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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site


When referring to examples of successful internet-related businesses, people naturally tend to look to the big players throwing big money around, but I’d like to suggest a less obvious candidate. The MetaFilter Network supports its owner and a few employees, has no need for venture capital or pushy ‘internet entrepreneur’ types, and hosts a thriving online community that directly and indirectly generates revenue. Oh, and there’s stuff like helping a bereaved member pay hospital bills.

Isn’t that enough to aim for? Isn’t it the kind of bullshit-free business a lot of us always hoped the web would permit? MeFi is a far more inspiring role model than the hype-laden nonsense that gets its 15 minutes of fame on TechCrunch.

I was just about to finish writing about this when I read that MeFi owner Matt Haughey had been hospitalised, initially seemingly for flu but later turning out to be a brain tumour. I can’t claim to know Matt (we’ve exchanged emails, but only because I inadvertantly caused him some minor hassle years ago; oops), but he’s one of the internet’s Good Guys and it’s great to hear that the treatment options seem promising. Get well soon, mathowie.


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