Until today I was not familiar with Kathy Sierra. For those that do not know her, she is a programming instructor and game developer and has been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Java instructors how to introduce new Java technologies and developing certification exams.
I came across a post that described that she had received death threats from some bloggers. At first I thought this was just a warped attempt at some poor choice for link bait. However as I read a few of the posts, I could see the seriousness of the subject matter. According to Wikipedia, just the other day, "In March 2007, Kathy Sierra abruptly cancelled her appearance at the O'Reilly ETech conference in San Diego, after receiving graphic and sexual messages that made her afraid to leave her house. In a blog post (Warning the blog post contains graphic material that is not suitable for all viewers.) at Creating Passionate Users, she stated that the harassment started with some blog comments posted four weeks earlier. Then she came across some other comments and photographs which indicated to her a pattern of intimidation."
I mention Kathy's story, because of the importance of ethical behavior in the online world. Just because you have a blog does not make it all right for you to attack another person. We have enough violence in the world. Why add to it? Sharing your personal opinions about dissatisfaction with a brand or a product is one thing... personal attacks on a human being or fellow blogger is another.
Business is competitive, we all know that. Vying for traffic amongst all of the blogs out there is also competitive. The blogosphere is filled with a lot of great stuff and a lot of spam. Personally I look for the good stuff. Spam bores me. Misleading link bait bores me. The fact that a few bloggers can affect someone in such a negative manner (as has happened to Kathy Sierra) just shows how powerful blogging can be. However the power of blogging shouldn't be used to personally attack someone. Blogging can be just as powerful when used in a positive manner. For you fans of Spiderman, you know that his motto is that "With great power comes great responsibility". The same can be said for all of the bloggers out there.
Kathy Sierra's Creating Passionate Users Blog
Labels: blogging, Kathy Sierra, spiderman