People Considered Harmful (TypeKey Edition)

March 23rd, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

Some quick “Post-TypeKey FAQ” linkage. I’m leaving aside the technical commentary:

The first fact to consider is that TypeKey is the wrong solution, because it’s centralized. This is more of an axiom, really, and not open for debate. Microsoft Passport is centralized, and that was axiomatically bad, so this must be like that, and bad. Also, something about Microsoft, and patents. So this must be patented too. The logic is inescapable. OK, TypeKey is not actually from Microsoft. But SixApart is obviously trying to become Microsoft, and by ‘Microsoft’, I mean ‘successful’. Software companies should never aspire to success; they should be run by megalomaniacal multi-millionaires who don?t need the money.

“Now any comment registration system will keep me out of a weblog, and TypeKey is no different than a local system. I’m not making a statement against TypeKey, now, as much as I am against comment registration; against a growing trend that I’m seeing within the weblogging world to put up barriers and filters around our spaces so that we may control not only what’s discussed within our writing, but within the comments we attach to our spaces.

“Combine this with never linking to contrary viewpoints, or disparging same based on some group affiliation or at the behest of some A-lister who we’re sucking up to, and eventually we can still the voices and if we’re successful enough, the people speaking will lose heart and just go away and leave us alone.”


“I guess I and all the other troublesome, negative, critical, contrary, rude, nasty, vicious, and dissenting voices that you see as graffiti on the wall will be gone, and though we can write in our own weblogs, we’ll never be part of the conversations. Free to speak, true; but not to be part of a discussion; on the outside looking in through the window at the party, trying to be heard through the thick panes. After a while though, shouting in the street gets discouraging and disheartening, and perhaps some day we’ll just be gone for good.

“Just think, though: when we’re gone, you won’t need TypeKey. That’s great, isn’t it?”

I don’t think TypeKey will prove to be quite the secret decoder ring exclusion deathray the hottest rhetoric is making it out to be. People truly horked about weblogs with maintainers they perceive to be too restrictive should consider putting up YAB (yet another button) next to the offending site’s entry in their blogroll, like this one:

One Way

Use it to convey the one way street the prospective reader will be setting foot on when she follows the link. Bloggers with a censor’s urge or two will be that way no matter what and regardless of the tools available. The most the rest of us can do is help each other steer clear of these conversational dead ends.

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