Found out about this talk from Ryan Davis at Cascadia RubyConf because of an incensed reaction to it from Giles Bowkett on his blog. Thing is, I like the talk. I even like the bits that Bowkett doesn’t. Of course, I wasn’t one of the folks specifically mentioned, and he was. So there’s going to be a different perspective there.
But I could have been. Heck, I tried my hand at cute ranty posts a few years back, and one of them threw what I thought was a light hearted jab at Ryan. But it really bugged him. He told me so the next time I logged into IRC, much later. I could see why it would when I looked back at the post and imagined it without context. The joke wasn’t even that funny with context. Our posts on big or little blogs - or social networks, for that matter - have a reach far beyond what we might think when we’re sitting at the keyboard. They can span the globe in a split second, and still be out there for years.
On revisiting the forgotten joke, I saw that it could be considered offensive if you weren’t in the unique garden of my brain. I was really shaken by the fact that somebody I had such respect for (the guy is basically a genius in Ruby and other domains) had taken a lasting offense to something that I’d long forgotten about. So I cleared the post and got into the habit of checking myself before wrecking myself.
I don’t mind if someone somewhere thinks I’m a jerk. I want it to be for a better reason than me pretending to be an insult comic, though.
So, yeah. The guidelines mentioned by Ryan Davis for tending to the community are great, but it wouldn’t do any harm to use them as guidelines for tending yourself. You know: “Don’t be a dick!”