Random Act of Kindness

This entry was posted by on Wednesday, 25 February, 2009 at

The old saying goes, “the world is full of jerks, and the internet just makes it seem like they’re all next door.” In fact, even if they’re only a tiny minority among the communities we participate in, they tend to have a disproportionately large impact on our social behaviors. Occasionally a nice surprise happens, though. I got a really nice email today:

This is kind of a strange letter to write, but I just wanted to say “thank you” for your various work in the open source community. I’ve used Subversion for years, but didn’t come to know any of the faces behind it until I started hosting a project at Google Code Hosting (and reading the lists there).

I’ve been impressed by your ability to stick to the philosophies you’ve set up at Google Code, and tireless efforts to defend them. Your patience with some of the more irritating “contributors” to the list should serves as an excellent example for other project leaders.

I know these sorts of fawning e-mails can make one uncomfortable, but (a) one of my best professors taught me to send Thank You notes, and (b) I know that you rarely hear from the people who *appreciate* your work, so having something in your inbox that’s not invective is, hopefully, pleasant.

Keep up the good work!

I guess we tend to forget the majority of folks out there are nice, happy, appreciative folks. They just usually don’t say much on mailing lists. 🙂

2 Comments to Random Act of Kindness

  1. bittersweet.sage says:

    February 25th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Hey, Ben! Speaking of random acts, did you ever get the CD I sent you?

  2. Ben Collins-Sussman says:

    February 26th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Totally! Haven’t um… played it yet. I’ll bring it on my many plane trips next week. 🙂