Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Nathan Weinburg Ends the Blogger Laptop Debate...

...or so I thought. From InsideMicrosoft:

I was talking with one of the bloggers who got a free laptop, and I feel like I shouldn’t save the way I feel for just IM conversations. Here’s the fact: There is nothing wrong with bloggers accepting free stuff. Major news organizations have policies about not accepting swag because reporters fight over this stuff, and because there are lots of dishonest people who literally trade products for positive reviews. That is their fault. The readers of this blog know who I am, and if they don’t trust me, they shouldn’t be reading here.

Any blogger who feels he could not accept a free laptop and remain impartial is a blogger I’m not interested in reading. If you don’t have enough confidence in your abilities as a journalist to not be blinded by a laptop, then why should I, or anyone else, have any confidence in you? You don’t have to accept the laptop, but if you don’t believe in yourself, then neither do I.

The worst part about this is that it is bringing out the worst elements of the online community. The haters, the flamers, the assholes who only comment when they are mad. These aren’t the regular readers of Scott Beale’s blog. These people don’t hang onto Long Zheng’s every witty remark. They don’t rely on Brandon LeBlanc, they’ve never heard of Mitch Denny, and they don’t care how hard Ed Bott works. They hang out at community sites, working on their post counts, fighting with the moderators, and only venture into the blogosphere when something pisses them off.

Well said, Nathan. Unfotunately, the issue is not over, as Brandon just told me that someone threatened his life in his blog comments. I've been called a facist before (over my support for the Iraq war on my .NET blog) , but the blogosphere has suddenly hit a new low. The comment was: "BRANDON IS A *** AND I HOPE YOU [BRANDON] FUCKING DIE". Over a laptop? That's complete bullshit. I'm sorry, but that takes *** to a whole new level. I'm completely outraged at this, and you should be too. "Bloggers" won't lose credibility over free stuff. However, if we let sh!t like this go on in the blogosphere... we're no better than this moron is. Totally uncalled for.

And if that person is a reader of my blog, please unubscribe yourself now. My blog is for civilized conversation only and you're not welcome here anymore.



  • Joe said:

    Best to just ignore the 13 year olds, fools with agenda of their own, and people who cannot spell the word lose.

    January 2, 2007 12:48 AM
  • Those comments are ridiculous, after all Microsoft gave these laptops out as a gift. If the bloggers keep them then so what, it doesn't change their journalistic credit one bit.

    January 2, 2007 2:41 AM
  • Sam said:

    Yeah, best to ignore rubbish like that - come on, honestly, just because someone in a bad mood shares his mood you get all worked up?

    January 2, 2007 7:39 AM
  • ID said:

    Quite ridiculous that people get so upset over nothing.

    January 2, 2007 10:40 AM
  • Ben said:

    Robert, you've really got to stop trying to band-aid over what was a fundamentally unethical move on your part.  The reality is you should never have accepted the laptop.  Whether you keep the machine or not, the best thing to do would be to apologize to those of us who still respect you, and move on.

    On another note, kudos to Microsoft for making such a ballsy, startup-like move.  If you can't beat your competitors, join 'em!

    January 2, 2007 11:30 AM
  • Shawn Oster said:

    Ben, there was nothing unethical about Robert's move and he shouldn't apologize to anyone, including you.  All that does is make it look like something shady did happen, when it didn't.

    Ben, have you never gotten a free CD sampler in the mail or with a magazine or with a purchase?  Did that mean you instantly loved those bands or told all your friends about them because they were free?

    Lasty, anyone that reads this blog knows that no amount of free Microsoft swag would change the kinds of things that were written.

    January 2, 2007 3:06 PM
  • Mihai said:

    "someone threatened his life"


    C'mon, go read a dictionary. This is not a threat.

    "I WILL F* KILL YOU" is a threat.

    January 3, 2007 12:24 PM
  • alexandru said:

    I wouldn't take this threats too serious.

    They're made by someone who is probably very slow minded to say the least.

    The way that guy spoke it sounded to me more like : "I'm a frustrated kid with no laptop, and I hope you die".

    January 5, 2007 4:53 AM
  • John Derrick said:

    For what it's worth, kudos to both Nathan Weinburg and Robert for their thoughts on this. I completely agree. You host a site for 5 or 7 years and everyone suddenly thinks a new laptop is going to change everything. Please... we starting blogging because we enjoy the subject matter. No freebie is going to change our TRUE opinions; and if it does, well eventually the truth catches up with you. But honest bloggers shouldn't have to take the criticism they did. It's a real shame what happen.

    Again, well said guys.

    January 5, 2007 4:14 PM