the slashdot effect
when you're a developer community manager, it is a highlight, tempered with trepidation, to get your initiative slashdotted (as opposed to having your site slashdotted). only the hottest news, rumors and technology tips make the grade and are discussed in this well-established, boisterous community of developers.
the slashdot reaction around our recently launched eBay Community Codebase, an initiative i've been working on for months, generated a healthy amount of skepticism and snark. it is easy to become disheartened, reading through the multitude of negative comments on something i've worked so hard on, guilty until proven innocent. these firestorm threads can sometimes be trollish, sometimes inaccurate, but they are always provocative, current and authentic developer thoughts.
technical support engineer, bruce thompson, and technical evangelists alan lewis and adam trachtenberg, all responded with full disclosure up front about their employment at eBay, then with thoughtful clarifications about our open source licenses, new payment model and genuine intent of our open source announcement. transparency and honest dialogue, developer-to-developer, is the only appropriate response in these forums - anything that smacks of pr or spin would be flamed out of the thread.
i am proud of our new open source codebase. i hope our doubters will continue to watch to make sure we walk our talk.
Finally, some context of the reaction from the Slashdot FAQ:
Big corporations are what they are. They sell us cool stuff with one hand and tighten the screws on our freedoms with the other. We hate them every morning and love them every afternoon, and vice versa. This is part of living in the modern world: you take your yin with your yang and try to figure out how to do what's right the best you can. If you think it has to be all one way or the other, that's cool, share your opinions, but don't expect everyone else to think the same.