Yesterday, I linked to a story from Samantha Bielefeld, in which she respectfully and eloquently disagreed with Marco Arment concerning the viability of the patronage model for independent developers. I would’ve left it at that, but as it turns out, she’s really been facing a considerable amount of abuse from Arment and his followers. Yesterday, John C. Welch published a (rather rantish) overview of some of the public tweets going back and forth, which were already pretty bad, but apparently, the private emails and messages Bielefeld received were way, way worse.
I’m new to the idea of writing for an audience, and certainly inexperienced when it comes to receiving hundreds of hurtful emails in response. A word of wisdom to female writers out there; if you publish something negative about Marco, you will receive threats of rape, and physical harm.
I hope Bielefeld doesn’t quit writing – even though I would completely understand if she did – because this industry desperately needs people who aren’t white, male, well-off, 20-40, and straight. Less people like myself, please.
I’ll let Bielefeld take it away.
Marco, I’ve never argued that your success fell into your lap. You worked for years to get to where you are now, and you’ve earned your following. I do stand by my belief that your position gives you an immediate leg up, even when it isn’t warranted. My article on Wednesday only came to be because of a statement I made when reviewing Overcast 2.0. I said that I was pleased to see your attempt at a patronage model, and this led to many developers reaching out to me, to inform me of the broader discussion, and their disgust that you would attempt to categorize yourself alongside them. So why don’t you just do us all a favor, and start acknowledging yourself as the arrogant, privileged rich guy with a huge advantage that we all know you to be? After all, you did earn it.