"Community keeps taking and taking"


Here is a good blog post by Jesse Noller:

However, “community” is not the gift that keeps on giving, it is the
gift that keeps on taking and taking and taking. If you don’t set clear
and absolute boundaries, it will drain you dry and move on.


I don’t know about that…

In a healthy open source community, people who contribute get the most help. People who just ask / demand and take do (and IMO should) get ignored.

I think Jesse’s post is a suggestion to all individuals in an open source community, to set boundaries for what they do.


That is a pretty negative way to view Community. I’m curious @miohtama, is this relevant to Write the Docs in any particular way?

I know Jesse personally, and hopefully nobody feels that way about the WTD community. I agree that setting boundaries is quite important, and hopefully nobody is feeling that way here.


@ericholscher: Not related to writethedocs. I just wanted to share, because Jesse is pretty well-known personality. Also to show the need for balance in communities.


I see Jesse’s post as important (I don’t know him), but I see it as more of a case against workaholism, which is always an easy trap.


To expand on Lois’s point, and to offer a possible corrective:

I think the issue is really a rhetorical one with Jesse’s post. He acknowledges that he’s not blaming communities, and acknowledges his habit of going “all in.” This is the real meat of his post – a reflection on setting priorities and boundaries in his own life, and encouraging others to do the same. The line about community that “keeps taking and taking” seems like an unfortunate slip into blame-the-other, in a post that is overall more introspection than social analysis.

That’s how I see it, anyway. To bring the discussion back to WTD, I only sort of agree with Eric about communities needing to set boundaries – ultimately it’s up to the individuals in communities to set those boundaries, as Mike says. Although Eric does a brilliant job of keeping WTD’s efforts and expectations at a human scale – but again, that’s an individual’s contribution to the overall culture of the community


Jesse’s most recent post makes that point: “First up, by way of an apology, my last post didn’t make it clear that I don’t blame a/the communities I am and have been involved in for what happened.”

Jesse’s October 31 post


This blog post seems so much like an indictment of one person’s relationship to online communities, and not of the communities themselves. It made me wonder about post-partum depression (yes, men get it too). Very sad to read.

haha, I meant the first blog post, and I actually deleted a reference to the WRONG ON THE INTERNET cartoon that he references in the second post.