Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Jan 2014 16:53 UTC
In the News

Anybody following tech media in the past few years would instantly recognize the Thorne. He's a fanboy. That is, the kind of crazily obsessed tech enthusiast who appears to have become unhinged somewhere between peeling off his smartphone's screen protector and making his 457th comment on Android Central. He seems to love - as in, romantically love - his phone. He explodes with rage when somebody says anything less than glowingly positive about it.

I've been dealing with fanboys for as long as I'm an OSNews editor - made worse by the fact that I don't really have a strong allegiance to any platform, and therefore, tend to criticise and praise each of them at the same time, on a weekly basis. This means I have to deal with all manner of fanboys, and while it sometimes can be quite tiring, it's just kind of adorable most of the time.

The other side of the coin is being accused of being biased for or against something. I used to maintain a list of all the companies and products I was accused of being biased for or against. Interestingly enough, all of the companies and products mentioned appeared in both the biased for and biased against column. In other words, I was biased for and against every single company and product mentioned on OSNews at the same time.

In the meantime, out in the real world, I try to use as many different products from as many different companies as (financially) possible, so that I gather as much as real-world experience as I can. So, in the past 18-24 months, I've bought a Nexus 7, HTC 8X Windows Phone, Surface RT, iMac, Find 5 (Android), a self-built Windows 8 PC, Nokia E7 (Symbian), iPhone 5S, Jolla, and only last week I added a Nokia N9 to my collection. On top of that, I've used a whole bunch of other classic devices to further expand my horizon. I love technology, regardless of brand or platform.

So yes, I've probably had more experience with fanboys than just about anyone here on OSNews. However, the things I've had to deal with are minute compared to the things people like Joshua Topolsky from The Verge has had to deal with.

The gist of this somewhat random collection of words: be happy OSNews is a relatively small, niche site. Sure, we get into our (in the grand scheme of things, pointless) debates, but at least virtually every regular commenter here displays a reasonable amount of intelligence and restraint. We could do a whole lot worse.

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Bring in the fanboys
by jessesmith on Tue 21st Jan 2014 17:19 UTC
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They do make the world go 'round, those fanboys. Since I have written for a few tech sites including OSNews, DistroWatch, and BSDMag, I feel Thom's pain. Hardly a week goes by without someone saying I'm obviously biased for/against something, being paid off by someone, in league with some company.... Most of the time it's so silly it's kind of, well if not cute, then perhaps slightly sad. I really wonder what sort of mindset it takes for someone to be that out of touch with reality, to be that paranoid, to feel the need to strike out against someone for favouring (or criticising) a piece of software. I've even received some threatening messages from people who want to do me physical harm, which seems weird when, again, it's just one person's observations on a piece of software.

That being said, I get a lot more positive messages than ill-tempered ones. The appreciation and praise that comes from the community as a whole far outweights the fevered complaints of fanboys (or fangirls). I've had people mail me gifts, create custom wallpapers for me, offer to pray for me during times of sickness and invite me out for beers. Really, the motivation to keep writing largely comes from the "thank you" letters that arrive in my inbox on a regular basis, they let me know there is an audience out there who feels what I do is worth while.

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