I recently had a short post that rode the front page of Hacker News for the better part of 24 hours, spending at least 8 hours at the number one spot.
Compared to my last popular piece, this post took very little time to write. Really it was just a thought, an annoyance that I was experiencing over the last few months, and finally it was enough for me to write a short post about it.
I can’t explain what happened after I posted it. The only explanation I have for over 20k people reading it is that it is something that has been lurking just in people’s subconscious minds for a while and I found just the right tone and attitude to galvanize people around the issue without coming off as a flake or just a rant.
I’d like to say that I had some kind of master plan for this or that I intended to write my post this way intentionally, but sadly that is not the truth. I accidentally hit on something very divisive in just the right way.
If anything maybe I can learn that it’s ok to take the gloves off for a little while to get some emotional engagement. Some of my technical posts are long and a little dry so maybe this is telling me something? Or… perhaps not.