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I'm Ryan Lowe, a Software Engineering graduate living in Ottawa, Canada. I like agile software development and Ruby on Rails.
I write this blog in Canadian English and don't use a spell checker. Typos happen.
» Full-time Ruby on Rails freelancer
» Full-time with Rails since May 2005
» Former committer for RadRails (now Aptana)
» I also have a few Rails side-projects in development:
1. wheretogoinTO.com Toronto nightlife
2. Hey Heads Up! TODO list and sharing
3. Layered Genealogy family history research
4. foos for foosball scoring
5. fanconcert for music fans (on hold)
Hiring Rails developers? I can telecommute by the hour from Ottawa, Canada
»» Email: rails AT ryanlowe DOT ca
Now hosted on Hey! Heads Up -- check it out!
Derek Lowe's (Ryan's older brother) words at Ryan's funeral
email@example.com no more
Forging Email Headers: Good, Bad or Ugly?
Sarcastic Dictionary (Part 1 of Many)
Twisting Rails is Risky Business
Risky Business? My Take on Early Alphas
Whoa, it's August 2007
A Postscript to "Growth at the grassroots"
»» All Blog Posts
David Heinemeier Hansson
James Duncan Davidson
Signal vs. Noise
Amy Hoy: (24)slash7
Luis de la Rosa
An Abuse Trifecta
I was just about to write a post explaining how my less frequent blogging is a lack of something I need to talk about when this abuse happens to Kathy Sierra. Please, go read it. Kathy Sierra is a major figure in the Web 2.0 movement, so it's getting a lot of attention. I agree with Tim Bray: we need to shine a bright light on this kind of bad behaviour.
A lot of people are pointing to the general anonymity of the Internet as the problem. Others think it's the gender imbalance of the tech industry, calling the industry and some of the players in it sexist or misogynistic.
I don't disagree with those points, but here's where I add a few cents that I haven't seen out there yet...
I'd like to say I'm surprised and shocked by these ugly events -- but I'm not. Anyone who has been on the Internet for more than ten years (or around any networked technology like BBSs, newsgroups or IRC) and explored their deep dark corners knows that nothing -- not even with the threat of the law -- is taboo. This freedom, of course, is one of the Internet's strengths and weaknesses at the same time.
I'm not condoning the behaviour, absolutely not. I'm just saying it's not unexpected. I have mixed feelings about the 'shocked' reaction. Bloggers have been abused (anonymously or otherwise) for a long time and so have celebrities. Now we have a female celebrity blogger -- a target trifecta on the Internet, if you will -- taking abuse from other bloggers/commenters and we're surprised and shocked? Please. It happens every day to people online, they just aren't all celebrities or women (or both).
Even though I think the ugliness is status quo, the strong reaction helps bring this issue to the attention of the blogosphere, at least for a few weeks anyway. That's good, we need to keep talking about it.Posted at March 27, 2007 at 04:13 PM EST
Last updated March 27, 2007 at 04:13 PM EST