I got flash mobbed
Ugh. I've had to reboot my web server four times in the last three days, and I will have to pay Slicehost extra for bandwidth this month. Google "everybody hates firefox updates" and you can see all the places that linked to my article. Hacker News. Reddit. Fuckin' Forbes! What the hell?
My poor web server couldn't handle the load.
I made an account at Hacker News to respond to some of the hundred-plus posts there. My account was instantly banned because I triggered a false positive on their spam filter, so I wasn't able to participate in the disucssion. I eventually got unbanned but the thread was over by that point.
If any of my former coworkers are reading this, I want to apologize. I didn't expect this to go viral, I didn't expect it to be misinterpreted the way it has been, and I definitely didn't intend to do harm to Mozilla's reputation with this post. But I'm afraid that could be happening, because most of the re-blogs seem to be portraying this as a standard disgruntled employee rant against his company. Which has obscured the point I really wanted to make, about the disconnect between the user's goals and the developer's goals which is endemic to the whole software industry.
I've had a few thoughtful comments, but mostly it's just been people piling on to bitch about Firefox and/or Chrome. The number of people responding to the main point of my post is very low. A lot of people reblogging it or discussing it on Reddit or wherever don't even seem to have read what I wrote.
Any news site referring to "Jono DiCarlo, Firefox developer" clearly A. has no idea who I am, B. doesn't care enough to get my name right, and C. hasn't read my article, where I refer to Mozilla as my former employer.
Also, I was never a Firefox developer. I worked on Labs and then on User Research, never on the main product itself. I guess "firefox dev says firefox suxxors" was the irresitible link-bait headline, facts be damned.
This has taught me something very sad and frustrating about how communication goes wrong on the internet. I posted something that was close to a lot of peoples' hot buttons. So it "went viral" and appeared to generate a lot of discussion. But most of the people "discussing" don't even care what I said. They just wanted a thread to re-state their favorite rants about Firefox memory consumption or whatever. My post was just used as fodder for a pre-existing flame war. The point I wanted to talk about got lost in the noise.
I've closed new account creation on this site until this blows over. If you already have an account you can still comment. Generally the only people who bother to comment here are people I'm friends with in real life, and that's the way I like it. I don't particularly care about the opinions of random strangers from the Internet, and I don't want to spend any energy hosting, moderating, or responding to their comments.
If I know you in real life and you want to comment here, send me an email and I can enable you. In the future, I may implement some kind of locked-post feature so I can write something for my friends without inviting the whole internet to the party.
If this is what internet fame is like, I don't want any!