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.