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on Oct 6, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite

Whilst I agree with the sentiment, I'm not sure what's so great about this blog post. John - you can write productive, constructive, informative and even inspiring blog posts. This is not it. Please write more of your other kinds of blog posts.

This post is no more worthy of praise than the tweets it quotes.

I understand. People always want me to be "productive, constructive, informative and even inspiring".

Every once in a while I also like to bitch.

Another important consideration is that in order to write lots of blog posts (some of which you have enjoyed) I have to write a lot. Some will be hits, others misses. But I can't only write the good ones, I have to write to practice and to keep the flow.

> People always want me to be "productive, constructive, informative and even inspiring".

They can't complain, they aren't paying for it. ;-)

Early morning devil's advocacy:

Why are you allowed to complain about other people's free content? You weren't paying for the content they provided where they complained about outages, surely?

Or was a mild irony an intended part of the article?

In addition, if they are being "used", shouldn't they vote with their feet to be "used" by another site (read: evil boyfriend) that treats them better and gives them shinier things? The first step in that is voicing their discontent so other suitors get the hint.


For what it's worth, I also much prefer your less negative articles-- more hit than miss usually. But, well... I can't complain.

Don't worry, I've got plenty of other interesting things to write about. Normal (expected) service will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, we are all complaining about the downtime in normal services.

That made me laugh. I've got the message! :-)

Why are you allowed to complain about other people's free content?

Are you suggesting he is not allowed?

If time is money, then time spent using a service is still an investment made in that service regardless of any currency changing hands. Plus, making a free service doesn't make you immune from criticism.

> Are you suggesting he is not allowed?

You misunderstand-- that line comes from shifting the original author's opinion back at his own complaint. The devil's advocate I channeled doesn't really have an opinion of its own.

The point is that it's somewhat worth noting that complaining about someone else's complaints hints at self-contradiction.

[Aside: I guess sometimes other people use the "devil's advocate" voice for their own opinions? Not in my circles-- it's always used for giving a view that may be contrary (or different) from your own for logical discussions and/or debate.]

Certainly I personally have no opinion/say on what he's allowed to talk about. Though I do admit a preference for positive or neutral topics over negative ones.

  > I guess sometimes other people use the "devil's advocate" voice
  > for their own opinions?
I think that sometimes people use it in a "don't shoot the messenger, this is just food for thought" way when opposing a statement (i.e. being non-confrontational). But, in general, it is best used when you are presenting beliefs that are not your own (i.e. a way of distancing your personal beliefs from what you are saying, in an effort to spawn discussion/present an oppsing viewpoint/etc).

People complaining on the internet is probably the one problem least likely to be alleviated via complaints on the internet. Furthermore, any argument you can construct about why its okay to complain about people complaining would apply equally to the original complainers (it's not like you were paying for them not to complain).

Just like in WarGames the only sensible strategy is to not participate.

That's what drinks in the piazza/bar/whatever are for, no?

I guess the fault lies with whoever voted it up.

My guess is that the upvotes are more about telling people who have social media codependency to shut up rather than the particular rant about how they're bitching about something they're not paying for, but I could be wrong.

I'm sick of the social media explosion and will be glad when most of this crap dies and we're left with a few players that allow me to have meaningful exchanges or keep up with people, etc.

HN is my piazza

You should come visit a real one here in Italy - drinks are on me, and it's a lot more fun than HN in many ways. If you want to expense it in terms of research for cool geek things, Padova was Galileo's home for the 'happiest years of his life', and there is a tower he supposedly used for observations. Also, the first operating theater was built in Padova in 1594. Other illustrious people associated with the University here include Fallopio (yes, that one), and Federico Faggin - pulled out of my head at random.

This an honest question: why do you have the goal to write "lots of blog posts", as opposed to focusing on quality and/or fun? Regarding your recent Ask HN about monetizing your blog that made you remove the ads, that can't be the reason.

I write to practice writing, not for ads (as you rightly say I dropped all external advertising from the site). I think you have to keep writing to get better at it and I don't believe it's an always monotonically increasing process of quality. Sometimes there'll be misses.

That's not to say I post anything. I doubt you care about my opinion of Katie Price.

I guess I can't bitch about bad weather either, since I'm not paying anyone for sunny days.

Read again the examples you quote in your post. What does exactly make you think those people feel entitled to a perfect service for free? They are just not happy about the service being down. That's pretty normal.

Aren't they doing what he is doing, complaining about stuff they have no control over? So if they can do what they do, then he can do what he had just does, whinge about them complaining.

post an asinine and narcissistic update to your Facebook 'friends'

Perhaps I'm outside of the norm in my use of Facebook, but I don't think I'm that unusual. I use FB to keep in touch with my family, all of whom live several thousands of miles away. I also have a six week old daughter. So yes, FB is very important to me and I'm quite annoyed when I find a spare ten minutes to share some photos and it happens to be down.

What's my paid alternative, which all of my family can join for free (I'll pay, but I can't expect them to as well) and which has at least say five-nines uptime?

Wow that just made me think: why isn't there a facebook for families only? Surely, some people would pay for it.

You don't need 5 nines uptime. Just copy the photos to Dropbox and they'll get shared when everything is up. You can either use Dropbox's built-in photo sharing feature, or use the one and only full-featured photo site that lets you upload via Dropbox. That photo site, incidentally, can feed Facebook via FriendFeed.

> You know what? I couldn't care in the slightest that you can't be Mayor of the coffee shop round the corner, or post an asinine and narcissistic update to your Facebook 'friends', or Tweet your breakfast, or feed your virtual flock.

Good job you're not wasting your time on any of these "favourite waste of time sites" to see our rantings, then.

I have never lived in a time where my favourite service or product cost money. It has always been free. Forgive me for growing accustomed to the world that you have built...

Money quote: "You are the ingredients in their Soylent Green"

You missed the best part:

"You are the ingredients in their Soylent Green. Shouting about that isn't something to be proud of."

Regretfully there does not seem to be a single interesting or new thought in that post. What am I missing that all the up-voters are seeing?

Interestingly, this comes 1 day after Dropbox was down for a few hours - that happens to be a service I do pay for :)

Although I wasn't too upset about it, really - services sometimes go down, it's a part of life. No reason to complain about it!

But in an odd kind of way, people do have a right to be annoyed. It's a little bit circuitous, but... People trade their data, pseudo-willingly, for a perceived service (which they like). They know that Facebook et al make money from this. Therefore, if Facebook still have their data, but start offering less, or take the service away, the terms have changed. If it goes down, it is now imbalanced. Annoyance results.

Admittedly, most of the people using these services probably haven't considered it very deeply, and more peeved that the shiny has gone...

Not really fair as the users haven't been given the option to pay.

I don't think that it is right to say that it is a waste of time to use these Social Media services. If it is so it would be also a waste of time to hang around with friends or walk in the park. That's not true. People want to have fun and you can have fun on FaceBook. You can also have fun with friends and so on.

What I'm trying to say is if you want see such things as a "waste of time" then shouldn't go out with friends or to the cinema instead you should work or learn something.

Everyone should be free to choose what is a waste of time for himself.

(sorry for my bad (!!) english. I hope you got the idea) EDIT: fixed some grammar errors (I bet there are tons of left)

"x is down" seems to be the "man, it's raining" of the internets. Everyone around knows when it's happening, everyone knows it'll eventually get better, but there's the urge to whine anyways.

Well the Internet did help raise a generation of people who are full of sense of entitlement, who think everything is supposed to be free yet brag about ad blocking and piracy, and when they finally do get a few cents out of their pocket think that what they are doing is "rewarding the developer" instead of simply fulfilling their obligation in the free market.

I suppose it depends on the circumstance. I built something for an event at my company on Monday that utilized the Foursquare API to grab recent checkins at the event and make a "slot machine" that randomly picked a winner.

And, you may remember, Foursquare was down pretty much all day Monday. It was an extra thing for the event that I did after hours, a bit reluctant to be spending precious weekend time building it, but I figured it would be worth it. It wasn't.

Obviously, we should have used more than just Foursquare, aggregating checkins across multiple services — I mean, the event was about social media — but unfortunately there wasn't anymore time to do so.

I suppose the truth of the matter is that you shouldn't rely on any third-party service (especially free ones... Facebook and your ever-changing API, I'm looking at you).

Now if we could just get our clients to understand that.

People do pay for these "free" sites. Not with their money, but with their time. If people weren't putting time into the sites, the sites would be worthless.

It's not unreasonable for people who are giving companies all this free labor to expect to get benefits for that labor -- like constantly having access.

Sorry, I don't agree with this at all, and I think that is part of what the "Soylent Green" comment was meant to address.

People aren't giving "free labor", the sites are tricking people into working for free with no claim to earnings. I think this is a very important distinction.

You are correct that the sites would be worthless without the users time investment, but you should also be aware that the users have NO claim to profits, earnings, compensation, etc., other than in the "privilege" of continuing to donate their time for free.

They aren't asking for money, just that the site be up!

I wonder why this post didn't get a single vote:


even though it was submitted earlier and basicly states the same thing?

Because jgrahamc is a well known member of this community and prolific contributor, and so his stuff gets upvoted more easily.

Also, I timed my submission to hit when the US East Coast was awake. My submission hit around 0930 Eastern whereas that submission was two hours earlier.

> If you were paying for them you wouldn't be bitching on whatever social media sites are still up about the other site being down. If you were paying you'd be calling their support line, just like you do in the real world, remember?

Ha ha, what? I tried to convert this into a coherent sane syllogism, but failed. You need some bizarre premises like 'paid services can instantly solve their problems if you just call them' or 'ad-supported services spend downtime lounging around and laughing at the users'.

one use case where I'd hate facebook to be down: when I'm trying to find the party address of a friend I haven't got a number of yet.

As much as I don't like facebook or most addictive 'free' services, there's many friends out there who treat it like the new email.

Ok if you don't care then

1. You should have automatically disregarded all of those tweets/status/whatever-s.

2. If you have written a full post about this then you care.

Umm.... a two part strange loop

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