In (very late, I know, but my son was smaller during the early rounds so I have an excuse) response to Jeff Atwood’s “Who’s Your Arch Enemy” where he notes a certain combination of search terms that return some results somehow equals “universally loathed” I give you:
About 382,000 results (0.24 seconds)
About 101,000 results (0.20 seconds)
So do we get say the same thing? Different qualifier? What’s greater than “universally”? Ah, I know. ”Infinitely.”
Give it some time, Jeff. I’ll bet that gap increases ;)
Now, the fanbois and EE haters will probably come out of the woodwork to defend “their site” in the comments below and I’ll probably allow it even though very few of them will be thought out and constructive points and even fewer will be in agreement with me. A lot will use pseudonyms. I predict that the better responses will be along the lines of “since Alexa says we have more traffic than you do, it’s only natural that the number of complaints are up” or something like that. Come to think of it, I just gave it to you all. You’re welcome :)
My point here is actually not to say that StackOverflow sucks, because it obviously doesn’t. It has some warts and some flaws and it struggles with issues endemic to discussion boards everywhere, just as we all do. Heck, Eric and I even entered the Dragon’s Lair to apologize about something minor that happened to an SO user on Experts Exchange that was reposted on SO for no other reason than to allow SO users to have a laugh at our expense. We went out of our way to compliment people and got a (mostly) wonderfully supportive response from the SO community. A sincere thanks to you all for that experience which I believe shows that our respective core user bases are not so different.
Instead, my point is that as your community grows and succeeds you are GUARANTEED to have negative press and negative reviews. The internet’s crowning achievement is to have turned every person with access into a broadcaster and trend maker. One tweet or blog post worded cleverly enough can become an unstoppable force of bad press and Google bait. But does the presence of negativity automatically equate to the referenced object sucking? Of course not. Despite all of the hate (which turns out to be less hate than other hate) and all of the predictions of doom, Experts Exchange is still alive, still thriving and still planning on being here tomorrow.
Experts Exchange has a business model that people who don’t like to pay don’t like. I get that. Equating “paid” with “evil” seems to be a part and parcel of dealing with the internet and I acknowledge it but don’t pretend to understand it. I do wonder how many people who consistently slam a site for making money are not charging for their own services in their business life, but I digress. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
So welcome to the big time, StackOverflow. How does it feel to be infinitely hated if we are going by raw Google results alone? :)
Appearing below: People missing the larger point in 3…2…1