A strange reluctance to be critical

The Hanselman Effect

Today is the first day of Microsoft Build 2020, an event tailored for developers that features the most recent technologies and tools created, supported, or encouraged by Microsoft.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 social distancing in place, this year’s edition of the conference is to be 100% streamed online.

Earlier this month I have recently received a gift box from Microsoft because I was an early registrant to the conference (by chance). Seeing how it is a free conference, I was very surprised by the care package and shared it on Twitter :

I was lucky enough to be retweeted by Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman. As a core speaker at most Microsoft events for software developers, he is arguably one of their most famous public figures and certainly one their best advocate in explaining where the company stands with their evolving suite of web technologies.

What I appreciate most in Scott is the apparent lack of employer bias that one may be allowed to expect in a blogger in his position.

The The Hanselman Effect experience

Here’s what happens when he retweets you and you experience what I am calling The Hanselman Effect:

What How many
Times people saw my tweet 49,963
Likes 194
Replies 19
Retweets 10
Profile clicks 462

Through this, I gained 8 new followers which will undoubtedly be disappointed to see what I usually tweet about.

While I am impressed by the amount of times my tweet has been read as a whole, I know very well that nothing will come out of that kind of exposure. None of these people remember me for this by now and it’s how it should be, honestly.

What I find truly interesting however is the number of times my profile was viewed during this period. In theory, was I doing something interesting, these would have been people I could have never reached otherwise.

How can they deal with that?

But wow, almost 50K+ views from an offhand retweet.

Imagine what Scott has to deal with every day with people connecting all the time with people attacking and congratulating him on his Linux stance alone.

We all know how people get weird on the internet.

I’ve always expected the effects of being able to reach (and be reached) by so many people at all times must be hard to deal with.

Imagine what happens when things turn sour and you have hundreds of people actively attacking you. Sure, sometimes it must be fun to be internet famous, but, for some, it does not balance out.

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