[Noisebridge-discuss] "How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People"

Josh Myer josh at joshisanerd.com
Sun Jan 2 21:50:00 PST 2011


Interesting Google TechTalk from some key Subversion developers on their
community management, and how to deal with "poisonous people."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSFDm3UYkeE

Everyone should go watch that, and, as they discuss key problems with
Poisonous People, ask yourself, "Am I being That Guy?"  If your'e not, think
of people who are; you're sure to find a handful of them in the projects
you're a part of.

Relatedly, it's worth mentioning the Five Geek Social Fallacies again:
http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

In particuarly, GSF#1: "Ostracizers are Evil," is appropriate here.
 Poisonous people have to either work to get better or move on.  That's
that.  We, as a community, need to be better about encouraging this kind of
healthy reaction, instead of allowing our radical inclusivity to be used to
allow abusive people to emotionally abuse our community.

My personal coping strategy: there are a handful of people who, when they
reply to an email thread, make that thread dead to me.  I'll read further
replies from a small handful of people I trust to be really awesome, but,
otherwise, I just ignore it. There are enough other reasonable people in the
community; my particular input isn't unique nor necessary.  I encourage
everyone else to take a minute and create their own list (I'm sure my name
will grace a few), and try it for a while.  It makes the list a lot less
irritating, and might be good for universal accord.
--
/jbm
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