Spolsky: Today is the day that we did not launch, although we planned to. But then... We'll wait for another week.
Spolsky: Oh, oh, I want to hear, I want to hear, I want to hear.
Spolsky: How on Earth do you find things like that?
Spolsky: Ha ha, take a dump.
Spolsky: Windbg! Yeah
Spolsky: That's really awesome.
Spolsky: Yeah, no. We're in no rush, we can take another week. I thought that the end of August plan was a little bit ambitious. I think we're both in the same position of really being on the fence, as to whether, I don't want to say on the fence but it's sort of a close call between we want to do the Hollywood launch, going back to last week talking about Aarons Swartz's thing, whether we want to do the Hollywood launch where everyone hits us at once and the world comes to an end versus the Gmail style launch where we just start taking a thousand people a day or give out invites or something to at least have some kind of control over the rate at which people come in.
Spolsky: Yeah. We have quite a finite number of people who listen to our podcast and read out blogs anyway, so they're going to find out.
Spolsky: These people they're going to the backlash state before we even got to the hype stage. Come on you guys! Backlash comes after the hype, that's why it's called backlash.
Spolsky: blogging-harmful.blogspot.com. Complete waste of time, but you know if we get people to care about us whether it's positive or negative that means people care about us.
Spolsky: That's the real failure, exactly. If you can't get anyone to care one way or another about what you've done. For example, this website blogging-harmful.blogspot.com is going to disappear without a trace. Even though I promoted it on the podcast it's going to make it all the more painful when nobody...
Atwood: - at the turn of the century. I got these books as a kid and I was totally obsessed with them, because the Great Brain is all about a family. I don't remember the family's name, but there is one central character J.D. who is the Great Brain. Essentially he's always thinking up ways to, essentially social engineering before we had that word in computer circles. Basically getting people to do what you want them to do, completely of their own volition. The Great Brain is basically this genius of a kid, who is using all these social engineering exploits to get away with all this crazy stuff. In that family, if they found out the Great Brain was doing this stuff then of course he would get punished, but the ultimate penalty was what they called the silent treatment. The silent treatment meant that nobody would talk to you or acknowledge you for a certain period of time. They would give you food and stuff, but they wouldn't talk at you. It was just stunning in the book, you don't really think about this stuff as a kid (I was like 10 or so), how desperate it is as a person, as a social being, when nobody will acknowledge you. How profoundly affecting that is, right? Even the Great Brain, as a smart kid, hated the silent treatment and would do anything he could to avoid getting the silent treatment because it was just such a brutal penalty. I remember Jason Kottke talking about an episode of The Simpsons where these animated statues came to life, and the way they got rid of them was they started chanting "Just Don't Look!"
Atwood: I also try to copy a lot of things I've seen online that have been successful, like conventions. Let me give you a specific example: PHP-BB, and I'm sure there are other web discussion boards that do this too but PHP-BB is the one I know, has this editing convention. When you post you can edit your own posts, and I noticed that when people are using PHP-BB that right after you post something you'll always notice some goofy mistake that you made, like immediately. This happens to me 9 times out of ten I'll post and think "oh, I should have talked about this" or "I missed that word," so you immediately go in and edit. At a certain threshold these are not treated as real edits, they're treated as just going back in time to pretend that it is the post you originally made. It doesn't kick off the whole auditing trail of you having edited it 50 times. One of the first things we did in StackOverflow is actually implement that. I remember talking to Geoff Dalgas about that, and he's like "why do we have to have this?" I said, "you don't understand, this feature has to be in there on day 1 otherwise we're going to have so many revisions that are just in the first minute or two after posting and are just silly little things that are being corrected."