vile mega-haters. But I’m glad I’m not up there with Paris and her giga-hated celeb friends.

I’m not quite sure what to say about Kathy’s predicament. I just hope she starts blogging again and manages to find a way to put these horrors behind her (or behind bars if they’re serious!).

Happy is good

In her, always smart but never overwhelming style Kathy Sierra writes about angry negative people being bad for your brain. There’s a lot of detail and science in there, but it is really worth a read.

I first read the article a couple of weeks ago, but got pointed back to it by Russell’s piece about how planners shouldn’t be grumpy just to appear smart which I read yesterday. It reminded me of a conversation that I had with my mum over dinner a few months ago. We were talking about my ambitions (my mum’s good at stuff like that, she’s a very clever lady; she knows a lot about personal development and learning).

I said “I want to be the kind of person that everyone wants to work with, the sort of person that brightens up people’s days”. I think it was because I’d met someone just previously who I not only admired, but also thought “I could work with this person all day every day”.

So we started chatting about what it is that makes someone like this. And for me, it’s a mix of:

  • Knowing some things (being smart-ish) – if you can offer knowledge people often want to work with you. But if you’re a miserable git and get-off on the fact that you know stuff, you become a bore pretty quickly.
  • Being a nice person – I’m not pure evil, so I guess that’s a start.
  • Being infectious – for me this is the really interesting one. I can only comment on this from looking around and seeing the other people who I consider to be infectious. The people that others gravitate towards, the ones who inspire. They’ve generally got a special blend of skill (it’s not always about knowledge) and disposition (usually it’s a type of happy, but I reckon thatapproachability and a willingness to listen is a big part of it too).

So I’m going to try to stay happy and see where it gets me.

Sorry, that was a bit of a self-indulgent ramble. I must be getting the hang of this blogging lark. But it is nice to see other people fighting the corner for happy.

(Interestingly I happened to catch The Apprentice last night. And it was really funny to see that of the two sacked blokes, Sir Alan Sugar commented that he was going to keep in touch with one of them. And It was pretty much just because he was a really nice guy.)

The best thing about Web 2.0

Creating Passionate Users: The best thing about Web 2.0 – As per normal Kathy Sierra makes some amazingly valid points over on one of my favourite blogs.

Isn’t it bugging when you read articles that express what you’re thinking so much better than you ever could?

Another case in point with Kathy is her article on ‘Dignity is Deadly’. She talks about the painful puberty that companies face when they try to grow beyond their startup roots. And questions the need to grow-up in the first place. A question dear to my heart (professionally and privately;))