Can't We All Just Get Along?

Over the past few years, the Macintosh community of users has been largely responsible for the growth of Macintosh web sites. They have either been fervent readers, or equally fervent contributors to the web sites or message boards that comprise the Macintosh web. Currently, we are troubled by tendencies that have appeared on the Macintosh web and threaten the integrity of the sites and the people who have worked hard to create them.

Debate is a natural event when an opinion is put forth, but the current state of the Mac web has brought forth a form of debate that is not only unseemly, but also very telling. Mac web sites erupted because Mac users have always been vocal about their machines to the point of fanaticism. Indeed, users outside the Mac community are sometimes put off by the elitism that Mac users project. As the user base grows though, it is time for the Macintosh community to project itself in the best light possible. Debate on the nature of hardware, software, and peripherals is more than apropos, it is truly important to users of the platform.

Columnists who debate these issues are providing a great service to the Macintosh community. They help manufacturers make decisions, and consumers plan purchases. Too often these days though, Appleis machines have been left behind as columnists pursue different agendas. Writers for other publications are attacked in a direct or indirect fashion, they take each other to task for their own writing, and finally end up going so far as to discuss their own writing instead of addressing the actual subject they were hired (or volunteered) to write about.

By in large, this kind of sniping and narcissistic behavior leads to a dearth of information of import, and at worst, writing that tries to make itself the news. There is more than enough information about the Macintosh series of computers created on a daily basis to provide writers of imagination with the material necessary to produce effective prose. Itis a sad state of affairs then, when the writers become the news, and the real news is buried beneath a pile of verbiage.

We know that the Macintosh corner of the World Wide Web will continue to evolve. We hope though, that said corner will grow out of adolescence and into maturity. There is certainly room for an occasional snipe or two, but sound journalism demands that writers produce sound material. The result of such journalism will be a great contribution to the growing number of people who are putting their faith in the Macintosh and the coming OS-X. However, if Macintosh journalists appear as nothing more than petulant children, the Macintosh community will be hidden by that image. Does that serve anyone but the writer?