"If you're going to say what you want to say, you're going to hear what you don't want to hear."
--Chilean novelist and poet Roberto Bolano
A little more than a year ago, we began to use the Disqus commenting service as the backbone of InformationWeek's article discussions. Since then, we've received more than 10,000 comments to our stories and commentaries. That's enough to fill Moby Dick cover to cover -- four times!
For the most part, everyone has maintained decorum and civility towards one another. Oh sure, there's the occasional brouhaha over someone's thoughts regarding a smartphone. Or offshore outsourcing. Or Google. Or Windows. Or Apple.
Look, we get it: You're passionate about your opinions, and we respect that. And everyone is entitled to them. Your own facts? Not so much, as fellow readers are often quick to point out.
We've enjoyed reading all your thoughts this past year. To that end, we looked back at the last 12 months of audience participation. Check out some of our favorite comments, some of the most "Liked" and some that ... well, you just have to read them.
In January, Eric Zeman reported on AT&T's big losses in fourth quarter 2011. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was pretty perturbed and claimed one of the factors for the financial woes was inconsistent government regulation, which stymied his company's attempts to purchase T-Mobile USA.
Reader 'Inverse137' had a difference in opinion as to why AT&T had such a poor showing:
"Huh ... See, I would have faulted their crappy customer service and their screw-you attitude."
On Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and ducked back into his cozy burrow to wait out six more weeks of winter. A couple of Google execs probably wished they could squeeze right in there with him, as the company was caught bypassing the privacy settings of those using Apple's Safari Web browser, which, unlike other major browsers, blocks third-party cookies by default. The incident prompted calls for an FCC investigation.
A reader with the mysterious screen name 'Eschewing Obfuscation' seemed, however, to be on Google's side:
"Privacy hawks aside, Google's shareholders have a right to accurate information regarding Google's solicitation, use of and strategies for gaining personal information."
If there's one thing we've come to expect from our audience, it's the utter devotion/loathing that some of you have for Microsoft and its products. With the debut of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in March, folks were scrambling to test drive the new OS. Microsoft warned that since it was a beta version, users wouldn't be getting a real feel for what the OS could do. To that end, the company offered some tips in a blog on how to boost performance.
Almost immediately the snark appeared. 'Kmcowan' quipped:
"The BEST way to boost performance is to use Mac OS X, Unbuntu or something other than Windows."
Reader 'MTECH000' wondered:
"So let me get this straight, it performs better than previous operating system, but it requires more hardware to run it."
'Cold Blue Eyes' couldn't contain himself:
"Microsoft concerned about performance!!!! You're killing me here ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
But reader 'shutup' spoke up for Microsoft:
"Are your serious? Microsoft bends over backwards to make sure their software works on millions of old worthless boat anchor computers so they wont get sued by people that think they should get a lifetime of free updates. Seriously my 2 year old htc smartphone meets the minimum specs that Microsoft has laid out for win 8!"