An Open Letter to Kevin
by cricketjeff on June 4, 2011. © Jeff Green, All rights reserved
We here are a community, a community that only exists because of the site that you built, it is your child. But like your child it has grown, partly through your efforts but also through the efforts of others and also because communities either grow or die.
I too have children, some of them large and metaphorical, websites like and unlike this one and others, four others, of the flesh and blood variety. For both sorts of children I am further down the road than you, the oldest of my internet children is older than the web the youngest of my real children is twenty one. I still love them all, see them all regularly and I hope have some influence in their lives, but I do not, I never have, own any of them. When you give life to something you have done just that, you have given it life, a free gift, a wonderful gift but a gift not a loan. Your children owe you nothing, my children owe me nothing. What they grow into will be partly my doing, but mostly it will be theirs and I must respect that.
With this upgrade I think you have forgotten that. Your beta testing was patchy, rushed and incomplete. The beta site was never “in use” just a mock up for us to admire and comment on. Now you have converted it into a live site impacting deeply on the lives and emotions of dozens of others. Many of them having no interest at all in the technicalities and minutiae of the web, or of computers. For many the only reason they use the Internet is to read and to write poetry, for many those actions have become an integral and necessary part of their days. We see and talk to our friends here, and our enemies! This new site has interrupted that, and as such it has hurt people.
Now you ask for patience and for those who cannot live with it to take a day off and come back. Maybe you are asking the wrong people for patience. Perhaps you should have shown the patience before embarking on major, possibly life threatening surgery on your child, a child that is no longer a toddler incapable of looking to its own future, but a vibrant strong adolescent with views of its own.
Many things we had been given have been taken away, hidden or changed. You ask us to trust that it will be better, but better is not a simple linear concept, better for some almost always means worse for others. I love my time here at AP and I am very grateful to you for creating the site, but gratitude is not a debt, I pay for my time here, and for several other people’s time and I like to get what I pay for.
Please think carefully, then think again, before you do things that cannot be undone.