Next time I will remind myself to think before I tweet.
I had to vent a bit on Twitter the other day; I am so fed up with hearing the Web 2.0 elite waste their time on petty arguments, that i abruptly jumped into a one-way conversation of Dave Winer's. IMHO Dave is a visionary (albeit sometimes a bit cranky) that I respect very much, and even though I tried to make that clear, I still should have separated the issue that was bothering me from the conversation that set me off.
The conversation, unfortunately, was picked up by some site called Eye on Winer and published. Apparently they are like Dave Winer's personal Valleywag. If I were Dave I would be flattered; they obviously put a lot of energy into this site. I attempted to comment on their post, even registered and tried to post my own comments, but for whatever reason the site refuses to approve my post. OMG really? If you're going to publish my tweets out of context, at least give me the opportunity to express my perspective...right? If not, I felt it needed to be said...so here we are.
So...this needs more than 140 characters so I decided it's time to start my own blog. Yes, I am THAT cantankerous that I will create my own sweet blog, just so my first post can tell the world what some other website doesn't want to publish. This is not rebuttal, not apology, not a withdrawal. It's just my side of things, and hopefully the beginning of a productive conversation. Dave Winer is NOT the point of this post; the point is that the narrow-minded cowards who waste their time on lame Twitter-fights and crap like EOW should really take stock of their priorities and try to do something more noble with their intellect.
If you're interested in the full story, read EOW's post, then continue on with my reply:
I actually had gone back and deleted the "hypocritical" tweet pretty quick as I thought it was off the mark myself. Dave's jeering comments didn't strike me as the kind of thing someone who was concerned with others trashing their "good name" would do...but "hypocritical" was the wrong word. Sorry, Dave.
I've been frustrated with the playground-tiff mentality of the Internet community at large, but I realize now (hindsight, so bittersweet) that jumping into the fray doesn't make things any better. I wish I had stayed out of that garbage. Even though I ordinarily enjoy Dave's writing on scripting.com and (sometimes) his Twitter updates it's my own choice to tune in or not when the shit-talking is going on. I should have just un-followed him as I do so many others, and moved on. Next time I will remind myself to think before I tweet. ;-)
I don't think there's any denying that Dave is a brilliant person and I have a ton of respect for him and his accomplishments. None of us would be using the Web in the same way if it wasn't for him. I am just sick to death of the infighting and pissy behavior from these smart, rich, connected people and I wish they would turn their amazing minds to alleviating some of the bigger problems in our world instead of focusing on these narrow-minded catfights.
Only those three tweets were directed to Dave, but they were part of a broader conversation I was trying to initiate. Here is the thread:
Colby Palmer: @davewiner -don't get me wrong Dave- <3 your brilliant work...but maybe piling more trash on the heap doesn't add gloss to a "good name"? Colby Palmer: Potshots != value; Come on people, you have such amazing minds...sad to see so much petty shit talking. Move on and do some good. My $0.02 Colby Palmer: @davewiner No, and with respect, I don't want to flame. I'm just sick of the sniping/infighting. I'd rather see advances of real thought. Colby Palmer: @davewiner This includes @spin and @jasoncalacanis. . . not to single you out, but your "good name/eric rice is a dork" rant was hypocritical. Colby Palmer: I'm really not trying to start fights or be an a-hole, I'm tired of the narrow web culture POV (and [mad at] myself for getting involved) ;-) Colby Palmer: I'm trying to start over with a new perspective...TODAY. Positive groups like Citizen Agency make me realize I've been misusing my talents. Colby Palmer: My follow-through begins today. A difference will be made. Stay tuned... <3 to you all.
Now the next question I hope you're asking is: what am *I* doing to help the world? As I said, stay tuned...I have made a commitment to this, and I am putting some ideas into action.
This is the conversation I would like to engage the Internet community in: how can we use the collective intelligence of SO many ingenious people to make a bigger difference? I encourage you to take a look at http://citizenagency.com or http://recaptcha.net to see some great examples of people who are trying to do this. They have made me realize my own narrow point of view, and I've been inspired to put my talents to better use.
Here's what I think: if we can figure out how to tie SMS, IM, email and Internet together in a service like Twitter, and develop SO many methods of using this service...surely we can figure out how to do some good with it. Can't we figure out a way to use our incredible minds for something better than Pissing Contest 2.0?
Find me at twitter.com/colbyworld and let me know what you think.
(Note: some of the language has been changed slightly in this post due to a well-thought-out comment that you can read on the comments page.)