YHBT HAND 2.0
Ha, ha, I could have sworn I went away for a week and while I was gone the biggest thing that happened in the tech blogosphere was that people were arguing over lawyers talking about rights to a buzzword that everyone had already agreed was so far past its prime that it was only used ironically. This is the best you can do?
Want to know why the tech blogosphere is rapidly decreasing in influence, importance, and prominence among blogs overall? Want to know why Cute Overload, Go Fug Yourself, and Post Secret are more important blogs than yours? It's because of these silly little incestuous locker-room ego-stroking flamewars that the boys are prone to. A few years from now, when you're bitterly protesting that you're no longer seen as relevant, you can look to stupid cross-blog flamewars like this and remember why.
In the meantime, I'm very proud that I'd get quoted for trying to encourage people to be constructive with their conversations. If my blogging legacy is that I wore a funny t-shirt and ranted ineffectively against the unkindness of the blogosphere, I'll be more than happy. I'm not saying everyone has to be nice, just that they shouldn't be proactively stupid. Calm down or shut up!
If I were writing Tim's post, it might be more like this:
Sorry a small number of vocal people were offended that our company tried to protect a brand that they don't even like. Sometimes our lawyers treat our publishing business like they would any other company, not considering that our community expects a referendum on any business dealings having to do with intellectual property. Next time they'll check with us first, but really it's not that big a deal. To those of you who are upset you can't take advantage of the value of the name, I'd suggest you probably want your own name so you can build your own brand equity. To those of you who've just been enjoying the drama and the pile-on, I'd suggest you direct your energies to something useful. To the sane people who were bored by this whole thing, here's hoping there's something productive being discussed soon.
See? Easy. As always, my wife said it first, more succinctly and eloquently than me.
Update: Great post on the same topic from Dave Winer, who's seen firsthand just how pleasant a blog pile-on can be. Also, I'm glad that people who know little about new web technologies can find a New York Times article on this stupidity where we can proudly reveal that our community yields such attractive artifacts as "[Added 27 May 2006 by Marc:] I deleted a comment that insinuated Tim is a child molester." This type of conversation really makes us all look great.