The last time I posted to my personal site was February 12th, 2012. When I wrote it, I didn’t know that my brother would only be alive for another 14 days. Two weeks after I wrote about some trivial Silicon Valley drama, I got the worst phone call of my life.
I made a name for myself first by trolling the Web 2.0 scene with my first blog, Uncov, and then later by trolling the web developer community with my personal web site. That was a lot of fun, and it brought me a lot of great things. If I had never started slaying sacred cows, my life would be a lot different than it is now, but my brother and only sibling Andy would still be gone.
You get a lot of attention when you touch nerves, and on the internet, attention is everything. But touching nerves isn’t what I want to be known for. It used to be, but it isn’t anymore.
I’ve gone through a lot of phases since Andy entered into rest, but the scariest one was when empathy disappeared from my emotional vocabulary. It’s probably a defense mechanism of some kind, but when that happened, I couldn’t separate the real me from the persona. The beast became me, and I became the beast.
That’s not the life I want to live, and it’s not the life I’m going to live anymore.
So, starting here, starting now, I’m done with trolling the tech community. I’m still going to blog about web programming, but everything I write here is going to be of substantive value. It’s important to note here that this is not an apology. I don’t regret anything I’ve ever written or published.
People want to be trolled. It’s in our nature. When we unite against a common enemy that attacks our ethos, it nurtures group solidarity. Trolls are sensational, yes, but we keep everyone honest.