Church of the Customer has an interesting post today about how Russell Simmons found that the hatred of rap/hip-hop really helped it grow an enthusiastic community.
I definitely see microsoft playa-hatin' as a unifying force in certain linux communities like slashdot, but I haven't seen the reverse as universally - in Microsoft-related communities, there doesn't seem to be the all-consuming hatred for linux as there is for Microsoft in linux-related communities. Of course there are plenty of discussions about which is better, which sucks, and why, etc, but it just doesn't seem to be as central a focus or come up as often.
Am I just missing it, not looking in the right communities? Or am I focusing on the wrong linux communities like slashdot, where that attitude is obviously prevalent, but it may not be so common in other linux communities? I do remember the same attitude being common (although not as strong) in the linux users' group I was a member of in college.
By the way, I am in no way suggesting that I think "hatred of the alternatives" is something to strive for to help grow our own communities. I'd rather focus on the positive and the constructive negative (where to improve). I'm just wondering if this might be another aspect of the biculturalism that Joel discussed.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
KC, Through another one of my favorite MS blogs, John Porcaro's, I followed a link to the Steve Ballmer Business Week interviews. His comments on changes at MS post Justice Dept: that MS needs to think of itself as others see it, that is a big "monopolistic" bully on the playground rather than a scrappy young upstart, are I think relevant here. It is always more unifying and more consuming to hate the oppressor, and like it or not, that's the role many see MS as playing. The hatred isn't spread around fairly because frankly it's not a level playing field!
Interesting that what Ballmer describes, a belief within MS of being an upstart or a comrade, and some surprise internally when all this venom is released, sure seems to surface in your post here. You're the big dog in the yard. Be aware of that.
Great blog and thanks for the Outlook tips! Keep em coming.
Maybe there's hope...Post a Blog, Save the World!!!
Check this out:
I'm not so naive that I am surprised by the state of things, or that I consider Microsoft to be a scrappy young upstart :-) But honestly, I just find the vitriol counterproductive - don't spend your time on expressing your hatred, spend it on studying your competition and seeing what they do better, leapfrogging them if possible, matching them if not.
The increase in bloggers does seem to be helping (myself being one of the more recent inductees), but sometimes I wonder if it's just a self-referential community. Is it only the press-that-talks-about-blogs and the other bloggers themselves that actually notice and care?