The Bath Carson Systems Team (Andrew is based in California & Alex and Marat are in Russia) went out to lunch yesterday and we had a really interesting discussion.
We were discussing Kathy Sierra’s post about the death threats she’s recieved and I feel like we came across something interesting: a blog starts to breakdown when it gets too many readers.
As soon as a blog gets large, it’s starts fracturing and becomes a hostile environment. I’d guess that this number is around 50,000+ RSS subscribers.
A small to medium sized blog has ‘family’ feel about it. This is accentuated by tools like MyBlogLog. You start to get to know the faces and opinions of the other folks. I definitely feel that way about Carsonified. We’re at about 4,000 RSS subscribers (including the folks still subscribed to BNA) and I think it’s a nice place to ‘visit’. People respect each other’s opinions around here.
But blogs like TechCrunch are a whole other world. As many of you saw, I got a barrage of plain nasty comments there. There wasn’t a sense of mutual respect.
So what’s really going on
I believe that this happens because trolls can slip in and out unnoticed. They can spread their vitriol and negativity, and then just disappear into the masses. There isn’t that sense of responsibility.