A very common mistake on the internet is to see a group interested in some topic, and to mistake the group for the mass of individuals that make it up, to think that the group itself has some sort of individual ontological existence, and that the individuals are somehow stuck to this "group" thing. If this experiences any success at all, calls will be issued by the hundreds to take this platform and group of people and get them to do something else. Perhaps even something nice sounding. And if you give in, you will in mere minutes destroy the entire thing, because there isn't actually an entity that can be led around... instead, there is a whole bunch of individuals who will rapidly and correctly conclude this thing is no longer what they signed up for, if they wanted a general advocacy group they'd do something else, and the whole thing will dissolve in a puff of smoke.
It's a great idea, but it needs to stay laser-focused on the Internet freedom issues that created it, and nothing else. No matter how tempting. You can not take the resulting group and use it like a handle to move people's opinions around in any direction.
Well said. This is not so much different from targeting a product brand - first you need to deliver on something that your audience wants. Then you might expand... cautiously.
Delivery is key. If you don't deliver something useful in a meaningful time period - throw the brand away - it's already useless. Pivots are more successful if you already have some traction.
If you do get lucky and delivery something useful within a meaningful time period, then you must keep delivering. You can expand scope, but never waver on the original promise (or an underlying principle on which the promise is based). Dilution is a big risk here.
More successful is to create separate brands and weave them together. This takes great skill, but forges an even stronger presence.
> Optional code that activates automatically according to criteria you specify (e.g. SOPA returns).
I think Facebook has a similar thing called "causes"?
1) Add nothing to the conversation. Just upvote if you agree; also commenting to that effect adds nothing.
2) They clutter up the comments, so they are actually worse than not commenting at all.
I seem to recall a previous version of the style guidelines actively encouraging us to downvote such posts in order to train newer accounts to stop doing it. But I might not be remembering correctly.
In any case, I can pretty much guarantee that's why you were downvoted (and I didn't downvote you, personally).
Yes there are advantages and drawbacks of showing the upvotes-downvotes but one drawback is that you create a need for "I agree"-comments.
"With great power comes great responsibility," etc.
@jasonrr and I built a (free) app for this (http://shipordie.com/post/15463322294/contact-congress-talk-...). I can confirm that once you have your congress critters on your phone's speed dial, you wonder why this wasn't always the case.
I expected better from someone in his position. Why not use his influence to galvanize people into effecting change by getting involved in the political process? This slackivist crap isn't going to work every time a major bill is on the cusp of passing in either legislature.
Can't we just give some people we trust for now a little smite authority? Then when they see government colluding with big business to take away our liberties they hit the big red button?
In the meantime, is it really that evil for the rest of us to get back to our friends, families, hobbies, spiritual pursuits, and such?
I say this as a person who spends his non-working time watching political news shows... but that's because it interests me. Seems a shame that the default economical/political/internet framework isn't one that gravitates toward liberty and eschews those who try to grab power over our lives.
I'm not suggesting we "only" delegate our civic responsibilities. I'm saying that every citizen shouldn't have to make politics his life's study and sole devotion in order to not get screwed out of his liberties.
Otherwise, our society's only point is to bicker endlessly about politics. What a sad society indeed.
Giving someone temporary authority to act in your interests based upon opinions they've expressed and behavior they've exhibited is hardly allowing them to dictate what I think.
We abdicate authority to people all the time: doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, weathermen, etc.
Extending a reasonable amount of trust to those who devote all their time to a particular subject isn't allowing other people to dictate how you think.
It's more of a pet project than a start-up, so I don't imagine it will take up too much of his time. If it does, it's going to feel a little vain and put the people behind more in the centre than the cause.
But then again, who knows. If it does galvanize enough people to call their representatives each time another SOPA comes along, then good I guess, for the time being? Regardless, it's only a tiny battle won in a war with no end in sight and can't be resolved through blacking out websites each time.
I'm glad the internet is finally taking advantage of their position to get average people informed about what's happening.
By the way, the stalwart of free software named his pet project after an African antelope. Linux uses a penguin as a mascot, BSD a cartoon devil. Github has a cartoon "octocat", half octopus, half cat.
I get why they're using the cat but lots of sites that I think would host this may be turned off by the format?
It was a way to make the dangers of the law immediately tangible to regular internet users.
But I can also fully understand why other commenters here at HN have opinions about how Reddit builds community.
Also, People vs Larry Flint: http://i.minus.com/ibfNdJy39bLELF.jpg
Interestingly, most of the items on that ISERP are internet-related.
Governments won't listen to a few people whinging unless it costs them something.
It will cost them a lot if people cannot access their online services.
Why link to a story about the latest SpaceX exploits rather than directly to the SpaceX website?