It's a shame some people choose to follow fashion rather than logic.
While I wouldn't ever use IMVU, hundreds of thousands of other people do. How many people have created something where they can say that (even if Jeff can with Stackoverflow)? Though I am surprised that they're not profitable.
The reason I think IMVU isn't profitable is likely because they have such a high monthly usership and such a comparatively low revenue. I mean for 600,000 monthly viewers (not even repeat views) a blog would bring in amazing profits for relatively low bandwidth usage. However IMVU has high bandwidth usage simply due to its nature, yet it only brings in $1 mil a month.
I mean adsense can bring in like $1 easy for 1,000 views, that's easy $600 for 600,000 views. If people are constantly using it, like they do IM's, even just a daily visit from each would be near $20,000 with 100% front page visits from 1 small banner.
I might joke about it in person over a beer, which is perhaps the analog equivalent of a casual tweet.
The funny thing is that this is coming from Jeff Atwood, who blogs with pride on his use of MS and .NET technology. In the circles I mix with that is not something to be proud about or admit publically!
Working somewhere like twitter would be horrible. They've gone the whole "hype it up into its own bubble" route.
I guess if you don't like working on things that are used by kids, then that's up to you.
Look at http://www.neopets.com also - hugely successful. When you see kids using these things it's pretty cool.
What part about using a well designed language and platform with excellent tool-support should he be ashamed of?
I mean, he is obviously acting like a douche here, but if you are going to attack him for something, at least find some valid reasons.
Value is subjective. If someone pays for what you are doing, you are providing them value. You do not have to worry about the others. Yes, there are probably some behaviors that might lead society towards the brink and you could say that these should be negatively valued, but then who decides whether that society must be forced away from the brink.
Low-brow entertainment is valuable in someone's world.
"I entertain people. It is an honest occupation."
I define worthiness by the measure "are you doing something that benefits people?", and on all accounts IMVU is successful at it. You don't need to be curing cancer or ending hunger to be doing something worthwhile.
I'm fine with the people who provide low-brow entertainment. At the same time... I really wish they'd spend their time trying for something a bit more up-scale.